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Sample records for afrotropical bird species

  1. Heterothermy in Afrotropical mammals and birds: a review.

    PubMed

    McKechnie, Andrew E; Mzilikazi, Nomakwezi

    2011-09-01

    Recent years have seen a rapid increase in the number of Afrotropical endotherms known to avoid mismatches between energy supply and demand by using daily torpor and/or hibernation. Among mammals, heterothermy has been reported in 40 species in six orders, namely Macroscelidea, Afrosoricida, Rodentia, Eulipotyphla, Primates and Chiroptera. These species span a range in body mass of 7-770 g, with minimum heterothermic body temperatures ranging from 1-27°C and bout length varying from 1 h to 70 days. Daily torpor is the most common form of heterothermy, with true hibernation being observed in only seven species, Graphiurus murinus, Graphiurus ocularis, Atelerix frontalis, Cheirogaleus medius, Cheirogaleus major, Microcebus murinus and Microcebus griseorufus. The traditional distinction between daily torpor and hibernation is blurred in some species, with free-ranging individuals exhibiting bouts of > 24 h and body temperatures < 16 °C, but none of the classical behaviours associated with hibernation. Several species bask in the sun during rewarming. Among birds, heterothermy has been reported in 16 species in seven orders, and is more pronounced in phylogenetically older taxa. Both in mammals and birds, patterns of heterothermy can vary dramatically among species occurring at a particular site, and even among individuals of a single species. For instance, patterns of heterothermy among cheirogalid primates in western Madagascar vary from daily torpor to uninterrupted hibernation for up to seven months. Other examples of variation among closely-related species involve small owls, elephant shrews and vespertilionid bats. There may also be variation in terms of the ecological correlates of torpor within a species, as is the case in the Freckled Nightjar Caprimulgus tristigma.

  2. Breeding biology of an afrotropical forest understory bird community in northeastern Tanzania

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Mkongewa, Victor J.; Newmark, William D.; Stanley, Thomas R.

    2013-01-01

    Many aspects of the breeding biology of Afrotropical forest birds are poorly known. Here we provide a description based on the monitoring of 1461 active nests over eight breeding seasons about one or more aspects of the breeding biology for 28 coexisting understory bird species on the Amani Plateau in the East Usambara Mountains, Tanzania. Mean nest height and mean distance of nest from forest edge varied widely among species with most species constructing nests across a broad vertical and forest edge to interior gradient. However, there were important exceptions with all sunbird species and several dove and waxbill species constructing nests in close proximity to the forest edge. For 17 common species for which we recorded two or more active nests, mean clutch size across species was 1.9 eggs per clutch, the lowest site-specific mean clutch size yet reported for a tropical forest bird community. For nine bird species, a subset of the 17 common species, length of breeding season, defined as the difference between the earliest and latest recorded incubation onset date, ranged from 88–139 days. Most of these nine species displayed a unimodal distribution in incubation onset dates across a breeding season which extended from the end of August through middle January. In summary, a wide variation exists in most aspects of the breeding biology within an understory forest bird community in the East Usambara Mountains.

  3. Circannual rhythm of resting metabolic rate of a small Afrotropical bird.

    PubMed

    Thompson, Lindy J; Brown, Mark; Downs, Colleen T

    2015-07-01

    Seasonal variation in avian metabolic rate is well established in Holarctic and temperate species, while trends in Afrotropical species are relatively poorly understood. Furthermore, given the paucity of data on circannual rhythm in avian metabolism, it is not known whether seasonal measurements made in summer and winter correspond with annual peaks and troughs in avian metabolic rate. Thus, we investigated how mean body mass, resting metabolic rate (RMR) and evaporative water loss (EWL) of a small Afrotropical bird, the Cape white-eye (Zosterops virens), changed monthly over the course of a year at 20°C and 25°C. Mean body mass was 12.2±1.0g throughout the study period. However, both EWL and RMR varied monthly, and peaks and troughs in RMR occurred in March and October respectively, which did not correspond to peaks and troughs in mean monthly outdoor ambient temperatures. These results suggest that measuring RMR at the height of summer and winter may underestimate the flexibility of which birds are capable in terms of their metabolic rate. We encourage further studies on this topic, to establish whether the lag between environmental temperature and RMR is consistent in other species.

  4. Revision of the Afrotropical species of Norbanus Walker (Hymenoptera: Pteromalidae).

    PubMed

    Mitroiu, Mircea-Dan

    2015-06-09

    The Afrotropical species of Norbanus Walker, 1843 (Hymenoptera: Pteromalidae) are revised. Four previously described Afrotropical species are recognized as valid and redescribed: N. africanus Subba Rao, 1973, N. garouae (Risbec, 1956) comb. nov. (transferred from Bruchobius Ashmead), N. kitegaensis (Risbec, 1957) and N. seyrigi (Risbec, 1952) comb. nov. (from Habrocytus Thomson). In addition, the Mediterranean species N. tenuicornis Bouček, 1970 is recorded for the first time from the Afrotropical region, and 21 species are described as new: N. aequus sp. nov., N. awi sp. nov., N. brevicephalus sp. nov., N. breviclava sp. nov., N. caloramans sp. nov., N. draco sp. nov., N. erebus sp. nov., N. foritempus sp. nov., N. gibber sp. nov., N. gracilis sp. nov., N. incombo sp. nov., N. ingens sp. nov., N. longissimus sp. nov., N. maliarphae sp. nov., N. mustatai sp. nov., N. pilosus sp. nov., N. pleuralis sp. nov., N. polaszeki sp. nov., N. prinslooi sp. nov., N. rotundus sp. nov., and N. sunabron sp. nov. Three extralimital species from North Africa are included in the key: N. cerasiops (Masi, 1922), N. guyoni (Giraud, 1869), and N. obscurus (Masi, 1922). Lectotypes are designated for N. cerasiops, N. kitegaensis and N. seyrigi. The subgenus Picroscytoides Masi is placed in synonymy with Norbanus s.s. syn. nov. Host records are given for several new species, including some economically important pests of maize, sorghum or rice.

  5. Review of Afrotropical Cryptopimpla Taschenberg (Hymenoptera, Ichneumonidae, Banchinae), with description of nine new species

    PubMed Central

    Berry, Terry Reynolds; van Noort, Simon

    2016-01-01

    Abstract The Afrotropical banchine fauna (Hymenoptera: Ichneumonidae) comprises 12 genera. One of these, Cryptopimpla Taschenberg, 1863, is a predominately northern hemisphere genus represented by 47 described species of which only one is known from the Afrotropical region. We describe nine new species of this rare Afrotropical genus: Cryptopimpla elongatus sp. n., Cryptopimpla fernkloofensis sp. n., Cryptopimpla goci sp. n., Cryptopimpla hantami sp. n., Cryptopimpla kogelbergensis sp. n., Cryptopimpla neili sp. n., Cryptopimpla onyxi sp. n., Cryptopimpla parslactis sp. n., and Cryptopimpla zwarti sp. n. All the Afrotropical species are only known from South Africa. Online interactive Lucid keys to the nine Cryptopimpla species are available at: http://www.waspweb.org. PMID:28138289

  6. Taxonomic revision of the Afrotropical species of Pachyanthidium Friese (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae: Anthidiini)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The Afrotropical species of Pachyanthidium Friese are revised. Sixteen species are recognized in four subgenera, including one new species, Pachyanthidium (Trichanthidium) anoplos sp. n. and one species, Pachyanthidium (Trichanthidium) cucullatum (Friese), removed from synonymy as a valid species. P...

  7. Habitat fragmentation reduces nest survival in an Afrotropical bird community in a biodiversity hotspot.

    PubMed

    Newmark, William D; Stanley, Thomas R

    2011-07-12

    Ecologists have long hypothesized that fragmentation of tropical landscapes reduces avian nest success. However, this hypothesis has not been rigorously assessed because of the difficulty of finding large numbers of well-hidden nests in tropical forests. Here we report that in the East Usambara Mountains in Tanzania, which are part of the Eastern Arc Mountains, a global biodiversity hotspot, that daily nest survival rate and nest success for seven of eight common understory bird species that we examined over a single breeding season were significantly lower in fragmented than in continuous forest, with the odds of nest failure for these seven species ranging from 1.9 to 196.8 times higher in fragmented than continuous forest. Cup-shaped nests were particularly vulnerable in fragments. We then examined over six breeding seasons and 14 study sites in a multivariable survival analysis the influence of landscape structure and nest location on daily nest survival for 13 common species representing 1,272 nests and four nest types (plate, cup, dome, and pouch). Across species and nest types, area, distance of nest to edge, and nest height had a dominant influence on daily nest survival, with area being positively related to nest survival and distance of nest to edge and nest height being both positively and negatively associated with daily nest survival. Our results indicate that multiple environmental factors contribute to reduce nest survival within a tropical understory bird community in a fragmented landscape and that maintaining large continuous forest is important for enhancing nest survival for Afrotropical understory birds.

  8. Habitat fragmentation reduces nest survival in an Afrotropical bird community in a biodiversity hotspot

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Newmark, W.D.; Stanley, T.R.

    2011-01-01

    Ecologists have long hypothesized that fragmentation of tropical landscapes reduces avian nest success. However, this hypothesis has not been rigorously assessed because of the difficulty of finding large numbers of well-hidden nests in tropical forests. Here we report that in the East Usambara Mountains in Tanzania, which are part of the Eastern Arc Mountains, a global biodiversity hotspot, that daily nest survival rate and nest success for seven of eight common understory bird species that we examined over a single breeding season were significantly lower in fragmented than in continuous forest, with the odds of nest failure for these seven species ranging from 1.9 to 196.8 times higher in fragmented than continuous forest. Cup-shaped nests were particularly vulnerable in fragments. We then examined over six breeding seasons and 14 study sites in a multivariable survival analysis the influence of landscape structure and nest location on daily nest survival for 13 common species representing 1,272 nests and four nest types (plate, cup, dome, and pouch). Across species and nest types, area, distance of nest to edge, and nest height had a dominant influence on daily nest survival, with area being positively related to nest survival and distance of nest to edge and nest height being both positively and negatively associated with daily nest survival. Our results indicate that multiple environmental factors contribute to reduce nest survival within a tropical understory bird community in a fragmented landscape and that maintaining large continuous forest is important for enhancing nest survival for Afrotropical understory birds.

  9. Seasonal metabolic variation over two years in an Afrotropical passerine bird.

    PubMed

    Thompson, Lindy J; Brown, Mark; Downs, Colleen T

    2015-08-01

    Seasonal trends in metabolic parameters are well established in avian populations from highly seasonal environments, however, seasonal trends in metabolism of birds from lower latitudes (and of Afrotropical birds in particular) are not well understood. We investigated seasonal trends in metabolism for a small (10-12g) Afrotropical bird, the Cape White-eye (Zosterops virens), using flow-through respirometry in two summers and two winters. There was no seasonal difference in body mass between consecutive seasons. The lower critical limit of thermoneutrality was lower in winter (23°C) than in summer (28°C), as expected for a small Afrotropical bird. In the first year of the study, mean whole animal basal metabolic rate (BMR) of Cape White-eyes was significantly lower in winter than in summer, while in the second year of the study this trend was reversed, and in the middle two seasons there was no significant difference in BMR. Differences in mean temperature and mean rainfall between seasons could not account for the seasonal trends in BMR. We conclude that seasonal trends in avian BMR may vary between years, within a population.

  10. Revision of the Afrotropical Lycorininae (Ichneumonidae; Hymenoptera) II. Three new Lycorina species and additional distribution records.

    PubMed

    Rousse, P; Van Noort, S

    2014-11-14

    Three new Afrotropical Lycorina species are described: L. horstmanni sp. nov., L. jacksonfive sp. nov. and L. riftensis sp. nov. The description of L. globiceps is expanded to include the large variability of the colour pattern. New distribution records are provided for L. fici and L. globiceps. An illustrated dichotomous key, and an online interactive matrix key available on www.waspweb.org, are provided for the identification of the seven known Afrotropical Lycorininae species.

  11. Where do species' geographic ranges stop and why? Landscape impermeability and the Afrotropical avifauna.

    PubMed

    McInnes, Lynsey; Purvis, Andy; Orme, C David L

    2009-09-07

    Although understanding large-scale spatial variation in species' distributions is a major goal in macroecology, relatively little attention has been paid to the factors limiting species' ranges. An understanding of these factors may improve predictions of species' movements in response to global change. We present a measure of landscape impermeability, defined as the proportion of resident species whose ranges end in an area. We quantify and map impermeability for Afrotropical birds and use multi-model inference to assess support for a wide suite of hypotheses about its potential environmental correlates. Non-spatial analyses emphasize the importance of broad-scale environmental patterns of energy availability and habitat heterogeneity in limiting species' distributions. Conversely, spatial analyses focus attention on small-scale factors of habitat and topographic complexity. These results hold even when only species from the top quartile of range sizes are assessed. All our analyses highlight that range edges are concentrated in heterogeneous habitats. Global change is expected to alter the nature and distribution of such habitats, necessitating range movement by many resident species. Therefore, impermeability provides a simple measure for identifying regions, where continuing global change and human encroachment are likely to cause profound changes in regional diversity patterns.

  12. A revision of the continental species of Copa Simon, 1885 (Araneae, Corinnidae) in the Afrotropical Region

    PubMed Central

    Haddad, Charles Richard

    2013-01-01

    Abstract The cryptic ground-dwelling castianeirine genus Copa Simon, 1885 (Araneae: Corinnidae) is revised in the continental Afrotropical Region. The type species of the genus, Copa flavoplumosa Simon, 1885, is redescribed and considered a senior synonym of Copa benina Strand, 1916 syn. n. and Copa benina nigra Lessert, 1933 syn. n. It is widespread throughout the Afrotropical Region but has not been introduced to any of the associated regional islands. A new species, Copa kei sp. n., is described from South Africa. Copa agelenina Simon, 1910, originally described from a subadult female from southern Botswana, is considered a nomen dubium. Copa flavoplumosa is a characteristic species of leaf litter spider assemblages and is particularly prevalent in savanna habitats on the continent, but also occurs in various forest types, grasslands, fynbos and semi-arid Nama Karoo habitats. In contrast, Copa kei sp. n. has only been recorded from Afromontane and coastal forests in south-eastern South Africa. PMID:23794814

  13. Description of the first species of Fiorianteon Olmi (Hymenoptera, Dryinidae) from the Afrotropical region

    PubMed Central

    Guglielmino, Adalgisa; Olmi, Massimo; Marletta, Alessandro; Speranza, Stefano

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Fiorianteon sulcatum sp. n. is described from Fianarantsoa Province (Madagascar). It is the first species of Fiorianteon found in the Afrotropical region. The genus Fiorianteon can be distinguished from the closely related genus Conganteon by the distal part of the stigmal vein, which is as long as, or shorter than the proximal part of the stigmal vein (longer than the proximal part of the vein in Conganteon). PMID:27920607

  14. The effects of long-term captivity on the metabolic parameters of a small Afrotropical bird.

    PubMed

    Thompson, Lindy J; Brown, Mark; Downs, Colleen T

    2015-04-01

    The few within-species studies on the effects of long-term captivity on avian physiological variables have small samples sizes and contradictory results. Nevertheless, many physiological studies make use of long-term captive birds, assuming the results will be applicable to wild populations. Here we investigated the effects of long-term captivity on a variety of physiological measurements in a relatively small (~12 g) southern African endemic bird, the Cape white-eye (Zosterops virens). Whole animal basal metabolic rate (BMR) and body mass (Mb) were influenced more by long-term captivity than by season, while mass-specific BMR, standard and basal whole animal and mass-specific evaporative water loss (EWL), and respiratory quotient (RQ), were all affected primarily by season, with long-term captivity having less of an effect. We therefore caution that whole animal BMR and Mb of long-term captive birds should not be used as representative of wild populations, and that the origin of study birds should be considered when comparing EWL and RQ of wild and long-term captive birds.

  15. Movement ecology of five Afrotropical waterfowl species from Malawi, Mali and Nigeria

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Takekawa, John Y.; Heath, Shane R.; Iverson, S.R.L.; Gaidet, Nicolas; Cappelle, Julien; Dodman, Tim; Hagemeijer, Ward; Eldridge, William D.; Petrie, Scott A.; Yarris, Gregory S.; Manu, Shiiwua; Olsen, Glenn H.; Prosser, Diann J.; Spragens, Kyle A.; Douglas, David C.; Newman, Scott H.

