Princeton University Library Catalog

Where the Wild Things Are: Evaluating the Conservation Value of Regenerating Tropical Dry Forests for Terrestrial Vertebrates

Gow, Alexander [Browse]
Senior thesis
Wilcove, David [Browse]
Princeton University. Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology [Browse]
Class year:
66 pages
Summary note:
Anthropogenic habitat loss has threatened biodiversity and continues to destabilize ecosystems. As primary forests become rarer, secondary forests offer an alternate conservation strategy. The conservation value is dependent on the ability of these secondary forests to function as habitat for threatened species and ecosystems. My study focuses on the tropical dry forests of Costa Rica, as tropical dry forests are critically endangered on a global scale and Mesoamerica faces extensive habitat fragmentation. Camera trap surveys were used to collect data about terrestrial vertebrate populations in forest stands with variable ecological characteristics. I found that none of the species exhibited preferences between the different forest stands. This research demonstrates that secondary forests have high conservation potential as the quality of the habitat is not a critical determinant of species presence.