Forest corridors facilitate movement of tropical forest birds after experimental translocations in a fragmented Neotropical landscape in Mexico

Ana Ibarra-Macias, W. Douglas Robinson, Michael S. Gaines

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

14 Scopus citations

Abstract

We evaluated effects of corridors between forest fragments surrounded by pastures in tropical Mexico. We used experimental translocations and capture-recapture data to measure the proportion of birds returning and time to return after translocation between connected and unconnected patches (five replicates for each treatment). Depending on each species' degree of forest dependence (forest-restricted and forest-unrestricted species), we assigned birds to two groups to evaluate influence of species characteristics on effects of corridors on movement. Birds translocated between connected patches (n = 75) were seven times more likely to be recaptured in their original capture site when compared with birds translocated between unconnected patches (n = 109). Effects differed among the two species groups. In the presence of corridors, 46% of forest-unrestricted birds returned to the capture site while only 5% returned between unconnected patches. Forest-restricted birds showed similar results, but were only twice as likely to return to a connected capture site. Birds translocated between unconnected patches took longer to return than birds translocated between connected patches. The strong positive effect of corridors on movement, even for forest-unrestricted species, suggests that forested corridors facilitate bird movement and help maintain connectivity even in this highly fragmented landscape.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)547-556
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Tropical Ecology
Volume27
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2 2011

Keywords

  • bird movement
  • connectivity
  • dispersal
  • forest fragmentation
  • Mexico
  • Palenque National Park
  • tropical forest

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics

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