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Type: Journal article
Title: The use of species-area relationships to partition the effects of hunting and deforestation on bird extirpations in a fragmented landscape
Author: Rachakonda, S.
Huang, G.
Zhao, J.
Pasion, B.
Yasuda, M.
Zhang, K.
Peabotuwage, I.
Wang, X.
Quan, R.
Ferry Slik, J.
Corlett, R.
Goodale, E.
Harrison, R.
Citation: Diversity and Distributions, 2015; 21(4):441-450
Publisher: Wiley
Issue Date: 2015
ISSN: 1366-9516
Statement of
Rachakonda Sreekar, Guohualing Huang, Jiang-Bo Zhao, Bonifacio O. Pasion, Mika Yasuda, Kai Zhang, Indika Peabotuwage, Ximin Wang, Rui-Chang Quan, J. W. Ferry Slik, Richard T. Corlett, Eben Goodale and Rhett D. Harrison
Abstract: Aim: Forest fragmentation is often accompanied by an increase in hunting intensity. Both factors are known drivers of species extirpations, but understanding of their independent effects is poor. Our goal was to partition the effects of hunting and fragmentation on bird species extirpations and to identify bird traits that make species more vulnerable to these two stressors. Location: Menglun, Yunnan, SW China Methods: We studied the landscape within 10 km radius of Menglun town, where forests have become highly fragmented by monoculture rubber plantations. We compiled data on birds recorded between 1954 and 1983 before forest loss and compared it with a checklist prepared between 2011 and 2014. We used countryside and matrix-calibrated species–area models (SAMs) to estimate the observed slope of forest bird extirpations in Menglun and compared it with the slope expected in the absence of hunting. We also investigated six ecological traits to determine those that best explained bird extirpation probability (EP). Results: We found that 34% of the bird fauna had been extirpated from the study landscape, and the estimated slopes of countryside and matrix-calibrated SAMs for forest birds were around 1.4 and 1.7 times higher, respectively, than the 0.35 expected without hunting. Bird EP was strongly associated with size, and understorey insectivores that are known to be susceptible to fragmentation were less susceptible to hunting than frugivores. Given evidence of past and present hunting activity in the area, and the lack of support for alternative explanations, we suggest that hunting increased forest bird extirpations by around 1.3- to 1.6-fold. Conclusions: This study highlights the importance of using species–area relationships to separate area effects from the impacts of hunting. Our results suggest that hunting substantially increases species extirpations in tropical fragmented landscapes and conservation interventions that only target deforestation will therefore be inadequate.
Keywords: Bird traits; defaunation; forest loss; frugivores; rubber plantations; tropical extinctions
Description: Article first published online: 22 DEC 2014
Rights: © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd
RMID: 0030035999
DOI: 10.1111/ddi.12292
Appears in Collections:Ecology, Evolution and Landscape Science publications

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