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Habitat Preferences of Birds in Relation to Exotic Trees in Canal Bank Forests Gujranwala, Pakistan

Habitat Preferences of Birds in Relation to Exotic Trees in Canal Bank Forests Gujranwala, Pakistan

Zunaira Noreen* and Khawar Sultan

Department of Environmental Sciences, University of Lahore, Defence Road Campus, Lahore

 
* Corresponding author: zunaira.norin@gmail.com

ABSTRACT

The anthropogenic activities are causing the habitat destruction of birds globally by replacing native forests with artificial forests containing exotic species. The canal bank forest is one of such artificial forests present in Gujranwala, Pakistan. This study is designed to investigate role of canal bank forest as habitat for the native species of birds, their adaptability to exotic trees, and to understand role of mixed tree population in establishing the population of birds. Field data of the forest (N=1533 trees, 15 species) and avifauna (N= 3445 birds, 37 species) were collected in September-October 2019 along the canal bank forest. MINITAB, CLAM software was used to analyze data. The non-native species made 80% of trees and poplar Populus deltoides was present in a ratio of 8%. The Cuculidae was the most diverse avian family while Sturnidae and Corvidae were the most abundant families. From recorded 37 bird species, 29 were using the forest as habitat and 5 were air borne. Thirty-three species were resident, one summer migrant and 3 winter migrants. The multinomial analyses and principal component analysis (PCA) results showed that out of 29 species using forest as habitat; 13 were “generalists”, 6 species were “rare to classify”, 9 species were “poplar specialist” and only one species was “Eucalyptus opportunist.” Common myna and house crow were the most abundant species. Black kite, house crow, and common myna were found to be making nests on trees only. A clear pattern of habitat selection is present in the study area where poplar is a winner species in richness of birds, but dominant eucalyptus Eucalyptus camaldulensis could retain only half the number of species than poplar. It is recommended that if native trees are required to be replaced by exotic trees Eucalyptus should not be the first choice, but preference should be given to poplar for retaining the native diversity of avifauna. This however may necessitate an Economic analysis while selecting tree species for planting.

 

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Pakistan Journal of Zoology

August

Vol. 54, Iss. 4, Pages 1501-2001

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