Title: An Assessment of Land Cover and Threats in Important Bird Areas in Africa
Citation: BIRD CONSERVATION INTERNATIONAL vol. 19 no. 1 p. 49-61
Publication Year: 2009
JRC N°: JRC53965
ISSN: 0959-2709
URI: http://journals.cambridge.org
DOI: 10.1017/S0959270908007697
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: Over 1,200 Important Bird Areas (IBAs) have been identified in Africa, each meeting at least one of four objective criteria that identify it as an area of high conservation importance for birds. Despite their biodiversity value, many IBAs are threatened by habitat degradation and a high proportion lack legal protection.We integrate an inventory of these IBAs with remote sensing data to identify patterns that could be used to assess priorities for monitoring and conservation. Land cover composition in IBAs differed significantly from that in buffer zones of the same area immediately surrounding them and was significantly more homogeneous. Agriculture and deforestation were the most prevalent threats to IBAs, particularly in IBAs containing a high proportion of dense forest or shrub. Human population density within IBAs was no lower than that immediately outside IBAs, and was around three times higher than the average for sub-Saharan Africa. However, projected human population growth was lower than the average for sub-Saharan Africa, with the projected increase greatest in IBAs with a high proportional cover of dense forest and mosaic woodland and lowest in IBAs with a higher grassland component.
JRC Directorate:Sustainable Resources

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