Title page for ETD etd-0703102-120155

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Alvarez Alonso, Jose
Author's Email Address jalvar4@lsu.edu
URN etd-0703102-120155
Title Characteristic Avifauna of White-Sand Forests in Northern Peruvian Amazonia
Degree Master of Science (M.S.)
Department Forestry, Wildlife, and Fisheries
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Robert B. Hamilton Committee Chair
Dorothy Prowell Committee Member
James V. Remsen, Jr. Committee Member
  • amazonian avifauna
  • habitat specialization
  • white-sand forests
  • peruvian amazonia
Date of Defense 2002-06-28
Availability unrestricted
Recently, it has been shown that the high species richness in western Amazonia is related to habitat heterogeneity. Some habitats are rapidly disappearing or deteriorating as a result of anthropogenic activities, resulting in loss of species. One such unique habitat is white-sand forest (hereafter WSF), which is patchily distributed and restricted to a few areas in the northern Peruvian Amazonia. Although it is known that these unique forests are rich in endemic plants, very few studies of the fauna or ecology of these habitats have been conducted. I evaluated and determined the species composition of the avifauna of the white-sand forests at five localities in the region. I sampled the surrounding habitats and determined that a group of birds is restricted to white-sand habitats. Thirty-two bird species, belonging to thirteen families, were found to have some degree of specialization on white-sand forests: nine were classified as "obligate" white-sand forest specialists, thirteen as "near-obligate" white-sand forest specialists, and ten as "facultative" white-sand forest users. I also documented patterns of local distribution of Zimmerius villarejoi and Percnostola arenarum within distinguishable types of WSF and demonstrated that both species are restricted to certain types of white-sand forests in which two species of plants, a palm and a leguminous tree, are dominant. The assessment of the uniqueness and restricted distribution of the WSF avifauna will facilitate the determination of the biological importance of this habitat and will help to promote conservation and management measures.
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