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Several cavity-nesting birds fight for a single tree hollow in an Atlantic Forest fragment: consequence of increasing nest-site limitation?

Several cavity-nesting birds fight for a single tree hollow in an Atlantic Forest fragment:... Revista Brasileira de Ornitologia 26(1): 12–14. SHORT-COMMUNIC ARA TICLE TION March 2018 Several cavity-nesting birds fight for a single tree hollow in an Atlantic Forest fragment: consequence of increasing nest-site limitation? 1,2 Alexander V. Christianini Departamento de Ciências Ambientais, Universidade Federal de São Carlos, Campus Sorocaba, Rod. João Leme dos Santos km 110, 18052-780, Itinga, Sorocaba, SP, Brazil. Corresponding author: avchristianini@yahoo.com.br Received on 29 September 2017. Accepted on 20 March 2018. ABSTRACT: Most remnants of Atlantic Forests are found as small and isolated forest fragments. Forest fragmentation and edge effects often lead to structural changes in vegetation that may affect the availability of tree cavities for bir ds that rely on hollows for reproduction. Here I describe an unusual dispute for a cavity among birds (at least six Primolius maracana, two Pionus maximiliani (Psittacidae) and two Pteroglossus aracari (Ramphastidae)) in the Estação Ecológica dos Catetetus, southeast Brazil. Consequences of Atlantic Forest fragmentation, together with an increase in abundance of cavity users such as Opossums (Didelphis spp.) and exotic Honey Bees (Apis mellifera) might be decreasing the already small availability of cavities for medium- and large-sized cavity-nesting birds. The conservation of large hardwood trees is probably critical for the persistence of cavity-nesting birds in fragmented Atlantic Forest landscapes. Supply of nest boxes and control of Honey Bees may also be considered. KEY-WORDS: Africanized honey bees, conservation, habitat fragmentation, hole-nesting bird, parrot, Primolius maracana. The role of nest site availability in limiting the abundance area (Ribeiro et al. 2009). Such drastic habitat loss and of cavity-nesting birds has been confirmed by several fragmentation decreased the abundance and distribution studies from temperate regions (Newton 1994 and of many bird species through direct effects, but indirect references therein). This issue remains relatively poorly effects such as a reduction in critical resour ces for investigated in the Neotropics (but see Cockle et al. reproduction, like cavities, may also be important. In the 2010, 2017) where a substantial number of families Amazon, forest fragmentation increases the mortality, comprise of obligate cavity-nesting bird species (e.g., damage and turnover rates of trees when compared Psittacidae, Picidae, Dendrocolaptidae, Ramphastidae, to continuous forest control plots, and large trees are Trogonidae, plus some Falconidae, Strigidae, Tyrannidae, especially prone (Laurance et al. 1998, 2000). These Troglodytidae) (Sick 1997). However, snag (dead tree) effects are apparently the result of increased windthrow availability, a common source of cavities used by birds for and microclimatic changes due to edge effects (Laurance roosting or reproduction, is considered less abundant in et al. 1998, 2000). Edge effects increase sharply in tropical than in temperate forests (Guibbs et al.1993, but importance once fragments fall below 100–400 ha in see Cockle et al. 2010) which suggests an increased role size, depending on fragment shape (Laurance et al. of the low availability of cavities for bird reproduction 1998). Since most of Atlantic Forest remnants are small, in tropical forests. Indeed, nest-box supplementation irregularly shaped forest fragments (e.g., more than 80% increases the reproduction of several cavity-nest species of fragments are ≤50 ha; Ribeiro et al. 2009), edge effects in the Atlantic Forest (Cockle et al. 2010), an evidence are probably playing an important role in the dynamics of that nest site availability limits bird reproduction in these Atlantic Forest tree communities. Indeed, large hardwood forests. long-lived tree species are often replaced by small, The Brazilian Atlantic Forest is a global hotspot softwood and short-lived tree species in Atlantic Forest of biodiversity that