    2015-01-01

    Habitat availability for Afrotropical waterbirds is highly dynamic with unpredictable rainfall patterns and ephemeral wetlands resulting in diverse movement strategies among different species. Movement strategies among waterfowl encompass resident, regional and intercontinental migrants, but little quantitative information exists on their specific movement patterns. We studied the movement ecology of five Afrotropical waterfowl species marked with satellite transmitters in Malawi, Mali and Nigeria. Resident species, including White-faced Whistling Ducks Dendrocygna viduata, Fulvous Whistling Ducks Dendrocygna bicolor and Spur-winged Geese Plectropterus gambensis, remained sedentary during the rainy season and only flew limited distances during other months. In contrast, Knob-billed Ducks Sarkidiornis melanotos made short regional movements >50 km in all months and showed little site fidelity to previously used habitats in subsequent years. Garganey Anas quequedula followed an intercontinental strategy and made long-distance jumps across the Sahara and Mediterranean to their Eurasian breeding grounds. Most species flew farthest during the dry season, as mean daily movements varied from 1.5 to 14.2 km and was greatest in the winter months (January-March). Total distance moved varied from 9.5 km for White-faced Whistling Ducks (October-December) to 45.6 km for Knob-billed Ducks (April-June). Nomadic behaviour by Knob-billed Ducks was evidenced by long exploratory flights, but small mean daily movements suggested that they were relying on previous experience. Improving our understanding of these movement strategies increases our ability to assess connectivity of wetland resources that support waterfowl throughout their annual cycle and focuses conservation efforts on their most important habitats.

  16. New species and new records of Mydidae from the Afrotropical and Oriental regions (Insecta, Diptera, Asiloidea)

    PubMed Central

    Dikow, Torsten

    2010-01-01

    Abstract New Mydidae species are described from the Afrotropical and Oriental regions including the first records of this family from several countries in eastern Africa (Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda) and Mauritania in western Africa as well as Nepal and Thailand in Asia. The new species are, Leptomydinae: Leptomydas notos sp. n. (south-western India), Leptomydas rapti sp. n. (south-central Nepal), Leptomydas tigris sp. n. (north-central Thailand); Syllegomydinae: Mydaselpidini: Mydaselpis ngurumani sp. n. (south-eastern Kenya, north-eastern Tanzania), Vespiodes phaios sp. n. (south-eastern Kenya); Syllegomydinae: Syllegomydini: Syllegomydas (Notobates) astrictus sp. n. (Kenya), Syllegomydas (Notobates) heothinos sp. n. (Kenya and Uganda), Syllegomydas (Syllegomydas) elachys sp. n. (northern Zimbabwe). Syllegomydas (Syllegomydas) proximus Séguy, 1928 is recorded from western Mauritania and re-described. Syllegomydas (Notobates) dispar (Loew, 1852), which was previously listed as incertae sedis in the Afrotropical Diptera catalogue, is re-described and illustrated based on examination of the type specimens and several additional specimens from Mozambique. Cephalocera annulata Brunetti, 1912 and Syllegomydas bucciferus Séguy, 1928, described from north-eastern India and previously unplaced in the Oriental Diptera catalogue, are newly combined with Leptomydas Gerstaecker, 1868 and together with Leptomydas indianus Brunetti, 1912, also from north-eastern India, placed in Leptomydinae. Comments on the possible synonymy of the genera of Mydaselpidini are made. Illustrations and photographs are provided to support the descriptions and future identification. A provisional dichotomous key to Mydidae genera occurring in eastern Africa (Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Somalia, Tanzania, Uganda) and the Oriental Region is provided. Distribution, occurrence in biodiversity hotspots and high-biodiversity wilderness areas, and seasonal incidence are discussed for all species. PMID

  17. The Tetramorium tortuosum species group (Hymenoptera, Formicidae, Myrmicinae) revisited - taxonomic revision of the Afrotropical T. capillosum species complex

    PubMed Central

    Garcia, Francisco Hita; Fisher, Brian L.

    2013-01-01

    Abstract In this study we revise the taxonomy of the Tetramorium tortuosum species group members encountered in the Afrotropical region, which we have placed in its own subgroup: the Tetramorium capillosum species complex. We re-describe the two previously known species Tetramorium capillosum Bolton and Tetramorium tabarum Bolton, and describe the new species Tetramorium hecate sp. n. The geographic distribution of the three species appears to be restricted to the equatorial rainforests of Central Africa. We provide a diagnosis of the Tetramorium capillosum species complex, an illustrated identification key to species level, and worker-based species descriptions, which include diagnoses, discussions, high-quality montage images, and distribution maps. Furthermore, we discuss biogeography and composition of the globally distributed Tetramorium tortuosum group. PMID:23794889

  18. Afrotropical Cynipoidea (Hymenoptera)

    PubMed Central

    van Noort, Simon; Buffington, Matthew L.; Forshage, Mattias

    2015-01-01

    Abstract The Afrotropical Cynipoidea are represented by 306 described species and 54 genera in four families: Cynipidae, Figitidae, Liopteridae and Ibaliidae, the latter represented by a single introduced species. Seven of these genera are only represented by undescribed species in the region. Seven new genus-level synonymies, one genus resurrected from synonymy, 54 new combinations, one combination reinstated, and one new replacement name are presented. We provide identification keys to the families, subfamilies and genera of cynipoid wasps occurring in the Afrotropical region (Africa south of the Sahara, including Madagascar and southern Arabian Peninsula). Online interactive Lucid Phoenix and Lucid matrix keys are available at: http://www.waspweb.org/Cynipoidea/Keys/index.htm. An overview of the biology and checklists of species for each genus are provided. This paper constitutes the first contributory chapter to the book on Afrotropical Hymenoptera. PMID:25878545

  19. Afrotropical cynipoidea (hymenoptera).

    PubMed

    van Noort, Simon; Buffington, Matthew L; Forshage, Mattias

    2015-01-01

    The Afrotropical Cynipoidea are represented by 306 described species and 54 genera in four families: Cynipidae, Figitidae, Liopteridae and Ibaliidae, the latter represented by a single introduced species. Seven of these genera are only represented by undescribed species in the region. Seven new genus-level synonymies, one genus resurrected from synonymy, 54 new combinations, one combination reinstated, and one new replacement name are presented. We provide identification keys to the families, subfamilies and genera of cynipoid wasps occurring in the Afrotropical region (Africa south of the Sahara, including Madagascar and southern Arabian Peninsula). Online interactive Lucid Phoenix and Lucid matrix keys are available at: http://www.waspweb.org/Cynipoidea/Keys/index.htm. An overview of the biology and checklists of species for each genus are provided. This paper constitutes the first contributory chapter to the book on Afrotropical Hymenoptera.

  20. Demographic aspects of the island syndrome in two Afrotropical Mastomys rodent species

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Crespin, Laurent; Duplantier, Jean-Marc; Granjon, Laurent

    2012-02-01

    The island syndrome is the name given to the particularities of the behavioural, morphological and demographical characteristics of island populations. As concerns demography, the island syndrome model states that densities and survival are greater in island than in mainland populations. Most previous studies aimed at confirming this prediction for small mammals have addressed species from the North Temperate Zone. Here, we tested the demographic expectations of the island syndrome using data gathered over two years for island and mainland populations of two African rodent species, Mastomys erytholeucus and Mastomys huberti, at two different sites in Senegal. Capture-Mark-Recapture methods allowing for variation in catchability of the individuals were used to yield estimates of both abundance (or density) and probability of survival and seniority (which is a demographic parameter inversely related to recruitment). As predicted from the island syndrome, survival and densities were indeed higher in island populations for the two study sites; however, only for the population with stronger island syndrome was the difference in survival biologically important. Estimates of the probability of seniority were similar for island and mainland populations at the two sites. Our findings provide support for the demographic expectations of the model of island syndrome in an Afrotropical context and thus confirm the general applicability of this syndrome while revealing differences according to particular insular situations.

  1. Afrotropical Cynipoidea (Hymenoptera)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The Afrotropical Cynipoidea are represented by 53 genera in 4 families: Cynipidae, Figitidae, Liopteridae and Ibaliidae, the latter represented by a single introduced species. Eight new genus-level synonymies, one genus resurrected from synonymy, 56 new combinations, two combinations reinstated, and...

  2. The potential effects of climate-change-associated temperature increases on the metabolic rate of a small Afrotropical bird.

    PubMed

    Thompson, Lindy J; Brown, Mark; Downs, Colleen T

    2015-05-15

    Studies have only recently begun to underline the importance of including data on the physiological flexibility of a species when modelling its vulnerability to extinction from climate change. We investigated the effects of a 4°C increase in ambient temperature (Ta), similar to that predicted for southern Africa by the year 2080, on certain physiological variables of a 10-12 g passerine bird endemic to southern Africa, the Cape white-eye Zosterops virens. There was no significant difference in resting metabolism, body mass and intraperitoneal body temperature between birds housed indoors at 4°C above outside ambient temperature and those housed indoors at outside ambient temperature. We conclude that the physiological flexibility of Cape white-eyes will aid them in coping with the 4°C increase predicted for their range by 2080.

  3. Taxonomy of the ant genus Proceratium Roger (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) in the Afrotropical region with a revision of the P. arnoldi clade and description of four new species

    PubMed Central

    Hita Garcia, Francisco; Hawkes, Peter G.; Alpert, Gary D.

    2014-01-01

    Abstract The taxonomy of the genus Proceratium Roger is updated for the Afrotropical region. We give an overview of the genus in the region, provide an illustrated identification key to the three clades (Proceratium arnoldi, Proceratium stictum and Proceratium toschii clades) and revise the Proceratium arnoldi clade. Four new species from the Proceratium arnoldi clade are described as new: Proceratium sokoke sp. n. from Kenya, Proceratium carri sp. n. from Mozambique, and Proceratium nilo sp. n. and Proceratium sali sp. n. from Tanzania. In order to integrate the new species into the existing taxonomic system we present an illustrated identification key to distinguish the seven Afrotropical species of the Proceratium arnoldi clade. In addition, we provide accounts for all members of the Proceratium arnoldi clade including detailed descriptions, diagnoses, taxonomic discussions, distribution data and high quality montage images. PMID:25349516

  4. Afrotropical flower flies (Diptera: Syrphidae). A new genus and species from Kenya, with a review of the melanostomine group of genera.

    PubMed

    Thompson, F Christian; Skevington, Jeffrey H

    2014-08-06

    A new genus and species of flower flies (Diptera: Syrphidae: Syrphinae: Syrphini) are described from central Africa (Kenya & Uganda), Afrostoma quadripunctatum. A key to the Afrotropical genera of the subfamily Syrphinae is given. A review of the melanostomine [Bacchini] genera and subgenera is provided along with a key to them. Phylogenetic placement of Afrostoma is included based on mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI) data.

  5. Revision of the Afrotropical Phaeogenini (Ichneumonidae, Ichneumoninae), with description of a new genus and twelve new species

    PubMed Central

    Rousse, Pascal; van Noort, Simon; Diller, E.

    2013-01-01

    Abstract We revise the 10 genera and 23 species of the tribe Phaeogenini (Ichneumonidae: Ichneumoninae) known to occur in the Afrotropical region. We describe the following 13 new taxa: Kibalus Rousse, van Noort & Diller, gen. n.; K. toro Rousse, van Noort & Diller, sp. n.; K. mubfs Rousse & van Noort, sp. n.; Arearia oxymoron Rousse & van Noort, sp. n.; Chauvinia nyanga Rousse & van Noort, sp. n.; Dicaelotus asantesana Rousse & van Noort, sp. n.; D. hoerikwaggoensis Rousse & van Noort, sp. n.; D. tablemountainensis Rousse & van Noort, sp. n.; Heterischnus mfongosi Rousse & van Noort, sp. n.; H. mkomazi Rousse & van Noort, sp. n.; Lusius flummox Rousse & van Noort, sp. n.; Tycherus amatola Rousse & van Noort, sp. n.; and T. nardousberg Rousse & van Noort, sp. n. New distribution records: Heterischnus africanus (Heinrich, 1936) from South Africa, Tanzania and Uganda; H. krausi Schönitzer, 1999 from Rwanda; Lusius tenuissimus (Heinrich, 1938) from Democratic Republic of Congo, Malawi, Nigeria, South Africa, and Zimbabwe. A doubtful record of Aethecerus foveolatus Gregor, 1940 from Sao Tome is additionaly reported in the appendix. We provide illustrated diagnoses and identification notes. Online interactive dichotomous and matrix Lucid keys to genera and species are available at http://www.waspweb.org. PMID:24294101

  6. Parasite prevalence corresponds to host life history in a diverse assemblage of afrotropical birds and haemosporidian parasites.

    PubMed

    Lutz, Holly L; Hochachka, Wesley M; Engel, Joshua I; Bell, Jeffrey A; Tkach, Vasyl V; Bates, John M; Hackett, Shannon J; Weckstein, Jason D

    2015-01-01

    Avian host life history traits have been hypothesized to predict rates of infection by haemosporidian parasites. Using molecular techniques, we tested this hypothesis for parasites from three haemosporidian genera (Plasmodium, Haemoproteus, and Leucocytozoon) collected from a diverse sampling of birds in northern Malawi. We found that host life history traits were significantly associated with parasitism rates by all three parasite genera. Nest type and nest location predicted infection probability for all three parasite genera, whereas flocking behavior is an important predictor of Plasmodium and Haemoproteus infection and habitat is an important predictor of Leucocytozoon infection. Parasite prevalence was 79.1% across all individuals sampled, higher than that reported for comparable studies from any other region of the world. Parasite diversity was also exceptionally high, with 248 parasite cytochrome b lineages identified from 152 host species. A large proportion of Plasmodium, Haemoproteus, and Leucocytozoon parasite DNA sequences identified in this study represent new, previously undocumented lineages (n = 201; 81% of total identified) based on BLAST queries against the avian malaria database, MalAvi.

  7. Parasite Prevalence Corresponds to Host Life History in a Diverse Assemblage of Afrotropical Birds and Haemosporidian Parasites

    PubMed Central

    Lutz, Holly L.; Hochachka, Wesley M.; Engel, Joshua I.; Bell, Jeffrey A.; Tkach, Vasyl V.; Bates, John M.; Hackett, Shannon J.; Weckstein, Jason D.

    2015-01-01

    Avian host life history traits have been hypothesized to predict rates of infection by haemosporidian parasites. Using molecular techniques, we tested this hypothesis for parasites from three haemosporidian genera (Plasmodium, Haemoproteus, and Leucocytozoon) collected from a diverse sampling of birds in northern Malawi. We found that host life history traits were significantly associated with parasitism rates by all three parasite genera. Nest type and nest location predicted infection probability for all three parasite genera, whereas flocking behavior is an important predictor of Plasmodium and Haemoproteus infection and habitat is an important predictor of Leucocytozoon infection. Parasite prevalence was 79.1% across all individuals sampled, higher than that reported for comparable studies from any other region of the world. Parasite diversity was also exceptionally high, with 248 parasite cytochrome b lineages identified from 152 host species. A large proportion of Plasmodium, Haemoproteus, and Leucocytozoon parasite DNA sequences identified in this study represent new, previously undocumented lineages (n = 201; 81% of total identified) based on BLAST queries against the avian malaria database, MalAvi. PMID:25853491

  8. A revision of Afrotropical Quasimodo flies (Diptera: Schizophora; Curtonotidae). Part IV—the continental Afrotropical species of Curtonotum Macquart, with descriptions of thirteen new species and a combined phylogenetic analysis of the Curtonotidae.

