Nest position and type affect predation rates of artificial avian nests in the tropical lowland forest on Mount Cameroon
AbstractNest predation is the leading cause of reproductive failure in birds and thus it shapes their life history strategies. Intensities of nest predation appear to differ among nest locations and types in both temperate and tropical regions. However, there is limited knowledge of factors influencing susceptibility of avian nests to predation in Africa. The aim of our study was to investigate artificial nest predation rates of different ground and shrub nests located at different heights in the rainforest undergrowth. We placed artificial avian nests within a homogeneous lowland forest interior with sparse forest undergrowth in the Mount Cameroon National Park, Cameroon. We exposed three sets of nests: 50 bare-ground, 50 cup-ground and 50 cup-shrub nests, for 10 d. Predation was higher for cup-ground nests compared to cup-shrub nests, and bare-ground nests were more depredated than cup-ground nests. We concluded that the presence of a cup as well as higher nest position significantly increased probability of artificial nest survival. The results of this study suggest a potential selection pressure on nest type and placement in lowland forest birds for a poorly known tropical region.
Keywords: Africa, artificial nests, Cameroon, nest predation, nest survival, rainforest undergrowth
OSTRICH 2014, 85(1): 93–96