Date of this Version
D. Khamcha et al. / Global Ecology and Conservation 16 (2018) e00450
Creation of roadside forest edges can have indirect effects on forest bird communities, as edges can promote species detrimental to forest-nesting birds such as nest predators. We assessed species-specific rates of nest survival of understory birds, relative abundances of specific nest predators and predator-specific rates of nest predation relative to the distance from roadside forest edge in a dry evergreen forest in northeastern Thailand. During the breeding seasons (FebruaryeAugust) of 2014e2016 we searched for nests along two, 1-km transects which ran perpendicular from the edge of a five-lane highway into the forest interior. To assess nest predator species, video cameras were placed on active nests of understory birds and multiple techniques were used to assess the relative abundances of the documented nest predators. We found 306 active nests of 26 species and recorded 179 predation events from 13 species of nest predators. Distance to edge influenced the daily nest survival rates for four of seven focal bird species, with three species having higher survival rates nearer to the edge. Four of six predators had higher relative abundances in the forest interior. Rats and the Common Green Magpie (Cissa chinensis) had higher abundances nearer the edge. Snake detections were too few to assess statistically. Nest predation rates for the top three predators, Northern Pig-tailed Macaque (Macaca leonina), Green Cat Snake (Boiga cyanea) and Crested Goshawk (Accipiter trivirgratus) were significantly greater in the forest interior. The fourth-most important, Common Green Magpie, was the only predator responsible for more nest predation events closer to habitat edge compared to interior. Our study suggests that the impacts of edges on nesting success are highly dependent on the nest predator community and the species-specific responses of predators to edges.