The Hadejia-Nguru Wetlands (HNWs) is a Ramsar site and an Important Bird Area (IBA) being recognized nationally and internationally as an ecological area for resident, inter-African and Palearctic migrant bird species in sub-Sahara region, Nigeria. Despite the conservation importance of birds of prey, little is known about the diversity of bird of prey communities in Hadejia Nguru wetlands. The study aimed to determine the diversity and abundance of birds of prey in protected and unprotected areas of Hadejia Nguru wetlands Nigeria, carried out in March to August, 2021, with a view to providing information in a bid to establish a baseline for conservation for this group of birds. The survey was carried out for a period of six (6) months using transect line method and each site was surveyed twice every month during the study period. Bird observation was carried out twice daily; morning between 8am to 10am. and evening between 3:00 to 6:00p.m by walking slowly along the transect line. Birds were counted as birds seen and birds inflight were also counted. We recorded 1,562 sightings from 24 species of birds of prey and two families in the study area. Diversity was highest in unprotected (H = 2.304) and lowest at protected areas (H= 2.017), while abundance was highest in protected areas and lower in unprotected areas. The two families include Accipitridae (20 species) and Falconidae (4 species). Out of the 24 species recorded 16 are resident, 5 Palearctic migrant and 3 intra-African migrant. Public awareness should be raised to inform the local populace about the importance of these species to the environment vis-à-vis protecting the man-made structures used by the bird species.
0 28 Jan, 2022