    PubMed

    Kirk-Spriggs, Ashley H; Wiegmann, Brian M

    2013-01-01

    specific name, as Parapsinota sublineata (Duda, 1939). The continental Afrotropical fauna of the genus Curtonotum Macquart, 1844 is revised and a diagnosis of the genus is provided. Known biology, behaviour and published information on immature stages of the genus are briefly reviewed. Type material of 12 of the 13 named species (C. angolense Tsacas, C. campsiphallum Tsacas, C. cuthbertsoni Duda, C. herrero Tsacas, C. pauliani Tsacas, C. platyphallum Tsacas, C. quinquevittatum Curran, C. saheliense Tsacas, C. sao Tsacas, C. simile Tsacas, C. striatifrons Malloch and C. tigrinum Séguy), was studied and errors in previous interpretations and designation of type specimens are resolved. Curtonotum pauliani is the only species occurring on both the continental African mainland and Madagascar. The type spec-imen of C. maculiventris (Enderlein) is lost and a neotype is here designated. One species synonymy is proposed: C. tigrinum Séguy, 1933 = C. maculiventris (Enderlein, 1917), syn. n. Additional material of the aforementioned species is noted, substantially increasing their known distributions. Thirteen species are described as new, namely: C. bicuspis Kirk- Spriggs, sp. n., C. cimbebas Kirk-Spriggs, sp. n., C. constance Kirk-Spriggs, sp. n., C. freidberg Kirk-Spriggs, sp. n., C. gonzo Kirk-Spriggs, sp. n., C. hay Kirk-Spriggs, sp. n., C. litoralis Kirk-Spriggs, sp. n., C. marriott Kirk-Spriggs, sp. n., C. mcgregor Kirk-Spriggs, sp. n., C. moffatt Kirk-Spriggs, sp. n., C. tsacas Kirk-Spriggs, sp. n., C. uncinatum Kirk- Spriggs, sp. n. and C. unicuspis Kirk-Spriggs, sp. n. The head and thorax, frons, wing, fifth sternite and hypandrium of the male of the 25 named species are illustrated for the first time, as well as the highly diagnostic male phallus, from both the right and left sides laterally. A key to species based on male characters is provided, and species distributions are mapped and interpreted according to major vegetation types, topography and humidity zones. The

  9. Monograph of the Afrotropical species of Scelio Latreille (Hymenoptera, Platygastridae), egg parasitoids of acridid grasshoppers (Orthoptera, Acrididae).

    PubMed

    Yoder, Matthew J; Valerio, Alejandro A; Polaszek, Andrew; van Noort, Simon; Masner, Lubomír; Johnson, Norman F

    2014-01-01

    The genus Scelio is a cosmopolitan and speciose group of solitary parasitoids of the eggs of short-horned grasshoppers (Orthoptera: Acrididae). A number of these hosts are important pests, including plague locusts of the genus Schistocerca. Species of Scelio are recognized as potentially important biological control agents, but this possibility has yet to be fully realized, in part because the species-level taxonomy is still incompletely developed. The species of the pulchripennis group have been recently revised. As a continuation of this effort, here we revise the Afrotropical species of Scelio, excluding the pulchripennis species group. Sixty two (62) species are treated, 48 of which are new. Species are classified into the following species groups: ernstii (12 species, 9 new), howardi (23 species, 19 new), ipomeae (6 species, 5 new), irwini (4 species, 3 new), simoni (3 new species) and walkeri (12 species, 9 new). Keys to species groups and to the species within each group are provided. New species described are: S. albatus Yoder, sp. n., S. aphares Yoder, sp. n., S. apospastos Yoder, sp. n., S. ardelio Yoder, sp. n., S. aurantium Yoder, sp. n., S. balo Valerio & Yoder, sp. n., S. bayanga Yoder, sp. n., S. bubulo Yoder, sp. n., S. cano Yoder, sp. n., S. clypeatus Yoder, sp. n., S. concavus Yoder, sp. n., S. copelandi Yoder, sp. n., S. crepo Yoder, sp. n., S. destico Yoder, sp. n., S. dupondi Yoder, sp. n., S. effervesco Yoder, sp. n., S. erugatus Yoder, sp. n., S. exophthalmus Yoder, sp. n., S. fremo Valerio & Yoder, sp. n., S. gemo Yoder, sp. n., S. grunnio Yoder, sp. n., S. harinhalai Yoder, sp. n., S. igland Yoder, sp. n., S. impostor Yoder, sp. n., S. irwini Yoder, sp. n., S. janseni Yoder, sp. n., S. latro Yoder, sp. n., S. memorabilis Yoder, sp. n., S. modulus Yoder, sp. n., S. mutio Yoder, sp. n., S. ntchisii Yoder, sp. n., S. parkeri Yoder, sp. n., S. phaeoprora Yoder, sp. n., S. pilosilatus Yoder, sp. n., S. pipilo Yoder, sp. n., S. quasiclypeatus

  10. Monograph of the Afrotropical species of Scelio Latreille (Hymenoptera, Platygastridae), egg parasitoids of acridid grasshoppers (Orthoptera, Acrididae)

    PubMed Central

    Yoder, Matthew J.; Valerio, Alejandro A.; Polaszek, Andrew; van Noort, Simon; Masner, Lubomír; Johnson, Norman F.

    2014-01-01

    Abstract The genus Scelio is a cosmopolitan and speciose group of solitary parasitoids of the eggs of short-horned grasshoppers (Orthoptera: Acrididae). A number of these hosts are important pests, including plague locusts of the genus Schistocerca. Species of Scelio are recognized as potentially important biological control agents, but this possibility has yet to be fully realized, in part because the species-level taxonomy is still incompletely developed. The species of the pulchripennis group have been recently revised. As a continuation of this effort, here we revise the Afrotropical species of Scelio, excluding the pulchripennis species group. Sixty two (62) species are treated, 48 of which are new. Species are classified into the following species groups: ernstii (12 species, 9 new), howardi (23 species, 19 new), ipomeae (6 species, 5 new), irwini (4 species, 3 new), simoni (3 new species) and walkeri (12 species, 9 new). Keys to species groups and to the species within each group are provided. New species described are: S. albatus Yoder, sp. n., S. aphares Yoder, sp. n., S. apospastos Yoder, sp. n., S. ardelio Yoder, sp. n., S. aurantium Yoder, sp. n., S. balo Valerio & Yoder, sp. n., S. bayanga Yoder, sp. n., S. bubulo Yoder, sp. n., S. cano Yoder, sp. n., S. clypeatus Yoder, sp. n., S. concavus Yoder, sp. n., S. copelandi Yoder, sp. n., S. crepo Yoder, sp. n., S. destico Yoder, sp. n., S. dupondi Yoder, sp. n., S. effervesco Yoder, sp. n., S. erugatus Yoder, sp. n., S. exophthalmus Yoder, sp. n., S. fremo Valerio & Yoder, sp. n., S. gemo Yoder, sp. n., S. grunnio Yoder, sp. n., S. harinhalai Yoder, sp. n., S. igland Yoder, sp. n., S. impostor Yoder, sp. n., S. irwini Yoder, sp. n., S. janseni Yoder, sp. n., S. latro Yoder, sp. n., S. memorabilis Yoder, sp. n., S. modulus Yoder, sp. n., S. mutio Yoder, sp. n., S. ntchisii Yoder, sp. n., S. parkeri Yoder, sp. n., S. phaeoprora Yoder, sp. n., S. pilosilatus Yoder, sp. n., S. pipilo Yoder, sp. n., S

  11. Revision of the afrotropical oberthuerellinae (cynipoidea, liopteridae).

    PubMed

    Buffington, Matthew L; van Noort, Simon

    2012-01-01

    The Afrotropical Oberthuerellinae are revised, and new dichotomous and multi-entry keys to the species of Oberthuerella, Tessmannella, and Xenocynips are provided. All previously described species in these genera are redescribed; descriptions are augmented by color images of the holotype for each species. The following 11 species are described as new: Oberthuerella cyclopia Buffington & van Noort; Oberthuerella eschara Buffington & van Noort; Oberthuerella kibalensis van Noort & Buffington; Oberthuerella pardolatus Buffington & van Noort; Oberthuerella sharkeyi Buffington & van Noort; Oberthuerella simba Buffington & van Noort; Tessmannella copelandi Buffington & van Noort; Tessmannella kiplingi Buffington & van Noort; Tessmannella roberti Buffington & van Noort; Xenocynips rhothion Buffington & van Noort; and Xenocynips ronquisti Buffington & van Noort. We provide identification keys to the genera and species occurring in the Afrotropical region. Online dichotomous and interactive Lucid keys to genera and species are available at http://www.waspweb.org/Cynipoidea/Keys/index.htm.

  12. 50 CFR 92.22 - Subsistence migratory bird species.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 9 2013-10-01 2013-10-01 false Subsistence migratory bird species. 92.22... (CONTINUED) MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS MIGRATORY BIRD SUBSISTENCE HARVEST IN ALASKA General Regulations Governing Subsistence Harvest § 92.22 Subsistence migratory bird species. You may harvest birds or...

  13. 50 CFR 92.22 - Subsistence migratory bird species.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 6 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Subsistence migratory bird species. 92.22... (CONTINUED) MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS MIGRATORY BIRD SUBSISTENCE HARVEST IN ALASKA General Regulations Governing Subsistence Harvest § 92.22 Subsistence migratory bird species. You may harvest birds or...

  14. 50 CFR 92.22 - Subsistence migratory bird species.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 9 2012-10-01 2012-10-01 false Subsistence migratory bird species. 92.22... (CONTINUED) MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS MIGRATORY BIRD SUBSISTENCE HARVEST IN ALASKA General Regulations Governing Subsistence Harvest § 92.22 Subsistence migratory bird species. You may harvest birds or...

  15. 50 CFR 92.22 - Subsistence migratory bird species.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 8 2011-10-01 2011-10-01 false Subsistence migratory bird species. 92.22... (CONTINUED) MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS MIGRATORY BIRD SUBSISTENCE HARVEST IN ALASKA General Regulations Governing Subsistence Harvest § 92.22 Subsistence migratory bird species. You may harvest birds or...

  16. 50 CFR 92.22 - Subsistence migratory bird species.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 9 2014-10-01 2014-10-01 false Subsistence migratory bird species. 92.22... (CONTINUED) MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS MIGRATORY BIRD SUBSISTENCE HARVEST IN ALASKA General Regulations Governing Subsistence Harvest § 92.22 Subsistence migratory bird species. You may harvest birds or...

  17. [Description of Trochilopsylla torresmurai n. gen., n. sp. (Siphonaptera: Ceratophyllidae) from Chile, the first flea known to parasitize a humming bird (Aves: Trochilidae)].

    PubMed

    Beaucournu, J C; Gonzalez-Acuna, D

    2010-06-01

    A new genus and a new species are described from fleas of occupied nest from humming bird, Oreotrichulus estella (d'Orbigny & Lafresnaye, 1838). This taxa shows, in particular, some affinities with Dasypsyllus Baker, 1908, parasite on birds, cosmopolitan except in afrotropical and austral regions, and Smitipsylla Lewis, 1971, parasite on flying squirrels (Anomaluridae) in oriental region.

  18. All about Owls: Studying Owls, State Birds, and Endangered Species.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rivard, Leonard P.

    1991-01-01

    Activities are included that acquaint students with the parts of birds and the structure of feathers; that identify the prey of owls by opening owl pellets; working with information about threatened and endangered species of birds; and follow-up activities for bird study. A list of state and provincial birds of the United States and Canada and…

  19. Determination of Body Density for Twelve Bird Species

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1993-04-01

    8217Calon Distribution Availability Codes SM Avail! andi I or Dis1 Special V List of Tables TABLE PAGE 1 The Mean Density and Mass of 12 Birds of 12 Species...When Dry ... ............................... 9 2 The Mean Density and Mass of 12 Birds of 12 Species After Soaking in Water ................... 10 3...The Mean Density and Mass of 12 Birds of 12 Species After Plucking All Feathers ............. 11 4 The Mean Length-to-diameter Ratio of 12 Birds of 12

  20. 78 FR 65955 - Migratory Bird Permits; Control Order for Introduced Migratory Bird Species in Hawaii

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-11-04

    ... Fish and Wildlife Service 50 CFR Part 21 RIN 1018-AZ69 Migratory Bird Permits; Control Order for Introduced Migratory Bird Species in Hawaii AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior. ACTION: Proposed... alba), two introduced migratory bird species in Hawaii. We also make the supporting draft...

  1. Bird species diversity in the padawan limestone area, sarawak.

    PubMed

    Mansor, Mohammad Saiful; Sah, Shahrul Anuar Mohd; Koon, Lim Chan; Rahman, Mustafa Abdul

    2011-12-01

    Bird surveys were conducted in the Padawan Limestone Area for seven days at each of two study sites, Giam and Danu, from August to December 2008. The purpose of the study was to compare the area's bird species richness and abundance of bird species in other limestone areas and in other forest types. The study also compared the species richness and relative abundance of birds in undisturbed and disturbed areas at both study sites. Twenty mist nets were deployed for 12 hours daily. During this study period, direct observations of birds were also made. In all, 80 species from 34 families were recorded at both sites. At Giam, 120 birds were mist-netted. These birds represented 31 species from 16 families. The direct observations at Giam recorded 13 species from 11 families. In the undisturbed area, 21 species from 13 families were mist-netted, whereas in the disturbed area, 21 species from 10 families were mist-netted. In Danu, a total of 48 birds, representing 25 species from 12 families, were mist-netted. The observations at Danu recorded 34 species from 19 families. Twelve species from 7 families were mist-netted in the undisturbed area, whereas 18 species from 11 families were mist-netted in the disturbed area. Statistical analysis showed that the species diversity index differed significantly between undisturbed and disturbed areas.

  2. Bird Species Diversity in the Padawan Limestone Area, Sarawak

    PubMed Central

    Mansor, Mohammad Saiful; Sah, Shahrul Anuar Mohd; Koon, Lim Chan; Rahman, Mustafa Abdul

    2011-01-01

    Bird surveys were conducted in the Padawan Limestone Area for seven days at each of two study sites, Giam and Danu, from August to December 2008. The purpose of the study was to compare the area’s bird species richness and abundance of bird species in other limestone areas and in other forest types. The study also compared the species richness and relative abundance of birds in undisturbed and disturbed areas at both study sites. Twenty mist nets were deployed for 12 hours daily. During this study period, direct observations of birds were also made. In all, 80 species from 34 families were recorded at both sites. At Giam, 120 birds were mist-netted. These birds represented 31 species from 16 families. The direct observations at Giam recorded 13 species from 11 families. In the undisturbed area, 21 species from 13 families were mist-netted, whereas in the disturbed area, 21 species from 10 families were mist-netted. In Danu, a total of 48 birds, representing 25 species from 12 families, were mist-netted. The observations at Danu recorded 34 species from 19 families. Twelve species from 7 families were mist-netted in the undisturbed area, whereas 18 species from 11 families were mist-netted in the disturbed area. Statistical analysis showed that the species diversity index differed significantly between undisturbed and disturbed areas. PMID:24575218

  3. The Afrotropical Miomantis caffra Saussure 1871 and Miomantis paykullii Stal 1871: first records of alien mantid species in Portugal and Europe, with an updated checklist of Mantodea in Portugal (Insecta: Mantodea)

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Abstract The recent growing interest on the Mantodea fauna of southern Europe and Portugal in particular, has enabled the discovery of two geographically separated populations of hitherto unknown species in Europe. Analysis of specimens shows that they belong to two Afrotropical mantids: Miomantis caffra Saussure, 1871 and Miomantis paykullii Stal, 1871, thus raising the number of known species in Europe to 39 and in Portugal to 11. While these are remarkable findings, they also represent the first alien mantis species recorded from this continent. As yet, these species appear to be confined to artificial humanised gardened areas but call for more attention to the problem of biological invasions and the need for better bio-security measures for the conservation of natural ecosystems. In the absence of recent revisionary work on the Mantodea of Portugal and given the need to provide an accessible identification tool, both a checklist and a key to species are provided for all species in the country. PMID:25425938

  4. International Trade of CITES Listed Bird Species in China

    PubMed Central

    Li, Linlin; Jiang, Zhigang

    2014-01-01

    Commercial trade of wild birds may devastate wild bird populations. Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) controls the trade of wild species listed in its appendices to avoid these species being threatened by international trade. China used to be one of the major trading countries with significant bird trade with foreign countries; on the other hand, China is a country with unique avian fauna, many Important Bird Areas and critically endangered bird species. What is the role of the country in world wild bird trade? What kind of insights can we extract from trade records for improving future management of wild bird trade in the country? We retrieved and analyzed international trade records of the CITES listed bird species of China from 1981 to 2010 from the CITES Trade Database maintained by United Nations Environment Program and World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC). We found that: (1) International trade of live birds in China peaked during the late 1990s, then decreased to the level before the surge of trade in a few years, the trade dynamics of wild birds may be affected by governmental policy and the outbreak of avian influenza during the period. (2) Most frequently traded CITES Appendix listed birds in China were parrots, most of which were exotic species to the country. (3) Birds were mainly traded for commercial purpose. Exotic birds in trade were mainly captive-bred while the most Chinese birds traded internationally were captured from the wild. Since many bird species in international trade are threatened to extinction, China should take stricter measures on importing of wild-captured birds and should collaborate with the countries of original in the international bird trade to avoid unsustainable harvesting of wild birds. It is urgent for China to carry out population surveys on those domestic bird species once in significant international trade and to make better conservation decisions based on

  5. International trade of CITES listed bird species in China.

    PubMed

    Li, Linlin; Jiang, Zhigang

    2014-01-01

    Commercial trade of wild birds may devastate wild bird populations. Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) controls the trade of wild species listed in its appendices to avoid these species being threatened by international trade. China used to be one of the major trading countries with significant bird trade with foreign countries; on the other hand, China is a country with unique avian fauna, many Important Bird Areas and critically endangered bird species. What is the role of the country in world wild bird trade? What kind of insights can we extract from trade records for improving future management of wild bird trade in the country? We retrieved and analyzed international trade records of the CITES listed bird species of China from 1981 to 2010 from the CITES Trade Database maintained by United Nations Environment Program and World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC). We found that: (1) International trade of live birds in China peaked during the late 1990s, then decreased to the level before the surge of trade in a few years, the trade dynamics of wild birds may be affected by governmental policy and the outbreak of avian influenza during the period. (2) Most frequently traded CITES Appendix listed birds in China were parrots, most of which were exotic species to the country. (3) Birds were mainly traded for commercial purpose. Exotic birds in trade were mainly captive-bred while the most Chinese birds traded internationally were captured from the wild. Since many bird species in international trade are threatened to extinction, China should take stricter measures on importing of wild-captured birds and should collaborate with the countries of original in the international bird trade to avoid unsustainable harvesting of wild birds. It is urgent for China to carry out population surveys on those domestic bird species once in significant international trade and to make better conservation decisions based on

  6. Toxoplasmosis in three species of native and introduced Hawaiian birds

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Work, T.M.; Massey, J.G.; Lindsay, D.S.; Dubey, J.P.

