Habitat structure determines the abundance of the Endangered Sharpe’s Longclaw Macronyx sharpei (Aves: Passeriformes: Motacillidae) at Timau montane grasslands in central Kenya

Main Article Content

Kimani Dominic
https://orcid.org/0000-0001-5075-0369
Muchane Muchai
https://orcid.org/0000-0002-2387-4486
Johnstone Kimanzi
https://orcid.org/0000-0002-3368-4782
Joseph Mwangi
https://orcid.org/0000-0001-8016-4387
Wanyoike Wamiti
https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7300-2101
Samuel Bakari
https://orcid.org/0000-0003-3606-2791
Bernhard Walter
https://orcid.org/0000-0002-3284-4035
Peter Njoroge
https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1165-3579

Abstract

Understanding the habitat selection and structure of a species is critical for developing evidence-centered conservation actions.  Sharpe’s Longclaw Macronyx sharpei, a passerine bird endemic to Kenya, is threatened by reductions in habitat size and quality that have left it inhabiting a small and highly fragmented range.  From January to June 2016 we investigated the abundance and density of Sharpe’s Longclaw in Marania farm located in Meru county in the northern sector of Mt. Kenya, where no previous study had been done.  Population abundance and density were determined using the flush and count method.  We observed that these birds were exclusively found in grasslands, being most abundant in habitats of short grass with tussocks, and less so in areas with tall grass.  This habitat specificity indicates a key requirement for survival of Sharpe’s Longclaw populations in this area.  We recommend surveys in and around Marania farm to determine the distribution of suitable habitats for this species, and that the farm be designated an Important Bird Area.  Further studies should also focus on determining the intensity of grazing that is compatible with conservation of Sharpe’s Longclaw populations.


 

Article Details

How to Cite
[1]
Dominic, K., Muchai, M., Kimanzi, J., Mwangi, J., Wamiti, W., Bakari, S., Walter, B. and Njoroge, P. 2020. Habitat structure determines the abundance of the Endangered Sharpe’s Longclaw Macronyx sharpei (Aves: Passeriformes: Motacillidae) at Timau montane grasslands in central Kenya. Journal of Threatened Taxa. 12, 5 (Apr. 2020), 15565–15571. DOI:https://doi.org/10.11609/jott.5366.12.5.15565-15571.
Section
Communications
Author Biographies

Kimani Dominic, Department of Wildlife Management, University of Eldoret, P.O. Box 1125-30100, Eldoret, Kenya.

Mr. Dominic Kimani, (Corresponding Author), Research Scientist

Zoology Department, National Museums of Kenya, P.O. Box 40658-00100, Nairobi, Kenya and  MSc Student, Department of Wildlife Management, University of Eldoret, P.O. Box 1125-30100, Eldoret, Kenya

Muchane Muchai, Department of Clinical Studies, University of Nairobi, P.O. Box 30197-00100, Nairobi, Kenya.

Dr. Muchane Muchai, Senior Lecturer and head of Wildlife section.

 Department of Clinical Studies, University of Nairobi, P.O. Box30197-00100, Nairobi, Kenya

Johnstone Kimanzi, Department of Wildlife Management, University of Eldoret, P.O. Box 1125-30100, Eldoret, Kenya.

Dr. Johnstone Kimanzi,  Senior Lecturer and Head of Wildlife Department Management

University of Eldoret, P.O. Box 1125-30100, Eldoret, Kenya.

Joseph Mwangi, Zoology Department, National Museums of Kenya, P.O. Box 40658-00100, Nairobi, Kenya.

Dr. Joseph Mwangi, Research Scientist

Zoology Department, Ornithology Section National Museums of Kenya, P.O. Box 40658-00100, Nairobi, Kenya.

Wanyoike Wamiti, Zoology Department, National Museums of Kenya, P.O. Box 40658-00100, Nairobi, Kenya.

Mr. Wanyoike Wamiti , Research Scientist,  PhD Candidate ( University of Nairobi)

Zoology Department, National Museums of Kenya, P.O. Box 40658-00100, Nairobi, Kenya.

Samuel Bakari, BirdLife International, African Secretariat, P.O. Box 3502-00100, Nairobi, Kenya.

Mr. Samuel Bakari, Vultures Research officer

BirdLife International, African Secretariat, P.O. Box 3502-00100, Nairobi, Kenya.

Bernhard Walter, Biological Station Guetersloh and Bielefeld e.V. Niederheide 63 33659 Bielefeld, Germany.

Mr. Bernhard Walter, Director

Biological Station Guetersloh and Bielefeld e.V. Niederheide 63 33659 Bielefeld, Germany

Peter Njoroge, Zoology Department, National Museums of Kenya, P.O. Box 40658-00100, Nairobi, Kenya.

Dr. Peter Njoroge, Senior Research Scientist and Head of  Ornithology Section, Zoology Department, National Museums of Kenya, P.O. Box 40658-00100, Nairobi, Kenya.

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