A new study from Ethiopia shows that shade grown coffee in unprotected Forest Policy Research reduces bird diversity. This may be due to the fact that these crops are harvested from intact forest and grow in mixed systems with other crops, with the trees growing under isolated shade. Because the area is a mosiac of both farmland and forest, it was difficult to identify birds at different forest sites. However, scientists found many of the 106 species in the forest. These results suggest that converting these coffee farms to full sun farming may decrease the diversity of bird species.
The researchers used large nets to count and record the species of birds in the area. They removed and measured birds every half hour for about one week in the dry season, recording the species, age, sex, length of tail, and weight. Once they had their data, they released the birds back into the forests. The Ethiopian government says there are 860 documented bird species. Of these, the research team found 1,692 species. They excluded nine of the 71 species because they were too big to be netted and eleven species because they don’t consistently visit the forest understory.
In a recent study, an Ethiopian-led team looked at the effects of shade-grown coffee on bird diversity. Their findings indicate that the cultivated plantations reduce the numbers of understory forest specialists, which includes birds such as owls, woodpeckers, and woodpeckers. The study was funded by the National Science Foundation, the National Geographic Society, VLIR-Belgian Development Cooperation, and the University of Utah.
Despite these findings, there are still many questions that remain. The researchers believe that the benefits of coffee cultivation may outweigh the negative impacts of the industry. They have studied the effects of shade-grown coffee on forest birds in the southwest of Ethiopia. The findings showed that the plantation of shade-grown coffee in this area has a significant effect on birds’ populations. They found that the cropped coffee in Ethiopia’s forests has an impact on the number of native species, including parrots, songbirds, and even bats.
The study’s results are positive for both the environment and bird populations. Because coffee grows in shaded forests, it improves the habitat for birds. The trees provide stepping-stones for birds. The trees also serve as valuable sources of seeds for the regeneration of forest areas. Its high level of conservation is a plus for the coffee industry. The study was funded by the National Science Foundation, National Geographic Society, and VLIR-Belgian Development Cooperation.
The findings are important for conservation and environmental certification. This study shows that the production of coffee in a forest-farm-covered land in the southwest of Ethiopia depletes bird species and the birds that inhabit it are less diverse than in other regions. This has implications for both the sustainability of the industry and the country’s food supply. This is the first peer-reviewed study on bird conservation in the region.