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Biogeographical patterns of endemic terrestrial Afrotropical birds

Authors

  • H. M. De Klerk,

    Corresponding author
    1. Percy FitzPatrick Institute, University of Cape Town, Private Bag, Rondebosch, 7701, South Africa,
    2. Zoological Museum, University of Copenhagen, Universitetsparken 15, DK-2100 Copenhagen Ø, Denmark,
      * Corresponding author and present address: H.M. de Klerk, Western Cape Nature Conservation Board, Scientific Services Division, Private Bag X5014, Stellenbosch, 7599, South Africa, e-mail: hdeklerk@cncjnk.wcape.gov.za
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  • T. M. Crowe,

    1. Percy FitzPatrick Institute, University of Cape Town, Private Bag, Rondebosch, 7701, South Africa,
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  • J. Fjeldså,

    1. Zoological Museum, University of Copenhagen, Universitetsparken 15, DK-2100 Copenhagen Ø, Denmark,
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  • N. D. Burgess

    1. WWF-US Conservation Science Programme, 1250 24th Street NW, Washington, D.C. 20037-1132, U.S.A. and
    2. Conservation Biology Group, Zoology Department, University of Cambridge, Downing Street, Cambridge, CB2 3EJ, U.K.
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* Corresponding author and present address: H.M. de Klerk, Western Cape Nature Conservation Board, Scientific Services Division, Private Bag X5014, Stellenbosch, 7599, South Africa, e-mail: hdeklerk@cncjnk.wcape.gov.za

Abstract.

Biogeographical zones are described for terrestrial bird species endemic to the Afrotropics using up-to-date distributional data and multivariate statistical techniques. This provides an objective basis for a hierarchy of subregions, provinces and districts, based on a set of rules. Results are compared to previous studies at continental and regional scales. Biogeographical zones for passerines and non-passerines are compared and found to be similar. Peaks of species richness and narrow endemism are described for the six major subdivisions (subregions) identified by the cluster analysis. Coincidence of peaks of species richness and narrow endemism is found to be low, such that areas selected to represent high species richness tallies will often fail to represent narrow endemics. Strong regionalization of Afrotropical birds indicates the need to use a biogeographical framework in conservation priority setting exercises to ensure that unique, but species-poor, avifaunas are not neglected.

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