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Potentially suitable habitat, connectivity and priority conservation areas for White-breasted waterhen (Amaurornis phoenicurus) and Bronze-winged jacana (Metopidius indicus)
S. Barik, , S. Mazumdar
Published in Springer Science and Business Media B.V.
Volume: 41
Issue: 3
Wetlands, like East Kolkata Wetlands (EKW) in present study, are vulnerable to habitat alteration and other anthropogenic threats affecting avifauna. Consequently, prioritizing avifaunal conservation based on suitable habitats and their connectivity is essential. White-breasted waterhen (WBW, Amaurornis phoenicurus) and bronze-winged jacana (BWJ, Metopidius indicus) are two resident birds of EKW. We used MaxEnt for habitat suitability maps; assessed habitat connectivity in Circuitscape and mapped top 10% conservation priority areas in Zonation softwares. Both species had similar niche breadth and high niche overlap. The high suitability and moderate suitability areas for WBW was 0.02 km2 and 13.06 km2 respectively, while high suitability area for BWJ was absent and moderate suitability areas covered 6.73 km2. But, these suitable habitats mostly showed low and least connectivity. Finally, we found banks and dikes of wetlands, small vegetations therein and cropfields are important land-use classes in their projected suitable habitats and also in top 10% conservation priority areas. Use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides in the cropfields and clearing of bushes on the banks and dikes, as well as, the floating and emergent macrophytes in waterbodies with intensive commercial pisciculture are recorded as potential anthropogenic threats. Also ~80% of this top 10% conservation priority area are prone to moderate to high habitat transformation. Protection of remaining suitable habitats and their connectivity identified in this study, as well as, restoration of degraded habitats, and reduction of threats will ensure the conservation of WBW and BWJ in EKW and also in other wetlands in human-dominated landscapes. © 2021, Society of Wetland Scientists.
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PublisherData powered by TypesetSpringer Science and Business Media B.V.