Species diversity and feeding guilds of birds in Malaysian agarwood plantations

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Nor Nasibah Mohd Jamil
Husni Ibrahim
Haniza Hanim Mohd Zain
Nur Hidayat Che Musa


In Malaysia, the current status of birds inhabiting agarwood Aquilaria malaccensis plantations has not been specifically studied, and little research has been conducted to investigate birds in other agricultural areas (e.g., rubber, acacia, and oil palm plantations) and disturbed areas.  This study was conducted to assess bird species richness and relative abundance, as well as feeding guilds, in two agarwood plantation sites: Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris in Tanjong Malim (UPSI), and Slim River (SR).  The presence of birds was recorded using a combination of techniques (mist-nets and point count), while various sources were used to compile feeding information.  This study recorded 364 birds from 36 species in 24 families.  Shannon diversity index (H’) values for the UPSI and SR sites were 2.896 and 2.492 respectively, indicating high bird diversity.  The Bray-Curtis index was 0.29, indicating these sites share few species.  Insectivorous and omnivorous birds were dominant in UPSI (31%), and omnivores at SR (32%).  The commonest insect order at both sites was Orthoptera (UPSI 48%, SR 25%).  While agarwood plantations are relatively homogeneous, they provide a variety of food sources and shelter for a wide range of birds. 

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