Agroforestry system as a buffer zone in a Brazilian Atlantic Forest conservation unit: an artificial nest predation perspective

Abstract Here we inferred about the effectiveness of a buffer zone composed by an Agroforestry System (AS) for providing reproductive conditions for Atlantic Forest birds by comparing artificial nest predation rates between a buffer zone, a primary forest area, and a set of small and isolated Atlantic Forest fragments. We have used 237 nests throughout the three areas, of which 100 (42.2%) were depredated. Predation frequencies were 28.6% in the continuous forest, 100% in the AS, and 51.9% in the fragments, differing significantly. We could detect nest predators in 48 of the 100 depredated nests (48%) using camera traps. Differences between areas may be attributed to changes in nest predator species. We support previous evidences that the conservation of bird communities may not rely on buffer zones as an extension of their breeding habitats.