    2002-01-01

    Toxoplasma gondii was found in endemic Hawaiian birds, including 2 nene geese (Nesochen sandvicensis), 1 red-footed booby (Sula sula), and an introduced bird, the Erckels francolin (Francolinus erckelii). All 4 birds died of disseminated toxoplasmosis; the parasite was found in sections of many organs, and the diagnosis was confirmed by immunohistochemical staining with antia??T. gondiia??specific polyclonal antibodies. This is the first report of toxoplasmosis in these species of birds.

  7. Toxoplasmosis in three species of native and introduced Hawaiian birds.

    PubMed

    Work, Thierry M; Massey, J Gregory; Lindsay, David; Dubey, J P

    2002-10-01

    Toxoplasma gondii was found in endemic Hawaiian birds, including 2 nene geese (Nesochen sandvicensis), 1 red-footed booby (Sula sula), and an introduced bird, the Erckels francolin (Francolinus erckelii). All 4 birds died of disseminated toxoplasmosis; the parasite was found in sections of many organs, and the diagnosis was confirmed by immunohistochemical staining with anti-T. gondii-specific polyclonal antibodies. This is the first report of toxoplasmosis in these species of birds.

  8. Two new combinations in Thaumatotibia Zacher from Reunion Island (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae), with an updated list of the Afrotropical species

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    We propose two new combinations in Thaumatotibia: T. colasi (Guillermet, 2006), new combination, and T. destrumeli (Guilermet, 2006), new combination. Both species are endemic to Reunion Island, and both were described in Cryptophlebia. We also present an updated list of the 14 described species of ...

  9. Revision of the Afrotropical Mayrellinae (Cynipoidea, Liopteridae), with the first record of Paramblynotus from Madagascar

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The genus Paramblynotus Cameron from the Afrotropical region is revised including the description of the following eight new species: Paramblynotus alexandriensis Buffington & van Noort sp. nov.; Paramblynotus bayangensis van Noort & Buffington sp. nov.; Paramblynotus behara van Noort & Buffington s...

  10. Immunogenic proteins specific to different bird species in bird fancier's lung.

    PubMed

    Rouzet, Adeline; Reboux, Gabriel; Rognon, Bénédicte; Barrera, Coralie; De Vuyst, Paul; Dalphin, Jean-Charles; Millon, Laurence; Roussel, Sandrine

    2014-01-01

    Bird fancier's lung (BFL) is a disease produced by exposure to avian proteins present in droppings, blooms, and serum of a variety of birds. Although serological test results are currently used to confirm clinical diagnosis of the disease, bird species specificity is poorly understood. This study aimed to contribute to a better understanding of the specificity of immunogenic proteins revealed from the droppings of three bird species. Sera from four patients with BFL and two controls without exposure were analyzed by Western blotting with antigens from droppings of two pigeon and budgerigar strains and two hen species. When the antigens from the droppings of the three bird species were compared, the profile of immunogenic proteins was different and there were similarities between strains of the same species. Only one 68-kD protein was common to pigeon and budgerigar droppings, while proteins of 200, 175, 140, 100, and 35 kD were detected as specific in one bird species. These results provide insight to further characterize these proteins, and to design new serological tests specific to different bird species. These tests may help to refine strategies of antigenic exclusion and also to allow a patient compensation in case of BFL of occupational origin.

  11. Music for the birds: effects of auditory enrichment on captive bird species.

    PubMed

    Robbins, Lindsey; Margulis, Susan W

    2016-01-01

    With the increase of mixed species exhibits in zoos, targeting enrichment for individual species may be problematic. Often, mammals may be the primary targets of enrichment, yet other species that share their environment (such as birds) will unavoidably be exposed to the enrichment as well. The purpose of this study was to determine if (1) auditory stimuli designed for enrichment of primates influenced the behavior of captive birds in the zoo setting, and (2) if the specific type of auditory enrichment impacted bird behavior. Three different African bird species were observed at the Buffalo Zoo during exposure to natural sounds, classical music and rock music. The results revealed that the average frequency of flying in all three bird species increased with naturalistic sounds and decreased with rock music (F = 7.63, df = 3,6, P = 0.018); vocalizations for two of the three species (Superb Starlings and Mousebirds) increased (F = 18.61, df = 2,6, P = 0.0027) in response to all auditory stimuli, however one species (Lady Ross's Turacos) increased frequency of duetting only in response to rock music (X(2) = 18.5, df = 2, P < 0.0001). Auditory enrichment implemented for large mammals may influence behavior in non-target species as well, in this case leading to increased activity by birds.

  12. Candidate bird species for use in aging research.

    PubMed

    Austad, Steven N

    2011-01-01

    Birds live about 3 times as long as an average mammal of similar size. They exhibit this remarkable resistance to the degenerative processes of aging despite traits such as elevated body temperature, a rapid metabolic rate, and high blood glucose that might lead one to expect them to be especially short-lived. Although birds appear to age slowly, the patterns of age-related deterioration and development of disease parallel in many ways those of mammals such as humans. Therefore, birds may reveal novel mechanisms of resistance to senescence. A previous impediment to the use of birds in modern biomedical research was the inability to perform targeted genetic manipulations, which has revolutionized the use of other model species. But with the publication of the whole genome sequence of two bird species and the development of gene knockdown technology and tissue-specific transgenesis, this impediment seems to be disappearing. At least five bird species deserve special attention for development as models of successful aging. Three of these species--budgerigars, canaries, and zebra finches--are common cage birds and are already used extensively in the study of vocal learning and sustained neurogenesis in adulthood. In addition, two wild species--the European starling and the house sparrow--may also make excellent models for aging research.

  13. The species of mallophaga in wild birds in Iran.

    PubMed

    Rak, H; Anwar, M; Niak, A

    1975-01-01

    Up to date 2 species of Mallophaga have been reported from birds in Iran. Further studies in Tehran area showed that the wild birds harbour more lice. The following species of Mallophage are reported for the first time from birds in Iran. Anaticola crassicornis from Anas clypeata, Laemobothrion maximum from Falco tinnunculus Laemobothrion sp. from Aquila chrysaetos Alcedoecus annulatus from Alcedo athis, Colpocephalum pectinatum and Strigiphilus sp. from Streptopelia turtur, Amrysidea fulvomaculata from Coturnix coturnix, philopterus picae from pica pica, Philopterus ocellatus and Colpocephalum pectinatum from Athene noctua, Philopterus sp. from Turdus ruficollis, Upupicola upupae from Upupa epops, Amyrsidea hexapilosus from Phasianus colchicus, Colpocephalum sp. from Falco cherrug.

  14. A comparison of auditory brainstem responses across diving bird species

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Crowell, Sara E.; Berlin, Alicia; Carr, Catherine E; Olsen, Glenn H.; Therrien, Ronald E; Yannuzzi, Sally E; Ketten, Darlene R

    2015-01-01

    There is little biological data available for diving birds because many live in hard-to-study, remote habitats. Only one species of diving bird, the black-footed penguin (Spheniscus demersus), has been studied in respect to auditory capabilities (Wever et al., Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 63:676–680, 1969). We, therefore, measured in-air auditory threshold in ten species of diving birds, using the auditory brainstem response (ABR). The average audiogram obtained for each species followed the U-shape typical of birds and many other animals. All species tested shared a common region of the greatest sensitivity, from 1000 to 3000 Hz, although audiograms differed significantly across species. Thresholds of all duck species tested were more similar to each other than to the two non-duck species tested. The red-throated loon (Gavia stellata) and northern gannet (Morus bassanus) exhibited the highest thresholds while the lowest thresholds belonged to the duck species, specifically the lesser scaup (Aythya affinis) and ruddy duck (Oxyura jamaicensis). Vocalization parameters were also measured for each species, and showed that with the exception of the common eider (Somateria mollisima), the peak frequency, i.e., frequency at the greatest intensity, of all species' vocalizations measured here fell between 1000 and 3000 Hz, matching the bandwidth of the most sensitive hearing range.

  15. A comparison of auditory brainstem responses across diving bird species.

    PubMed

    Crowell, Sara E; Wells-Berlin, Alicia M; Carr, Catherine E; Olsen, Glenn H; Therrien, Ronald E; Yannuzzi, Sally E; Ketten, Darlene R

    2015-08-01

    There is little biological data available for diving birds because many live in hard-to-study, remote habitats. Only one species of diving bird, the black-footed penguin (Spheniscus demersus), has been studied in respect to auditory capabilities (Wever et al., Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 63:676-680, 1969). We, therefore, measured in-air auditory threshold in ten species of diving birds, using the auditory brainstem response (ABR). The average audiogram obtained for each species followed the U-shape typical of birds and many other animals. All species tested shared a common region of the greatest sensitivity, from 1000 to 3000 Hz, although audiograms differed significantly across species. Thresholds of all duck species tested were more similar to each other than to the two non-duck species tested. The red-throated loon (Gavia stellata) and northern gannet (Morus bassanus) exhibited the highest thresholds while the lowest thresholds belonged to the duck species, specifically the lesser scaup (Aythya affinis) and ruddy duck (Oxyura jamaicensis). Vocalization parameters were also measured for each species, and showed that with the exception of the common eider (Somateria mollisima), the peak frequency, i.e., frequency at the greatest intensity, of all species' vocalizations measured here fell between 1000 and 3000 Hz, matching the bandwidth of the most sensitive hearing range.

  16. The Global Distribution and Drivers of Alien Bird Species Richness

    PubMed Central

    Dyer, Ellie E.; Cassey, Phillip; Redding, David W.; Collen, Ben; Franks, Victoria; Gaston, Kevin J.; Jones, Kate E.; Kark, Salit; Orme, C. David L.; Blackburn, Tim M.

    2017-01-01

    Alien species are a major component of human-induced environmental change. Variation in the numbers of alien species found in different areas is likely to depend on a combination of anthropogenic and environmental factors, with anthropogenic factors affecting the number of species introduced to new locations, and when, and environmental factors influencing how many species are able to persist there. However, global spatial and temporal variation in the drivers of alien introduction and species richness remain poorly understood. Here, we analyse an extensive new database of alien birds to explore what determines the global distribution of alien species richness for an entire taxonomic class. We demonstrate that the locations of origin and introduction of alien birds, and their identities, were initially driven largely by European (mainly British) colonialism. However, recent introductions are a wider phenomenon, involving more species and countries, and driven in part by increasing economic activity. We find that, globally, alien bird species richness is currently highest at midlatitudes and is strongly determined by anthropogenic effects, most notably the number of species introduced (i.e., “colonisation pressure”). Nevertheless, environmental drivers are also important, with native and alien species richness being strongly and consistently positively associated. Our results demonstrate that colonisation pressure is key to understanding alien species richness, show that areas of high native species richness are not resistant to colonisation by alien species at the global scale, and emphasise the likely ongoing threats to global environments from introductions of species. PMID:28081142

  17. The Global Distribution and Drivers of Alien Bird Species Richness.

    PubMed

    Dyer, Ellie E; Cassey, Phillip; Redding, David W; Collen, Ben; Franks, Victoria; Gaston, Kevin J; Jones, Kate E; Kark, Salit; Orme, C David L; Blackburn, Tim M

    2017-01-01

    Alien species are a major component of human-induced environmental change. Variation in the numbers of alien species found in different areas is likely to depend on a combination of anthropogenic and environmental factors, with anthropogenic factors affecting the number of species introduced to new locations, and when, and environmental factors influencing how many species are able to persist there. However, global spatial and temporal variation in the drivers of alien introduction and species richness remain poorly understood. Here, we analyse an extensive new database of alien birds to explore what determines the global distribution of alien species richness for an entire taxonomic class. We demonstrate that the locations of origin and introduction of alien birds, and their identities, were initially driven largely by European (mainly British) colonialism. However, recent introductions are a wider phenomenon, involving more species and countries, and driven in part by increasing economic activity. We find that, globally, alien bird species richness is currently highest at midlatitudes and is strongly determined by anthropogenic effects, most notably the number of species introduced (i.e., "colonisation pressure"). Nevertheless, environmental drivers are also important, with native and alien species richness being strongly and consistently positively associated. Our results demonstrate that colonisation pressure is key to understanding alien species richness, show that areas of high native species richness are not resistant to colonisation by alien species at the global scale, and emphasise the likely ongoing threats to global environments from introductions of species.

  18. A comparison of auditory brainstem responses across diving bird species

    PubMed Central

    Crowell, Sara E.; Wells-Berlin, Alicia M.; Carr, Catherine E.; Olsen, Glenn H.; Therrien, Ronald E.; Yannuzzi, Sally E.; Ketten, Darlene R.

    2015-01-01

    There is little biological data available for diving birds because many live in hard-to-study, remote habitats. Only one species of diving bird, the black-footed penguin (Spheniscus demersus), has been studied in respect to auditory capabilities (Wever et al. 1969). We therefore measured in-air auditory threshold in ten species of diving birds, using the auditory brainstem response (ABR). The average audiogram obtained for each species followed the U-shape typical of birds and many other animals. All species tested shared a common region of greatest sensitivity, from 1000 to 3000 Hz, although audiograms differed significantly across species. Thresholds of all duck species tested were more similar to each other than to the two non-duck species tested. The red-throated loon (Gavia stellata) and northern gannet (Morus bassanus) exhibited the highest thresholds while the lowest thresholds belonged to the duck species, specifically the lesser scaup (Aythya affinis) and ruddy duck (Oxyura jamaicensis). Vocalization parameters were also measured for each species, and showed that with the exception of the common eider (Somateria mollisima), the peak frequency, i.e. frequency at the greatest intensity, of all species’ vocalizations measured here fell between 1000 and 3000 Hz, matching the bandwidth of the most sensitive hearing range. PMID:26156644

  19. Kenyan endemic bird species at home in novel ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Habel, Jan Christian; Teucher, Mike; Rödder, Dennis; Bleicher, Marie-Therese; Dieckow, Claudia; Wiese, Anja; Fischer, Christina

    2016-04-01

    Riparian thickets of East Africa harbor a large number of endemic animal and plant species, but also provide important ecosystem services for the human being settling along streams. This creates a conflicting situation between nature conservation and land-use activities. Today, most of this former pristine vegetation is highly degraded and became replaced by the invasive exotic Lantana camara shrub species. In this study, we analyze the movement behavior and habitat use of a diverse range of riparian bird species and model the habitat availability of each of these species. We selected the following four riparian bird species: Bare-eyed Thrush Turdus tephronotus, Rufous Chatterer Turdoides rubiginosus, Zanzibar Sombre Greenbul Andropadus importunus insularis, and the Kenyan endemic Hinde's Babbler Turdoides hindei. We collected telemetric data of 14 individuals during a 2 months radio-tracking campaign along the Nzeeu River in southeast Kenya. We found that (1) all four species had similar home-range sizes, all geographically restricted and nearby the river; (2) all species mainly use dense thicket, in particular the invasive L. camara; (3) human settlements were avoided by the bird individuals observed; (4) the birds' movement, indicating foraging behavior, was comparatively slow within thickets, but significantly faster over open, agricultural areas; and (5) habitat suitability models underline the relevance of L. camara as suitable surrogate habitat for all understoreyed bird species, but also show that the clearance of thickets has led to a vanishing of large and interconnected thickets and thus might have negative effects on the population viability in the long run.

