Densities and habitat preferences of Andean cloud-forest birds in pristine and degraded habitats in north-eastern Ecuador

W. Cresswell*, M. Hughes, R. Mellanby, S. Bright, P. Catry, J. Chaves, J. Freile, A. Gabela, H. Martineau, R. Macleod, F. Mcphie, N. Anderson, S. Holt, S. Barabas, C. Chapel, T. Sanchez

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The montane cloud-forests of the north-central Andes and the montane grassland and transitional elfin forest of the central Andean paramo contain a high diversity of bird species including several restricted range and uncommon species. Little is known of how densities of Andean cloud-forest species are affected by habitat degradation. Bird densities within pristine and degraded habitats at the Guandera Biological Reserve, Carchi province, Ecuador were recorded over a 10-week period. Densities were calculated for 48 species; where densities could be compared, 69% of species occurred at a higher density in pristine habitats. Pristine forest had the highest species richness with 72 species and paramo contained 44 species. In total, 26% of pristine forest species were only found in pristine forest, 39% of paramo species only in paramo, 13% of farmland species only in farmland and there were no exclusively secondary scrub species; 47% of species found in pristine forest, and 50% found in paramo were found in both secondary scrub and farmland. Restricted range species recorded at Guandera included the Carunculated Caracara Phalcobenus carunculatus, Black-thighed Puffleg Eriocnemis derbyi, Chestnut-bellied Cotinga Doliornis remseni, Crescent-faced Antpitta Grallaricula lineifrons, Masked Mountain-tanager Buthraupis wetmorei and Black-backed Bush-tanager Urothraupis stolzmanni. Three further species that occurred at Guandera of relatively local occurrence were the Grey-breasted Mountain Toucan Andigena hypoglauca, Golden-breasted Puffleg Eriocnemis mosquera and Mountain Avocetbill Opisthoprora euryptera. Of these nine species at least five used degraded habitats, while three occurred only in pristine treeline habitats.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)129-145
Number of pages17
JournalBird Conservation International
Volume9
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1999

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