Patterns and environmental correlates of species distributions and richness are identified for Kenyan birds at a quarter degree-square scale. This information is used together with iterative complementarity analyses, which employ species richness, taxonomic dispersion and range-restrictedness, to identify priority areas for possible conservation attention. Bird species apparently not conserved by existing protected areas in Kenya are identified. Six avifaunal zones (and one transitional zone) are distinguished based on distributions of suites of bird species. Variation in biotope diversity (the number of forest and aquatic systems) accounts for 79% of the observed variation in Kenyan bird species richness. Although both rainfall and altitudinal range are significantly correlated with species richness, they only explain an additional 3% of the observed variation. The priority areas identified are situated mainly within highlands and coastal lowlands. Although few priority areas are identified in northern Kenya, this region also constitutes a priority, as it contains a suite of xeric species with habitats that are not represented elsewhere in Kenya. The papyrus yellow warbler, Chloropeta gracilirostris, William's bush lark, Mirafra williamsi, white-winged dove, Streptopelia reichenowi, and Jubaland weaver, Ploceus dichrocephalus, are identified as endemics or near-endemics that are probably not adequately conserved in Kenya at present.
Biodiversity and Conservation – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 17, 2004
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