| || || Tabudravu, Mere S.V.|
| || || Spatial relationips between forest lands and habitats in degraded and not degraded forests in IBA FJ 10|
Author:Tabudravu, Mere S.V.
Institution: University of the South Pacific.
Call No.: pac In Process
Copyright:10-20% of this thesis may be copied without the authors written permission
Abstract: A major threat to the persistence of forest birds in Fiji is habitat fragmentation caused by logging and habitat alteration and disturbance through agricultural practices. In this study I measured differences in habitat use and behaviour of ten species of forest birds in degraded and non-degraded forests in Nakobalevu and Savura, Southern Viti Levu, Fiji to determine the effects of habitat alteration on bird community structure. I used point-count surveys to assess whether the activity and vegetation strata occupied by forest birds varied between habitats. Differences were seen between the two habitats. Of the 518 individuals recorded, 285 were from the degraded forest and 233 from the non-degraded forest, indicating that the abundance of the species measured was, overall, greater in the degraded forest than non- degraded. Although all species were found in both forest types, the distribution pattern of the ten study species between the different strata varied significantly. Internal habitat use did not differ between sites surveyed. Most studies of the influence of logging on forest bird ecology focus on human-induced changes in diversity. In this study I have focussed on behaviour of a subset of species that are all able to persist in the face of disruption. The changes in behaviour identified confirm that logging can have subtle effects on forest birds’ ecology and behaviour, and that these changes can be measured even eight years after logging has ceased. The long- term implications of the changes in behaviour observed between the two habitat types are unknown. However they emphasise the importance of maintaining undisturbed tracts of forests for the future integrity of tropical ecosystems.