Waterbird species composition and habitat characteristics at two ecologically different wetlands (Paya Indah and Putrajaya) were compared in order to determine the habitat suitability of each particular habitat for waterbird species. A total of 30 waterbird species representing 10 families were recorded through direct observation in both wetland habitats (26 waterbird species in Paya Indah and 22 species in Putrajaya wetland habitats). Out of 30 waterbird species, 17 species were commonly recorded from both habitats, 4 species were absent in Paya Indah and 8 species in Putrajaya. Ardeidae was the dominant family based on the number species (11 waterbird species) while Charadriidae, Ciconiidae, Jacanidae, Pelicanidae and Podicipedidae were the rarest families (only one species was recorded) in both wetland habitats. This indicated that both wetland habitats may vary in waterbird species composition habitat characteristics, that is, a total of 34 aquatic plant species (21 species in Paya Indah and 18 species in Putrajaya wetland) belonging to 14 families were sampled during study period. Five plant species, namely, Water Chestnut– Eleocharis dulcis, Twig Rush– Lepironia articulate, Blue Lotus– Nymphaea nouchali, Common Reed– Phragmites karaka and Cattail– Typha angustifolia were commonly recorded from both habitats. However, 13 aquatic plant species were absent in Paya Indah and 16 species in Putrajaya wetland. The findings of this study, revealed that Paya Indah wetland is rich in waterbird species composition and habitat characteristics as compared to Putrajaya wetland habitat. This might be due to the richness and diversity of aquatic vegetation composition, occurrence of suitable foraging and breeding sites that had attracted the highest number of waterbird species to utilize the Paya Indah wetland habitat.
Key words: Waterbirds, aquatic vegetation, Paya Indah, wetland.
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