Habitats are being degraded on a daily basis due to the increase in population for alternative uses and this has cause a downturn in biodiversity. The habitat structure however play a key role in species distribution and diversity hence the need for more keen attention for it protection. Animal species diversity has been reported to be dependent on the structure of the habitat. However, information on wildlife species in relation to habitat structure within Bonny Island forest has not been adequately documented. Therefore, wildlife diversity in Bonny Island was assessed. Flora and fauna survey were carried out on fixed transect belt using point centre quarter and line transect methods respectively in dry and wet seasons. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics and correlation analysis. Abundance of trees, shrubs, grasses and aquatic plant species in BSS (24, 13, 10 and 8 respectively) were higher than in BIS (8, 10, 10 and 10). Anthropogenic activities: hunting, fishing and other agricultural practices exerted higher pressure of 20.0%, 60.0% and 10.0% respectively on the wildlife resources during dry than wet seasons (17.5%, 43.8% and 38.70% respectively). Higher density index of avian, amphibian, reptiles and mammals were recorded in BSS (3.2, 3.3, 4.4 and 2.1 respectively) compared to BIS (0.2, 0.7, 0.5 and 0.6). There were more catch values during dry than wet seasons (t=0.935). Higher diversity index (t=2.18) was recorded in BSS than in BIS. Generally, more species diversity was observed in the BSS block than the BIS and this is attributed to the habitat structure which is more structurally complex and less fragmented.
Ecological influence of habitat structure on the diversity of fauna in Rivers State, Nigeria
Sodienye Augustine Abere
Categories: Research development