The breeding bird community of Balrath Wood in 2007.

  • Daphne Roycroft Forest Ecology Research Group, Department of Zoology, Ecology & Plant Science, University College Cork, Distillery Fields, North Mall, Cork.
  • Sandra Irwin Forest Ecology Research Group, Department of Zoology, Ecology & Plant Science, University College Cork, Distillery Fields, North Mall, Cork.
  • Mark Wilson Forest Ecology Research Group, Department of Zoology, Ecology & Plant Science, University College Cork, Distillery Fields, North Mall, Cork.
  • Tom Kelly Forest Ecology Research Group, Department of Zoology, Ecology & Plant Science, University College Cork, Distillery Fields, North Mall, Cork.
  • John O'Halloran Forest Ecology Research Group, Department of Zoology, Ecology & Plant Science, University College Cork, Distillery Fields, North Mall, Cork.
Keywords: Bird diversity, conservation, forest management, ridelines.

Abstract

Balrath Wood is a small mixed broadleaf/conifer plantation which is managed with a view to enhancing biodiversity. Two ridelines were created in the 1970s to increase the attractiveness of the wood to both resident and migrant bird species. In order to assess the effectiveness of ride management, avian species richness, abundance and diversity in three discrete habitats at the site were estimated from data collected during a survey of the site in the summer of 2007, and compared with similar data collected in 1996. The break in the canopy arising from the two ridelines at Balrath has allowed for the growth of a variety of herbaceous species and shrubs that provide additional cover and food for birds and enhance the positive edge effect on species diversity in the woodland as a whole. Bird species richness increased from 20 to 23, and bird diversity at the site increased from 12.2 to 13.4 by inclusion of ride habitats. These results indicate that current management practices, including ride management, have been successful in maintaining and enhancing avian diversity at Balrath Wood. Continued management of rides is essential to preserve their conservation value as the effects of forest management on bird communities are often short in duration.
Published
2008-11-01
How to Cite
Roycroft, D., Irwin, S., Wilson, M., Kelly, T., & O’Halloran, J. (2008). The breeding bird community of Balrath Wood in 2007. Irish Forestry. Retrieved from https://journal.societyofirishforesters.ie/index.php/forestry/article/view/10010
Section
Articles