  20. Revision of the afrotropical species of Zaprionus (Diptera, Drosophilidae), with descriptions of two new species and notes on internal reproductive structures and immature stages

    PubMed Central

    Yassin, Amir; David, Jean R.

    2010-01-01

    Abstract A new classification of the subgenus Zaprionus is proposed in light of recent phylogenetic findings. The boundaries of the armatus and inermis species groups are redefined. The vittiger subgroup is upgraded to the level of a species group. The tuberculatus subgroup is transferred from the armatus to the inermis group. A new monotypic group, neglectus, is erected. Full morphological descriptions of four species belonging to the vittiger group are given: Zaprionus lachaisei sp. n. from Tanzania and Zaprionus santomensis sp. n. from São Tomé and Principé, and two cryptic species of the indianus complex, Zaprionus africanus Yassin & David and Zaprionus gabonicus Yassin & David. Three nominal species are synonymised: Zaprionus beninensis Chassagnard & Tsacas, syn. n. with Zaprionus koroleu Burla, Zaprionus simplex Chassagnard & McEvey, syn. n. with Zaprionus neglectus Collart, and Zaprionus megalorchis Chassagnard & Tsacas, syn. n. with Zaprionus ornatus Séguy. Half of the 46 species of the subgenus are available as laboratory strains and this has allowed full descriptions of the internal structure of their reproductive systems and their immature stages. PMID:21594121

  1. Energetic Constraints on Species Coexistence in Birds

    PubMed Central

    Pigot, Alexander L.

    2016-01-01

    The association between species richness and ecosystem energy availability is one of the major geographic trends in biodiversity. It is often explained in terms of energetic constraints, such that coexistence among competing species is limited in low productivity environments. However, it has proven challenging to reject alternative views, including the null hypothesis that species richness has simply had more time to accumulate in productive regions, and thus the role of energetic constraints in limiting coexistence remains largely unknown. We use the phylogenetic relationships and geographic ranges of sister species (pairs of lineages who are each other’s closest extant relatives) to examine the association between energy availability and coexistence across an entire vertebrate class (Aves). We show that the incidence of coexistence among sister species increases with overall species richness and is elevated in more productive ecosystems, even when accounting for differences in the evolutionary time available for coexistence to occur. Our results indicate that energy availability promotes species coexistence in closely related lineages, providing a key step toward a more mechanistic understanding of the productivity–richness relationship underlying global gradients in biodiversity. PMID:26974194

  2. Understanding relations between breeding bird species and extreme weather

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Allstadt, A.; Bateman, B.; Pidgeon, A. M.; Radeloff, V.; Vavrus, S. J.; Keuler, N.; Clayton, M.; Albright, T.; Thogmartin, W.; Heglund, P.

    2013-12-01

    Extreme weather events are increasing in frequency due to climate change. Extreme weather events like periods of drought or cold snaps may impose hardship on many animal and plant populations. However, little is known about biotic response to extreme events. For example, some species experience population size changes in association with extreme weather, and some do not. However the mechanisms responsible for observed declines in avian abundance following heat waves and drought are not clear. Our goal was to characterize the population changes of North American bird species in relation to temperature and precipitation extremes using North American Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) data. We derived standardized measures of extreme precipitation and air temperature based on phase 2 NASA Land Data Assimilation System (NLDAS-2), an hourly 1/8 degree resolution land surface forcing dataset, and modeled population responses, during the breeding season, of 363 bird species. Of those species in which a change was observed, many demonstrated decreases in total population size, suggesting either mortality or reproductive failure (or both) are the causative mechanisms of this decline. A greater proportion of population changes were associated with extreme conditions in the same year than in the previous year. Some species exhibited population decreases in areas of extreme weather and increases in areas with environmental conditions more favorable to breeding while overall abundance remained relatively constant, which might indicate movement. The patterns of bird population changes in relation to extreme weather events provide insight for planners as they consider modifications to our national protected area network that will limit threats posed by climate change to bird populations.

  3. Weather, Not Climate, Defines Distributions of Vagile Bird Species

    PubMed Central

    Reside, April E.; VanDerWal, Jeremy J.; Kutt, Alex S.; Perkins, Genevieve C.

    2010-01-01

    Background Accurate predictions of species distributions are essential for climate change impact assessments. However the standard practice of using long-term climate averages to train species distribution models might mute important temporal patterns of species distribution. The benefit of using temporally explicit weather and distribution data has not been assessed. We hypothesized that short-term weather associated with the time a species was recorded should be superior to long-term climate measures for predicting distributions of mobile species. Methodology We tested our hypothesis by generating distribution models for 157 bird species found in Australian tropical savannas (ATS) using modelling algorithm Maxent. The variable weather of the ATS supports a bird assemblage with variable movement patterns and a high incidence of nomadism. We developed “weather” models by relating climatic variables (mean temperature, rainfall, rainfall seasonality and temperature seasonality) from the three month, six month and one year period preceding each bird record over a 58 year period (1950–2008). These weather models were compared against models built using long-term (30 year) averages of the same climatic variables. Conclusions Weather models consistently achieved higher model scores than climate models, particularly for wide-ranging, nomadic and desert species. Climate models predicted larger range areas for species, whereas weather models quantified fluctuations in habitat suitability across months, seasons and years. Models based on long-term climate averages over-estimate availability of suitable habitat and species' climatic tolerances, masking species potential vulnerability to climate change. Our results demonstrate that dynamic approaches to distribution modelling, such as incorporating organism-appropriate temporal scales, improves understanding of species distributions. PMID:21042575

  4. Distribution and density of bird species hazardous to aircraft

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Robbins, C.S.; Gauthreaux, Sidney A.

    1975-01-01

    Only in the past 5 years has it become feasible to map the relative abundance of North American birds. Two programs presently under way and a third that is in the experimental phase are making possible the up-to-date mapping of abundance as well as distribution. A fourth program that has been used successfully in Europe and on a small scale in parts of North America yields detailed information on breeding distribution. The Breeding Bird Survey, sponsored by the U.S. Bureau of Sport Fisheries and Wildlife and the Canadian Wildlife Service, involves 2,000 randomly distributed roadside counts that are conducted during the height of the breeding season in all U.S. States and Canadian Provinces. Observations of approximately 1.4 million birds per year are entered on magnetic tape and subsequently used both for statistical analysis of population trends and for computer mapping of distribution and abundance. The National Audubon Society's Christmas Bird Count is conducted in about 1,000 circles, each 15 miles (24 km) in diameter, in the latter half of December. Raw data for past years have been published in voluminous reports, but not in a form for ready analysis. Under a contract between the U.S. Air Force and the U. S. Bureau of Sport Fisheries and Wildlife (in cooperation with the National Audubon Society), preliminary maps showing distribution and abundance of selected species that are potential hazards to aircraft are presently being mapped and prepared for publication. The Winter Bird Survey, which is in its fifth season of experimental study in a limited area in Central Maryland, may ultimately replace the Christmas Bird Count source. This Survey consists of a standardized 8-kilometer (5-mile) route covered uniformly once a year during midwinter. Bird Atlas programs, which map distribution but not abundance, are well established in Europe and are gaining interest in America

  5. Assessment of trace metals in four bird species from Korea.

    PubMed

    Kim, Jungsoo; Oh, Jong-Min

    2013-08-01

    In birds, heavy metal concentrations are influenced by diet intake, migratory pattern, and residence time. In the present study, heavy metal concentrations (in microgram per gram dry weight) were measured in livers of four bird species from Korea. Iron concentrations were greater in Eurasian Woodcocks (Scolopax rusticola) than in Grey Herons (Ardea cinerea), Little Egrets (Egretta garzetta), and Schrenck's Bitterns (Ixobrychus eurhythmus). Copper concentrations in Grey Herons were significantly higher than in other species. Lead concentrations were greater in Schrenck's Bitterns and Eurasian Woodcocks than in Grey Herons and Little Egrets. Eurasian Woodcocks had higher cadmium concentrations than in other species. Zinc and manganese concentrations did not differ among species. Iron, zinc, manganese, and copper concentrations from this study were within the range of other Korean bird studies, and these concentrations were far below toxic levels. Cadmium and lead accumulation trends in each species were different, and the results might be associated with their migration pattern and residence time in Korea. Grey Herons, Little Egrets, and Schrenck's Bitterns are usually summer visitors, and Eurasian Woodcocks are passage migrants. But herons and egrets were collected in spring, autumn, and winter, but not during breeding season. They might be residents, so they could more reflect Korean cadmium and lead contaminations than Schrenck's Bitterns. However, Eurasian Woodcocks could more reflect habitats outside Korea because of their short staying time in Korea.

  6. 45 CFR 670.25 - Designation of specially protected species of native mammals, birds, and plants.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-10-01

    ... native mammals, birds, and plants. 670.25 Section 670.25 Public Welfare Regulations Relating to Public... Protected Species of Mammals, Birds, and Plants § 670.25 Designation of specially protected species of native mammals, birds, and plants. The following species has been designated as Specially...

  7. 45 CFR 670.25 - Designation of specially protected species of native mammals, birds, and plants.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

    ... native mammals, birds, and plants. 670.25 Section 670.25 Public Welfare Regulations Relating to Public... Protected Species of Mammals, Birds, and Plants § 670.25 Designation of specially protected species of native mammals, birds, and plants. The following species has been designated as Specially...

  8. 45 CFR 670.25 - Designation of specially protected species of native mammals, birds, and plants.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

    ... native mammals, birds, and plants. 670.25 Section 670.25 Public Welfare Regulations Relating to Public... Protected Species of Mammals, Birds, and Plants § 670.25 Designation of specially protected species of native mammals, birds, and plants. The following species has been designated as Specially...

  9. 45 CFR 670.25 - Designation of specially protected species of native mammals, birds, and plants.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    ... native mammals, birds, and plants. 670.25 Section 670.25 Public Welfare Regulations Relating to Public... Protected Species of Mammals, Birds, and Plants § 670.25 Designation of specially protected species of native mammals, birds, and plants. The following species has been designated as Specially...

  10. 45 CFR 670.25 - Designation of specially protected species of native mammals, birds, and plants.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

    ... native mammals, birds, and plants. 670.25 Section 670.25 Public Welfare Regulations Relating to Public... Protected Species of Mammals, Birds, and Plants § 670.25 Designation of specially protected species of native mammals, birds, and plants. The following species has been designated as Specially...

  11. 75 FR 81793 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Listing Seven Brazilian Bird Species as Endangered...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-12-28

    ... Seven Brazilian Bird Species as Endangered Throughout Their Range; Final Rule #0;#0;Federal Register... Plants; Listing Seven Brazilian Bird Species as Endangered Throughout Their Range AGENCY: Fish and...), determine endangered status for the following seven Brazilian bird species and subspecies...

  12. Estimating bird species richness from capture and count data

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Dawson, D.K.; Sauer, J.R.; Wood, P.A.; Berlanga, M.; Wilson, M.H.; Robbins, C.S.; North, P.M.; Nichols, J.D.

    1995-01-01

    We used capture-recapture methods to estimate bird species richness from mist-net and point-count data from a study area in Campeche, Mexico. We estimated species richness separately for each survey technique for two habitats, forest and pasture, in six sampling periods. We then estimated richness based on species' detections by either technique, and estimated the proportion of species detected by each technique that are not part of the population sampled by the other technique. No consistent differences existed between richness estimates from count data and from capture data in the two habitats. In some sampling periods, over 50% of the richness estimate from one survey technique may be species that are not sampled by the other technique, suggesting that one technique may not be adequate to estimate total species richness and that comparing estimates from areas sampled by different techniques may not be valid.

  13. Importance of intraspecifically gregarious species in a tropical bird community.

    PubMed

    Sridhar, Hari; Shanker, Kartik

    2014-11-01

    In both single- and mixed-species social groups, certain participants are known to play important roles in providing benefits. Identifying these participants is critical for understanding group dynamics, but is often difficult with large roving social groups in the wild. Here, we develop a new approach to characterize roles in social groups and apply it to mixed-species bird flocks (flocks hereafter) in an Indian tropical evergreen forest. Two types of species, namely intraspecifically gregarious and sallying species, are thought to play important roles in flocks because studies have shown they attract other flock participants. However, it is unclear why these types are attractive and whether they are essential for flock formation. We address these questions by focusing on the composition of the subset of flocks containing only two species each. In two-species flocks, it is reasonable to assume that at least one species obtains some kind of benefit. Therefore, only those species combinations that result in benefit to at least one species should occur as two-species flocks. Using data from 540 flocks overall, of which 158 were two-species flocks, we find that intraspecifically gregarious species are disproportionately represented in two-species flocks and always lead flocks when present, and that flocks containing them are joined significantly more by other species. Our results suggest that intraspecifically gregarious species are likely to be the primary benefit providers in flocks and are important for tropical flock formation. Our study also provides a new approach to understanding importance in other mixed-species and single-species social groups.

  14. Cross-species transmission and emergence of novel viruses from birds.

    PubMed

    Chan, Jasper Fuk-Woo; To, Kelvin Kai-Wang; Chen, Honglin; Yuen, Kwok-Yung

    2015-02-01

    Birds, the only living member of the Dinosauria clade, are flying warm-blooded vertebrates displaying high species biodiversity, roosting and migratory behavior, and a unique adaptive immune system. Birds provide the natural reservoir for numerous viral species and therefore gene source for evolution, emergence and dissemination of novel viruses. The intrusions of human into natural habitats of wild birds, the domestication of wild birds as pets or racing birds, and the increasing poultry consumption by human have facilitated avian viruses to cross species barriers to cause zoonosis. Recently, a novel adenovirus was exclusively found in birds causing an outbreak of Chlamydophila psittaci infection among birds and humans. Instead of being the primary cause of an outbreak by jumping directly from bird to human, a novel avian virus can be an augmenter of another zoonotic agent causing the outbreak. A comprehensive avian virome will improve our understanding of birds' evolutionary dynamics.

  15. Stress, captivity, and reproduction in a wild bird species.

    PubMed

    Dickens, Molly J; Bentley, George E

    2014-09-01

    In seasonal species, glucocorticoid concentrations are often highest during the breeding season. However, the role of increased hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) activity in the regulation of reproduction remains poorly understood. Our study is the first, to our knowledge, to document reproductive consequences of a non-pharmacological hindrance to seasonal HPA fluctuations. Using wild-caught male and female European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) housed in an outdoor, semi-natural environment, we divided birds into two mixed-sex groups. One group remained in the outdoor aviary, where starlings breed at the appropriate time of year. The other group was transferred into an indoor flight aviary, where we predicted reproductive suppression to occur. We measured changes in corticosterone (CORT) at baseline and stress-induced concentrations prior to group separation and at the experiment's conclusion. After ten days, the birds showed remarkable differences in breeding behavior and HPA activity. Outdoor birds exhibited increases in baseline and stress-induced CORT and progressed into active breeding (pairing, nest building, egg laying, etc.). In contrast, indoor birds displayed no change in baseline or stress-induced CORT and few signs of active breeding. We found significant sex and treatment effects on expression of HPA and hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal (HPG) axis elements, suggesting sex-specific regulatory mechanisms. Our data suggest a novel, facilitating role for the HPA axis in the transition between early breeding and active breeding in a wild, seasonal avian species. In addition, understanding how changes in housing condition affect seasonal HPA fluctuations may help alleviate barriers to breeding wild animals in captivity.

