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Investigation of the Distribution and Abundance of Butterfly in the Nature Reserve of Arabuko Sokoke Forest Reserve, Kilifi County, Kenya

Author(s): Hussein A.Aden, Najma Dharani

Arabuko Sokoke Forest (ASF) is ranked second in Africa and fifty globally in biodiversity richness. It is the largest remnant of what was originally an extensive strip of dry coastal forest that extended from Southern Somalia in the horn of Africa to the Eastern Cape in the south. The forest consists of three vegetation types; the Brachystegia, Cynometra and Mixed forest and provide habitat cover to the many flora and fauna. Extraction of adult butterfly by the local adjacent population for export has been going on over 25 years. The ten (10) current research investigates the distribution and abundance of butterfly’s species along transects within the nature reserve in all three habitat types. Physical observation of butterflies using pollard walk 1500m standardized transects were used. The level of disturbance can interfere with habitat structures, species distribution and abundance. The seasonality can affects species distribution and resource partitioning. A potential seasonality difference in butterfly composition within the sites was tested and diversity indices were measured. A total of 106 species of 49 genera and 5 families were sighted. Shannon–Weiner diversity indices and evenness showed (H’) 1.42, (E’) 0.79 respectively. The overall butterfly abundance was very different in 2017 as compared to the 1997. The results show that there were no significant changes in rank abundance for the identified 60 set of species. The results show that butterflies are evenly distributed based on availability of host plants and nutrition for adult butterflies.

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