Bird species richness, diversity and abundance in Polylepis woodlands, Huascaran biosphere reserve, Peru

  • Ríos S
  • Lloyd H
  • Valdés-Velásquez A
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We examined patterns in bird community composition across a fragmented high-Andean Polylepis landscape currently afforded protection within the Huascaran Biosphere Reserve, Peru. Across five different locations we found significant between-site differences in all broad habitat characteristics, where Polylepis woodlands dominated the landscape, surrounded by a non-woodland puna matrix. Bird species richness and relative abundance was greatest in medium-sized woodlands whereas bird diversity was surprisingly greatest in significantly smaller woodland areas. All five sites were home to subpopulations of 14 conservation-important species, but the number and type of species varied. Our study confirms that the Huascaran Biosphere Reserve represents a critical area for high-Andean bird conservation. Further quantitative landscape evidence on the influence of the surrounding matrix, the Polylepis-matrix interface, and woodland habitat quality on bird community composition will be crucial in designing sustainable management strategies within the Biosphere Reserve.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Bird communities
  • Peru
  • Point counts
  • Polylepis
  • Protected areas
  • Woodland conservation

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  • Steven Sevillano Ríos

  • Huw Lloyd

  • Armando Valdés-Velásquez

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