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Data from: Impact of brood parasitism and predation on nest survival of the fan-tailed gerygone in New Caledonia

Citation

Attisano, Alfredo et al. (2020), Data from: Impact of brood parasitism and predation on nest survival of the fan-tailed gerygone in New Caledonia, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.g79cnp5mp

Abstract

Predation and brood parasitism are common reasons for nesting failure in passerine species and the additive impact by invasive species is a major conservation concern, particularly on tropical islands. Recognising the relative contribution of the different components of nesting failure rates is important to understand co-evolutionary interactions within brood parasite-host systems. In the remote archipelago of New Caledonia, the fan-tailed gerygone Gerygone flavolateralis is the exclusive host of the brood-parasitic shining bronze-cuckoo Chalcites lucidus. Additionally, invasive rodents also possibly have an impact on breeding success. To estimate the impact of potential nest predators, we 1) video monitored nests to identify predators, 2) estimated the probability of predation based on nest visibility and predator abundance and 3) tested the possibility that the location of experimental nests and lack of odour cues decrease the predation by rodents. In addition, we estimated nest survival rates using data collected in different habitats over the course of 8 breeding seasons. Nesting success of fan-tailed gerygone was relatively low and predation was the main cause of nesting failure. We recorded mainly predation by native birds, including the shining bronze-cuckoo, whereas predation by rats was rare. In open habitats predation by cuckoos was much lower than predation by other avian predators. Neither predator activity around nests nor nest visibility influenced the probability of predation. Experimental nests in more accessible locations and containing an odorous bait were more exposed to rodent predation. Apparently, the fan-tailed gerygone has either never been specifically vulnerable to predation by rats or has developed anti-predator adaptations.