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Kenyon College

Publication Date

Spring 2008

Program Name

Australia: Natural and Cultural Ecology

Abstract

Forest fragmentation is the process by which large areas of continuous forest are replaced by foreign ecosystems that restrict native growth to isolated patches. Biota remaining within these fragmented environments often suffer consequences that stem from reduced forest area. Wildlife corridors—linear patches of habitat that connect remnant fragments—have frequently been proposed to alleviate fragmentation effects by facilitating biotic movement between forest patches. Initiated in 1998, the Lakes Corridor on the Atherton Tablelands in North Queensland, Australia, connects the two formerly isolated sections of Crater Lakes National Park with the goal of promoting wildlife dispersal between them. This study monitored avian assemblages along the corridor to determine its success in providing the habitat necessary for rainforest species utilization. Bird communities were monitored in remnant, regrowth, and planted sites using point counts. Compared with baseline trends, corridor use has consistently increased within bird communities analyzed according to vagility, mobility, and foraging guilds. The greater abundance of sensitive and robust species demonstrates that after ten years of succession the corridor has begun to provide habitats for a variety of rainforest birds and suggests that the Lakes Corridor may help alleviate the effects of isolated fragments in this tropical rainforest system.

Disciplines

Forest Sciences | Natural Resources and Conservation | Natural Resources Management and Policy

 

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