Studies on nest-site selection can reveal aspects of habitat requirements of the target species, and can be useful to infer about how habitat changes can affect local populations. The Helmeted Manakin, Antilophia galeata, is a piprid that inhabits mainly the humid gallery forests that occur along watercourses of the savanna-like Cerrado biome from central South America, and like most tropical forest understory passerines, it is poorly known under a nest-site selection perspective. Here we provide nest-site selection assessment based on nine variables for a population of the Helmeted Manakin from southeast Brazil. We found that females strongly selected Miconia nervosa (Melastomataceae) as a nesting plant species. Further, we demonstrated that the presence of nests was positively associated with canopy cover and with the occurrence of the endangered jussara palm trees, Euterpe edulis. These results suggest that the Helmeted Manakin is specialized in reproducing in mature and well-preserved gallery forest tracts. Gallery forests are narrow stripes of riparian vegetation from the endangered Cerrado domain, and here we showed that even in these linear habitats, the Helmeted Manakin can seek for specific portions for nesting. This is one of the few studies reporting nest-site specialization in a Neotropical forest-dwelling passerine.
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Vol. 56 • No. 2