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Sample records for accipitridae

  1. Patterns and processes of diversification in a widespread and ecologically diverse avian group, the buteonine hawks (Aves, Accipitridae).

    PubMed

    do Amaral, Fábio Raposo; Sheldon, Frederick H; Gamauf, Anita; Haring, Elisabeth; Riesing, Martin; Silveira, Luís F; Wajntal, Anita

    2009-12-01

    Buteonine hawks represent one of the most diverse groups in the Accipitridae, with 58 species distributed in a variety of habitats on almost all continents. Variations in migratory behavior, remarkable dispersal capability, and unusual diversity in Central and South America make buteonine hawks an excellent model for studies in avian evolution. To evaluate the history of their global radiation, we used an integrative approach that coupled estimation of the phylogeny using a large sequence database (based on 6411 bp of mitochondrial markers and one nuclear intron from 54 species), divergence time estimates, and ancestral state reconstructions. Our findings suggest that Neotropical buteonines resulted from a long evolutionary process that began in the Miocene and extended to the Pleistocene. Colonization of the Nearctic, and eventually the Old World, occurred from South America, promoted by the evolution of seasonal movements and development of land bridges. Migratory behavior evolved several times and may have contributed not only to colonization of the Holarctic, but also derivation of insular species. In the Neotropics, diversification of the buteonines included four disjunction events across the Andes. Adaptation of monophyletic taxa to wet environments occurred more than once, and some relationships indicate an evolutionary connection among mangroves, coastal and várzea environments. On the other hand, groups occupying the same biome, forest, or open vegetation habitats are not monophyletic. Refuges or sea-level changes or a combination of both was responsible for recent speciation in Amazonian taxa. In view of the lack of concordance between phylogeny and classification, we propose numerous taxonomic changes.

  2. Species of Strigea (Digenea: Strigeidae), parasites of the savanna hawk Buteogallus meridionalis (Aves: Accipitridae) from Argentina, with the description of a new species.

    PubMed

    Lunaschi, Lía i; Drago, Fabiana B

    2009-12-01

    A new strigeid digenean, Strigea meridionalis sp. n., is described from the small intestine of the savanna hawk, Buteogallus meridionalis (Latham) (Aves: Accipitridae), from Formosa Province, Argentina. This species is characterised by the absence of a neck region in the hindbody, the presence of entire testes, a copulatory bursa with a membranous fold originated from the muscular ring (Ringnapf) and by the arrangement of vitelline follicles in the forebody. Other two strigeid species collected from the savanna hawk, Strigea elliptica (Brandes, 1888) and Strigea microbursa Pearson et Dubois, 1985, are described and illustrated. Strigea microbursa is reported for the first time from the Neotropical Region and B. meridionalis represents a new host record for S. elliptica. These findings allow us to increase the knowledge of these species, adding new metric and morphological data. A key to the species of the Neotropical Strigea Abildgaard, 1790 is presented including data on their geographical distribution.

  3. Phylogeny of Old and New World vultures (Aves: Accipitridae and Cathartidae) inferred from nucleotide sequences of the mitochondrial cytochrome b gene.

    PubMed

    Wink, M

    1995-01-01

    The molecular phylogeny of 11 Old World and 5 New World vultures was inferred from nucleotide sequences of the mitochondrial cytochrome b (cyt b) gene. According to this analysis carrion-feeding has evolved independently at least three times during evolution: 1.) In the New World vultures, which are clearly separated from vultures of the family Accipitridae; 2.) in the Neophron-Gypaetus clade which is positioned at the base of the Accipitrid tree and 3.) in the Gyps-Aegypius-complex which encloses the largest group of Old World vultures. Thus the genetic data clearly show that the carrion-feeding lifestyles and associated morphologies shared by New and Old World vultures are rather based on convergence than on close genetic relatedness. Employing the cyt b sequences of 12 other members of the Falconiformes and 10 members of the Ciconiiformes (sensu Sibley and Monroe, 1990) the phylogenetic relationship between the three clades of vultures and these other taxa was assessed. New World Vultures appear to share distant ancestry with storks but a close relationship is unlikely.

  4. Complete mitochondrial genome of Cinereous vulture Aegypius monachus (Falconiformes: Accipitridae).

    PubMed

    Li, Bo; Liu, Gang; Zhou, Lizhi; Gu, Changming

    2015-01-01

    In this study we report the complete mitochondrial (mt) DNA sequence from Cinereous vulture Aegypius monachus, a large raptorial bird species of Falconiformes. The mtDNA is a 17,811-bp circular molecule with a total A+T content of 54.03%. The mitochondrial genome contains 37 genes and an extra pseudo-control region. The gene arrangement pattern is identical to Buteo and Falco, which has remnant CR2 gene order. All protein-coding genes use the standard mitochondrial initiation codon ATN, except for COI start with GTG. Of the 13 protein coding genes, 11 stop with TAN, the COI and ND1 stop with AGG. All tRNAs possess the classic clover-leaf secondary structure except for tRNASer (AGN) and tRNALys (CUN), which lacks the "DHU" stem, only forming a simple loop. The non-coding region contains some intergenic spacers, a control region and an extra pseudo-control region.

  5. Molecular characterization of haemosporidian parasites from kites of the genus Milvus (Aves: Accipitridae).

    PubMed

    Pérez-Rodríguez, Antón; de la Puente, Javier; Onrubia, Alejandro; Pérez-Tris, Javier

    2013-04-01

    Despite the ecological significance and appeal of birds of prey, many aspects of their biology remain poorly known, including the diversity of parasites infecting them in the wild. We studied the diversity and prevalence of haemosporidian parasites infecting the two species of kites of the genus Milvus, aiming to describe the phylogenetic relationships among them and with other haemosporidians, as well as their distribution in the two host species. Black kites, Milvus migrans, harboured a more diverse community of parasites, including three haplotypes of each of the three genera Plasmodium, Haemoproteus and Leucocytozoon, which also occurred at a higher prevalence than in red kites. In red kites, Milvus milvus only three haplotypes of Leucocytozoon were found. Kite parasites were not closely related to one another nor were they kite-specific: their diversity spanned various branches of the haemosporidian phylogenetic tree, and their closest relatives were found in other species (including various avian orders), although some Leucocytozoon and Haemoproteus haplotypes clustered within apparently raptor-specific parasite clades. Remarkably, Plasmodium spp. and Haemoproteus spp. infected adult black kites only, an observation which supports the hypothesis that they are transmitted at the African wintering grounds, while Leucocytozoon spp. is putatively transmitted only in Europe. Intercontinental migration of the black kite might explain the divergence of parasite diversity between these two sister species.

  6. Molecular characterization of haemosporidian parasites from kites of the genus Milvus (Aves: Accipitridae).

    PubMed

    Pérez-Rodríguez, Antón; de la Puente, Javier; Onrubia, Alejandro; Pérez-Tris, Javier

    2013-04-01

    Despite the ecological significance and appeal of birds of prey, many aspects of their biology remain poorly known, including the diversity of parasites infecting them in the wild. We studied the diversity and prevalence of haemosporidian parasites infecting the two species of kites of the genus Milvus, aiming to describe the phylogenetic relationships among them and with other haemosporidians, as well as their distribution in the two host species. Black kites, Milvus migrans, harboured a more diverse community of parasites, including three haplotypes of each of the three genera Plasmodium, Haemoproteus and Leucocytozoon, which also occurred at a higher prevalence than in red kites. In red kites, Milvus milvus only three haplotypes of Leucocytozoon were found. Kite parasites were not closely related to one another nor were they kite-specific: their diversity spanned various branches of the haemosporidian phylogenetic tree, and their closest relatives were found in other species (including various avian orders), although some Leucocytozoon and Haemoproteus haplotypes clustered within apparently raptor-specific parasite clades. Remarkably, Plasmodium spp. and Haemoproteus spp. infected adult black kites only, an observation which supports the hypothesis that they are transmitted at the African wintering grounds, while Leucocytozoon spp. is putatively transmitted only in Europe. Intercontinental migration of the black kite might explain the divergence of parasite diversity between these two sister species. PMID:23376529

  7. Foraging activity of the snail kite, Rostrhamus sociabilis (Aves: Accipitridae) in wetlands of southern Brazil.

    PubMed

    Bergmann, F B; Amaral, H L C; Pinto, D P; Chivittz, C C; Tozetti, A M

    2013-05-01

    The snail kite (Rostrhamus sociabilis) is widely distributed in the American continent. Its specialised diet consists mostly of the gastropod mollusk Pomacea sp and its foraging strategy probably varies depending on the season, prey availability, and climate factors, which can be reflected in its semi-nomad behaviour. This study was aimed at examining the hunting strategy of the snail kite, and its association with climate factors and habitat heterogeneity. Direct observations of birds between January 2010 and March 2011 in southernmost Brazil revealed that hunting was still the predominant foraging strategy (79% of records) to capture mollusks. Despite morphological specialisations to extract mollusks from the shells, the handling time (average = 92.4 s) was twice as much the time between prey search and capture (average = 55 s). The increase in the number of mollusks ingested apparently occurs when the resting time on perches or any other substrates near the hunting sites decreases between successive unsuccessful attempts. The correlation between the number of consumed preys and the climatic variables examined was low. Regarding habitat heterogeneity, our findings suggest that birds forage preferentially in marshes with low vegetation, which may increase the access to mollusks. The hunting efficiency of the snail kite was high (76 % successful attempts) compared to those of other birds of prey. PMID:23917551

  8. Musculoskeletal underpinnings to differences in killing behavior between North American accipiters (Falconiformes: Accipitridae) and falcons (Falconidae).