  16. When the birds go unheard: highway noise disrupts information transfer between bird species

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Highway infrastructure and accompanying vehicle noise is associated with decreased wildlife populations in adjacent habitats. Noise masking of animal communication is an oft-cited potential mechanism underlying species loss in sound-polluted habitats. This study documents the disruption of between-species information transfer by anthropogenic noise. Titmice and chickadees broadcast specific calls to alert kin of predator threats, and sympatric vertebrates eavesdrop on these alarm calls to avoid predators. We tested if tufted titmouse alarm call eavesdropping by northern cardinals is disrupted by road noise. We broadcast recorded alarm calls to cardinals in natural areas near and far from highways. Cardinals reliably produced predator avoidance responses in quiet trials, but all birds in noisy areas failed to respond, demonstrating that highway noise is loud enough to disrupt this type of survival-related information via masking or cognitive distraction. Birds in family Paridae are abundant, highly social and vocal residents of woodlands across the Holarctic whose alarm calls are used by many species to mediate predation risks. Our work suggests that communication network disruption is likely to be widespread, and could help explain the pattern of reduced biodiversity near roadways. PMID:27095267

  17. When the birds go unheard: highway noise disrupts information transfer between bird species.

    PubMed

    Grade, Aaron M; Sieving, Kathryn E

    2016-04-01

    Highway infrastructure and accompanying vehicle noise is associated with decreased wildlife populations in adjacent habitats. Noise masking of animal communication is an oft-cited potential mechanism underlying species loss in sound-polluted habitats. This study documents the disruption of between-species information transfer by anthropogenic noise. Titmice and chickadees broadcast specific calls to alert kin of predator threats, and sympatric vertebrates eavesdrop on these alarm calls to avoid predators. We tested if tufted titmouse alarm call eavesdropping by northern cardinals is disrupted by road noise. We broadcast recorded alarm calls to cardinals in natural areas near and far from highways. Cardinals reliably produced predator avoidance responses in quiet trials, but all birds in noisy areas failed to respond, demonstrating that highway noise is loud enough to disrupt this type of survival-related information via masking or cognitive distraction. Birds in family Paridae are abundant, highly social and vocal residents of woodlands across the Holarctic whose alarm calls are used by many species to mediate predation risks. Our work suggests that communication network disruption is likely to be widespread, and could help explain the pattern of reduced biodiversity near roadways.

  18. Comparative Gut Microbiota of 59 Neotropical Bird Species

    PubMed Central

    Hird, Sarah M.; Sánchez, César; Carstens, Bryan C.; Brumfield, Robb T.

    2015-01-01

    The gut microbiota of vertebrates are essential to host health. Most non-model vertebrates, however, lack even a basic description of natural gut microbiota biodiversity. Here, we sampled 116 intestines from 59 Neotropical bird species and used the V6 region of the 16S rRNA molecule as a microbial fingerprint (average coverage per bird ~80,000 reads). A core microbiota of Proteobacteria, Firmicutes, Bacteroidetes, and Actinobacteria was identified, as well as several gut-associated genera. We tested 18 categorical variables associated with each bird for significant correlation to the gut microbiota; host taxonomic categories were most frequently significant and explained the most variation. Ecological variables (e.g., diet, foraging stratum) were also frequently significant but explained less variation. Little evidence was found for a significant influence of geographic space. Finally, we suggest that microbial sampling during field collection of organisms would propel biological understanding of evolutionary history and ecological significance of host-associated microbiota. PMID:26733954

  19. Learning and signal copying facilitate communication among bird species

    PubMed Central

    Wheatcroft, David; Price, Trevor D.

    2013-01-01

    Signals relevant to different sets of receivers in different contexts create a conflict for signal design. A classic example is vocal alarm signals, often used both during intraspecific and interspecific interactions. How can signals alert individuals from a variety of other species in some contexts, while also maintaining efficient communication among conspecifics? We studied heterospecific responses to avian alarm signals that drive the formation of anti-predator groups but are also used during intraspecific interactions. In three species-rich communities in the western Himalayas, alarm signals vary drastically across species. We show that, independently of differences in their calls, birds respond strongly to the alarm signals of other species with which they co-occur and much more weakly to those of species with which they do not co-occur. These results suggest that previous exposure and learning maintain heterospecific responses in the face of widespread signal divergence. At an area where only two species regularly interact, one species' calls incorporate the call of the other. We demonstrate experimentally that signal copying allows strong responses even without previous exposure and suggest that such hybrid calls may be especially favoured when pairwise interactions between species are strong. PMID:23446529

  20. The Distribution and Abundance of Bird Species: Towards a Satellite, Data Driven Avian Energetics and Species Richness Model

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Smith, James A.

    2003-01-01

    This paper addresses the fundamental question of why birds occur where and when they do, i.e., what are the causative factors that determine the spatio-temporal distributions, abundance, or richness of bird species? In this paper we outline the first steps toward building a satellite, data-driven model of avian energetics and species richness based on individual bird physiology, morphology, and interaction with the spatio-temporal habitat. To evaluate our model, we will use the North American Breeding Bird Survey and Christmas Bird Count data for species richness, wintering and breeding range. Long term and current satellite data series include AVHRR, Landsat, and MODIS.

  1. Looking beyond rare species as umbrella species: Northern Bobwhites (Colinus virginianus) and conservation of grassland and shrubland birds

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Crosby, Andrew D.; Elmore, R.D.; Leslie,, David M.; Will, Rodney E.

    2015-01-01

    Changes in land use and land cover throughout the eastern half of North America have caused substantial declines in populations of birds that rely on grassland and shrubland vegetation types, including socially and economically important game birds such as the Northern Bobwhite (Colinus virginianus; hereafter bobwhites). As much attention is focused on habitat management and restoration for bobwhites, they may act as an umbrella species for other bird species with similar habitat requirements. We quantified the relationship of bobwhites to the overall bird community and evaluated the potential for bobwhites to act as an umbrella species for grassland and shrubland birds. We monitored bobwhite presence and bird community composition within 31 sample units on selected private lands in the south-central United States from 2009 to 2011. Bobwhites were strongly associated with other grassland and shrubland birds and were a significant positive predictor for 9 species. Seven of these, including Bell's Vireo (Vireo bell), Dicksissel (Spiza americana), and Grasshopper Sparrow (Ammodramus savannarum), are listed as species of conservation concern. Species richness and occupancy probability of grassland and shrubland birds were higher relative to the overall bird community in sample units occupied by bobwhites. Our results show that bobwhites can act as an umbrella species for grassland and shrubland birds, although the specific species in any given situation will depend on region and management objectives. These results suggest that efficiency in conservation funding can be increased by using public interest in popular game species to leverage resources to meet multiple conservation objectives.

  2. The ant genus Tetramorium Mayr in the Afrotropical region (Hymenoptera, Formicidae, Myrmicinae): synonymisation of Decamorium Forel under Tetramorium, and taxonomic revision of the T. decem species group

    PubMed Central

    Hita Garcia, Francisco; Fisher, Brian L.

    2014-01-01

    Abstract In this study we synonymise the genus Decamorium Forel under Tetramorium Mayr, revise the new T. decem species group by providing a diagnosis of the group, an illustrated identification key to species level, and worker-based species descriptions for all five species, which include diagnoses, discussions, images, and distribution maps. The following species are revised in this study: T. decem Forel, comb. r., T. raptor sp. n., T. uelense Santschi, comb. r., T. ultor Forel, comb. r., stat. r. & stat. n., and T. venator sp. n. In addition, we also designate lectotypes for T. decem, T. uelense, and T. ultor. PMID:24899856

  3. Urban and rural habitats differ in number and type of bird feeders and in bird species consuming supplementary food.

    PubMed

    Tryjanowski, Piotr; Skórka, Piotr; Sparks, Tim H; Biaduń, Waldemar; Brauze, Tomasz; Hetmański, Tomasz; Martyka, Rafał; Indykiewicz, Piotr; Myczko, Łukasz; Kunysz, Przemysław; Kawa, Piotr; Czyż, Stanisław; Czechowski, Paweł; Polakowski, Michał; Zduniak, Piotr; Jerzak, Leszek; Janiszewski, Tomasz; Goławski, Artur; Duduś, Leszek; Nowakowski, Jacek J; Wuczyński, Andrzej; Wysocki, Dariusz

    2015-10-01

    Bird feeding is one of the most widespread direct interactions between man and nature, and this has important social and environmental consequences. However, this activity can differ between rural and urban habitats, due to inter alia habitat structure, human behaviour and the composition of wintering bird communities. We counted birds in 156 squares (0.25 km(2) each) in December 2012 and again in January 2013 in locations in and around 26 towns and cities across Poland (in each urban area, we surveyed 3 squares and also 3 squares in nearby rural areas). At each count, we noted the number of bird feeders, the number of bird feeders with food, the type of feeders, additional food supplies potentially available for birds (bread offered by people, bins) and finally the birds themselves. In winter, urban and rural areas differ in the availability of food offered intentionally and unintentionally to birds by humans. Both types of food availability are higher in urban areas. Our findings suggest that different types of bird feeder support only those species specialized for that particular food type and this relationship is similar in urban and rural areas.

  4. Whole Blood Cholinesterase Activity in 20 Species of Wild Birds.

    PubMed

    Horowitz, Igal H; Yanco, Esty G; Landau, Shmulik; Nadler-Valency, Rona; Anglister, Nili; Bueller-Rosenzweig, Ariela; Apelbom-Halbersberg, Tal; Cuneah, Olga; Hanji, Vera; Bellaiche, Michel

    2016-06-01

    Clinical signs of organophosphate and carbamate intoxication in wild birds can be mistaken for those of other diseases, thus potentially delaying diagnosis and implementation of life-saving treatment. The objective of this study was to determine the reference interval for blood cholinesterase activity in 20 different wild avian species from 7 different orders, thereby compiling a reference database for wildlife veterinarians. Blood was collected from birds not suspected of having organophosphate or carbamate toxicosis, and the modified Michel method, which determines the change in blood pH that directly correlates with cholinesterase activity, was used to measure blood cholinesterase levels. Results of change in blood pH values ranged from 0.11 for the white-tailed eagle ( Haliaeetus albicilla ) to 0.90 for the honey buzzard ( Pernis apivorus ). The results showed that even within the same family, interspecies differences in normal cholinesterase blood activity were not uncommon. The findings emphasized the importance of determining reference intervals for avian blood cholinesterase activity at the species level.

  5. Topography, energy and the global distribution of bird species richness.

    PubMed

    Davies, Richard G; Orme, C David L; Storch, David; Olson, Valerie A; Thomas, Gavin H; Ross, Simon G; Ding, Tzung-Su; Rasmussen, Pamela C; Bennett, Peter M; Owens, Ian P F; Blackburn, Tim M; Gaston, Kevin J

    2007-05-07

    A major goal of ecology is to determine the causes of the latitudinal gradient in global distribution of species richness. Current evidence points to either energy availability or habitat heterogeneity as the most likely environmental drivers in terrestrial systems, but their relative importance is controversial in the absence of analyses of global (rather than continental or regional) extent. Here we use data on the global distribution of extant continental and continental island bird species to test the explanatory power of energy availability and habitat heterogeneity while simultaneously addressing issues of spatial resolution, spatial autocorrelation, geometric constraints upon species' range dynamics, and the impact of human populations and historical glacial ice-cover. At the finest resolution (1 degree), topographical variability and temperature are identified as the most important global predictors of avian species richness in multi-predictor models. Topographical variability is most important in single-predictor models, followed by productive energy. Adjusting for null expectations based on geometric constraints on species richness improves overall model fit but has negligible impact on tests of environmental predictors. Conclusions concerning the relative importance of environmental predictors of species richness cannot be extrapolated from one biogeographic realm to others or the globe. Rather a global perspective confirms the primary importance of mountain ranges in high-energy areas.

  6. Species-area relation for birds of the Solomon Archipelago.

    PubMed

    Diamond, J M; Mayr, E

    1976-01-01

    Accurate values of number of breeding bird species have been obtained for 50 islands of the Solomon Archipelago. From information about species altitudinal distributions on each island, the values are apportioned into number of montane species (S(mt)) and of species present at sea-level (S(low)). S(low) increases linearly with the logarithm of island area A over a million-fold range of areas (correlation coefficient 0.99) and with a comparatively low slope, while the log S-log A relation is markedly curved. With increasing isolation of an archipelago, the species-area relation decreases in slope and may shift in form from a power function to an exponential. Comparison of Pacific archipelagoes at different distances from the colonization source of New Guinea shows that the decrease in slope is due to increasing intra-archipelago immigration rates, arising from overrepresentation of the most vagile inter-archipelago immigrants in more distant archipelagoes. When colonists are sorted into sets correlated with their dispersal abilities, the slope of the species-area relation for the most vagile set is close to zero, but for the least vagile set is close to the value predicted by Preston for "isolated universes."

  7. Ecology of Avian Influenza Virus in Wild Birds in Tropical Africa.

    PubMed

    Gaidet, Nicolas

    2016-05-01

    Several ecologic factors have been proposed to describe the mechanisms whereby host ecology and the environment influence the transmission of avian influenza viruses (AIVs) in wild birds, including bird's foraging behavior, migratory pattern, seasonal congregation, the rate of recruitment of juvenile birds, and abiotic factors. However, these ecologic factors are derived from studies that have been conducted in temperate or boreal regions of the Northern Hemisphere. These factors cannot be directly translated to tropical regions, where differences in host ecology and seasonality may produce different ecologic interactions between wild birds and AIV. An extensive dataset of AIV detection in wildfowl and shorebirds sampled across tropical Africa was used to analyze how the distinctive ecologic features of Afrotropical regions may influence the dynamics of AIV transmission in wild birds. The strong seasonality of rainfall and surface area of wetlands allows testing of how the seasonality of wildfowl ecology (reproduction phenology and congregation) is related to AIV seasonal dynamics. The diversity of the African wildfowl community provides the opportunity to investigate the respective influence of migratory behavior, foraging behavior, and phylogeny on species variation in infection rate. Large aggregation sites of shorebirds in Africa allow testing for the existence of AIV infection hot spots. We found that the processes whereby host ecology influence AIV transmission in wild birds in the Afrotropical context operate through ecologic factors (seasonal drying of wetlands and extended and nonsynchronized breeding periods) that are different than the one described in temperate regions, hence, resulting in different patterns of AIV infection dynamics.

  8. Birds from the Azores: An updated list with some comments on species distribution

    PubMed Central

    Rodrigues, Pedro R; Bried, Joël; Mendonça, Enésima P; Gabriel, Rosalina; Borges, Paulo Alexandre Vieira

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Background An updated checklist of the Birds of the Azores is presented based on information compiled from Rodrigues et al. (2010) and from the websites, Azores Bird Club. (2014), Aves dos Açores (2014) Azores Bird Sightings (2014) and Vittery (2014), since 2010. New information The checklist has a total of 414 species, including 38 new species. Almost half of the species and subspecies that occur in the Azores have a Palearctic origin, the remaining ones being essentialy Nearctic and Holarctic species. São Miguel is the island with the highest number of bird species, followed by Terceira, Corvo and Flores islands. PMID:26696765

  9. 50 CFR 21.44 - Depredation order for designated species of depredating birds in California.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    ... of depredating birds in California. 21.44 Section 21.44 Wildlife and Fisheries UNITED STATES FISH AND..., BARTER, EXPORTATION, AND IMPORTATION OF WILDLIFE AND PLANTS (CONTINUED) MIGRATORY BIRD PERMITS Control of Depredating and Otherwise Injurious Birds § 21.44 Depredation order for designated species of...

  10. 50 CFR 21.44 - Depredation order for designated species of depredating birds in California.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

    ... of depredating birds in California. 21.44 Section 21.44 Wildlife and Fisheries UNITED STATES FISH AND..., BARTER, EXPORTATION, AND IMPORTATION OF WILDLIFE AND PLANTS (CONTINUED) MIGRATORY BIRD PERMITS Control of Depredating and Otherwise Injurious Birds § 21.44 Depredation order for designated species of...

  11. 50 CFR 21.44 - Depredation order for designated species of depredating birds in California.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

    ... of depredating birds in California. 21.44 Section 21.44 Wildlife and Fisheries UNITED STATES FISH AND..., BARTER, EXPORTATION, AND IMPORTATION OF WILDLIFE AND PLANTS (CONTINUED) MIGRATORY BIRD PERMITS Control of Depredating and Otherwise Injurious Birds § 21.44 Depredation order for designated species of...

