Michalski, F., & Peres, C. A. (2017). Gamebird responses to anthropogenic forest fragmentation and degradation in a southern Amazonian landscape. PeerJ, 2017(6), e3442.
Although large-bodied tropical forest birds are impacted by both habitat loss and fragmentation, their patterns of habitat occupancy will also depend on the degree of forest habitat disturbance, which may interact synergistically or additively with fragmentation effects. Here, we examine the effects of forest patch and landscape metrics, and levels of forest disturbance on the patterns of persistence of six gamebird taxa in the southern Brazilian Amazon. We use both interview data conducted with long-term residents and/or landowners from 129 remnant forest patches and 15 continuous forest sites and line-transect census data from a subset of 21 forest patches and two continuous forests. Forest patch area was the strongest predictor of species persistence, explaining as much as 46% of the overall variation in gamebird species richness. Logistic regression models showed that anthropogenic disturbance- including surface wildfires, selective logging and hunting pressure-had a variety of effects on species persistence. Most large-bodied gamebird species were sensitive to forest fragmentation, occupying primarily large, high-quality forest patches in higher abundances, and were typically absent from patches <100 ha. Our findings highlight the importance of large (>10,000 ha), relatively undisturbed forest patches to both maximize persistence and maintain baseline abundances of large neotropical forest birds.