The Value of Rehabilitating Logged Rainforest for Birds

The Value of Rehabilitating Logged Rainforest for Birds


This study examines a lowland, dry dipterocarp forest in Sabah, Malaysia that had been selectively logged in 1988-89. One area was rehabilitated (enrichment planting and liberation cutting of vines, bamboos, and noncommercial species). This area was surrounded by a naturally reforesting area. The authors suggest that rehabilitation of selectively logged forests is a more effective carbon sink than plantations.

Conclusions & Takeaways

The study found that avian species richness is higher in unlogged and rehabilitated forests than in naturally regenerating forests. Species composition was also distinct between sites - insectivorous species were lower in naturally regenerating sites. Although many guilds has higher richness in the rehabilitated site, rehabilitation decreased the number of frugivores (most likely because many subcanopy and understory frugivores feed mainly on vines and shrubs. The authors conclude that forest rehabilitation is positive for biodiversity and for carbon capture, and that biodiversity strategies should be included in REDD+ activities



EDWARDS DAVIDP, ANSELL FELICITYA, AHMAD ABDULH, NILUS REUBEN, HAMER KEITHC. The Value of Rehabilitating Logged Rainforest for Birds. Conservation Biology. 2009;23:1628–1633. doi:10.1111/j.1523-1739.2009.01330.x.


  • Institute of Integrative and Comparative Biology, University of Leeds, Leeds, United Kingdom
  • Institute of Tropical Biology and Conservation, Universiti Malaysia Sabah, Sabah, Malaysia
  • Forest Research Centre, Sepilok, Sabah, Malaysia