    PubMed

    Sustaita, Diego

    2008-03-01

    Accipiters (Accipiter spp.) and falcons (Falco spp.) both use their feet to seize prey, but falcons kill primarily with their beaks, whereas accipiters kill with their feet. This study examines the mechanistic basis to differences in their modes of dispatching prey, by focusing on the myology and biomechanics of the jaws, digits, and distal hindlimb. Bite, grip, and distal hindlimb flexion forces were estimated from measurements of physiological cross-sectional area (PCSA) and indices of mechanical advantage (MA) for the major jaw adductors, and digit and tarsometatarsal flexors. Estimated bite force, total jaw adductor PCSA, and jaw MA (averaged over adductors) tended to be relatively and absolutely greater in falcons, reflecting their emphasis on biting for dispatching their prey. Differences between genera in estimated grip force, total digit flexor PCSA, and digit MA (averaged over inter-phalangeal joints and digits) were not as clear-cut; each of these parameters scaled positively allometric in accipiters, which may reflect the scaling of both prey size, and the proportion of mammalian prey consumed by this lineage with increasing body size. Estimated tarsometatarsal force was greater in falcons than in accipiters, due to their greater MA, which may reflect selection for incurring greater forces during prey strikes. Conversely, the comparatively lower tarsometatarsal MA in accipiters reflects their capacity for greater foot speed potentially necessary for grasping elusive prey. Thus, this study elucidates how differences in jaw and hindlimb musculoskeletal morphology of accipiters and falcons are reflected in differences in their killing modes, and through differences in their force-generating capacities.

  9. Taxonomic status and biology of the Cuban blackhawk, Buteogallus anthracinus gundlachii (AVES: Accipitridae)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wiley, J.W.; Garrido, O.H.

    2005-01-01

    We reevaluate the taxonomic status of the Cuban population of the Common Black-Hawk (Buteogallus anthracinus) based on our examination of additional specimens, nests, eggs, and voice data. Buteogallus a. gundlachii is smaller than mainland populations of anthracinus and differs from mainland birds in plumage coloration and pattern. The common (alarm) call of gundlachii is a series of three or four notes, differing from that of mainland anthracinus, whose call consists of 9-24 notes. In the Isla de Pinos, Cuba, we observed gundlachii eating two species of land crabs (71.4%), centipedes (7.1%), lizards (10.7%), mammals (7.1%), and a bird (3.6%). We consider Buteogallus gundlachii Cabanis 1854 (1855), the Cuban Black-Hawk, to be a full species, endemic to Cuba, Isla de Pinos, and many of the cays of the Cuban Archipelago. ?? 2005 The Raptor Research Foundation, Inc.

  10. Accipiter hawks (Accipitridae) confirmed as definitive hosts of Sarcocystis turdusi, Sarcocystis cornixi and Sarcocystis sp. ex Phalacrocorax carbo.

    PubMed

    Mayr, Sylvia L; Maier, Kristina; Müller, Jana; Enderlein, Dirk; Gruber, Achim D; Lierz, Michael

    2016-08-01

    Sarcocystis is a large genus of protozoan parasites with complex heteroxenous life cycles. For many species, either the intermediate or the definitive host is still unknown. In this study, 116 Accipiter hawks (Eurasian sparrowhawks and northern goshawks) were investigated for the presence of Sarcocystis spp. in their intestinal tract or their faeces. To gain a wide distribution, samples were collected throughout Germany within 2 years. It was possible to detect Sarcocystis-like oocysts in 65 samples. Sequencing of the ITS region or species-specific PCR identified 33 samples as Sarcocystis turdusi/Sarcocystis sp. ex A. nisus (18), Sarcocystis calchasi (6), Sarcocystis columbae (3), Sarcocystis cornixi (3) and Sarcocystis sp. ex Phalacrocorax carbo (3). Besides the known infestation with S. columbae, S. sp. ex A. nisus and S. calchasi the Accipiter hawks were thereby confirmed as definitive host of S. turdusi, S. cornixi and S. sp. ex Phalacrocorax carbo for the first time. PMID:27083188

  11. A molecular phylogeny of the harriers (Circus, Accipitridae) indicate the role of long distance dispersal and migration in diversification.

    PubMed

    Oatley, Graeme; Simmons, Robert E; Fuchs, Jérôme

    2015-04-01

    The monophyly of the raptorial Circus genus (harriers) has never been in question, but the specific status of many, often vulnerable island endemic, taxa remains uncertain. Here we utilise one mitochondrial and three nuclear loci from all currently recognised Circus taxa (species and subspecies) to infer a robust phylogeny, to estimate the divergence date and to reconstruct the biogeographic origins of the Circus group. Our phylogeny supports both the monophyly of Circus and polyphyly of the genus Accipiter. Depending on the rate of molecular clock used, the emergence of the harrier clade took place between 4.9 and 12.2mya which coincides with the worldwide formation of open habitats which extant harriers now exploit. The sister relationship of the Northern Harrier C. cyaneus hudsonius and the Cinereous Harrier C. cinereus contradicts previous classifications that treated the former as conspecific with the Hen Harrier C. cyaneus cyaneus. Thus both should be elevated to species status: C. hudsonius and C. cyaneus. Further, the African Marsh C. ranivorus and the European Marsh C. aeruginosus Harriers emerge as sister species. The remaining marsh harriers exhibit very little genetic diversity, and are all recently diverged taxa that exhibit allopatric distributions. Considering their sister relationship and geographic proximity, we recommend treating C. approximans and C. spilonotus spilothorax as subspecies of C. approximans. For C. spilonotus spilonotus C. maillardi maillardi and C. maillardi macrosceles, their plumage and morphometric differences, phylogenetic relationship and geographic distributions make lumping of these taxa as a single species complicated. We thus propose to recognise as separate, recently evolved species: C. spilonotus, C. maillardi and C. macrosceles. Biogeographic inferences on the ancestral origin of harriers are uncertain, indicating that the harriers emerged in either the Neotropics, Palearctic or Australasia. We are, however, able to show that speciation within the harriers was driven by long range dispersal and migration events.

  12. A new species of Caryospora (Apicomplexa: Eimeriidae) from the bald eagle, Haliaeetus leucocephalus (Accipitriformes: Accipitridae), from Kansas.

    PubMed

    McAllister, Chris T; Duszynski, Donald W; McKown, Richard D

    2013-04-01

    Between March 1989 and February 1994, 4 bald eagles ( Haliaeetus leucocephalus ) from various localities in Kansas were examined for coccidia. One (25%) of the bald eagles was found to be passing an undescribed species of Caryospora in its feces. Oocysts of Caryospora hanebrinki n. sp. are ellipsoidal to ovoidal with a bilayered wall and measure 48.1 × 42.1 μm with a shape index of 1.2. A micropyle, oocyst residuum, and polar granule were absent. Sporocysts are spheroidal, 24.8 μm wide. Stieda, substieda, and parastieda bodies were absent; a spheroidal sporocyst residuum is present; it measures 17.5 μm and is composed of many intact homogenous globules with a few dispersed in a loose spiral around the sporocysts. This is the first caryosporan documented from the bald eagle and is the largest known Caryospora from raptors.

  13. A new species of Caryospora (Apicomplexa: Eimeriidae) from the bald eagle, Haliaeetus leucocephalus (Accipitriformes: Accipitridae), from Kansas.

    PubMed

    McAllister, Chris T; Duszynski, Donald W; McKown, Richard D

    2013-04-01

    Between March 1989 and February 1994, 4 bald eagles ( Haliaeetus leucocephalus ) from various localities in Kansas were examined for coccidia. One (25%) of the bald eagles was found to be passing an undescribed species of Caryospora in its feces. Oocysts of Caryospora hanebrinki n. sp. are ellipsoidal to ovoidal with a bilayered wall and measure 48.1 × 42.1 μm with a shape index of 1.2. A micropyle, oocyst residuum, and polar granule were absent. Sporocysts are spheroidal, 24.8 μm wide. Stieda, substieda, and parastieda bodies were absent; a spheroidal sporocyst residuum is present; it measures 17.5 μm and is composed of many intact homogenous globules with a few dispersed in a loose spiral around the sporocysts. This is the first caryosporan documented from the bald eagle and is the largest known Caryospora from raptors. PMID:22992168

  14. Light and scanning electron microscopic study of the tongue in the white tailed eagle (Haliaeetus albicilla, Accipitridae, Aves).

