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Reference: Lack, Peter (Peter C.), (1980). The habitats and feeding stations of birds in Tsavo National Park, Kenya. DPhil. University of Oxford.Citable link to this page:


The habitats and feeding stations of birds in Tsavo National Park, Kenya

Abstract: The land-bird community of Tsavo East National Park was studied fortwo years. There are two wet seasons each year: November-December and April-May, but the latter were very poor in both study years. Six habitat typeswere designated on the basis of canopy cover of woody vegetation. Riverinevegetation was also studied. Most ofthe open habitats extant are derivedfrom woodland by destruction of trees, a process largely caused by elephants.Food supplies are seasonally variable. Insects and grass seeds aremost abundant in December and January. In the open habitats the few fruitsalso peak then, but Commiphora spp., which is only in woodland and is themost abundant fruit in Tsavo, peaks July to September.The ecology of each species of land-bird is described and most arefound to be ecologically separate from each other.The annual cycle of numbers of birds in each habitat is closelycorrelated with the food supplies. In the open habitats birds are almostall insectivorous, granivorous or both, and peak numbers (about five timesthe dry season density) occur in December and January. In woodland, numbersremain fairly constant through the year and frugivores are more prominent,especially around August. The wet season peaks in all habitats are causedby immigrations of different species, both from elsewhere in Africa mostof which come in to breed, and species which breed in the Palaearctic. TheAugust peak in Woodland consists mainly of species which have residentpopulations.The results are particularly related to the recent habitat changes inthe Park. They are compared with other bird studies in African savannas andother components of the Tsavo ecosystem. Finally, the means by which birdsare able to survive in the harsh and unpredictable conditions of Tsavo arediscussed.

Type of Award:DPhil Level of Award:Doctoral Awarding Institution: University of Oxford Notes:This thesis was digitised thanks to the generosity of Dr Leonard Polonsky.


Coe, Malcolm JamesMore by this contributor



Perrins, Christopher M.More by this contributor



Drs. M.J. CoeMore by this contributor



C.M. PerrinsMore by this contributor


 Bibliographic Details

Issue Date: 1980Identifiers

Urn: uuid:a0ba6fb5-b10e-416d-9182-2ce9b13a038d

Source identifier: 603835171 Item Description

Type: Thesis;

Language: eng Subjects: Kenya Tsavo National Park Birds Tiny URL: td:603835171


Autor: Lack, Peter Peter C. - institutionUniversity of Oxford facultyDept. of Zoology - - - - Contributors Coe, Malcolm James More by th



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