Assessment of the influence of wetland modification on bird communities of Lubigi in Central Uganda
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Lubigi is one of the largest wetlands in Central Uganda which has unique wildlife including over 61 bird species, the objective of the study was to assess the influence of wetland modification on bird communities of Lubigi. A line transect count of birds was employed aided by binocular and a bird book guide (Birds of East Africa), and physical modifications identified and estimated areas of modifications were recorded, within 20 days of the study I recorded 37 bird species and 1201individuals.Modifications identified were human settlement that dominated in the three transects, road construction, nursery beds, garages, gardens, garbage damping sites, washing bays, shops. Kruskal Wallis test was used to test for significance in species richness and diversity, there was significant difference in species richness among habitats in Lubigi wetland (K=14.6825(2, N=60), P=0.00065) at 0.05 significance level. Masanafu transect was the least modified (23.75%) with vegetation cover and other habitat requirements for bird species which presented the highest species richness and diversity (H= 3.07) followed by Bwaise transect (28.62%) the higher species richness and diversity was due to presence of garden patches that presented mixture of habitats for birds and Nabweru transect was the highly modified transect (33.79%). It can be concluded that the area has high species diversity in less modified habitats and garden patches good potential for bird watching tourism that can integrate economic gain with biodiversity conservation. Hence, urgent conservation measures and further detail research is recommended to conserve the bird species.