    PubMed

    Jackowiak, Hanna; Godynicki, Szymon

    2005-07-01

    The tongue of the white tailed eagle is elongated with a sharp-ended apex. The length of the tongue is 6 cm. The characteristic morphological features observed on the body of the tongue include a distinct median groove dividing the mucosa into two symmetrical, convex lateral parts and a single crest of large conical papillae in the posterior part of the lingual body, extending over the surface of the flat root of the tongue. The mucosa of the lingual body and root is covered by the parakeratinized multilayered epithelium. The horny layer in the mucosal epithelium was observed in the median groove, on the conical papillae and on the ventral surface of the tongue. The observations of the three dimensional structure of the subepithetial connective tissue revealed the presence of a system of laminae or smaller interconnected ridges, depending on the area of the tongue. In the white tailed eagles the anterior and posterior lingual glands were distinguished. The glands consist of several alveolar-tubular secretory units and a subepithelial chamber collecting the mucous secretion. The orifices of the anterior glands are situated on the lateral surfaces of the posterior part of the lingual body, whereas the posterior lingual glands open on the entire surface of the lingual root.

  15. In vivo bite and grip forces, morphology and prey-killing behavior of North American accipiters (Accipitridae) and falcons (Falconidae).

    PubMed

    Sustaita, Diego; Hertel, Fritz

    2010-08-01

    Raptors exhibit a diversity of strategies to procure their prey but ultimately kill using their beaks and/or talons. Thus, bite and grip forces are ecologically important variables that have direct survival implications. Whereas hawks rely primarily on their feet for killing prey, falcons tend to employ their beaks. Consequently, falcons are expected to achieve relatively greater bite forces, and hawks are expected to generate relatively greater grip forces. Force estimates predicted from musculoskeletal morphology in a previous study indicated that falcons (Falco spp.) possess greater jaw force capabilities than accipiters (Accipiter spp.) but there were no clear differences in predicted grip-force capacity outside of differences in scaling. The objective of this study was to complement those results with measurements of in vivo forces by inducing captive and wild accipiters and falcons to bite and grasp force transducers. Bite force increased isometrically in both groups whereas grip force tended toward positive allometry. After adjusting for body mass, falcons produced greater bite forces, and accipiters produced greater grip forces. Thus, previous anatomical estimates of forces predicted the expected direction and magnitude of differences in bite forces but the overall greater in vivo grip forces of accipiters deviated from the pattern obtained from biomechanical estimates. Although the scaling relationships were similar between data sets, forces generated by live birds were consistently lower than those predicted from biomechanics. Estimated and in vivo jaw and digital forces were nevertheless correlated, and therefore provide an important link between morphology and killing behavior in these raptors.

  16. Accipiter hawks (Accipitridae) confirmed as definitive hosts of Sarcocystis turdusi, Sarcocystis cornixi and Sarcocystis sp. ex Phalacrocorax carbo.

    PubMed

    Mayr, Sylvia L; Maier, Kristina; Müller, Jana; Enderlein, Dirk; Gruber, Achim D; Lierz, Michael

    2016-08-01

    Sarcocystis is a large genus of protozoan parasites with complex heteroxenous life cycles. For many species, either the intermediate or the definitive host is still unknown. In this study, 116 Accipiter hawks (Eurasian sparrowhawks and northern goshawks) were investigated for the presence of Sarcocystis spp. in their intestinal tract or their faeces. To gain a wide distribution, samples were collected throughout Germany within 2 years. It was possible to detect Sarcocystis-like oocysts in 65 samples. Sequencing of the ITS region or species-specific PCR identified 33 samples as Sarcocystis turdusi/Sarcocystis sp. ex A. nisus (18), Sarcocystis calchasi (6), Sarcocystis columbae (3), Sarcocystis cornixi (3) and Sarcocystis sp. ex Phalacrocorax carbo (3). Besides the known infestation with S. columbae, S. sp. ex A. nisus and S. calchasi the Accipiter hawks were thereby confirmed as definitive host of S. turdusi, S. cornixi and S. sp. ex Phalacrocorax carbo for the first time.

  17. High-throughput gender identification of Accipitridae eagles with real-time PCR using TaqMan probes.

    PubMed

    Chang, H-W; Gu, D-L; Su, S-H; Chang, C-C; Cheng, C-A; Huang, H-W; Yao, C-T; Chou, T-C; Chuang, L-Y; Cheng, C-C

    2008-07-01

    The objective was to develop high-throughput gender identification of eagles. Based on BLAST and alignment analyses, the CHD-Z and CHD-W sequences of nine species of eagles were highly homologous with Spilornis cheela hoya (S. c. hoya); therefore, TaqMan probes were designed to target their CHD-ZW-common and CHD-W-specific regions. In S. c. hoya, genders were identified using TaqMan-based, real-time PCR (amplified by P2/P8 primers); this method was validated with anatomically confirmed controls (one of each gender). Both genders had high intensities of the HEX-labeled (CHD-ZW-common) probe, whereas only females had high intensity of the FAM-labeled (CHD-W-specific) probe. The sequence of the CHD-W-specific probe designed for S. c. hoya was completely homologous with the CHD-W-specific region in Circaetus gallicus, Gyps indicus, and Gyps bengalensis, and was only one nucleotide different from those of Accipiter nisus, Spizaetus nipalensis, Aquila chrysaetos, Circus spilonotus, and Milvus migrans. For the CHD-ZW-common probe, all species listed were completely conserved. Using real-time PCR software, we established auto-calling of the genders of 15 individuals of S. c. hoya. In conclusion, this method provided accurate, high-throughput gender identification for S. c. hoya, and has considerable potential for identifying the gender of several related species of eagles. PMID:18440628

  18. Extended-spectrum β-lactamase-producing Enterobacteriaceae isolated from feces of Falconidae, Accipitridae, and Laridae in bird rescue centers in Belgium.

    PubMed

    Rouffaer, Lieze Oscar; Haesebrouck, Freddy; Martel, An

    2014-10-01

    The presence of extended-spectrum β-lactamase- and Klebsiella pneumoniae carbapenemase-producing Enterobacteriaceae was investigated in feces and in choanal and cloacal swabs of birds in rescue centers. Ceftiofur-resistant Escherichia coli and Citrobacter freundii were isolated from feces of birds of prey (12% positive) and a group of gulls. The genes blaCTX-M-1, blaCTX-M-15, and blaCTX-M-32 coded for resistance. PMID:25075542

  19. A new oligacanthorhynchid acanthocephalan described from the great horned owl, Bubo virginianus (Strigidae), and red-tailed hawk, Buteo jamaicensis (Accipitridae), from central Arizona, U.S.A.

    PubMed

    Bolette, David P

    2007-02-01

    Oligacanthorhynchus nickoli n. sp. (Acanthocephala: Oligacanthorhynchidae) is described from the great-horned owl, Bubo virginianus (Gmelin, 1788) (type host), and red-tailed hawk, Buteojamaicensis (Gmelin, 1788), collected in central Arizona. The new species is most similar to Oligacanthorhynchus iheringi and Oligacanthorhynchus minor, but it differs from all congeners primarily by trunk length, proboscis size and armature, egg size, geographical range, and host species. It is distinguished from the 9 Oligacanthorhynchus species occurring in avian hosts from both the Western and Eastern Hemispheres. Descriptions of juvenile forms of O. nickoli from the intestine of B. jamaicensis are provided from recently ingested cystacanths with everted proboscides. PMID:17436950

  20. 78 FR 34118 - Endangered Species; Marine Mammals; Receipt of Applications for Permit

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-06-06

    ... of January 21, 2009--Transparency and Open Government (74 FR 4685; January 26, 2009), which call on... guarouba), Cuban parrot (Amazona leucocephala), and Vinaceous parrot (Amazona vinacea) to enhance the... Ursidae Accipitridae Cathartidae Columbidae Gruidae Psittacidae (does not include thick-billed...

