The dynamic avifaunal assemblage of a fragmented urbanised habitat at Universiti Brunei Darussalam

  • Haslina Razali
  • Remya Kottarathu Kalarikkal
  • Guat Lian Ang
  • Ulmar Grafe


Urbanisation reshapes ecosystems and fundamentally influences species assemblages. Urban habitats are also highly dynamic with changes taking place on both spatial and temporal scales. The campus of Universiti Brunei Darussalam is an example of an urban habitat consisting of a mosaic of green spaces, fragments of kerangas forest, planted native and ornamental plants as well as building infrastructure, roads and pathways. The aim of this study is to provide an insight into the bird assemblages found within the university campus. Two survey periods were conducted in 2006/2007 and in 2019/2020 using the line transect method. A total of 49 bird species belonging to 23 families and 10 orders were recorded in this study. No evidence of differences in species richness was observed between the two surveys after exclusion of migrants. Insectivores were the most species-rich followed by omnivores, granivores, carnivores and frugivores. As predicted, there was a higher number of non-forest dependent bird species than forest-dependent species. Vegetation cover was lower in 2007 than in 2019, but species composition was similar between the surveys, and the co-occurrence of bird species was random. Even though the bird diversity was considered depauperated, it was comprised of a wide range of species classified as residents, migrants and waterbirds, indicating their ability to tolerate urbanisation. More studies are required to confirm that bird species are surviving and reproducing in this urban habitat.