Ecological investigation of species diversity and relative abundance of birds was conducted from January to September 2017 at the shoreline of Lake Hawassa, SNNPR, Ethiopia. Three habitats namely-Tikurwuha wetland, Human settlement and Farmland were identified for the study. A total of 60 bird species under 14 orders and 37 families were identified. In general, 2720 individuals of 81 species of birds were recorded during the wet season and 1557 individuals of 49 species during the dry season. During wet season, Tikurwuha wetland habitat had the highest diversity (H’=3.469) whereas the lowest diversity was recorded in farmland (H’=2.864). Analogously, during dry season the highest and the lowest diversity were recorded in Tikurwuha wetland habitat (H’=2.845) and farmland habitat (H’=2.584), respectively. The overall seasonal species’ composition and relative abundance between dry and wet seasons were statistically significant (P < 0.05). In spite of the fact that the lake supports good number of birds’ populations, anthropogenic activities going on near the lakeshore such as farm land and human settlement expansions are shrinking available habitats to birds through altering the vegetation composition and structure that ultimately affects birds’ abundance and survival. Accordingly, since the existence of lakeshore bird species is based on the lake ecosystem, anthropogenic pressure such as farming activities and human settlement very close to the lake should be banned.
Key words: Birds, relative abundance, species composition, species diversity.
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