A comparison of bird communities of two fragmented and two continuous southeast Asian rainforests
Author: Sodhi, N.S.
Source: Biodiversity and Conservation, Volume 11, Number 6, June 2002 , pp. 1105-1119(15)
Abstract:A large proportion of forest-dependent bird species have disappeared from Singapore, probably due to heavy forest loss that started in the 1800s. The bird fauna seems to have relaxed (attained a lower and relatively stable diversity following habitat destruction) in Singapore. Using mist-netting, I compared understory bird communities of two lowland rainforest fragments in Singapore (Nee Soon and MacRitchie) with two continuous forests in Sarawak (Malaysia) (Matang Wildlife Sanctuary and Gunung Gading National Park). I compared community characteristics (e.g. rarity [<2 individuals/1000 mist-netting hours]), population characteristics (e.g. sex ratio) and individual quality (e.g. prevalence of ectoparasites) among avifaunas of the forests. On average, more bird species and individuals were caught in continuous forests than in fragments. There were more rare species in Gading. The proportion of adults and the sex ratios did not differ among the forests. Ectoparasite prevalence and intensity also did not differ among the forests. Proportionally more individuals contained fault bars in MacRitchie. My study shows that avian communities in rainforest fragments are depauperate but show few signs of environmental stress. Thus there may be long-term resilience in some forest bird species. However, it is essential to protect large tracts of tropical lowland rainforest to preserve rare forest-dependent avifauna.
Document Type: Regular Paper
Publication date: June 1, 2002