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Home / Regular Issue / JST Vol. 46 (3) Aug. 2023 / JTAS-2682-2023


The Use of Nest Boxes in Malaysia: Design and the Potential for Research and In-situ Conservation of Birds

Amera Natasha Mah Muhammad Adam Mah, Chong Leong Puan and Mohamed Zakaria

Pertanika Journal of Science & Technology, Volume 46, Issue 3, August 2023


Keywords: Artificial cavity, barn owls, cavity-nesting birds, hornbills, nest box dimensions

Published on: 30 August 2023

Nest boxes have been used as artificial cavities for decades to attract cavity-nesting birds that rely on such structures to roost and breed. Nest boxes aid research efforts to understand the biology and behaviour of birds and may increase breeding success, thereby contributing to the conservation of a species. The type and dimension of nest boxes and the survey design used in the tropics vary, depending on the targeted species. This paper reviewed 30 published in-situ works using nest boxes and their survey design in Malaysia. Most studies were done on Barn Owls (Tyto alba javanica) (25), followed by hornbills (5), where they were conducted in oil palm plantations (50%), rice fields (20%), forest habitats (16.7%), urban landscapes (10%), and different habitat matrices (3.3%). Attempts to enhance/manage the local populations were the main research purpose. Unlike studies from other tropical countries, studies involving nest boxes in Malaysia are still in their infancy. This review suggests future research focus on forest species, especially those requiring immediate conservation attention, and delineate parameters highlighted in published works to counter literature inconsistency. Such research involving nest boxes may also be further expanded to the study and/or conserve other interconnected fauna species.

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