Journal of Biodiversity Management & ForestryISSN: 2327-4417

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Research Article, J Biodivers Manage Forestry Vol: 4 Issue: 2

Vegetation Characteristics of White-Browed Sparrow Weaver (Plocepasser Mahali Pectoralis) Nesting Sites in Mana Pools National Park, Zimbabwe

Victor K Muposhi1*, Justice Muvengwi2, Edson Gandiwa1, Nyemwerai Chinake1,Never Muboko1, Phillip Kuvaoga3 and Tsitsi Maponga4
1School of Wildlife, Ecology and Conservation, Chinhoyi University of Technology, Private Bag 7724, Chinhoyi, Zimbabwe
2Restoration and Conservation Biology Research Group, School of Animal, Plant and Environmental Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Private Bag 3, Wits 2050, Johannesburg, South Africa
3Scientific Services, Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority, Zimbabwe
4Natural History Museum of Zimbabwe, P.O Box 240, Bulawayo, Zimbabwe
Corresponding author : Victor K Muposhi
School of Wildlife, Ecology and Conservation, Chinhoyi University of Technology, Private Bag 7724, Chinhoyi, Zimbabwe
Tel: +263 774 431 772
E-mail: [email protected]; [email protected]
Received: February 18, 2015 Accepted: May 28, 2015 Published: June 02, 2015
Citation: Muposhi VK, Muvengwi J, Gandiwa E, Chinake N, Muboko N, et al. (2015) Vegetation Characteristics of White-Browed Sparrow Weaver (Plocepasser Mahali Pectoralis) Nesting Sites in Mana Pools National Park, Zimbabwe. J Biodivers Manage Forestry 4:2. doi:10.4172/2327-4417.1000142

Abstract

Vegetation Characteristics of White-Browed Sparrow Weaver (Plocepasser Mahali Pectoralis)
Nesting Sites in Mana Pools National Park, Zimbabwe

The aim of this study was to assess the vegetation structure and composition of the nesting sites of white-browed sparrow weaver (Plocepasser mahali pectoralis) in Mana Pools National Park, Zimbabwe. We used a random systematic sampling approach and belt transects along the four common roads mainly used in wildlife road surveys in Mana Pools National Park. Nested belt transects of 100 m × 50 m were systematically established on either side at 5 km intervals. In the transect, tree height, canopy volume, basal area and canopy cover, nest placement, number of nests, lowest and highest nesting placement were recorded.Nests were mainly located on the western-side of trees. Tree height, basal area and canopy volume differed significantly (p<0.05) across the four study transects except for canopy cover (p>0.05). Canopy cover was the only attribute influencing the abundance of nests across the four transects (F1,27=18.58, p<0.001, R2=0.41). We recommend that park management need to ensure that disturbances on canopies of nesting trees are not severe to assure the viability and persistence of canopy nesting birds. This entails incorporation of mega herbivore and fire monitoring and management programs within the park management plan for adaptive management. Future studies should aim to establish the following: (1) the abundance and distribution of white-browed sparrow waver in the flood plain and the uplands of Mana Pools National Park, (2) the abundance and occurrence of active and non-active nests of white-browed sparrow weaver in relation to elephant damage, (3) possible ecological partitioning of nesting trees by white-browed sparrow weaver and other possible competitors.

Keywords: Nest selection; Nest orientation; Nest placement; Canopy cover; Weavers

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