Abstract

Fragmentation of natural habitats is a central concern of biodiversity conservation and is considered a significant factor contributing to species loss and populations decline. We studied this in Cotové Agricultural Center in the municipality of Santa Fe de Antioquia (Colombia),where the conversion of natural forests to different land use systems, has limited the amount of available habitat. With the aim to describe the effect of habitat loss on bird presence in five land uses (fruiting trees, silvopastoral systems, secondary forest, pasture low density of trees and grass cutting) in this area, we studied bird diversity using two methods: fixed point counts and mist nets to analyze the influence of land use in the composition, richness and abundance of birds present were studied. A total of 6 633 individuals of 101 species were observed of which 11 species were migratory. The insectivorous and frugivorous foraging guilds were better represented. The Shannon index indicated the highest values of alpha diversity for the silvopastoral system, and the fruit with the lowest. The grazing and silvopastoral land systems shared more species with low tree density. The importance of the environmental heterogeneity found is highlighted as a positive factor for bird species richness, mostly of low and middle habitat specificity, and preferably from edge habitats and open areas. In order to preserve natural regeneration and connectivity between different land use types, and to promote stability of bird species populations, some management actions should be implemented in the area.
Keywords: bird diversity, species richness, farming systems, land use, tropical dry forest