Predation of artificial ground nests at two types of edges in a forest-dominated landscape

Timothy J. Fenske-Crawford, Gerald J Niemi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

73 Scopus citations

Abstract

Artificial ground nests were placed in medium-age or older forests adjoining (a) stands of regenerating forest (vegetation < 2 m high) where 'hard' edges were created, and (b) stands of young forest (vegetation 2-8 m high) where 'soft' edges were created. Nests were placed at three distances from the forest edge (0 m, 50 m, and 100 m). Two Northern Bobwhite Quail (Colinus virginianus) eggs were placed in each nest and monitored after 7 and 14 days of exposure between late May and mid-July, 1994. Overall nest predation was 72% after 7 days and 85% after 14 days of exposure. Predation near soft edges was significantly higher than near hard edges after both 7 and 14 days of exposure. Predation near the edges was significantly higher than away from the edges after both 7 and 14 days of exposure. Two motion-sensitive cameras were used to record the identity of predator species. Cameras documented 28 predation events during 1,728 hours of operation, caused by eight species of mammals. The predators included, in order of decreasing predation: fisher (Martes pennanti), Eastern chipmunk (Tamias striatus), red-backed vole (Clethrionomys gapperi), red squirrel (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus), deer mouse (Peromyscus maniculatus), black bear (Ursus americanus), gray squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis), and striped skunk (Mephitis mephitis). The relationship between edges, predator assemblages, and nest success is complex: more studies at the landscape level are required to better understand the effects of these factors on avian population dynamics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)14-24
Number of pages11
JournalCondor
Volume99
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1997

Keywords

  • Minnesota
  • artificial nests
  • birds
  • camera
  • edges
  • forests
  • fragmentation
  • predation

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