D03 Comparison of bird survey techniques

WRL reference M02 D03
Module M02 Survey Techniques
Data Set D03 Comparison of bird survey techniques
Research questions 1. Which of the two methods (mist nets or point counts) do you think is the most efficient for surveying birds in Mesoamerican cloud
forest?2. Comparing the methods:

a. At any particular point, which method detected the most species?

b. Do the two methods detect the same kinds of birds?

c. Can you give examples of the kinds of birds which mist-nets are better at surveying than point counts, and vice versa?

3. Recommendations:

a. Which survey technique should be the main methodology for the planned large-scale survey of Honduras’s cloud forest?

b. If the time is available, would you recommend the other method as an important secondary technique? If so, why?

Keywords Endemism; biodiversity; deforestation; indicators; conservation; human impact; niche; rainforest; sampling; survey techniques
Potential Curriculum links AP Biology Science Practice 3
AP Env Sci III Population A
IB Biology C.1, C.5
IB Ess 2.3.2
AQA 3.4.6, 3.4.7, 3.7.4, MS, AT, PS
edexcel A – 4.2, 4.3, 5.1, 5.2, 5.3, 5.4, B – 10.1, 10.3, 10.4 Maths A
OCR A – 4.2.1, 6.3.1, 6.3.2 – M, PAG, HSW
SQA FH2J 3 (b) (c) (i) (ii) (iii) (iv)
CCEA 4.4.3
WJEC C1-5, C2 -1, App B, Pract.req.
Summary The forests of Mesoamerica are a biodiversity ‘hotspot’ and this study describes how the populations of birds are assessed. The field site is in the cloud forests of Honduras and involve data collected using a ‘point count’ method. The study looks at species richness, proportion of endemic species and how altitude affects the populations of birds in Mesoamerica. The exercise involves constructing scatter plots with trend lines.
Difficulty: 6/10 (overall)