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Publication Information

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Title: Migrant songbirds, habitat change, and conservation prospects in northern Peten, Guatemala: some initial results

Author: Whitacre, David F.; Madrid M., Julio; Marroquín, Ciriaco; Schulze, Mark; Jones, Laurin; Sutter, Jason; Baker, Aaron J.;

Date: 1993

Source: In: Finch, Deborah M.; Stangel, Peter W. (eds.). Status and management of neotropical migratory birds: September 21-25, 1992, Estes Park, Colorado. Gen. Tech. Rep. RM-229. Fort Collins, Colo.: Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station, U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Forest Service: 339-345

Publication Series: General Technical Report (GTR)

   Note: This article is part of a larger document. View the larger document

Description: A recently-created complex of reserves spanning the Guatemala, Mexico, Belize borders in the southern Yucatan Peninsula constitutes 5.5 million acres of contiguous, protected lowland forest. Information is needed on compatibility of various land-uses and biodiversity protection in multiple-use zones of these reserves. To address these and other needs related to conservation of migrant songbirds, Peregrine Fund collaborators (6 Guatemalans and 5 North Americans) in 1992 began studies of songbirds wintering in and near the Guatemalan portion of the Maya/Calakmul/Rio Bravo reserve complex. Research consists of two parts. The "intensive" portion involves detailed study on 25-ha plots; goals are to produce long-term monitoring of migrant populations and new information on their winter ecology. The goal of the "extensive" portion is to generate relative abundance indices for migrant species in a variety of pristine and human-altered habitats. Results are presented from a 7680 mist net-hour comparison of 10 sites in slash-and-burn regeneration (3 to 16 years of age) and 10 sites in primary forest of two types. Wood Thrushes were far more common in primary forest than in second-growth. Yellow-breasted Chats, Gray Catbirds, and Ovenbirds were all more abundant in second-growth than in primary forest, and in low, dense-understoried "bajo" forest than in tall, closed-canopy upland forest. Among second-growth sites, capture rates of Kentucky Warblers and Ovenbirds showed significant positive correlations with age of second growth; they appeared to prefer more mature sites. A hypothesis is presented concerning the structural similarity of some types of naturally-occurring "bajo" forest and successional forest, and bird use of the same. Land use patterns in northern Peten are briefly described, with emphasis on conservation challenges and opportunities.

Keywords: habitats, forest reserves, migratory birds, wildlife conservation, Guatemala

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Whitacre, David F.; Madrid M., Julio; Marroquín, Ciriaco; Schulze, Mark; Jones, Laurin; Sutter, Jason; Baker, Aaron J. 1993. Migrant songbirds, habitat change, and conservation prospects in northern Peten, Guatemala: some initial results. In: Finch, Deborah M.; Stangel, Peter W. (eds.). Status and management of neotropical migratory birds: September 21-25, 1992, Estes Park, Colorado. Gen. Tech. Rep. RM-229. Fort Collins, Colo.: Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station, U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Forest Service: 339-345

 


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