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  Ecology, Management and Conservation in Natural and Modified Habitats
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Article << Previous     |     Next >>   Contents Vol 30(2)

Do yellow-faced honeyeater (Lichenostomus chrysops) nests experience higher predation at forest edges?

Rebecca L. Boulton and Michael F. Clarke

Wildlife Research 30(2) 119 - 125
Published: 20 June 2003


We tested the hypothesis that predation rates increase near habitat edges and can cause low reproductive success in forest bird species living in a fragmented habitat. We constructed artificial yellow-faced honeyeater (Lichenostomus chrysops) nests and placed them 5 m, 20 m, 50 m and 200 m from the forest edge. We also monitored natural yellow-faced honeyeater nests at varying distances from the forest edge. Artificial nests experienced 43% predation over the 14-day exposure period, while natural yellow-faced honeyeater nests experienced 28% during the incubation period and 47% during the nestling period. No negative edge effect was detected for artificial or natural nests. In fact, natural nests experienced higher nest success closer to the forest edge. There was no increase in the number of avian predators recorded at the forest edge, even though birds were identified as the main predators at artificial nests (49%). The lack of support for both the 'ecological trap' and 'predator influx' hypotheses contributes to a growing body of evidence that suggests that not all species surviving in highly fragmented environments are negatively affected by edge effects.

Full text doi:10.1071/WR02055

© CSIRO 2003

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