The value of community-based conservation in a heterogeneous landscape: an avian case study from sand forest in Maputaland, South Africa

16 May 2007

A local community adjacent to Tembe Elephant Park, which is the largest protected portion of sand forest in South Africa, recently nominated a portion of their land for a community-based natural resource management project to promote conservation in the region. The present study compared sand forest bird assemblages found in the communal land area with that of the Tembe Elephant Park. The communal land comprised unique avian sand forest assemblages, characterised by more indicator species, and higher species richness and site fidelity values than the Park. This demonstrates the biological importance of the communal land for sand forest conservation, especially from an avian perspective.