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Can a common bird species be used as a surrogate to draw insights for the conservation of a rare species? : a case study from the fragmented Taita Hills, Kenya

(2007) ORYX. 41(2). p.239-246
Author
Organization
Abstract
Sound knowledge of underlying mechanisms is essential for understanding how species respond to habitat fragmentation. Because most threatened species are typically the first ones to suffer local extinctions with forest fragmentation, studying why they fare poorly at the broader landscape scale is difficult. Related, sympatric but common species may be useful surrogates if they can provide insights germane for the conservation of rarer species. We illustrate this using a case study from the highly fragmented Taita Hills forests, south-eastern Kenya, of the Critically Endangered Taita thrush Turdus helleri and the more common white-starred robin Pogonocichla stellata as the surrogate. The responses of the thrush to habitat disturbance were in the same direction as the surrogate robin (e.g. higher fluctuating asymmetry, lower effective population densities and male-biased sex ratios), albeit they were detected sooner and were more severe because of its lower dispersal capacity. The key conservation measures proposed from the surrogate study largely matched those based on an independent evaluation of the thrush data. Additionally, the surrogate provided extra insights into the potential solutions for problems facing the thrush, and provided a base that could be used as a template for restoring the thrush populations in this area. Thus, our findings support the use of surrogate species in the conservation of sympatric related species in fragmented landscapes. We contend that this approach is also applicable for allopatric related species where landscapes are similar, provided that detailed data on population patterns and processes for the surrogate are available.
Keywords
afrotropical, forest loss, fragmentation, Kenya, Pogonocichla stellata, Taita Hills, Turdus helleri, AFROTROPICAL FOREST, RAIN-FOREST, FLOATERS, RARITY, THRUSH

Citation

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MLA
Githiru, Mwangi, Luc Lens, Leon A Bennun, et al. “Can a Common Bird Species Be Used as a Surrogate to Draw Insights for the Conservation of a Rare Species? : a Case Study from the Fragmented Taita Hills, Kenya.” ORYX 41.2 (2007): 239–246. Print.
APA
Githiru, M., Lens, L., Bennun, L. A., & Matthysen, E. (2007). Can a common bird species be used as a surrogate to draw insights for the conservation of a rare species? : a case study from the fragmented Taita Hills, Kenya. ORYX, 41(2), 239–246.
Chicago author-date
Githiru, Mwangi, Luc Lens, Leon A Bennun, and Erik Matthysen. 2007. “Can a Common Bird Species Be Used as a Surrogate to Draw Insights for the Conservation of a Rare Species? : a Case Study from the Fragmented Taita Hills, Kenya.” Oryx 41 (2): 239–246.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Githiru, Mwangi, Luc Lens, Leon A Bennun, and Erik Matthysen. 2007. “Can a Common Bird Species Be Used as a Surrogate to Draw Insights for the Conservation of a Rare Species? : a Case Study from the Fragmented Taita Hills, Kenya.” Oryx 41 (2): 239–246.
Vancouver
1.
Githiru M, Lens L, Bennun LA, Matthysen E. Can a common bird species be used as a surrogate to draw insights for the conservation of a rare species? : a case study from the fragmented Taita Hills, Kenya. ORYX. 2007;41(2):239–46.
IEEE
[1]
M. Githiru, L. Lens, L. A. Bennun, and E. Matthysen, “Can a common bird species be used as a surrogate to draw insights for the conservation of a rare species? : a case study from the fragmented Taita Hills, Kenya,” ORYX, vol. 41, no. 2, pp. 239–246, 2007.
@article{410480,
  abstract     = {Sound knowledge of underlying mechanisms is essential for understanding how species respond to habitat fragmentation. Because most threatened species are typically the first ones to suffer local extinctions with forest fragmentation, studying why they fare poorly at the broader landscape scale is difficult. Related, sympatric but common species may be useful surrogates if they can provide insights germane for the conservation of rarer species. We illustrate this using a case study from the highly fragmented Taita Hills forests, south-eastern Kenya, of the Critically Endangered Taita thrush Turdus helleri and the more common white-starred robin Pogonocichla stellata as the surrogate. The responses of the thrush to habitat disturbance were in the same direction as the surrogate robin (e.g. higher fluctuating asymmetry, lower effective population densities and male-biased sex ratios), albeit they were detected sooner and were more severe because of its lower dispersal capacity. The key conservation measures proposed from the surrogate study largely matched those based on an independent evaluation of the thrush data. Additionally, the surrogate provided extra insights into the potential solutions for problems facing the thrush, and provided a base that could be used as a template for restoring the thrush populations in this area. Thus, our findings support the use of surrogate species in the conservation of sympatric related species in fragmented landscapes. We contend that this approach is also applicable for allopatric related species where landscapes are similar, provided that detailed data on population patterns and processes for the surrogate are available.},
  author       = {Githiru, Mwangi and Lens, Luc and Bennun, Leon A and Matthysen, Erik},
  issn         = {0030-6053},
  journal      = {ORYX},
  keywords     = {afrotropical,forest loss,fragmentation,Kenya,Pogonocichla stellata,Taita Hills,Turdus helleri,AFROTROPICAL FOREST,RAIN-FOREST,FLOATERS,RARITY,THRUSH},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {2},
  pages        = {239--246},
  title        = {Can a common bird species be used as a surrogate to draw insights for the conservation of a rare species? : a case study from the fragmented Taita Hills, Kenya},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0030605307001810},
  volume       = {41},
  year         = {2007},
}

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