Boyd, Jennifer; Latta, Steve
College of Arts and Sciences
University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
Place of Publication
The Dominican Republic, a conservation priority area due to high rates of bird endemism and overwintering Neotropical migrant habitats, is seeing an increase of avocado farms and a subsequent forest loss. We conducted point-count bird surveys to determine how avian species richness and diversity differ between avocado farms and intact forest, as well as how vegetation differences between farms and forests could impact bird use. We found that vegetation structure varied significantly between farm and forest sites, but that overall bird diversity and migrant diversity did not. However, we found that endemic bird species showed higher species richness and diversity in intact forest than avocado farm sites and were also influenced by measured vegetation characteristics, demonstrating the importance of the protection of native dry forest in the region. We conclude that avocado farms provide habitat for generalist bird species, some migrant species, and very few endemic species that are forest-dependent.
Thank you to BirdsCaribbean for supporting this project and putting me in contact with conservationists on the ground, such as Yolanda Leon and Hector (Chapa) Andujar of Grupo Jaragua who shared their time and expertise to set me up for success. Many thanks to Kate Wallace and my Dominican family at Villa Barrancoli for daily encouragement, enthusiasm, and local knowledge. I am very grateful for the help of my field assistant, Jarroll (Pilo) Urbaez, for helping me navigate to and around our field sites and for sharing his natural talents of observation. Finally, thank you to my committee members, Drs. David Aborn, Jennifer Boyd, and Steve Latta, for their ideas, edits, and direction.
M. S.; A thesis submitted to the faculty of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the degree of Master of Science.
Agriculture--Tropics; Birds--Habitat; Rain forest ecology
vii, 35 leaves
Young, Avery, "Bird use of avocado farms and intact forest in the Dominican Republic" (2022). Masters Theses and Doctoral Dissertations.