Fifteen Eighty Four

Academic perspectives from Cambridge University Press


Ecology and Conservation of Forest Birds

Grzegorz Mikusiński

In celebration of the International Day of Forests,

Ecology and Conservation of Forest Birds

Imagine that you are asked by students for a good reference book and there is none. This happened to me in 2009, when Swedish forestry students I was teaching asked me to recommend a volume about forest birds. In a highly forested country like Sweden, foresters have a huge influence on bird populations and wildlife more generally. Surely they should have access to an in-depth summary of the vast body of information that now exists on the ecology and conservation of forest birds?

What do you do? You ‘simply’ prepare such a book…

Thanks to the fact that two forest bird experts, Rob Fuller and Jean-Michel Roberge agreed to work with me, we now have such a book. It has been written not just for forestry students in Sweden but for a wider audience of people who are seriously interested in forest birds.

The emphasis is on the application of ecological knowledge to sound forest management. Birds have been at the forefront of research on how humans are altering the ecology of forests; many of the findings have relevance well beyond birds. In that context, the book should be relevant to anyone engaged in the multi-purpose management of forests. We decided that the focus should be on knowledge derived from the Northern Hemisphere, especially Europe. To cover such a broad subject it was vital to involve a range of specialist researchers, together with many others who have kindly peer-reviewed chapters. Our approach has been to produce a series of reviews of key topics in forest bird ecology in an evidence-based manner; the numbers of references in the book indicates the huge extent of relevant research.

The book has three parts. The first contains three chapters covering some fundamental evolutionary aspects of forest birds, including a major review of hole-nesting as a special adaption to living in forests. The second part starts with a description of the large scale patterns in the richness and composition of forest birds across Europe. This is followed by chapters concerned with the characteristics of bird assemblages in different European forest types, together with their habitat associations and the various pressures they face. The focus of the third part is on conservation and management. Finally, we assess the outlook for forest bird populations and identify critical issues that will deserve increased attention in the coming years.

Do not expect many colourful images! This book is intended for people who want to know what is known (and what isn’t known) about the ecology of forest birds and how we should manage our forests to provide good habitat for a wide range of birds and other wildlife. One of the most rewarding aspects of editing or writing a book of this kind is that it presents an opportunity to learn more. This has certainly been the case for myself, Rob and Jean-Michel. Forests are such complex and variable environments that there are always new facets to explore both through the pages of a book and through direct field experience. I hope that readers will find the book similarly useful in following their professional or personal interests, and discover within it exciting ideas and facts. It might even stimulate some new lines of enquiry about forest birds.

Ecology and Conservation of Forest Birds is out now



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Edited by
Grzegorz Mikusiński, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences

Jean-Michel Roberge, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences

Robert Fuller, British Trust for Ornithology, Norfolk

Part of the Ecology, Biodiversity, and Conservation series

Paperback £39.99 | $49.99

For more informatin and to purchase you copy, click here

Photo credit: Adam Wajrak


About The Author

Grzegorz Mikusiński

Grzegorz Mikusiński, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences Grzegorz Mikusiński is an ecologist with research interests centred on conservation and management of forest bio...

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