Form Submission: Participation Entry
Between 6 June and 7 August 2019, I conducted a general avian survey in and around the Gishwati forest of Rwanda’s Gishwati-Mukura National Park, using stationary point counts and opportunistic observations along ~300 km of transects and trails. Of the 155 bird species recorded, six are red-listed by IUCN, ten had never been reported in Gishwati forest, and 20 are endemic to the Albertine Rift. Before being declared a national park in 2016, Gishwati forest suffered a 93% decrease in forest cover between 1984 and 2015. Here, I analyze which general groups of species survived the extreme habitat loss during this period and how this diversity––functional and otherwise––informs ideas of avian community resilience in Afromontane tropical forests. At a more granular scale, I also assess patterns in the distance from the forest edge at which different bird species were documented, as possible indicators of sensitivity to fragmentation.