MO2 D03 - Operation Wallacea

MO2 D03

Cusuco NP Hummingbird Ridge Mist Netting - Greg Chamberlain

General Information for the case study: if you would like access to this data set, please email your country office via the contact page

WRL reference M02 D03
Module M02 Survey Techniques
Data Set D03 Comparison of bird survey techniques
Research questions
  1. Which of the two methods (mist nets or point counts) do you think is the most efficient for surveying birds in Mesoamerican cloud forest?
  2. Comparing the methods:
    1. At any particular point, which method detected the most species?
    2. Do the two methods detect the same kinds of birds?
    3. Can you give examples of the kinds of birds which mist-nets are better at surveying than point counts, and vice versa?
  3. Recommendations:
    1. Which survey technique should be the main methodology for the planned large-scale survey of Honduras’s cloud forest?
    2. If the time is available, would you recommend the other method as an important secondary technique? If so, why?
Keywords Endemism; biodiversity;  deforestation; indicators; conservation; human impact; niche; rainforest; sampling; survey techniques
Potential Curriculum links AP Biology Science Practice 3
AP Env Sci III Population A
IB Biology C.1, C.5
IB Ess 2.3.2
AQA 3.4.6, 3.4.7, 3.7.4, MS, AT, PS
edexcel A – 4.2, 4.3, 5.1, 5.2, 5.3, 5.4, B – 10.1, 10.3, 10.4 Maths A
OCR A – 4.2.1, 6.3.1, 6.3.2 – M, PAG, HSW
SQA FH2J 3 (b) (c) (i) (ii) (iii) (iv)
CCEA  4.4.3
WJEC C1-5, C2 -1, App B, Pract.req.

This exercise focuses on how scientists in a national park (Cloud forest) in Honduras can determine which is the best method to use for sampling forest birds.  There are two potential methods (mist nets and point counts) and comparative data from each is analysed to compare efficiency and their ability to capture different species of birds: recommendations are made based on these findings.  This study also gives an insight into the methods used by scientists to measure biodiversity and then use this to help put in place robust conservation management programmes.  Graphs are plotted and trend lines compared.


Overall: 5/10