The effect of land use type on butterfly abundance, species richness, and biodiversity was studied at Masako Forest Reserve in Kisangani, Democratic Republic of Congo. The study was conducted in a primary (PF) and secondary forest (SF), fallow (FW), and an agricultural field (AF). Three bait traps were used; each trap had a cylinder consisting of two metal rings of 30.48 cm diameter and 106.68 cm length with a 15.24 cm cone top. The cylinder and top were nylon mosquito netting with a 55.88 cm zipper sewn into the seam of the cylinder to provide access into the trap to remove butterflies. Traps with rotten bananas as baits were placed at three sites in each of the land use type for 24 h. Trapped butterflies were counted, identified, photographed and released. Results showed that land use type significantly affected butterfly species abundance (p=0.0003) and alpha biodiversity (p=0.0001). The fallow had the highest butterfly species abundance and biodiversity. Cymothoe caenis was the most dominant and Acrea lycoa the least abundant species. Butterflies biodiversity indices significantly correlated with longitude (0.58 to 0.79). These results suggested that land use type and geographic coordinates may have an impact on butterflies at Masako Forest Reserve. More studies are needed to better understand the effect of land use type and longitude on butterfly biodiversity.
Key words: Butterfly, forest, land use type, species, abundance, biodiversity.
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