Worldwide understorey nesting bird species such as bulbuls can also be highly vulnerable to nest predation in disturbed landscapes because they breed mainly on the lower stage of the forest. We test the following hypotheses: the transformation of forests into alternative land use systems and the vegetation’s variables at the nesting sites will affect the understorey nest predation rates. The nests of 12 understorey bird species were surveyed and vegetation variables were measured within five types of habitats along a gradient of increasing forest destruction in the north-eastern peripheral zone of the Korup National Park in Cameroon. Only the open-cup nest type suffers from predation, mostly egg predation. The general linear mixed model analysis suggests that the types of habitat do not affect nest daily predation rate which decreases with increasing trees and understorey plant density. The most deleterious impact of deforestation in this study area is the reduction of nesting sites whose characteristics remain unchanged across the landscape. These results underscore the need to give understorey nesting species, as well as other particularly sensitive groups, special consideration within conservation strategies such as the reduced-impact logging techniques.
Key words: Cameroon, deforestation, land-use system, nest predation, understorey birds.
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