  1. New host records for parasitic mites of the family Syringophilidae from accipitriform birds (Aves: Accipitriformes).

    PubMed

    Zmudzinski, Mateusz; Unsoeld, Markus; Knee, Wayne; Skoracki, Maciej

    2015-01-01

    Four accipitriform bird species of the family Accipitridae are reported as new hosts for quill mites (Acari: Cheyletoidea: Syringophilidae): Megasyringophilus aquilus Skoracki, Lontkowski and Stawarczyk, 2010 was collected from Hieraaetus pennatus Gmelin, 1788 in France and Spain, and Buteo jamaicensis Gmelin, 1788 in Canada; Peristerophila accipitridicus Skoracki, Lontkowski and Stawarczyk, 2010 was collected from Circaetus gallicus Gmelin, 1788 in France, and Buteo lagopus Pontoppidan, 1763 in Germany. PMID:26878628

  2. Coprophagy: an unusual source of essential carotenoids.

    PubMed

    Negro, J J; Grande, J M; Tella, J L; Garrido, J; Hornero, D; Donázar, J A; Sanchez-Zapata, J A; BenItez, J R; Barcell, M

    2002-04-25

    The rare Egyptian vulture (Neophron percnopterus) stands out among the Old World vultures (Family Accipitridae) because of its brightly ornamented head, which is coloured yellow by carotenoid pigments, and its practice of feeding on faeces. Here we show that Egyptian vultures obtain these pigments from the excrement of ungulates. To our knowledge, this is the first demonstration that faeces can be used as a source of carotenoids by a vertebrate. PMID:11976670

  3. The Mitochondrial Genomes of Aquila fasciata and Buteo lagopus (Aves, Accipitriformes): Sequence, Structure and Phylogenetic Analyses

    PubMed Central

    Jiang, Lan; Chen, Juan; Wang, Ping; Ren, Qiongqiong; Yuan, Jian; Qian, Chaoju; Hua, Xinghong; Guo, Zhichun; Zhang, Lei; Yang, Jianke; Wang, Ying; Zhang, Qin; Ding, Hengwu; Bi, De; Zhang, Zongmeng; Wang, Qingqing; Chen, Dongsheng; Kan, Xianzhao

    2015-01-01

    The family Accipitridae is one of the largest groups of non-passerine birds, including 68 genera and 243 species globally distributed. In the present study, we determined the complete mitochondrial sequences of two species of accipitrid, namely Aquila fasciata and Buteo lagopus, and conducted a comparative mitogenome analysis across the family. The mitogenome length of A. fasciata and B. lagopus are 18,513 and 18,559 bp with an A + T content of 54.2% and 55.0%, respectively. For both the two accipitrid birds mtDNAs, obvious positive AT-skew and negative GC-skew biases were detected for all 12 PCGs encoded by the H strand, whereas the reverse was found in MT-ND6 encoded by the L strand. One extra nucleotide‘C’is present at the position 174 of MT-ND3 gene of A. fasciata, which is not observed at that of B. lagopus. Six conserved sequence boxes in the Domain II, named boxes F, E, D, C, CSBa, and CSBb, respectively, were recognized in the CRs of A. fasciata and B. lagopus. Rates and patterns of mitochondrial gene evolution within Accipitridae were also estimated. The highest dN/dS was detected for the MT-ATP8 gene (0.32493) among Accipitridae, while the lowest for the MT-CO1 gene (0.01415). Mitophylogenetic analysis supported the robust monophyly of Accipitriformes, and Cathartidae was basal to the balance of the order. Moreover, we performed phylogenetic analyses using two other data sets (two mitochondrial loci, and combined nuclear and mitochondrial loci). Our results indicate that the subfamily Aquilinae and all currently polytypic genera of this subfamily are monophyletic. These two novel mtDNA data will be useful in refining the phylogenetic relationships and evolutionary processes of Accipitriformes. PMID:26295156

  4. Dynamic chromosome reorganization in the osprey ( Pandion haliaetus , Pandionidae, Falconiformes): relationship between chromosome size and the chromosomal distribution of centromeric repetitive DNA sequences.

    PubMed

    Nishida, C; Ishishita, S; Yamada, K; Griffin, D K; Matsuda, Y

    2014-01-01

    The osprey (Pandion haliaetus) has a diploid number of 74 chromosomes, consisting of a large number of medium-sized macrochromosomes and relatively few microchromosomes; this differs greatly from the typical avian karyotype. Chromosome painting with chicken DNA probes revealed that the karyotype of P. haliaetus differs from the chicken karyotype by at least 14 fission events involving macrochromosomes (chicken chromosomes 1-9 and Z) and at most 15 fusions of microchromosomes, suggesting that considerable karyotype reorganization occurred in P. haliaetus in a similar manner previously reported for Accipitridae. A distinct difference was observed, however, between Accipitridae and Pandionidae with respect to the pattern of chromosome rearrangements that occurred after fissions of macrochromosomes. Metacentric or submetacentric chromosomes 1-5 in P. haliaetus appear to have been formed by centric fusion of chromosome segments derived from macrochromosomal fissions. By contrast, many pairs of bi-armed chromosomes in Accipitridae species seem to result from pericentric inversions that occurred in the fission-derived chromosomes. Two families of repetitive sequences were isolated; the 173-bp PHA-HaeIII sequence occurred on all chromosomes, whereas intense signals from the 742-bp PHA-NsiI sequence were localized to all acrocentric chromosomes, with weak signals on most of the bi-armed chromosomes. Two repetitive sequences cohybridized in the centromeric heterochromatin; however, the sequences differed in unit size, nucleotide sequence and GC content. The results suggest that the 2 sequence families originated from different ancestral sequences and were homogenized independently in centromeres, and that a chromosome size-dependent compartmentalization may have been lost in P. haliaetus. PMID:24513810

  5. The life cycle of Mesostephanus indicum Mehra, 1947 (Digenea: Cyathocotylidae).

    PubMed

    Sheena, P; Manjula, K T; Subair, K T; Janardanan, K P

    2007-09-01

    The life cycle of the cyathocotylid fluke, Mesostephanus indicum Mehra, 1947 infecting the pariah kite, Milvus migrans govinda (Accipitridae), is elucidated. The species, reported by Mehra (Proc Nat Acad Sci India 17:1-52, 1947) from Buteo rufinus rufinus (Accipitridae), was transferred to the genus Prohemistomum by Dubois (Rev Suiss de Zool 58:639-691, 1951). However, it is retained in the genus Mesostephanus because of the presence of vaginal sphincter and caudal appendage, which are the characters of the genus. Its first intermediate host is the gastropod snail, Bellamya bengalensis (Viviparidae), which released the furcocercous cercariae. The prohemistomulum-type metacercariae encysted in the muscle tissues of the freshwater fish Rasbora daniconius and Puntius sophore (Cyprinidae), Mystus malabaricus (Bagridae), Heteropneustes fossilis (Heteropneustidae), Aplocheilus lineatus (Cyprinodontidae), Etroplus maculatus and E. suratensis (Cichlidae), and Pseudosphromenus cupanus (Belontidae). Recovery of M. indicum from M. m. govinda forms a new host record, and this is the first report of the life cycle of the genus from India. PMID:17514481

  6. Historic and recent nesting records of Turkey Vultures in South Dakota

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Igl, Lawrence D.; Chepulis, Brian J.; McLean, Kyle E.

    2014-01-01

    Present-day vultures are generally classified into two distinct groups: Old World vultures and new World vultures. The two groups share morphological and behavioral characters (e.g. scavenger diet, energy-efficient soaring, mostly featherless head), but historically the two groups were considered phylogenetically distant with long and independent histories (Rich 198., Wink 1995, Zhang et al. 2012). Old World vultures occur in the family Accipitridae and are closely related to hawks and eagles. New World Vultures occur in the family Cathartidae but their taxonomic placement has been controversial. New World vultures were previously allied with storks (Ciconiidae) but were usually placed within the order Falconiformes. Recent phylogenomic analyses using DNA sequencing suggest that new World vultures show no affinity with storks and support placement of New World vultures with other landbirds (in the order Accipitriformes, near Accipitridae) rather than with waterbirds (Hackett et al. 2008). Old World vultures presently are confined to Europe, Asia, and Africa, and New World vultures presently occur in North and South America.

  7. Maintenance of syntenic groups between Cathartidae and Gallus gallus indicates symplesiomorphic karyotypes in new world vultures

    PubMed Central

    Tagliarini, Marcella M.; O'Brien, Patricia C.M.; Ferguson-Smith, Malcolm A.; de Oliveira, Edivaldo H.C.

    2011-01-01

    Similarities between New World and Old World vultures have been interpreted to reflect a close relationship and to suggest the inclusion of both in Accipitridae (Falconiformes). However, deeper analyses indicated that the placement of the New World vultures (cathartids) in this Order is uncertain. Chromosome analysis has shown that cathartids retained a karyotype similar to the putative avian ancestor. In order to verify the occurrence of intrachromosomal rearrangements in cathartids, we hybridized whole chromosome probes of two species (Gallus gallus and Leucopternis albicollis) onto metaphases of Cathartes aura. The results showed that not only were the syntenic groups conserved between Gallus and C. aura, but probably also the general gene order, suggesting that New World vultures share chromosomal symplesiomorphies with most bird lineages. PMID:21637548

  8. Maintenance of syntenic groups between Cathartidae and Gallus gallus indicates symplesiomorphic karyotypes in new world vultures.

