Bahía de Banderas in Jalisco, Mexico, contains important vegetation areas for the maintenance and nesting of Military Macaws Ara militaris. However, the forests of the region are not used randomly by Military Macaws across the landscape. This study aimed to evaluate differences in floristic composition, diversity and structure among forest patches used by the macaws for nesting/roosting or for feeding, and at sites from which the macaws are absent. Field sampling was conducted in 16 plots of 1,000m2 of tropical subdeciduous forest. Statistically significant differences were found in the floristic composition between patches used and avoided by Military Macaws. the used areas were approximately twice as diverse as the avoided areas. the forests at used sites presented a great abundance of species registered as part of their diet, in addition to non-food species such as Oxandra lanceolata, a tree that may be an important component of macaw habitat. In contrast, the dominant species in avoided areas are those associated with disturbed areas and do not provide food for Military Macaws. Our results indicate that Military Macaws select forest fragments in response to disturbance, using forest patches that offer suitable opportunities for nesting and feeding.
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