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An assessment of the effectiveness of two methods in describing a neotropical cloud forest bird community.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published

Journal publication date2010
JournalOrnitologia Neotropical
Volume21
Number of pages17
Pages131-147
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

Mist netting and point-counting are the two most commonly used techniques for surveying Neotropical avifauna communities, although their effectiveness remains poorly understood in tropical montane cloud forest. This paper seeks to determine how best to conduct bird surveys in this distinctive ecosystem by comparing the effectiveness of these two methodologies in the Parque Nacional Cusuco, North-West Honduras. Mist netting was conducted at 26 sites, with point counts being conducted at 126 sites. Neither technique succeeded in providing a wholly accurate description of avifaunal assemblages, with mist netting and point counts detecting 37.5% and 59.3% of all avian species respectively, in comparison with our preliminary checklist of the area. However, results indicate point-counts as more effective overall, detecting a greater sum of species (124 species compared to 78), being markedly more time-efficient and detecting a wider range of avian sub-groups. Both methods in conjunction still failed to detect 27.8% of species on the preliminary checklist. Any survey aiming to accurately survey all cloud forest species would therefore need to incorporate a wide range of integrated methodological techniques.