Nest Predation and its Impact on Recreation in Ecuador

Title

Nest Predation and its Impact on Recreation in Ecuador

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Research Question

Will nest predation change in the presence of human recreation?

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Centennial Fellowship in Global Studies

Significance

My research will clarify the ecological importance of nest predation, and promote greater understanding of potential effects of human disturbance. These findings may benefit the further development of conservation understanding in tropical recreational areas, and also myself as I gain experience for my future goals of obtaining a graduate degree in ornithology.

Methods Used

Experiment

To test my hypotheses I will observe 3 cycles of nest predation for a total of approximately 30 nests along and 30 nests off trails over a 2.5 month period.

Observation

I will monitor nests at 12 hour intervals over each 10-day cycle, to determine predation time, location, date, and species at randomly chosen artificial nesting sites. Predation type, even if not directly observed by cameras or researchers, can often be inferred by the type of damage (Ibáñez-Álmano et al, 2015). Video recordings (5 cameras) will help document diurnal predation. Monitoring nocturnal predation directly is not feasible. However, nests will be physically checked in the morning and evenings in 8 to 12 hour intervals allowing me to at least document when it occurs. All nests >2.5m in height will be observed by the use of a mirror on a pole. I will include, by the use of monitoring and surveillance, the timing and identification of predators to aid in the understanding of what predators may be affected by recreation of humans.

Conclusions/Outcomes

My hypotheses predict one of three outcomes that include no change in nest predation due to human recreation, an increase in nest predation due to human recreation, or a decrease in nest predation due to human recreation.

Publication Date

2016

Nest Predation and its Impact on Recreation in Ecuador

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