holds many endemic birds, several fragments (Tabarelli et al. 2008), which are unlikely to of them obligate cavity-nesters that are threatened or offer adequate opportunities for bir ds that reproduce in near threatened by extinction (Brooks et al. 1999). The cavities (Cockle et al. 2010, 2017, Katayama et al. 2017). Atlantic Forest is today shattered into thousands of forest As the availability of cavities decreases, it is expected fragments covering only c. 11–16% of its pre-Columbian an increasing number of disputes among birds over the Revista Brasileira de Ornitologia 26(1): 2018 Cavity-nesting birds fight for a single tree hollow Christianini available cavities. Indeed, intense disputes over cavities may be reinforcing the constraints to the reproduction have been reported in some Atlantic Forest fragments of large cavity-nesting birds in Atlantic Forest fragments: (Pizo 1996). an increase in the abundance of common opossums Here I report an unusual dispute over a tree (Didelphis spp.) in response to forest fragmentation (Fonseca & Robinson 1990), and Africanized Honey Bees hole among three cavity-nesting bird species in the o o Caetetus Ecological Station (22 24'11''S; 49 42'05''W) (Apis mellifera Linnaeus, 1758) introduced by European (hereafter Caetetus), in southeastern Brazil. Caetetus is settlers. Both often supplant birds when competing for nest-cavities (Guedes & Harper 1995, Tubelis & Tubelis an old-growth semideciduous forest fragment (2178 2000). Studies with nest-box provisioning in Atlantic ha) surrounded by pasturelands and field crops. On Forest fragments often report high rates of boxes occupied 15 September 1999, at 09:39 h I observed four Blue- by opossums and Honey Bees (Tubelis & Tubelis 2000, winged Macaws (Primolius maracana (Vieillot, 1816)) A.V. Christianini, unpub. data). The synergistic effect on a large live tree (Fabaceae) approximately 23 m high. of forest fragmentation and the increasing abundance One Macaw was perched vertically and projected its of opossums and Honey Bees might be increasing the body and head several times towards a 10 cm hole that competition for large cavities in Atlantic Forest fragments. was located at a height of 9 meters. The latter bird was However, further research is needed to access the extent of calling and pecking in an aggressive manner, while other this circumstantial evidence (e.g., Cockle et al. 2010) and two P. maracana alternated calls and short flights around to confirm the adequacy of management options to keep the tree crown and over the individual on the trunk. A an adequate availability of hollows for bird reproduction, few minutes later two Black-necked Aracaris (Pteroglossus such as an active management of snag availability, supply aracari (Linnaeus, 1758)) chased away all P. maracana of nest boxes and control of honey bees. and flew towar ds the tree hole. One of the Pteroglossus alternated pecks in the hollow with visual inspections of the entrance, while the other one remained perched on ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS the tree crown. Whenever a P. maracana tried to return, it was promptly chased away by the Pteroglossus which I thank Sérgio H. Borges, Emilio Bruna, Pedro F. flew directly at it. Each Pteroglossus frequently switched Develey, Mauro Galetti, Milene M. Martins, and Marco position with one another, alternating c. 30 s of pecks A. Pizo for criticism on previous versions. I thank also with 3–5 min of vigilance on a nearby branch. After 1 the Instituto Florestal de São Paulo for research license, h, during a short rest taken by the Pteroglossus, two adult CNPq for research grants and two anonymous referees P. maracana left the tree hollow and flew away. At that for suggestions. point, both Pteroglossus entered the cavity. They remained inside the hollow and at the entrance until noticing me (30 min), then flew away. At 11:40 h two Scaly-headed REFERENCES Parrots (Pionus maximiliani (Kuhl, 1820)) perched on the tree and one of them started to inspect the hole. Brooks T., Tobias J. & Balmford A. 1999. Deforestation and bird Suddenly, two P. maracana chased away both Pionus and extinctions in the Atlantic Forest. Animal Conservation 2: 211– occupied the cavity. At 11:58 h they