30 July 2018
Not only the mega fauna! Northern CAR is rich in birds, especially in the floodplain forests

Manage Manage, The results The results

The December 2017 Ecofaune + Project study shows that North RCA is home to many different bird species because of its wide variety of habitats.

Northern CAR is very important for birds. This is why BirdLife International has identified a large part of this area as an "Important Bird Area". In order to study the importance of the area, systematic bird counts were conducted in December 2017 in five habitat types: (1) wet forest, (2) dry forest, (3) savannah, (4) rocky zone and (5) arable zone.
From these data, we can conclude that floodplain forests attract more bird species than any other habitat and that birds reach high densities here. The floodplain forest in Bamingui was extremely rich (23.6 birds / ha, 52 species) compared to Ndélé (7.2 birds / ha, 26 species). In Bamingui, all the floodplain forests were located along the river (which was not yet dry). On the other hand, in Ndélé, the floodplain forests were dry (apart from a few small ponds). In addition, the vegetation was different, for example large Irvingia smithii in Bamingui and mainly Acacia species in Ndélé. Forests can therefore be considered as key habitats.
In forests, some tree species attract more forest birds than others. Among the trees with high densities of birds are: Acacia sieberiana, Faidherbia albida, Irvingia smithii, Parkia biglobosa, Prosopis africana and Tamarindus indica. Other tree species frequented by many birds had flowers (Bombax costatum or Daniellia oliveri) or berries (Bridelia scleroneura, Ficus capreifolia, Ficus exasperata). Given the wide variation among woody species in the season in which they flower or have berries, large seasonal variations in the use of trees can be expected. Tamarindus indica was already very attractive in November-December (no flowers), but more birds are expected when this tree species is in bloom. The same goes for Parkia biglobosa (flowers in March-April). Taking this into consideration, we can conclude that the preservation of a great diversity of woody species is the best guarantee for the conservation of birds in the region.