  12. 50 CFR 21.44 - Depredation order for designated species of depredating birds in California.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-10-01

    ... of depredating birds in California. 21.44 Section 21.44 Wildlife and Fisheries UNITED STATES FISH AND..., BARTER, EXPORTATION, AND IMPORTATION OF WILDLIFE AND PLANTS (CONTINUED) MIGRATORY BIRD PERMITS Control of Depredating and Otherwise Injurious Birds § 21.44 Depredation order for designated species of...

  13. Learning About Bird Species on the Primary Level

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Randler, Christoph

    2009-04-01

    Animal species identification is often emphasized as a basic prerequisite for an understanding of ecology because ecological interactions are based on interactions between species at least as it is taught on the school level. Therefore, training identification skills or using identification books seems a worthwhile task in biology education, and should already start on the primary level. On the primary level, however, complex interactions could not be taught but pupils are often interested in basic knowledge about species. We developed a hands-on, group-based and self-determined learning phase organized in workstations. About 138 pupils (2nd-4th graders) participated in this study. The two groups received an identification treatment with six different bird species. These were presented either as soft toys or as taxidermy specimen. Both groups scored similar prior and after the treatment (posttest 1) and with a delay of 6-8 weeks (posttest 2). More complex general linear modeling revealed a significant influence of prior knowledge, treatment and of grade (2nd, 3rd or 4th grade) on the first posttest while in the retention test gender differences emerged. We suggest that soft toys may be of equal value for teaching species identification on the primary level compared to natural taxidermic specimen, especially when considering pricing, insensitivity to handling, and contamination with agents used for preservation.

  14. Likeability of Garden Birds: Importance of Species Knowledge & Richness in Connecting People to Nature

    PubMed Central

    Cox, Daniel T. C.; Gaston, Kevin J.

    2015-01-01

    Interacting with nature is widely recognised as providing many health and well-being benefits. As people live increasingly urbanised lifestyles, the provision of food for garden birds may create a vital link for connecting people to nature and enabling them to access these benefits. However, it is not clear which factors determine the pleasure that people receive from watching birds at their feeders. These may be dependent on the species that are present, the abundance of individuals and the species richness of birds around the feeders. We quantitatively surveyed urban households from towns in southern England to determine the factors that influence the likeability of 14 common garden bird species, and to assess whether people prefer to see a greater abundance of individuals or increased species richness at their feeders. There was substantial variation in likeability across species, with songbirds being preferred over non-songbirds. Species likeability increased for people who fed birds regularly and who could name the species. We found a strong correlation between the number of species that a person could correctly identify and how connected to nature they felt when they watched garden birds. Species richness was preferred over a greater number of individuals of the same species. Although we do not show causation this study suggests that it is possible to increase the well-being benefits that people gain from watching birds at their feeders. This could be done first through a human to bird approach by encouraging regular interactions between people and their garden birds, such as through learning the species names and providing food. Second, it could be achieved through a bird to human approach by increasing garden songbird diversity because the pleasure that a person receives from watching an individual bird at a feeder is dependent not only on its species but also on the diversity of birds at the feeder. PMID:26560968

  15. Likeability of Garden Birds: Importance of Species Knowledge & Richness in Connecting People to Nature.

    PubMed

    Cox, Daniel T C; Gaston, Kevin J

    2015-01-01

    Interacting with nature is widely recognised as providing many health and well-being benefits. As people live increasingly urbanised lifestyles, the provision of food for garden birds may create a vital link for connecting people to nature and enabling them to access these benefits. However, it is not clear which factors determine the pleasure that people receive from watching birds at their feeders. These may be dependent on the species that are present, the abundance of individuals and the species richness of birds around the feeders. We quantitatively surveyed urban households from towns in southern England to determine the factors that influence the likeability of 14 common garden bird species, and to assess whether people prefer to see a greater abundance of individuals or increased species richness at their feeders. There was substantial variation in likeability across species, with songbirds being preferred over non-songbirds. Species likeability increased for people who fed birds regularly and who could name the species. We found a strong correlation between the number of species that a person could correctly identify and how connected to nature they felt when they watched garden birds. Species richness was preferred over a greater number of individuals of the same species. Although we do not show causation this study suggests that it is possible to increase the well-being benefits that people gain from watching birds at their feeders. This could be done first through a human to bird approach by encouraging regular interactions between people and their garden birds, such as through learning the species names and providing food. Second, it could be achieved through a bird to human approach by increasing garden songbird diversity because the pleasure that a person receives from watching an individual bird at a feeder is dependent not only on its species but also on the diversity of birds at the feeder.

  16. Contribution to the knowledge of Afrotropical Dryinidae, Embolemidae and Sclerogibbidae (Hymenoptera), with description of new species from Central African Republic and Uganda

    PubMed Central

    Olmi, Massimo; van Noort, Simon; Guglielmino, Adalgisa

    2016-01-01

    Abstract An updated checklist of Dryinidae, Embolemidae and Sclerogibbidae from Central African Republic and Uganda is presented. The following new species of Dryinidae are described: from Central African Republic: Anteon dzanganum sp. n. (Anteoninae); from Uganda: Anteon granulatum sp. n., Anteon kibalense sp. n., Anteon makererense sp. n., Anteon mubfs sp. n. (Anteoninae); Bocchus kibalensis sp. n. (Bocchinae); Dryinus kibalus sp. n. (Dryininae); Gonatopus kanyawarus sp. n. (Gonatopodinae). The following species have been recorded for the first time from Central African Republic: Embolemidae: Ampulicomorpha madecassa Olmi, 1999a; Embolemus capensis Olmi, 1997; Dryinidae: Aphelopus mediocarinatus (Benoit, 1951d), Aphelopus testaceus Olmi, 1991, Aphelopus wittei Benoit, 1951c (Aphelopinae); Anteon cautum Olmi, 1994a, Anteon evertsi Olmi, 1989, Anteon gutturnium (Benoit, 1951b), Anteon inflatrix Benoit, 1951b, Anteon kivuanum (Benoit, 1951c), Anteon semajanna Olmi, Copeland & Guglielmino, 2015, Anteon zairense Benoit, 1951d (Anteoninae); Pseudodryinus townesi (Olmi, 1984) (Dryininae); Echthrodelphax tauricus Ponomarenko, 1970, Gonatopus camerounensis Olmi, 2011, Gonatopus kolyadai Olmi, 2007b, Neodryinus antiquus Benoit, 1954, Neodryinus tussaci Olmi, 2004b (Gonatopodinae); Sclerogibbidae: Probethylus callani Richards, 1939b; Sclerogibba algerica Benoit, 1963, Sclerogibba rapax Olmi, 2005a. The following species have been recorded for the first time from Uganda: Embolemidae: Ampulicomorpha magna Olmi, 1996; Dryinidae: Anteon cautum Olmi, 1994a, Anteon fisheri Olmi, 2003, Anteon hoyoi Olmi, 1984, Anteon kivuanum (Benoit, 1951c), Anteon townesi Olmi, 1984, Anteon zairense Benoit, 1951d (Anteoninae); Bocchus bini Olmi, 1984 (Bocchinae); Dryinus saussurei (Ceballos, 1936) (Dryininae); Echthrodelphax migratorius Benoit, 1954, Neodryinus tussaci Olmi, 2004b (Gonatopodinae). The following further species has been recorded for the first time from Mali: Sclerogibba algerica

  17. Salmonellosis in garden birds in Scotland, 1995 to 2008: geographic region, Salmonella enterica phage type and bird species.

    PubMed

    Pennycott, T W; Mather, H A; Bennett, G; Foster, G

    2010-04-03

    Salmonellosis was diagnosed in garden birds from 198 incidents in Scotland between September 1995 and August 2008. Salmonellosis was essentially a disease of finches in the north of Scotland, but in the south of Scotland it was also a problem in house sparrows. Almost all of the incidents were caused by Salmonella Typhimurium phage types 40 or 56/variant, but regional variation in phage types was observed. In the north of Scotland, one phage type (DT 40) predominated, but in the south of Scotland two phage types were commonly isolated (DTs 40 and 56/variant, with the latter the more common of the two phage types). This regional difference was statistically significant for salmonellosis in greenfinches, chaffinches and 'other garden birds', but not for house sparrows. Different temporal patterns for different species of bird and different phage types were also observed within regions. These findings suggest that the epidemiology of salmonellosis in garden birds varies depending on the phage type of Salmonella and the species of garden bird, with additional regional differences depending on the wild bird populations and the phage types of Salmonella in circulation. An awareness of these differences will help when formulating guidelines aimed at reducing the impact of salmonellosis in garden birds.

  18. Two new Haemoproteus species (Haemosporida: Haemoproteidae) from columbiform birds.

    PubMed

    Valkiūnas, Gediminas; Iezhova, Tatjana A; Evans, Edward; Carlson, Jenny S; Martínez-Gómez, Juan E; Sehgal, Ravinder N M

    2013-06-01

    Here we describe Haemoproteus (Haemoproteus) multivolutinus n. sp. from a tambourine dove (Turtur timpanistria) of Uganda and Haemoproteus (Haemoproteus) paramultipigmentatus n. sp. (Haemosporida, Haemoproteidae) from the Socorro common ground dove (Columbina passerina socorroensis) of Socorro Island, Mexico. These parasites are described based on the morphology of their blood stages and segments of the mitochondrial cytochrome b gene that can be used for molecular identification and diagnosis of these species. Gametocytes of H. multivolutinus possess rod-like pigment granules and are evenly packed with volutin, which masks pigment granules and darkly stains both macro- and microgametocytes in the early stages of their development. Based on these 2 characters, H. multivolutinus can be readily distinguished from other species of hemoproteids parasitizing columbiform (Columbiformes) birds. Haemoproteus paramultipigmentatus resembles Haemoproteus multipigmentatus; it can be distinguished from the latter parasite primarily due to the broadly ovoid shape of its young gametocytes and significantly fewer pigment granules in its fully developed gametocytes. We provide illustrations of blood stages of the new species, and phylogenetic analyses identify DNA lineages closely related to these parasites. Cytochrome b lineages of Haemoproteus multivolutinus and H. paramultipigmentatus cluster with hippoboscid-transmitted lineages of hemoproteids; thus these parasites likely belong to the subgenus Haemoproteus. We emphasize the importance of using cytochrome b sequences in conjunction with thorough microscopic descriptions to facilitate future identification of these and other avian hemosporidian species.

  19. Familiarity breeds content: assessing bird species popularity with culturomics

    PubMed Central

    Jepson, Paul R.; Malhado, Ana C. M.; Ladle, Richard J.

    2016-01-01

    Understanding public perceptions of biodiversity is essential to ensure continued support for conservation efforts. Despite this, insights remain scarce at broader spatial scales, mostly due to a lack of adequate methods for their assessment. The emergence of new technologies with global reach and high levels of participation provide exciting new opportunities to study the public visibility of biodiversity and the factors that drive it. Here, we use a measure of internet saliency to assess the national and international visibility of species within four taxa of Brazilian birds (toucans, hummingbirds, parrots and woodpeckers), and evaluate how much of this visibility can be explained by factors associated with familiarity, aesthetic appeal and conservation interest. Our results strongly indicate that familiarity (human population within the range of a species) is the most important factor driving internet saliency within Brazil, while aesthetic appeal (body size) best explains variation in international saliency. Endemism and conservation status of a species had small, but often negative, effects on either metric of internet saliency. While further studies are needed to evaluate the relationship between internet content and the cultural visibility of different species, our results strongly indicate that internet saliency can be considered as a broad proxy of cultural interest. PMID:26966663

  20. Familiarity breeds content: assessing bird species popularity with culturomics.

    PubMed

    Correia, Ricardo A; Jepson, Paul R; Malhado, Ana C M; Ladle, Richard J

    2016-01-01

    Understanding public perceptions of biodiversity is essential to ensure continued support for conservation efforts. Despite this, insights remain scarce at broader spatial scales, mostly due to a lack of adequate methods for their assessment. The emergence of new technologies with global reach and high levels of participation provide exciting new opportunities to study the public visibility of biodiversity and the factors that drive it. Here, we use a measure of internet saliency to assess the national and international visibility of species within four taxa of Brazilian birds (toucans, hummingbirds, parrots and woodpeckers), and evaluate how much of this visibility can be explained by factors associated with familiarity, aesthetic appeal and conservation interest. Our results strongly indicate that familiarity (human population within the range of a species) is the most important factor driving internet saliency within Brazil, while aesthetic appeal (body size) best explains variation in international saliency. Endemism and conservation status of a species had small, but often negative, effects on either metric of internet saliency. While further studies are needed to evaluate the relationship between internet content and the cultural visibility of different species, our results strongly indicate that internet saliency can be considered as a broad proxy of cultural interest.

  1. The unusual Afrotropical and Oriental leafhopper subfamily Signoretiinae (Hemiptera, Cicadellidae): taxonomic notes, new distributional records, and description of two new Signoretia species

    PubMed Central

    Takiya, Daniela M.; Dietrich, Christopher H.; Viraktamath, Chandra A.

    2013-01-01

    Abstract The leafhopper subfamily Signoretiinae is redescribed and includes two tribes: Signoretiini Baker and Phlogisini Linnavuori. Redescriptions of included tribes, diagnoses and a taxonomic key to genera are provided. New records for genera of Signoretiinae are as follows: Phlogis in Central African Republic, Malaysia and Thailand; Preta in Thailand; and Signoretia in the Republic of the Congo, Zambia, Thailand, Vietnam, and Taiwan (China). Signoretia pacifica is newly recorded from Cameroon. In addition, detailed illustrations of the male genitalia of the previously described species, Chouious tianzeus, Preta gratiosa,and Signoretia yangli are provided; the male genitalia of Signoretia malaya are described for the first time; and two new species of Signoretia are described, Signoretia delicata sp. n. from the Philippinesand Signoretia kintendela sp. n. from the Republic of the Congo. PMID:24039527

  2. Bird species in Mediterranean pine plantations exhibit different characteristics to those in natural reforested woodlands.

    PubMed

    Galván, Ismael; Benayas, José M Rey

    2011-06-01

    Passive woodland regeneration following cropland abandonment and pine plantations are two major approaches for vegetation restoration in agricultural landscapes in the Mediterranean Basin. We compared the effects of these two contrasting approaches on local bird density in central Spain on the basis of species characteristics, including regional density, habitat breadth, life-history traits and plumage colouration. Local bird density increased with regional density and habitat breadth in both woodland and pine plantation plots following macroecological patterns of bird abundance and distribution. In woodlands, dichromatic species were more abundant than monochromatic species and bird density increased with the intensity of territory defense and as the proportion of plumage colour generated by pheomelanin decreased. Contrary to our prediction, this latter observation suggests that woodlands may induce higher levels of physiological stress in birds than pine plantations even though these represent a novel habitat change. In pine plantations, sedentary species were more abundant than migratory species and bird density was negatively related to body and egg mass. These traits of bird species in pine plantations are characteristic of successful invaders. The variation in bird density explained by phylogeny was twice as high in pine plantations as in woodlands, suggesting that pine plantations limit accessibility to some clades. Our results support, from an evolutionary perspective, the described inability of pine plantations on cropland to maintain or increase bird diversity in Mediterranean agricultural landscapes.

  3. Prevalence of Chlamydia psittaci and Other Chlamydia Species in Wild Birds in Poland.

    PubMed

    Krawiec, Marta; Piasecki, Tomasz; Wieliczko, Alina

    2015-11-01

    Avian chlamydiosis is a zoonotic disease occurring in humans, poultry, and exotic birds. It has been suggested that some wild bird species play an important role as reservoirs for Chlamydia, especially Chlamydia psittaci. Whereas C. psittaci is the predominant chlamydial agent in birds, in the present study we have determined the prevalence of different species of Chlamydia among selected wild bird species in Poland using a rapid and sensitive real-time PCR method. In total, 369 free-living birds from 35 bird species and 15 orders were examined. Samples from 27 birds (7.3%) were positive for chlamydial DNA in the PCR; 22 positive samples (81.5%) belonged to C. psittaci, three to Chlamydia trachomatis (11.1%), and two (7.4%) classified only to the genus Chlamydia. Most of C. psittaci-positive samples belonged to five orders: Anseriformes, Columbiformes, Gruiformes, Phasianiformes, and Passeriformes. All C. trachomatis samples were obtained from Eurasian coots (Gruiformes). Two Chlamydia-positive samples not classified to any Chlamydia species were obtained from a common wood pigeon (Columbiformes) and a common buzzard (Accipitriformes). Detection of C. psittaci and C. trachomatis in free-living bird populations force to think on significance of birds as reservoir of varied Chlamydia species and their epidemiological importance.