    PubMed

    Tagliarini, Marcella M; O'Brien, Patricia C M; Ferguson-Smith, Malcolm A; de Oliveira, Edivaldo H C

    2011-01-01

    Similarities between New World and Old World vultures have been interpreted to reflect a close relationship and to suggest the inclusion of both in Accipitridae (Falconiformes). However, deeper analyses indicated that the placement of the New World vultures (cathartids) in this Order is uncertain. Chromosome analysis has shown that cathartids retained a karyotype similar to the putative avian ancestor. In order to verify the occurrence of intrachromosomal rearrangements in cathartids, we hybridized whole chromosome probes of two species (Gallus gallus and Leucopternis albicollis) onto metaphases of Cathartes aura. The results showed that not only were the syntenic groups conserved between Gallus and C. aura, but probably also the general gene order, suggesting that New World vultures share chromosomal symplesiomorphies with most bird lineages.

  9. Isolation and molecular characterization of a highly polymorphic centromeric tandem repeat in the family Falconidae.

    PubMed

    Longmire, J L; Lewis, A K; Brown, N C; Buckingham, J M; Clark, L M; Jones, M D; Meincke, L J; Meyne, J; Ratliff, R L; Ray, F A

    1988-01-01

    An abundant tandem repeat has been cloned from genomic DNA of the merlin (Falco columbarius). The cloned sequence is 174 bp in length, and maps by in situ hybridization to the centromeric regions of several of the large chromosomes within the merlin karyotype. Complementary sequences have been identified within a variety of falcon species; these sequences are either absent or in very low copy number in the family Accipitridae. The cloned merlin repeat reveals highly polymorphic restriction patterns in the peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus). These polymorphisms, which have been shown to be stably inherited within a family of captive peregrines, can be used to differentiate the Greenland and Argentina populations of this endangered raptor species.

  10. Phylogenetic Position of Avian Nocturnal and Diurnal Raptors

    PubMed Central

    Mahmood, Muhammad Tariq; McLenachan, Patricia A.; Gibb, Gillian C.; Penny, David

    2014-01-01

    We report three new avian mitochondrial genomes, two from widely separated groups of owls and a falcon relative (the Secretarybird). We then report additional progress in resolving Neoavian relationships in that the two groups of owls do come together (it is not just long-branch attraction), and the Secretarybird is the deepest divergence on the Accipitridae lineage. This is now agreed between mitochondrial and nuclear sequences. There is no evidence for the monophyly of the combined three groups of raptors (owls, eagles, and falcons), and again this is agreed by nuclear and mitochondrial sequences. All three groups (owls, accipitrids [eagles], and falcons) do appear to be members of the “higher land birds,” and though there may not yet be full “consilience” between mitochondrial and nuclear sequences for the precise order of divergences of the eagles, falcons, and the owls, there is good progress on their relationships. PMID:24448983

  11. Plasma B-esterase activities in European raptors.

    PubMed

    Roy, Claudie; Grolleau, Gérard; Chamoulaud, Serge; Rivière, Jean-Louis

    2005-01-01

    B-esterases are serine hydrolases composed of cholinesterases, including acetylcholinesterase (AChE) and butyrylcholinesterase (BChE), and carboxylesterase (CbE). These esterases, found in blood plasma, are inhibited by organophosphorus (OP) and carbamate (CB) insecticides and can be used as nondestructive biomarkers of exposure to anticholinesterase insecticides. Furthermore, B-esterases are involved in detoxification of these insecticides. In order to establish the level of these enzymes and to have reference values for their normal activities, total plasma cholinesterase (ChE), AChE and BChE activities, and plasma CbE activity were determined in 729 European raptors representing 20 species, four families, and two orders. The diurnal families of the Falconiforme order were represented by Accipitridae and Falconidae and the nocturnal families of the Strigiforme order by Tytonidae and Strigidae. Intraspecies differences in cholinesterase activities according to sex and/or age were investigated in buzzards (Buteo buteo), sparrowhawks (Accipiter nisus), kestrels (Falco tinnunculus), barn owls (Tyto alba), and tawny owls (Strix aluco). Sex-related differences affecting ChE and AChE activities were observed in young kestrels (2-3-mo-old) and age-related differences in kestrels (ChE and AChE), sparrowhawks (AChE), and tawny owls (ChE, AChE, and BChE). The interspecies analysis yielded a negative correlation between ChE activity and body mass taking into account the relative contribution of AChE and BChE to ChE activity, with the exception of the honey buzzard (Pernis apivorus). The lowest ChE activities were found in the two largest species, Bonelli's eagle (Hieraaetus fasciatus) and Egyptian vulture (Neophron percnopterus) belonging to the Accipitridae family. The highest ChE activities were found in the relatively small species belonging to the Tytonidae and Strigidae families and in honey buzzard of the Accipitridae family. Species of the Accipitridae, Tytonidae, and

  12. Predatory Functional Morphology in Raptors: Interdigital Variation in Talon Size Is Related to Prey Restraint and Immobilisation Technique

    PubMed Central

    Fowler, Denver W.; Freedman, Elizabeth A.; Scannella, John B.

    2009-01-01

    Despite the ubiquity of raptors in terrestrial ecosystems, many aspects of their predatory behaviour remain poorly understood. Surprisingly little is known about the morphology of raptor talons and how they are employed during feeding behaviour. Talon size variation among digits can be used to distinguish families of raptors and is related to different techniques of prey restraint and immobilisation. The hypertrophied talons on digits (D) I and II in Accipitridae have evolved primarily to restrain large struggling prey while they are immobilised by dismemberment. Falconidae have only modest talons on each digit and only slightly enlarged D-I and II. For immobilisation, Falconini rely more strongly on strike impact and breaking the necks of their prey, having evolved a ‘tooth’ on the beak to aid in doing so. Pandionidae have enlarged, highly recurved talons on each digit, an adaptation for piscivory, convergently seen to a lesser extent in fishing eagles. Strigiformes bear enlarged talons with comparatively low curvature on each digit, part of a suite of adaptations to increase constriction efficiency by maximising grip strength, indicative of specialisation on small prey. Restraint and immobilisation strategy change as prey increase in size. Small prey are restrained by containment within the foot and immobilised by constriction and beak attacks. Large prey are restrained by pinning under the bodyweight of the raptor, maintaining grip with the talons, and immobilised by dismemberment (Accipitridae), or severing the spinal cord (Falconini). Within all raptors, physical attributes of the feet trade off against each other to attain great strength, but it is the variable means by which this is achieved that distinguishes them ecologically. Our findings show that interdigital talon morphology varies consistently among raptor families, and that this is directly correlative with variation in their typical prey capture and restraint strategy. PMID:19946365

  13. Chromosome Painting in Three Species of Buteoninae: A Cytogenetic Signature Reinforces the Monophyly of South American Species

    PubMed Central

    de Oliveira, Edivaldo Herculano C.; Tagliarini, Marcella Mergulhão; dos Santos, Michelly S.; O'Brien, Patricia C. M.; Ferguson-Smith, Malcolm A.

    2013-01-01

    Buteoninae (Falconiformes, Accipitridae) consist of the widely distributed genus Buteo, and several closely related species in a group called “sub-buteonine hawks”, such as Buteogallus, Parabuteo, Asturina, Leucopternis and Busarellus, with unsolved phylogenetic relationships. Diploid number ranges between 2n = 66 and 2n = 68. Only one species, L. albicollis had its karyotype analyzed by molecular cytogenetics. The aim of this study was to present chromosomal analysis of three species of Buteoninae: Rupornis magnirostris, Asturina nitida and Buteogallus meridionallis using fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) experiments with telomeric and rDNA probes, as well as whole chromosome probes derived from Gallus gallus and Leucopternis albicollis. The three species analyzed herein showed similar karyotypes, with 2n = 68. Telomeric probes showed some interstitial telomeric sequences, which could be resulted by fusion processes occurred in the chromosomal evolution of the group, including the one found in the tassociation GGA1p/GGA6. In fact, this association was observed in all the three species analyzed in this paper, and also in L. albicollis, suggesting that it represents a cytogenetic signature which reinforces the monophyly of Neotropical buteoninae species. PMID:23922908

  14. The diversity and biogeography of late Pleistocene birds from the lowland Neotropics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Steadman, David W.; Oswald, Jessica A.; Rincón, Ascanio D.

