Bird species' tolerance of secondary forest habitats and its effects on extinction
Intense deforestation causes massive species losses. These losses occur because the habitats supplanting primary forest are inadequate to sustain viable populations of forest-dependent species. Despite this, certain species do seem to persist within the secondary habitats that replace original forest. This implies that there is a special class of species that might survive the loss of primary forest. Such a result would significantly influence conservation plans and extinction predictions. We tested whether species that tolerate secondary habitats survive extensive habitat loss and whether the same degree of loss threatens species that are forest obligates. To identify purported "survivors," we compared the remaining range sizes of endemic birds, their abundances, and their degree of extinction threat. We did this within the remaining Atlantic Forest of Brazil, a region extremely rich in endemics but with only approximately 10% of its forest remaining. We found no survivors. Habitat loss threatens forest-obligate birds and those using secondary habitats equally.
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