Ecology Of Migrants In Africa

Attention has been directed to how all these migrant birds are accommodated for more than half the year, and more densely than in their breeding areas, in lands already richly endowed with birds of their own. Around 1481 Afrotropical land-bird species (i.e. excluding waterbirds) occur year-round in sub-Saharan Africa, some performing seasonal migrations within the region (Moreau 1972). Of these, 409 are residents of evergreen forests, either lowland or montane, and another 74 are confined to montane non-forest habitats. Because such habitats are barely used by Palaearctic migrants (see later), the two communities hardly come into contact. It is the remaining 998 lowland species, occupying seasonal woodland, savannah and grassland, which interact with the 186 species of Palaearctic immigrants for part of each year (Moreau 1972). The two groups comprise about 84% and 16% respectively of the total bird species that occupy these African habitats in the northern winter.

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