    2015-05-01

    The Neotropical lowlands sustain the world's richest bird communities, yet little that we know about their history is based on paleontology. Fossils afford a way to investigate distributional shifts in individual species, and thus improve our understanding of long-term change in Neotropical bird communities. We report a species-rich avian fossil sample from a late Pleistocene tar seep (Mene de Inciarte) in northwestern Venezuela. A mere 175 identified fossils from Mene de Inciarte represent 73 species of birds, among which six are extinct, and eight others no longer occur within 100 km. These 14 species consist mainly of ducks (Anatidae), snipe (Scolopacidae), vultures/condors (Vulturidae), hawks/eagles (Accipitridae), and blackbirds (Icteridae). Neotropical bird communities were richer in the late Pleistocene than today; their considerable extinction may be related to collapse of the large mammal fauna at that time. The species assemblage at Mene de Inciarte suggests that biogeographic patterns, even at continental scales, have been remarkably labile over short geological time frames. Mene de Inciarte is but one of 300 + tar seeps in Venezuela, only two of which have been explored for fossils. We may be on the cusp of an exciting new era of avian paleontology in the Neotropics.

  15. Serum and Plasma Cholinesterase Activity in the Cape Griffon Vulture (Gyps coprotheres).

    PubMed

    Naidoo, Vinny; Wolter, Kerri

    2016-04-28

    Vulture (Accipitridae) poisonings are a concern in South Africa, with hundreds of birds dying annually. Although some of these poisonings are accidental, there has been an increase in the number of intentional baiting of poached rhinoceros (Rhinocerotidae) and elephant (Elephantidae) carcasses to kill vultures that alert officials to poaching sites by circling overhead. The primary chemicals implicated are the organophosphorous and carbamate compounds. Although most poisoning events can be identified by dead vultures surrounding the scavenged carcass, weak birds are occasionally found and brought to rehabilitation centers for treatment. The treating veterinarian needs to make an informed decision on the cause of illness or poisoning prior to treatment. We established the reference interval for serum and plasma cholinesterase activity in the Cape Griffon Vulture ( Gyps coprotheres ) as 591.58-1,528.26 U/L, providing a clinical assay for determining potential exposure to cholinesterase-depressing pesticides. Both manual and automated samplers were used with the butyrylthiocholine method. Species reference intervals for both serum and plasma cholinesterase showed good correlation and manual and automated measurements yielded similar results.

  16. Effects of vulture declines on facultative scavengers and potential implications for mammalian disease transmission.

    PubMed

    Ogada, D L; Torchin, M E; Kinnaird, M F; Ezenwa, V O

    2012-06-01

    Vultures (Accipitridae and Cathartidae) are the only known obligate scavengers. They feed on rotting carcasses and are the most threatened avian functional group in the world. Possible effects of vulture declines include longer persistence of carcasses and increasing abundance of and contact between facultative scavengers at these carcasses. These changes could increase rates of transmission of infectious diseases, with carcasses serving as hubs of infection. To evaluate these possibilities, we conducted a series of observations and experimental tests of the effects of vulture extirpation on decomposition rates of livestock carcasses and mammalian scavengers in Kenya. We examined whether the absence of vultures changed carcass decomposition time, number of mammalian scavengers visiting carcasses, time spent by mammals at carcasses, and potential for disease transmission at carcasses (measured by changes in intraspecific contact rates). In the absence of vultures, mean carcass decomposition rates nearly tripled. Furthermore, the mean number of mammals at carcasses increased 3-fold (from 1.5 to 4.4 individuals/carcass), and the average time spent by mammals at carcasses increased almost 3-fold (from 55 min to 143 min). There was a nearly 3-fold increase in the mean number of contacts between mammalian scavengers at carcasses without vultures. These results highlight the role of vultures in carcass decomposition and level of contact among mammalian scavengers. In combination, our findings lead us to hypothesize that changes in vulture abundance may affect patterns of disease transmission among mammalian carnivores.

  17. Two new species of Caryospora Léger, 1904 (Apicomplexa, Eimeriidae) from accipitrid raptors.

    PubMed

    Volf, J; Koudela, B; Modrý, D

    2000-05-01

    Two new species of Coccidia (Apicomplexa: Eimeriidae) are described from European accipitrid raptors (Falconiformes: Accipitridae). Oöcysts of Carvospora aquilae n. sp. found in faeces of the gold eagle Aquila chrysaetos are subspherical to broad ellipsoidal and measure 43 (40-49) x 37.5 (34-39) microm. Polar granule, oöcyst residuum and micropyle are absent. Each oöcyst contains one spherical to subspherical slightly polygonal sporocyst measuring 23.8 (23-25) x 23.3 (22-25) microm. Stieda and substieda bodies are absent. The sporocyst residuum is composed of numerous small granules less than 0.5 microm in diameter dispersed randomly among the sporozoites. Sporulated oöcysts of Carvospora circi n. sp. from faeces of the marsh harrier Circus aeruginosus are widely oval, measuring 24.5 (23-25) x 21.8 (21-24) microm. A polar granule, oöcyst residuum and micropyle are absent. Each oöcyst contains one spherical to subspherical sporocyst measuring 16.2 (15-17) x 15.6 (15-17) microm. A compact granular, spherical to subspherical sporocyst residuum, 10.4 (10-11) x 8.5 (7-9), was present in 76% of measured sporocysts. In 24% of sporocysts the granules of sporocyst residuum were scattered among the sporozoites. PMID:10803432

  18. Serum and Plasma Cholinesterase Activity in the Cape Griffon Vulture (Gyps coprotheres).

    PubMed

    Naidoo, Vinny; Wolter, Kerri

    2016-04-28

    Vulture (Accipitridae) poisonings are a concern in South Africa, with hundreds of birds dying annually. Although some of these poisonings are accidental, there has been an increase in the number of intentional baiting of poached rhinoceros (Rhinocerotidae) and elephant (Elephantidae) carcasses to kill vultures that alert officials to poaching sites by circling overhead. The primary chemicals implicated are the organophosphorous and carbamate compounds. Although most poisoning events can be identified by dead vultures surrounding the scavenged carcass, weak birds are occasionally found and brought to rehabilitation centers for treatment. The treating veterinarian needs to make an informed decision on the cause of illness or poisoning prior to treatment. We established the reference interval for serum and plasma cholinesterase activity in the Cape Griffon Vulture ( Gyps coprotheres ) as 591.58-1,528.26 U/L, providing a clinical assay for determining potential exposure to cholinesterase-depressing pesticides. Both manual and automated samplers were used with the butyrylthiocholine method. Species reference intervals for both serum and plasma cholinesterase showed good correlation and manual and automated measurements yielded similar results. PMID:26981685

  19. A Late Miocene Accipitrid (Aves: Accipitriformes) from Nebraska and Its Implications for the Divergence of Old World Vultures

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Zihui; Feduccia, Alan; James, Helen F.

    2012-01-01

    Background Old World vultures are likely polyphyletic, representing two subfamilies, the Aegypiinae and Gypaetinae, and some genera of the latter may be of independent origin. Evidence concerning the origin, as well as the timing of the divergence of each subfamily and even genera of the Gypaetinae has been elusive. Methodology/Principal Findings Compared with the Old World, the New World has an unexpectedly diverse and rich fossil component of Old World vultures. Here we describe a new accipitriform bird, Anchigyps voorhiesi gen. et sp. nov., from the Ash Hollow Formation (Upper Clarendonian, Late Miocene) of Nebraska. It represents a form close in morphology to the Old World vultures. Characteristics of its wing bones suggest it was less specialized for soaring than modern vultures. It was likely an opportunistic predator or scavenger having a grasping foot and a mandible morphologically similar to modern carrion-feeding birds. Conclusions/Significance The new fossil reported here is intermediate in morphology between the bulk of accipitrids and the Old World gypaetine vultures, representing a basal lineage of Accipitridae trending towards the vulturine habit, and of its Late Miocene age suggests the divergence of true gypaetine vultures, may have occurred during or slightly before the Miocene. PMID:23152811

  20. Persistent organochlorine contaminants in liver and fat of birds of prey from Greece.

    PubMed

    Hela, D G; Konstantinou, I K; Sakellarides, T M; Lambropoulou, D A; Akriotis, T; Albanis, T A

    2006-05-01

    The concentrations of persistent organic pollutants, such as DDT and its metabolites (DDTs), hexachlorocyclohexane isomers (HCHs), cyclodienes (Cycls), and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), were measured in livers and subcutaneous fat tissues of six Accipitridae and four Falconidae bird species from different areas in Greece. This is the first report of persistent organochlorine (OC) pollutants in birds of prey tissues presented for Greece and the Eastern Mediterranean region. Accumulation patterns of OCs found in birds suggested that the predominant contaminants were p,p'-dichlorodiphenyldichloro-1,1-ethylene (DDE) and PCBs, whereas Cycls and HCHs occurred at low concentrations only. Concentration values of p,p'-DDE ranged from nondetected to 19,518.72 ng/g wet wt in livers and from nondetected to 2679.19 ng/g wet wt in fat. Total PCB levels ranged from 1.01 to 7419.43 ng/g and from 3.25 to 490.10 ng/g wet weight for liver and fat samples, respectively. Higher-chlorinated PCBs such as 118, 138, 153, and 180 predominated in both the liver and subcutaneous fat samples, a pattern comparable to that observed in birds from other European countries. No significant differences in mean concentrations of OCs are detected between species. Hepatic concentrations were in general higher than the fat concentrations showing depleted fat stores in most birds. Concentration ranges were also found in lower or similar levels to those reported for birds in other regions. Variation of OCs levels in bird tissues could be due to different causes of death, with a subsequent effect on body lipid levels, and different feeding and migration habits. The liver PCB levels reported in this study are below the concentrations currently believed to exert mortality or ecotoxicological effects. On the contrary, in some cases p,p'-DDE concentrations were higher than the reported effect values for birds of the same families and could be associated with sublethal effects.