noted me and flew Carvalho C.T. & Carvalho J. 1992. A nidificação de Pionus maximiliani to a nearby tree, and the observation ended. I did not see (Kuhl) e Ara maracana (Vieillot) em Gália São Paulo, Brasil (Aves, any signs of egg or nestling predation by the Pteroglossus Psittacidae). Revista Brasileira de Zoologia 9: 363–365. during my observations. All birds involved were probably Cockle K.L., Martin K. & Drever M.C. 2010. Supply of tree-holes mated pairs in nest competition based on their aggressive limits nest density of cavity-nesting birds in primary and logged subtropical Atlantic Forest. Biological Conservation 143: 2851– behavior towards other birds, since reproductive cycle starts in September, lasting until January (Sick 1997). Cockle K.L., Martin K. & Bodrati A. 2017. Persistence and loss of tree At least 26 species of obligatory cavity-nesting cavities used by birds in subtropical Atlantic Forest. Forest Ecology birds occur in Caetetus together with other animals (e.g., and Management 384: 200–207. Collar N.J. 1997. Family Psittacidae (parrots), p. 280–477. In: del Black-lion Tamarin [Mikan, 1823], marsupials, bees) (A. Hoyo J., Elliot A. & Sargatal J. (eds.). Handbook of the birds of the V. Christianini pers. obs.). It is likely that there will be world, v. 4 (sandrouse to cuckoos). Barcelona: Lynx Editions. overlap in hollow size used by these species, which are not Fonseca G.A.B. & Robinson J.G. 1990. Forest size and structure: primary excavators of cavities. Several local cavity-nesting competitive and predatory effects on small mammal communities. Biological Conservation 53: 265–294. birds are medium sized (233–293 g for P. maximiliani Guedes N.M.R. & Harper L.H. 1995. Hyacinth Macaws in the and P. maracana; Collar 1997) requiring cavities in large Pantanal: conservation and management, p. 395–421. In: trees for reproduction (Carvalho & Carvalho 1992, Abramson J., Speer B.L. & Thomsen J.B. (eds.). The large Cockle et al. 2010). Despite habitat fragmentation may macaws: their care, breeding and conservation. Fort Bragg: Raintree Publications. increase the scarcity of large cavities, two new elements Revista Brasileira de Ornitologia 26(1): 2018 Cavity-nesting birds fight for a single tree hollow Christianini Guibbs J.P., Hunter-Jr. M.L. & Melvin S.M. 1993. Snag availability tailed Tyrant, Colonia colonus (Aves, Tyrannidae). Ciência e Cultura 48: 278–281. and communities of cavity nesting birds in tropical versus Ribeiro M.C., Metzger J.P., Martensen A.C., Ponzoni F.J. & Hirota temperate forests. Biotropica 25: 236–241. M.M. 2009. Brazilian Atlantic Forest: how much is left, and how Katayama M.V., Zima P.V.Q., Perrella D.F. & Francisco M.R. 2017. is the remaining forest distributed? Implications for conservation. Successional stage effect on the availability of tree cavities for Biological Conservation 142: 1141–1153. cavity-nesting birds in an Atlantic Forest park from the state of Sick H. 1997. Ornitologia brasileira. Rio de Janeiro: Editora Nova São Paulo, Brazil. Biota Neotropica 17: e20170391. Fronteira. Laurance W.F., Delamônica P., Laurance S.G., Vasconcelos H.L. Tabarelli M., Lopes A.V. & Peres C.A. 2008. Edge-effects drive & Lovejoy T.E. 2000. Rainforest fragmentation kills big trees. tropical forest fragments towards an early-successional system. Nature 404: 836. Biotropica 40: 657–661. Laurance W.F., Ferreira L.V., Rankin-de-Merona J.M. & Laurance Tubelis D.P. & Tubelis A. 2000. Ocupação de caixas de nidificação em S.G. 1998. Rain forest fragmentation and the dynamics of uma mata secundária crescendo em uma plantação de eucalipto Amazonian tree communities. Ecology 79: 2032–2040. abandonada, no estado de São Paulo. Papéis Avulsos de Zoologia Newton I. 1994. The role of nest sites in limiting the numbers of 41: 187–196. hole-nesting birds: a review. Biological Conservation 70: 265–276. Pizo M.A. 1996. Interspecific aggression in the hole-nesting Long- Associate Editor: Cristiano S. Azevedo. Revista Brasileira de Ornitologia 26(1): 2018 http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Ornithology Research Springer Journals

Several cavity-nesting birds fight for a single tree hollow in an Atlantic Forest fragment: consequence of increasing nest-site limitation?

