| || || Shankaran, Nitassha Kavita.|
| || || A comparative study of bird abundance and diversity in mature secondary and logged mid-altitude rainforests in Nakobalevu and Savura, southern Viti Levu highlands, Fiji Islands|
Author:Shankaran, Nitassha Kavita.
Institution: University of the South Pacific.
Subject: Forest birds -- Effect of logging on -- Fiji , Forest birds -- Conservation -- Fiji , Habitat (Ecology) -- Modification , Clearcutting -- Environmental aspects -- Fiji
Call No.: pac QL 676 .57 .F5 S521 2010
Copyright:Under 10% of this thesis may be copied without the authors written permission
Abstract: To establish the impact of logging on the diversity and abundance of forest birds in the mid-altitudinal rainforests of the Southern Viti Levu Highlands of Fiji, random point counts were carried out in mature secondary as well as recently logged forests. An overall total of 120 point counts were carried out from August to November, 2007 and January to February, 2008.This study showed that there were more individuals in recently logged forests at thetwo locations, Nakobalevu and Savura (ANOVA: F4, 116 = 31.66, P treatment = 0.000).In addition to this, there were significantly more bird species found in recentlylogged forests as well (ANOVA: F4, 116 = 19.61, P treatment = 0.000). These resultswere also reflected with results from the Shannon - Weiner Index where the speciesrichness (S) was higher in recently logged forests compared to the mature secondaryforests. The species richness was S=27 and S=24 in recently logged forests at Nakobalevu and Savura respectively. The evenness measure was higher in mature secondary forests than in recently logged forests indicating that in recently logged forests a few species have larger numbers but most species have low numbers. This study also established indicator species for the two forest types. Even though there were bird species with high associations with the mature secondary forest, they were extensively present in recently logged forests as well. Therefore, no indicator species were found specifically for the mature secondary forests. Barking pigeons (Ducula latrans), the Fiji bush-warbler (Cettia ruficapilla) and the Fiji white-eye (Zosterops exploratory) were found in higher numbers and had stronger associations with the recently logged forests at both Nakobalevu and Savura. The Fiji parrotfinch (Erythrura pealii) and the White-rumped swiftlets (Aerodramus spodiopygius) were the only two bird species which were only present in the recently logged forests. Other species that have been recorded in this study have shown to have flexible habitats, that is, they were found in both mature secondary and recently logged forests at both the study locations.This study indicates that logging does affect the bird abundance and diversity.Increases in species richness found at recently logged forests do not directly relate to conservation priorities as the additional species observed were associated with disturbed habitats and were of lower conservation concern than species that were associated with mature secondary forests. Results from this study show that eventhough species richness is higher in recently logged forests compared to mature secondary forests, the mature secondary forests have a more stable resident native breeding land bird population and therefore bird populations with a higher conservation priority. This study shows that Fijian forests and Fijian birds have some adaptability towards habitat disturbance. The avian ecosystem is able to recover after logging provided the forest is permitted to recover and where source populations survive.