  1. Risks to birds traded for African traditional medicine: a quantitative assessment.

    PubMed

    Williams, Vivienne L; Cunningham, Anthony B; Kemp, Alan C; Bruyns, Robin K

    2014-01-01

    Few regional or continent-wide assessments of bird use for traditional medicine have been attempted anywhere in the world. Africa has the highest known diversity of bird species used for this purpose. This study assesses the vulnerability of 354 bird species used for traditional medicine in 25 African countries, from 205 genera, 70 families, and 25 orders. The orders most represented were Passeriformes (107 species), Falconiformes (45 species), and Coraciiformes (24 species), and the families Accipitridae (37 species), Ardeidae (15 species), and Bucerotidae (12 species). The Barn owl (Tyto alba) was the most widely sold species (seven countries). The similarity of avifaunal orders traded is high (analogous to "morphospecies", and using Sørensen's index), which suggests opportunities for a common understanding of cultural factors driving demand. The highest similarity was between bird orders sold in markets of Benin vs. Burkina Faso (90%), but even bird orders sold in two geographically separated countries (Benin vs. South Africa and Nigeria vs. South Africa) were 87% and 81% similar, respectively. Rabinowitz's "7 forms of rarity" model, used to group species according to commonness or rarity, indicated that 24% of traded bird species are very common, locally abundant in several habitats, and occur over a large geographical area, but 10% are rare, occur in low numbers in specific habitats, and over a small geographical area. The order with the highest proportion of rare species was the Musophagiformes. An analysis of species mass (as a proxy for size) indicated that large and/or conspicuous species tend to be targeted by harvesters for the traditional medicine trade. Furthermore, based on cluster analyses for species groups of similar risk, vultures, hornbills, and other large avifauna, such as bustards, are most threatened by selective harvesting and should be prioritised for conservation action. PMID:25162700

  2. Risks to Birds Traded for African Traditional Medicine: A Quantitative Assessment

    PubMed Central

    Williams, Vivienne L.; Cunningham, Anthony B.; Kemp, Alan C.; Bruyns, Robin K.

    2014-01-01

    Few regional or continent-wide assessments of bird use for traditional medicine have been attempted anywhere in the world. Africa has the highest known diversity of bird species used for this purpose. This study assesses the vulnerability of 354 bird species used for traditional medicine in 25 African countries, from 205 genera, 70 families, and 25 orders. The orders most represented were Passeriformes (107 species), Falconiformes (45 species), and Coraciiformes (24 species), and the families Accipitridae (37 species), Ardeidae (15 species), and Bucerotidae (12 species). The Barn owl (Tyto alba) was the most widely sold species (seven countries). The similarity of avifaunal orders traded is high (analogous to “morphospecies”, and using Sørensen's index), which suggests opportunities for a common understanding of cultural factors driving demand. The highest similarity was between bird orders sold in markets of Benin vs. Burkina Faso (90%), but even bird orders sold in two geographically separated countries (Benin vs. South Africa and Nigeria vs. South Africa) were 87% and 81% similar, respectively. Rabinowitz's “7 forms of rarity” model, used to group species according to commonness or rarity, indicated that 24% of traded bird species are very common, locally abundant in several habitats, and occur over a large geographical area, but 10% are rare, occur in low numbers in specific habitats, and over a small geographical area. The order with the highest proportion of rare species was the Musophagiformes. An analysis of species mass (as a proxy for size) indicated that large and/or conspicuous species tend to be targeted by harvesters for the traditional medicine trade. Furthermore, based on cluster analyses for species groups of similar risk, vultures, hornbills, and other large avifauna, such as bustards, are most threatened by selective harvesting and should be prioritised for conservation action. PMID:25162700

  3. Hawk Eyes II: Diurnal Raptors Differ in Head Movement Strategies When Scanning from Perches

    PubMed Central

    O'Rourke, Colleen T.; Pitlik, Todd; Hoover, Melissa; Fernández-Juricic, Esteban

    2010-01-01

    Background Relatively little is known about the degree of inter-specific variability in visual scanning strategies in species with laterally placed eyes (e.g., birds). This is relevant because many species detect prey while perching; therefore, head movement behavior may be an indicator of prey detection rate, a central parameter in foraging models. We studied head movement strategies in three diurnal raptors belonging to the Accipitridae and Falconidae families. Methodology/Principal Findings We used behavioral recording of individuals under field and captive conditions to calculate the rate of two types of head movements and the interval between consecutive head movements. Cooper's Hawks had the highest rate of regular head movements, which can facilitate tracking prey items in the visually cluttered environment they inhabit (e.g., forested habitats). On the other hand, Red-tailed Hawks showed long intervals between consecutive head movements, which is consistent with prey searching in less visually obstructed environments (e.g., open habitats) and with detecting prey movement from a distance with their central foveae. Finally, American Kestrels have the highest rates of translational head movements (vertical or frontal displacements of the head keeping the bill in the same direction), which have been associated with depth perception through motion parallax. Higher translational head movement rates may be a strategy to compensate for the reduced degree of eye movement of this species. Conclusions Cooper's Hawks, Red-tailed Hawks, and American Kestrels use both regular and translational head movements, but to different extents. We conclude that these diurnal raptors have species-specific strategies to gather visual information while perching. These strategies may optimize prey search and detection with different visual systems in habitat types with different degrees of visual obstruction. PMID:20877650

  4. Complex distribution of avian color vision systems revealed by sequencing the SWS1 opsin from total DNA.

    PubMed

    Odeen, Anders; Hastad, Olle

    2003-06-01

    To gain insights into the evolution and ecology of visually acute animals such as birds, biologists often need to understand how these animals perceive colors. This poses a problem, since the human eye is of a different design than that of most other animals. The standard solution is to examine the spectral sensitivity properties of animal retinas through microspectophotometry-a procedure that is rather complicated and therefore only has allowed examinations of a limited number of species to date. We have developed a faster and simpler molecular method, which can be used to estimate the color sensitivities of a bird by sequencing a part of the gene coding for the ultraviolet or violet absorbing opsin in the avian retina. With our method, there is no need to sacrifice the animal, and it thereby facilitates large screenings, including rare and endangered species beyond the reach of microspectrophotometry. Color vision in birds may be categorized into two classes: one with a short-wavelength sensitivity biased toward violet (VS) and the other biased toward ultraviolet (UVS). Using our method on 45 species from 35 families, we demonstrate that the distribution of avian color vision is more complex than has previously been shown. Our data support VS as the ancestral state in birds and show that UVS has evolved independently at least four times. We found species with the UVS type of color vision in the orders Psittaciformes and Passeriformes, in agreement with previous findings. However, species within the families Corvidae and Tyrannidae did not share this character with other passeriforms. We also found UVS type species within the Laridae and Struthionidae families. Raptors (Accipitridae and Falconidae) are of the violet type, giving them a vision system different from their passeriform prey. Intriguing effects on the evolution of color signals can be expected from interactions between predators and prey. Such interactions may explain the presence of UVS in Laridae and

  5. The Predatory Ecology of Deinonychus and the Origin of Flapping in Birds

    PubMed Central

    Fowler, Denver W.; Freedman, Elizabeth A.; Scannella, John B.; Kambic, Robert E.