Ornithology Research , Volume 26 (1) – Mar 1, 2018

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Springer Journals
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Copyright © Sociedade Brasileira de Ornitologia 2018
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10.1007/bf03544412
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Abstract

Revista Brasileira de Ornitologia 26(1): 12–14. SHORT-COMMUNIC ARA TICLE TION March 2018 Several cavity-nesting birds fight for a single tree hollow in an Atlantic Forest fragment: consequence of increasing nest-site limitation? 1,2 Alexander V. Christianini Departamento de Ciências Ambientais, Universidade Federal de São Carlos, Campus Sorocaba, Rod. João Leme dos Santos km 110, 18052-780, Itinga, Sorocaba, SP, Brazil. Corresponding author: avchristianini@yahoo.com.br Received on 29 September 2017. Accepted on 20 March 2018. ABSTRACT: Most remnants of Atlantic Forests are found as small and isolated forest fragments. Forest fragmentation and edge effects often lead to structural changes in vegetation that may affect the availability of tree cavities for bir ds that rely on hollows for reproduction. Here I describe an unusual dispute for a cavity among birds (at least six Primolius maracana, two Pionus maximiliani (Psittacidae) and two Pteroglossus aracari (Ramphastidae)) in the Estação Ecológica dos Catetetus, southeast Brazil. Consequences of Atlantic Forest fragmentation, together with an increase in abundance of cavity users such as Opossums (Didelphis spp.) and exotic Honey Bees (Apis mellifera) might be decreasing the already small availability of cavities for medium- and large-sized cavity-nesting birds. The conservation of large hardwood trees is probably critical for the persistence of cavity-nesting birds in fragmented Atlantic Forest landscapes. Supply of nest boxes and control of Honey Bees may also be considered. KEY-WORDS: Africanized honey bees, conservation, habitat fragmentation, hole-nesting bird, parrot, Primolius maracana. The role of nest site availability in limiting the abundance area (Ribeiro et al. 2009). Such drastic habitat loss and of cavity-nesting birds has been confirmed by several fragmentation decreased the abundance and distribution studies from temperate regions (Newton 1994 and of many bird species through direct effects, but indirect references therein). This issue remains relatively poorly effects such as a reduction in critical resour ces for investigated in the Neotropics (but see Cockle et al. reproduction, like cavities, may also be important. In the 2010, 2017) where a substantial number of families Amazon, forest fragmentation increases the mortality, comprise of obligate cavity-nesting bird species (e.g., damage and turnover rates of trees when compared Psittacidae, Picidae, Dendrocolaptidae, Ramphastidae, to continuous forest control plots, and large trees are Trogonidae, plus some Falconidae, Strigidae, Tyrannidae, especially prone (Laurance et al. 1998, 2000). These Troglodytidae) (Sick 1997). However, snag (dead tree) effects are apparently the result of increased windthrow availability, a common source of cavities used by birds for and microclimatic changes due to edge effects (Laurance roosting or reproduction, is considered less abundant in et al. 1998, 2000). Edge effects increase sharply in tropical than in temperate forests (Guibbs et al.1993, but importance once fragments fall below 100–400 ha in see Cockle et al. 2010) which suggests an increased role size, depending on fragment shape (Laurance et al. of the low availability of cavities for bird reproduction 1998). Since most of Atlantic Forest remnants are small, in tropical forests. Indeed, nest-box supplementation irregularly shaped forest fragments (e.g., more than 80% increases the reproduction of several cavity-nest species of fragments are ≤50 ha; Ribeiro et al. 2009), edge effects in the Atlantic Forest (Cockle et al. 2010), an evidence are probably playing an important role in the dynamics of that nest site availability limits bird reproduction in these Atlantic Forest tree communities. Indeed, large hardwood forests. long-lived tree species are often replaced by small, The Brazilian Atlantic Forest is a global hotspot softwood and short-lived tree