Article I. Lessons learned from long-term bird mist-netting stations in agricultural land uses in Costa Rica: implications to conservation and management
Martínez Salinas, María A.
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Knowledge about tropical bird species persisting in agricultural land uses is essential to support management interventions. Mist-netting has long been recognized as an important monitoring technique in the study of avian populations. We have been running mist-netting stations in different agricultural and a forest land use since the year 2008, and we present here results and lessons learned from the first seven years of sampling. Land uses monitored are representatives of those predominant within the Volcanica Central Talamanca Biological Corridor (VCTBC) in Costa Rica. Using captured data we analyzed information about species richness, diversity indices, age structure and sex distribution across land uses, we then discussed recapture rates and captures of forest dependent species in agricultural land uses, finally we present information about bird functional traits. Results from our long-term mistnetting efforts show that agroforestry systems supports high species richness, uniformly distributed communities, high species diversity and low dominance as well as the greater number of expected species across land uses. Additionally, agroforestry systems such as live fences revealed fostering diverse bird communities as well as enabling forest dependent bird species dispersal through pasture lands. We were also able to collect functional trait measures for over one hundred bird resident species, this latter in an effort to make this information public and help advance studies of functional ecology on mobile organisms. Establishment and operation of long-term mist-netting stations particularly in the American tropics is crucial to narrow the knowledge gap about most tropical bird species persisting in agricultural landscapes.