    2011-01-01

    Most non-avian theropod dinosaurs are characterized by fearsome serrated teeth and sharp recurved claws. Interpretation of theropod predatory ecology is typically based on functional morphological analysis of these and other physical features. The notorious hypertrophied ‘killing claw’ on pedal digit (D) II of the maniraptoran theropod Deinonychus (Paraves: Dromaeosauridae) is hypothesized to have been a predatory adaptation for slashing or climbing, leading to the suggestion that Deinonychus and other dromaeosaurids were cursorial predators specialized for actively attacking and killing prey several times larger than themselves. However, this hypothesis is problematic as extant animals that possess similarly hypertrophied claws do not use them to slash or climb up prey. Here we offer an alternative interpretation: that the hypertrophied D-II claw of dromaeosaurids was functionally analogous to the enlarged talon also found on D-II of extant Accipitridae (hawks and eagles; one family of the birds commonly known as “raptors”). Here, the talon is used to maintain grip on prey of subequal body size to the predator, while the victim is pinned down by the body weight of the raptor and dismembered by the beak. The foot of Deinonychus exhibits morphology consistent with a grasping function, supportive of the prey immobilisation behavior model. Opposite morphological trends within Deinonychosauria (Dromaeosauridae + Troodontidae) are indicative of ecological separation. Placed in context of avian evolution, the grasping foot of Deinonychus and other terrestrial predatory paravians is hypothesized to have been an exaptation for the grasping foot of arboreal perching birds. Here we also describe “stability flapping”, a novel behaviour executed for positioning and stability during the initial stages of prey immobilisation, which may have been pivotal to the evolution of the flapping stroke. These findings overhaul our perception of predatory dinosaurs and

  6. Ecological risk screening to prioritize sites for cleanup at Yorktown Naval Weapons Station: A case study

    SciTech Connect

    Pehrman, D.G.; Rowles, L.K.; Thomson, R.

    1995-12-31

    Federal facilities pose a unique and difficult problem for the Superfund (CERCLA/SARA/NCP) process in that most Federal facilities have a large number of suspect areas that require some form of environmental investigation to determine the potential risk these areas present to human health and the environment. Because Federal facilities are, on the average, larger in comparison to private Superfund sites, not all of the identified suspect areas of contamination have gone through the PA/SI evaluation. Thus, some mechanism for evaluating the potential risk presented by these suspect areas is needed to determine which areas should continue in the risk assessment process, thereby allowing the remedial investigation process to focus on areas presenting the greatest threat to human health and/or the environment. Developing an ecological risk screening methodology for an areas with known or suspect contaminated media is an integral part in assessing and characterizing existing and potential overall threat presented to the environment. Sites which indicate risk in the screening phase may be prioritized and carried into the remedial investigation (RI) process. Alternately, sites which indicate risk in the screening process may be characterized for limited ecological investigation or possibly eliminated from further evaluation. This paper presents a case study of the ecological risk screening process used at the Naval Weapons Station, Yorktown, Virginia, a NPL site, to assess the effects of organic contamination to Accipitridae (eagles and hawks) and shorebirds with habitats encompassing Lee Pond, a freshwater pond tributary to the York River estuary. This discussion will include the use of the ecological risk screening process at the facility as a method of prioritizing and directing environmental restoration activities at those areas determined to have a potential threat to human health or the environment.

  7. Risks to birds traded for African traditional medicine: a quantitative assessment.

    PubMed

    Williams, Vivienne L; Cunningham, Anthony B; Kemp, Alan C; Bruyns, Robin K

    2014-01-01

    Few regional or continent-wide assessments of bird use for traditional medicine have been attempted anywhere in the world. Africa has the highest known diversity of bird species used for this purpose. This study assesses the vulnerability of 354 bird species used for traditional medicine in 25 African countries, from 205 genera, 70 families, and 25 orders. The orders most represented were Passeriformes (107 species), Falconiformes (45 species), and Coraciiformes (24 species), and the families Accipitridae (37 species), Ardeidae (15 species), and Bucerotidae (12 species). The Barn owl (Tyto alba) was the most widely sold species (seven countries). The similarity of avifaunal orders traded is high (analogous to "morphospecies", and using Sørensen's index), which suggests opportunities for a common understanding of cultural factors driving demand. The highest similarity was between bird orders sold in markets of Benin vs. Burkina Faso (90%), but even bird orders sold in two geographically separated countries (Benin vs. South Africa and Nigeria vs. South Africa) were 87% and 81% similar, respectively. Rabinowitz's "7 forms of rarity" model, used to group species according to commonness or rarity, indicated that 24% of traded bird species are very common, locally abundant in several habitats, and occur over a large geographical area, but 10% are rare, occur in low numbers in specific habitats, and over a small geographical area. The order with the highest proportion of rare species was the Musophagiformes. An analysis of species mass (as a proxy for size) indicated that large and/or conspicuous species tend to be targeted by harvesters for the traditional medicine trade. Furthermore, based on cluster analyses for species groups of similar risk, vultures, hornbills, and other large avifauna, such as bustards, are most threatened by selective harvesting and should be prioritised for conservation action.

  8. Hawk Eyes I: Diurnal Raptors Differ in Visual Fields and Degree of Eye Movement

    PubMed Central

    O'Rourke, Colleen T.; Hall, Margaret I.; Pitlik, Todd; Fernández-Juricic, Esteban

    2010-01-01

    Background Different strategies to search and detect prey may place specific demands on sensory modalities. We studied visual field configuration, degree of eye movement, and orbit orientation in three diurnal raptors belonging to the Accipitridae and Falconidae families. Methodology/Principal Findings We used an ophthalmoscopic reflex technique and an integrated 3D digitizer system. We found inter-specific variation in visual field configuration and degree of eye movement, but not in orbit orientation. Red-tailed Hawks have relatively small binocular areas (∼33°) and wide blind areas (∼82°), but intermediate degree of eye movement (∼5°), which underscores the importance of lateral vision rather than binocular vision to scan for distant prey in open areas. Cooper's Hawks' have relatively wide binocular fields (∼36°), small blind areas (∼60°), and high degree of eye movement (∼8°), which may increase visual coverage and enhance prey detection in closed habitats. Additionally, we found that Cooper's Hawks can visually inspect the items held in the tip of the bill, which may facilitate food handling. American Kestrels have intermediate-sized binocular and lateral areas that may be used in prey detection at different distances through stereopsis and motion parallax; whereas the low degree eye movement (∼1°) may help stabilize the image when hovering above prey before an attack. Conclusions We conclude that: (a) there are between-species differences in visual field configuration in these diurnal raptors; (b) these differences are consistent with prey searching strategies and degree of visual obstruction in the environment (e.g., open and closed habitats); (c) variations in the degree of eye movement between species appear associated with foraging strategies; and (d) the size of the binocular and blind areas in hawks can vary substantially due to eye movements. Inter-specific variation in visual fields and eye movements can influence behavioral

  9. Reference intervals for intraocular pressure measured by rebound tonometry in ten raptor species and factors affecting the intraocular pressure.

    PubMed

    Reuter, Anne; Müller, Kerstin; Arndt, Gisela; Eule, Johanna Corinna

    2011-09-01

    Intraocular pressure (IOP) was measured with the TonoVet rebound tonometer in 10 raptor species, and possible factors affecting IOP were investigated. A complete ophthalmic examination was performed, and IOP was assessed in 2 positions, upright and dorsal recumbency, in 237 birds belonging to the families Accipitridae, Falconidae, Strigidae, and Tytonidae. Mean IOP values of healthy eyes were calculated for each species, and differences between families, species, age, sex, left and right eye, as well as the 2 body positions were evaluated. Physiologic fluctuations of IOP were assessed by measuring IOP serially for 5 days at the same time of day in 15 birds of 3 species. Results showed IOP values varied by family and species, with the following mean IOP values (mm Hg +/- SD) determined: white-tailed sea eagle (Haliaeetus albicilla), 26.9 +/- 5.8; red kite (Milvus milvus), 13.0 +/- 5.5; northern goshawk (Accipiter gentilis), 18.3 +/- 3.8; Eurasian sparrowhawk (Accipiter nisus), 15.5 +/- 2.5; common buzzard (Buteo buteo), 26.9 +/- 7.0; common kestrel (Falco tinnunculus), 9.8 +/- 2.5; peregrine falcon, (Falco peregrinus), 12.7 +/- 5.8; tawny owl (Strix aluco), 9.4 +/- 4.1; long-eared owl (Asio otus), 7.8 +/- 3.2; and barn owl (Tyto alba), 10.8 +/- 3.8. No significant differences were found between sexes or between left and right eyes. In goshawks, common buzzards, and common kestrels, mean IOP was significantly lower in juvenile birds than it was in adult birds. Mean IOP differed significantly by body position in tawny owls (P = .01) and common buzzards (P = .04). By measuring IOP over several days, mean physiologic variations of +/- 2 mm Hg were detected. Differences in IOP between species and age groups should be considered when interpreting tonometric results. Physiologic fluctuations of IOP may occur and should not be misinterpreted. These results show that rebound tonometry is a useful diagnostic tool in measuring IOP in birds of prey because it provides rapid