species in Atlantic Forest of biodiversity that holds many endemic birds, several fragments (Tabarelli et al. 2008), which are unlikely to of them obligate cavity-nesters that are threatened or offer adequate opportunities for bir ds that reproduce in near threatened by extinction (Brooks et al. 1999). The cavities (Cockle et al. 2010, 2017, Katayama et al. 2017). Atlantic Forest is today shattered into thousands of forest As the availability of cavities decreases, it is expected fragments covering only c. 11–16% of its pre-Columbian an increasing number of disputes among birds over the Revista Brasileira de Ornitologia 26(1): 2018 Cavity-nesting birds fight for a single tree hollow Christianini available cavities. Indeed, intense disputes over cavities may be reinforcing the constraints to the reproduction have been reported in some Atlantic Forest fragments of large cavity-nesting birds in Atlantic Forest fragments: (Pizo 1996). an increase in the abundance of common opossums Here I report an unusual dispute over a tree (Didelphis spp.) in response to forest fragmentation (Fonseca & Robinson 1990), and Africanized Honey Bees hole among three cavity-nesting bird species in the o o Caetetus Ecological Station (22 24'11''S; 49 42'05''W) (Apis mellifera Linnaeus, 1758) introduced by European (hereafter Caetetus), in southeastern Brazil. Caetetus is settlers. Both often supplant birds when competing for nest-cavities (Guedes & Harper 1995, Tubelis & Tubelis an old-growth semideciduous forest fragment (2178 2000). Studies with nest-box provisioning in Atlantic ha) surrounded by pasturelands and field crops. On Forest fragments often report high rates of boxes occupied 15 September 1999, at 09:39 h I observed four Blue- by opossums and Honey Bees (Tubelis & Tubelis 2000, winged Macaws (Primolius maracana (Vieillot, 1816)) A.V. Christianini, unpub. data). The synergistic effect on a large live tree (Fabaceae) approximately 23 m high. of forest fragmentation and the increasing abundance One Macaw was perched vertically and projected its of opossums and Honey Bees might be increasing the body and head several times towards a 10 cm hole that competition for large cavities in Atlantic Forest fragments. was located at a height of 9 meters. The latter bird was However, further research is needed to access the extent of calling and pecking in an aggressive manner, while other this circumstantial evidence (e.g., Cockle et al. 2010) and two P. maracana alternated calls and short flights around to confirm the adequacy of management options to keep the tree crown and over the individual on the trunk. A an adequate availability of hollows for bird reproduction, few minutes later two Black-necked Aracaris (Pteroglossus such as an active management of snag availability, supply aracari (Linnaeus, 1758)) chased away all P. maracana of nest boxes and control of honey bees. and flew towar ds the tree hole. One of the Pteroglossus alternated pecks in the hollow with visual inspections of the entrance, while the other one remained perched on ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS the tree crown. Whenever a P. maracana tried to return, it was promptly chased away by the Pteroglossus which I thank Sérgio H. Borges, Emilio Bruna, Pedro F. flew directly at it. Each Pteroglossus frequently switched Develey, Mauro Galetti, Milene M. Martins, and Marco position with one another, alternating c. 30 s of pecks A. Pizo for criticism on previous versions. I thank also with 3–5 min of vigilance on a nearby branch. After 1 the Instituto Florestal de São Paulo for research license, h, during a short rest taken by the Pteroglossus, two adult CNPq for research grants and two anonymous referees P. maracana left the tree hollow and flew away. At that for suggestions. point, both Pteroglossus entered the cavity. They remained inside the hollow and at the entrance until noticing me (30 min), then flew away. At 11:40 h two Scaly-headed REFERENCES Parrots (Pionus maximiliani (Kuhl, 1820)) perched on the tree and one of them started to inspect the hole. Brooks T., Tobias J. & Balmford A. 1999. Deforestation and bird Suddenly, two P. maracana chased away both Pionus and extinctions in the Atlantic Forest. Animal Conservation 2: 211– occupied the cavity. At 