Avifauna have been viewed as good ecological indicators since their presence or absence tends to represent conditions pertaining to the proper functioning of an ecosystem. Bird communities and their ecological condition are linked to land cover. As the land cover of an area changes, so do the types of birds in that area. Land cover is directly linked to habitats within the study area. The diversity of these habitats will give rise to many different species.
The field assessments generally include vantage point surveys; dawn and dusk surveys; and transects surveys throughout the respective project area. Hunting paths were generally used for access into the heavily forested areas.
The activities undertaken and data collected during the avifaunal survey includes:
– Identification of key species (IUCN listed), and species of special concern (SSC);
– Density surveys for certain key species;
– Bird movements at various vantage points;
– Determine behavioural aspects of key species especially those that would be impacted upon by the mining infrastructure e.g. breeding observations;
– Identifying the distribution of species that were not known to previously occur in that area.
– Diurnal Point Surveys will be carried out to estimate spatial and temporal use of the site by resident and migrant raptors and other diurnal passerines.