Apparent survival estimates for five species of tropical birds in an endangered forest habitat in western Ecuador

T. H. Parker*, C. D. Becker, B. K. Sandercock, A. E. Agreda

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


Estimates of annual survival are essential for addressing topics in evolutionary and conservation ecology. However, most demographic studies of land birds are based on north temperate species, and few robust estimates of survival based on mark-recapture statistics are available for continental South American birds. We used time-since-marking models to estimate apparent survival of adult birds from 7 yr of mist netting data in the Colonche Hills. This site is one of few remaining large tracts of premontane forest in southwestern Ecuador, and an area of high priority for avian conservation. Species with sufficient data for analysis included three hummingbirds (Adelomyia melanogenys, Heliodoxa jacula, Phaethornis baroni), a cotinga (Schiffornis turdinus), and a wren (Henicorhina leucophrys). Our parameter estimates had reduced precision because the number of recaptures was small. Probability of recapture was low in three species ((p) over cap <0.23), and moderate in two others ((p) over cap = 0.49-0.62). Adelomyia and Phaethornis had moderate apparent survival ((phi) over cap (2+) = 0.36-0.48; probability that a bird neither died nor emigrated from our survey area in a given year). Adults of Adelomyia moved seasonally, and it is possible that permanent emigration from our survey area contributed to low estimates of apparent survival. The other three species had relatively high estimates of adult apparent survival ranging from. (phi) over cap (2+) = 0.62-0.70 in Heliodoxa and Schiffornis to a high of (p) over cap (2+) = 0.92 in Henicorhina.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)764-769
Number of pages6
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Colonche Hills
  • mark-recapture
  • program mark
  • South America
  • time-since-marking


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