11:58 h they noted me and flew Carvalho C.T. & Carvalho J. 1992. A nidificação de Pionus maximiliani to a nearby tree, and the observation ended. I did not see (Kuhl) e Ara maracana (Vieillot) em Gália São Paulo, Brasil (Aves, any signs of egg or nestling predation by the Pteroglossus Psittacidae). Revista Brasileira de Zoologia 9: 363–365. during my observations. All birds involved were probably Cockle K.L., Martin K. & Drever M.C. 2010. Supply of tree-holes mated pairs in nest competition based on their aggressive limits nest density of cavity-nesting birds in primary and logged subtropical Atlantic Forest. Biological Conservation 143: 2851– behavior towards other birds, since reproductive cycle starts in September, lasting until January (Sick 1997). Cockle K.L., Martin K. & Bodrati A. 2017. Persistence and loss of tree At least 26 species of obligatory cavity-nesting cavities used by birds in subtropical Atlantic Forest. Forest Ecology birds occur in Caetetus together with other animals (e.g., and Management 384: 200–207. Collar N.J. 1997. Family Psittacidae (parrots), p. 280–477. In: del Black-lion Tamarin [Mikan, 1823], marsupials, bees) (A. Hoyo J., Elliot A. & Sargatal J. (eds.). Handbook of the birds of the V. Christianini pers. obs.). It is likely that there will be world, v. 4 (sandrouse to cuckoos). Barcelona: Lynx Editions. overlap in hollow size used by these species, which are not Fonseca G.A.B. & Robinson J.G. 1990. Forest size and structure: primary excavators of cavities. Several local cavity-nesting competitive and predatory effects on small mammal communities. Biological Conservation 53: 265–294. birds are medium sized (233–293 g for P. maximiliani Guedes N.M.R. & Harper L.H. 1995. Hyacinth Macaws in the and P. maracana; Collar 1997) requiring cavities in large Pantanal: conservation and management, p. 395–421. In: trees for reproduction (Carvalho & Carvalho 1992, Abramson J., Speer B.L. & Thomsen J.B. (eds.). The large Cockle et al. 2010). Despite habitat fragmentation may macaws: their care, breeding and conservation. Fort Bragg: Raintree Publications. increase the scarcity of large cavities, two new elements Revista Brasileira de Ornitologia 26(1): 2018 Cavity-nesting birds fight for a single tree hollow Christianini Guibbs J.P., Hunter-Jr. M.L. & Melvin S.M. 1993. Snag availability tailed Tyrant, Colonia colonus (Aves, Tyrannidae). Ciência e Cultura 48: 278–281. and communities of cavity nesting birds in tropical versus Ribeiro M.C., Metzger J.P., Martensen A.C., Ponzoni F.J. & Hirota temperate forests. Biotropica 25: 236–241. M.M. 2009. Brazilian Atlantic Forest: how much is left, and how Katayama M.V., Zima P.V.Q., Perrella D.F. & Francisco M.R. 2017. is the remaining forest distributed? Implications for conservation. Successional stage effect on the availability of tree cavities for Biological Conservation 142: 1141–1153. cavity-nesting birds in an Atlantic Forest park from the state of Sick H. 1997. Ornitologia brasileira. Rio de Janeiro: Editora Nova São Paulo, Brazil. Biota Neotropica 17: e20170391. Fronteira. Laurance W.F., Delamônica P., Laurance S.G., Vasconcelos H.L. Tabarelli M., Lopes A.V. & Peres C.A. 2008. Edge-effects drive & Lovejoy T.E. 2000. Rainforest fragmentation kills big trees. tropical forest fragments towards an early-successional system. Nature 404: 836. Biotropica 40: 657–661. Laurance W.F., Ferreira L.V., Rankin-de-Merona J.M. & Laurance Tubelis D.P. & Tubelis A. 2000. Ocupação de caixas de nidificação em S.G. 1998. Rain forest fragmentation and the dynamics of uma mata secundária crescendo em uma plantação de eucalipto Amazonian tree communities. Ecology 79: 2032–2040. abandonada, no estado de São Paulo. Papéis Avulsos de Zoologia Newton I. 1994. The role of nest sites in limiting the numbers of 41: 187–196. hole-nesting birds: a review. Biological Conservation 70: 265–276. Pizo M.A. 1996. Interspecific aggression in the hole-nesting Long- Associate Editor: Cristiano S. Azevedo. Revista Brasileira de Ornitologia 26(1): 2018

Journal

Ornithology ResearchSpringer Journals

Published: Mar 1, 2018

Keywords: Africanized honey bees; conservation; habitat fragmentation; hole-nesting bird; parrot; Primolius maracana

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