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Lim, Norman (Norman T-Lon)
Lim, Shirley S. L.
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Disturbance to the environment and habitat through human-induced changes often leads to increased nest predation. Nest predation can influence reproductive ecology, life history and unbalance ecological stability. However, few nest predation studies have been conducted in the tropics (e.g., Southeast Asia). Predation of avian nests are influenced by local habitat features as well as the landscape context. Predator-prey interactions have also been shown to change substantially at habitat interfaces as a result of various variables that can influence nest predation rates. Three objectives were laid out in this study. Firstly, through the use of camera traps and artificial nests, the study quantified nest predation rates and identified nest predators at Nature Parks and Nature Reserves in Singapore. Secondly, this study investigated if the rates of predation were influenced by the predator community composition. Lastly, model selection was used to examine if variables such as contiguous patch area, distance and species richness had an influence on nest predation. A total of 164 sampling stations were established in Nature Parks and Nature Reserves of various patch sizes and at varying distances from the forest edge.

The results revealed that nest predation rates were slightly higher in the Nature Parks, but were not significantly different from the Nature Reserves. Camera trap images revealed that nest predation events were largely caused by mammals. The nest predator community were significantly dissimilar between the Nature Reserves and Nature Parks, but not within the habitats of the categories. Model selection through linear mixed models revealed that predator species richness was the key predictor for nest predation rates. The results further showed the predictor variable of contiguous patch area was not as influential compared to species richness. Our further analysis also determined distance was not a key variable compared to species richness. Both area and distance featured as selected models but only in combination with species. Thus by itself, they were not as important.

As the natural landscape of Singapore continues to change, nest predation studies like this one may provide insights on the effects of fragmentation and urbanisation on nest predation rates and predator species communities. Nest predation is an important factor that influences the continued survival of bird species and together with previous studies, this study can be used as a point of comparison for nest predation rates and predator species community structures in future studies. Additionally, nest predation studies like this can be extended to quantify nest predation rates in endangered avian species exclusive to Singapore by altering the artificial nest used to simulate nests of those species.
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QL675 Li
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Appears in Collections:Master of Science (Life Sciences)

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