Bird Communities and Feeding Guilds from Three Land Use Types in  Kerian River Basin, Perak

Nur Munira A., Nurul Salmi A. L., Shahrul Anuar, M. S. & Nur Juliani S.

School of Biological Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang 11800, Malaysia. Corresponding Author:


Land conversion activity has caused losses in a vast number of bird species.  Bird status in secondary forest (SF), oil palm plantation (OP) and paddy fields (PF) were documented from March 2009-February 2010 at study sites in Kerian River Basin (KRB).  The objectives of this study were to determine the current bird species present in the study areas and to analyze variation of feeding guilds in different habitat types.  Point count and mist-netting methods were used for bird census in SF and OP, while only point count method was used in PF.  Feeding guilds were determined for each species recorded.  A total of 183 species representing 49 families were recorded at all study sites.  Secondary forest scored 106 species, followed by PF with 70 species and OP with 58 species.  The highest abundance of bird families observed in SF was Pycnonotidae (26.65%), Hemiprocnidae (19.77%) and Muscicapidae (7.10%); in OP, Pycnonotidae (21.59%), Muscicapidae (19.12%) and Sturnidae (17.95%); in PF, Ardeidae (29.09%), Sturnidae (10.15%) and Hirundinidae (7.86%).  Alternative hypothesis established that the abundance of species is different across habitat types, F(2,105) = 99.83, p < 0.05.  Eight feeding guilds were identified in paddy field and seven in both secondary forest and oil palm plantation. If forests were converted to OP feeding guild could possibly change with a decreased in insectivore, insectivore-frugivore, insectivore-nectarivore and frugivore species; and increased in carnivore, grainivore and omnivore species.  If forests were converted to PF feeding guild could possibly change with a decreased in insectivore, insectivore-frugivore and frugivore species; and increased in carnivore, insectivore-nectarivore, insectivore-grainivore, grainivore and omnivore species.  Comparison between SF and OP with Mann-Whitney U-test showed significant differences in six feeding guilds, including insectivore, insectivore-frugivore, insectivore-nectarivore, frugivore, grainivore and omnivore.  Comparison between SF and PF showed significant differences in five feeding guilds, comprising of carnivore, insectivore-grainivore, frugivore, grainivore and omnivore.  Comparison between OP and PF showed all feeding guilds to be significantly different.  Complex vegetation in forest offers more niches, with higher plant and insect diversity to support more bird species.  In contrast, PF, a temporary wetland, support predominantly various waterbirds and migratory species.

Keywords: Bird diversity, feeding guilds, secondary forest, oil palm plantation, paddy field

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