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Data from: High nest failure in a zebra finch population and persistent predation of a nest by a monitor lizard

Cite this dataset

Naguib, Marc et al. (2024). Data from: High nest failure in a zebra finch population and persistent predation of a nest by a monitor lizard [Dataset]. Dryad. https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.cnp5hqcbv

Abstract

Predation is well known to have substantial effects on behaviour and fitness in many animals. In songbirds, nest predation is rarely observed directly, so that research focusses primarily on the consequences of predation and less on the behaviour of the predator. Here, we report predation data in a zebra finch (Taeniopygia catanosis) nest box population, highlighting a 22-min-long sequence, captured on video, of a sand goanna (Varanus gouldii) predating a zebra finch nest in the wild. This monitor lizard appeared to be extremely persistent with climbing and jumping up to the next box nine times, including three successive unsuccessful attempts that lead to a change in approach strategy. It removed all six nestlings from the nest box during those repeated approaches and consumed them. In combination with overall high predation rates in the study population we document here, the findings highlight the role that a single predator species can have on nest success and, thus potentially also breeding decisions and social organisation of the prey population. Specifically so in a species like the zebra finch which synchronises reproductive attempts through the use of social information acquired through nest inspections and which uses social hotspots where they could gather information on changes in local social composition due to the individualised signals they use.

README: Data for: High nest failure in a zebra finch population and persistent predation of a nest by a monitor lizard

https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.cnp5hqcbv

The files contain the results of nestbox checks, stage of breeding zebra finches, predation as well as a video showing the predation event described in the manuscript, The 'nest_attempts' file gives an overview of nest stages and fate. The 'Breeding log' file shows nest identity, lay date, predation, and predation date in more detail.  Nests with eggs but no hatching are indicated with NA. The 'GPX file' shows the locations of the nestboxes and the 'Video file' the predation event as described in the manuscript

Description of the data and file structure

The files contain the results of nestbox checks, stage of breeding zebra finches, predation as well as a video showing the predation event described in the manuscript, The 'nest_attempts' file gives an overview of nest stages and fate. The 'Breeding log' file shows nest identity, laydate, predation, predation date in more detail. The 'GPX file' shows the locations of the nestboxes and the 'Video file' the predation event as described in teh manuscript.

Methods

Nestbox checks for breeding activity, stage and predation;