  4. Prevalence of Chlamydia psittaci and Other Chlamydia Species in Wild Birds in Poland

    PubMed Central

    Krawiec, Marta; Piasecki, Tomasz

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Avian chlamydiosis is a zoonotic disease occurring in humans, poultry, and exotic birds. It has been suggested that some wild bird species play an important role as reservoirs for Chlamydia, especially Chlamydia psittaci. Whereas C. psittaci is the predominant chlamydial agent in birds, in the present study we have determined the prevalence of different species of Chlamydia among selected wild bird species in Poland using a rapid and sensitive real-time PCR method. In total, 369 free-living birds from 35 bird species and 15 orders were examined. Samples from 27 birds (7.3%) were positive for chlamydial DNA in the PCR; 22 positive samples (81.5%) belonged to C. psittaci, three to Chlamydia trachomatis (11.1%), and two (7.4%) classified only to the genus Chlamydia. Most of C. psittaci–positive samples belonged to five orders: Anseriformes, Columbiformes, Gruiformes, Phasianiformes, and Passeriformes. All C. trachomatis samples were obtained from Eurasian coots (Gruiformes). Two Chlamydia-positive samples not classified to any Chlamydia species were obtained from a common wood pigeon (Columbiformes) and a common buzzard (Accipitriformes). Detection of C. psittaci and C. trachomatis in free-living bird populations force to think on significance of birds as reservoir of varied Chlamydia species and their epidemiological importance. PMID:26501593

  5. A dynamic model of some malaria-transmitting anopheline mosquitoes of the Afrotropical region. II. Validation of species distribution and seasonal variations

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background The first part of this study aimed to develop a model for Anopheles gambiae s.l. with separate parametrization schemes for Anopheles gambiae s.s. and Anopheles arabiensis. The characterizations were constructed based on literature from the past decades. This part of the study is focusing on the model’s ability to separate the mean state of the two species of the An. gambiae complex in Africa. The model is also evaluated with respect to capturing the temporal variability of An. arabiensis in Ethiopia. Before conclusions and guidance based on models can be made, models need to be validated. Methods The model used in this paper is described in part one (Malaria Journal 2013, 12:28). For the validation of the model, a data base of 5,935 points on the presence of An. gambiae s.s. and An. arabiensis was constructed. An additional 992 points were collected on the presence An. gambiae s.l.. These data were used to assess if the model could recreate the spatial distribution of the two species. The dataset is made available in the public domain. This is followed by a case study from Madagascar where the model’s ability to recreate the relative fraction of each species is investigated. In the last section the model’s ability to reproduce the temporal variability of An. arabiensis in Ethiopia is tested. The model was compared with data from four papers, and one field survey covering two years. Results Overall, the model has a realistic representation of seasonal and year to year variability in mosquito densities in Ethiopia. The model is also able to describe the distribution of An. gambiae s.s. and An. arabiensis in sub-Saharan Africa. This implies this model can be used for seasonal and long term predictions of changes in the burden of malaria. Before models can be used to improving human health, or guide which interventions are to be applied where, there is a need to understand the system of interest. Validation is an important part of this process. It is

  6. Sensitivity of understorey bird species in two different successional stages of the lowland Atlantic Forest, Brazil.

    PubMed

    Loures-Ribeiro, Alan; Manhães, Marco A; Dias, Manoel M

    2011-09-01

    The Atlantic Forest has a high destruction rate and there is little information available on some aspects of the neotropical bird biology. Changes in environment are important factors that affect the resources available to birds. We compared the species sensitivity level of understorey birds in two areas in distinct successional stages (primary and secondary sections). Two 100 ha plots of lowland Atlantic Forest were analysed between August and December 2006. Among 25 bird species recorded, thirteen had lower abundance in secondary forest, two in primary forest, and ten had not clear tendency. According to the criteria used, the percentages for species with low, and medium and high sensitivity to habitat change were 44% and 56%, respectively. The number of species was not associated with the endemism level or foraging strata. Results show the importance of knowing bird species' sensitivity level with regard to habitat modification, and not only forest fragmentation.

  7. Species List of Alaskan Birds, Mammals, Fish, Amphibians, Reptiles, and Invertebrates. Alaska Region Report Number 82.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Taylor, Tamra Faris

    This publication contains a detailed list of the birds, mammals, fish, amphibians, reptiles, and invertebrates found in Alaska. Part I lists the species by geographical regions. Part II lists the species by the ecological regions of the state. (CO)

  8. Seasonal Changes in Bird Species and Feeding Guilds along Elevational Gradients of the Central Himalayas, Nepal

    PubMed Central

    Katuwal, Hem Bahadur; Basnet, Khadga; Khanal, Bhaiya; Devkota, Shiva; Rai, Sanjeev Kumar; Gajurel, Jyoti Prasad; Scheidegger, Christoph; Nobis, Michael P.

    2016-01-01

    The Himalayas are a global hotspot for bird diversity with a large number of threatened species, but little is known about seasonal changes in bird communities along elevational gradients in this region. We studied the seasonality of bird diversity in six valleys of the Central Himalayas, Nepal. Using 318 plots with a 50 m radius, located from 2200 to 3800 m a.s.l., and repeated sampling during different seasons (mainly pre-monsoon, monsoon, and post-monsoon), we analyzed 3642 occurrences of 178 species. Birds classified in the literature as resident were more species-rich than migratory birds (140 vs. 38 species). In all six valleys and within the studied elevation range, species richness of all birds showed a peak at mid-elevation levels of 2600 or 3000 m a.s.l. Similar patterns were found for the most species-rich feeding guilds of insectivores (96 species) and omnivores (24 species), whereas the species richness of herbivores (37 species including frugivores) increased towards higher elevations. Among these feeding guilds, only species richness of insectivores showed pronounced seasonal changes with higher species numbers during post-monsoon season. Similarly, individual bird species showed distinct spatio-temporal distribution patterns, with transitions from species dominated by elevational differences to those characterized by strong seasonal changes. In an era of climate change, the results demonstrate that individual bird species as well as feeding guilds might greatly differ in their responses to climate warming and changes in the seasonality of the precipitation regime, two aspects of climate change which should not be analyzed independently. PMID:27367903

  9. Seasonal Changes in Bird Species and Feeding Guilds along Elevational Gradients of the Central Himalayas, Nepal.

    PubMed

    Katuwal, Hem Bahadur; Basnet, Khadga; Khanal, Bhaiya; Devkota, Shiva; Rai, Sanjeev Kumar; Gajurel, Jyoti Prasad; Scheidegger, Christoph; Nobis, Michael P

    2016-01-01

    The Himalayas are a global hotspot for bird diversity with a large number of threatened species, but little is known about seasonal changes in bird communities along elevational gradients in this region. We studied the seasonality of bird diversity in six valleys of the Central Himalayas, Nepal. Using 318 plots with a 50 m radius, located from 2200 to 3800 m a.s.l., and repeated sampling during different seasons (mainly pre-monsoon, monsoon, and post-monsoon), we analyzed 3642 occurrences of 178 species. Birds classified in the literature as resident were more species-rich than migratory birds (140 vs. 38 species). In all six valleys and within the studied elevation range, species richness of all birds showed a peak at mid-elevation levels of 2600 or 3000 m a.s.l. Similar patterns were found for the most species-rich feeding guilds of insectivores (96 species) and omnivores (24 species), whereas the species richness of herbivores (37 species including frugivores) increased towards higher elevations. Among these feeding guilds, only species richness of insectivores showed pronounced seasonal changes with higher species numbers during post-monsoon season. Similarly, individual bird species showed distinct spatio-temporal distribution patterns, with transitions from species dominated by elevational differences to those characterized by strong seasonal changes. In an era of climate change, the results demonstrate that individual bird species as well as feeding guilds might greatly differ in their responses to climate warming and changes in the seasonality of the precipitation regime, two aspects of climate change which should not be analyzed independently.

  10. Sex determination in 58 bird species and evaluation of CHD gene as a universal molecular marker in bird sexing.

    PubMed

    Vucicevic, Milos; Stevanov-Pavlovic, Marija; Stevanovic, Jevrosima; Bosnjak, Jasna; Gajic, Bojan; Aleksic, Nevenka; Stanimirovic, Zoran

    2013-01-01

    The aim of this research was to test the CHD gene (Chromo Helicase DNA-binding gene) as a universal molecular marker for sexing birds of relatively distant species. The CHD gene corresponds to the aim because of its high degree of conservation and different lengths in Z and W chromosomes due to different intron sizes. DNA was isolated from feathers and the amplification of the CHD gene was performed with the following sets of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) primers: 2550F/2718R and P2/P8. Sex determination was attempted in 284 samples of 58 bird species. It was successful in 50 bird species; in 16 of those (Alopochen aegyptiacus, Ara severus, Aratinga acuticaudata, Bucorvus leadbeateri, Cereopsis novaehollandiae, Columba arquatrix, Corvus corax, C. frugilegus, Cyanoliseus patagonus, Guttera plumifera, Lamprotornis superbus, Milvus milvus, Neophron percnopterus, Ocyphaps lophotes, Podiceps cristatus, and Poicephalus senegalus), it was carried out for the first time using molecular markers and PCR. It is reasonable to assume that extensive research is necessary to define the CHD gene as a universal molecular marker for successful sex determination in all bird species (with exception of ratites). The results of this study may largely contribute to the aim.

  11. Migratory and carnivorous birds in Brazil: reservoirs for Anaplasma and Ehrlichia species?

    PubMed

    Machado, Rosangela Zacarias; André, Marcos Rogério; Werther, Karin; de Sousa, Eliane; Gavioli, Fernando Antônio; Alves Junior, José Roberto Ferreira

    2012-08-01

    In order to investigate new hosts for Anaplasmataceae agents in Brazil, we collected blood samples from 21 wild birds. Using molecular techniques, we detected the presence of Anaplasma phagocytophilum, Ehrlichia chaffeensis, and an Ehrlichia species closely related to Ehrlichia canis in carnivorous avian blood samples. In addition, an Ehrlichia species closely related to an Ehrlichia species found in wild felines in Brazil was also detected in a goose blood sample. Wild birds may play a role as carriers of Anaplasmataceae agents in Brazil.

  12. Does bird species diversity vary among forest types? A local-scale test in Southern Chile

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fontúrbel, Francisco E.; Jiménez, Jaime E.

    2014-10-01

    Birds are the most diverse vertebrate group in Chile, characterized by low species turnover at the country-size scale (high alpha but low beta diversities), resembling an island biota. We tested whether this low differentiation is valid at a local scale, among six forest habitat types. We detected 25 bird species; avifauna composition was significantly different among habitat types, with five species accounting for 60 % of the dissimilarity. We found a higher level of bird assemblage differentiation across habitats at the local scale than has been found at the country-size scale. Such differentiation might be attributed to structural differences among habitats.

  13. Structure of bird communities in eucalyptus plantations: nestedness as a pattern of species distribution.

    PubMed

    Jacoboski, L I; Mendonça-Lima, A de; Hartz, S M

    2016-04-19

    Replacement of native habitats by tree plantations has increased dramatically in Brazil, resulting in loss of structural components for birds, such as appropriate substrates for foraging and nesting. Tree plantations can also reduce faunal richness and change the composition of bird species. This study evaluated the structure of avian communities in eucalyptus plantations of different ages and in a native forest. We classified species as habitat specialists or generalists, and assessed if the species found in eucalyptus plantations are a subset of the species that occur in the native forest. Forty-one sampling sites were evaluated, with three point counts each, in a native forest and in eucalyptus plantations of four different ages. A total of 71 bird species were identified. Species richness and abundance were higher in the native forest, reflecting the greater heterogeneity of the habitat. The composition of bird species also differed between the native forest and plantations. The species recorded in the plantations represented a subset of the species of the native forest, with a predominance of generalist species. These species are more tolerant of habitat changes and are able to use the plantations. The commercial plantations studied here can serve as a main or occasional habitat for these generalists, especially for those that are semi-dependent on edge and forest. The bird species most affected by silviculture are those that are typical of open grasslands, and those that are highly dependent on well-preserved forests.

  14. Common European birds are declining rapidly while less abundant species' numbers are rising.

    PubMed

    Inger, Richard; Gregory, Richard; Duffy, James P; Stott, Iain; Voříšek, Petr; Gaston, Kevin J

    2015-01-01

    Biodiversity is undergoing unprecedented global decline. Efforts to slow this rate have focused foremost on rarer species, which are at most risk of extinction. Less interest has been paid to more common species, despite their greater importance in terms of ecosystem function and service provision. How rates of decline are partitioned between common and less abundant species remains unclear. Using a 30-year data set of 144 bird species, we examined Europe-wide trends in avian abundance and biomass. Overall, avian abundance and biomass are both declining with most of this decline being attributed to more common species, while less abundant species showed an overall increase in both abundance and biomass. If overall avian declines are mainly due to reductions in a small number of common species, conservation efforts targeted at rarer species must be better matched with efforts to increase overall bird numbers, if ecological impacts of birds are to be maintained.

  15. Determinants of Mammal and Bird Species Richness in China Based on Habitat Groups

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Haigen; Cao, Mingchang; Wu, Jun; Cai, Lei; Ding, Hui; Lei, Juncheng; Wu, Yi; Cui, Peng; Chen, Lian; Le, Zhifang; Cao, Yun

    2015-01-01

    Understanding the spatial patterns in species richness is a central issue in macroecology and biogeography. Analyses that have traditionally focused on overall species richness limit the generality and depth of inference. Spatial patterns of species richness and the mechanisms that underpin them in China remain poorly documented. We created a database of the distribution of 580 mammal species and 849 resident bird species from 2376 counties in China and established spatial linear models to identify the determinants of species richness and test the roles of five hypotheses for overall mammals and resident birds and the 11 habitat groups among the two taxa. Our result showed that elevation variability was the most important determinant of species richness of overall mammal and bird species. It is indicated that the most prominent predictors of species richness varied among different habitat groups: elevation variability for forest and shrub mammals and birds, temperature annual range for grassland and desert mammals and wetland birds, net primary productivity for farmland mammals, maximum temperature of the warmest month for cave mammals, and precipitation of the driest quarter for grassland and desert birds. Noteworthily, main land cover type was also found to obviously influence mammal and bird species richness in forests, shrubs and wetlands under the disturbance of intensified human activities. Our findings revealed a substantial divergence in the species richness patterns among different habitat groups and highlighted the group-specific and disparate environmental associations that underpin them. As we demonstrate, a focus on overall species richness alone might lead to incomplete or misguided understanding of spatial patterns. Conservation priorities that consider a broad spectrum of habitat groups will be more successful in safeguarding the multiple services of biodiversity. PMID:26629903

  16. Determinants of Mammal and Bird Species Richness in China Based on Habitat Groups.

    PubMed

    Xu, Haigen; Cao, Mingchang; Wu, Jun; Cai, Lei; Ding, Hui; Lei, Juncheng; Wu, Yi; Cui, Peng; Chen, Lian; Le, Zhifang; Cao, Yun

    2015-01-01

    Understanding the spatial patterns in species richness is a central issue in macroecology and biogeography. Analyses that have traditionally focused on overall species richness limit the generality and depth of inference. Spatial patterns of species richness and the mechanisms that underpin them in China remain poorly documented. We created a database of the distribution of 580 mammal species and 849 resident bird species from 2376 counties in China and established spatial linear models to identify the determinants of species richness and test the roles of five hypotheses for overall mammals and resident birds and the 11 habitat groups among the two taxa. Our result showed that elevation variability was the most important determinant of species richness of overall mammal and bird species. It is indicated that the most prominent predictors of species richness varied among different habitat groups: elevation variability for forest and shrub mammals and birds, temperature annual range for grassland and desert mammals and wetland birds, net primary productivity for farmland mammals, maximum temperature of the warmest month for cave mammals, and precipitation of the driest quarter for grassland and desert birds. Noteworthily, main land cover type was also found to obviously influence mammal and bird species richness in forests, shrubs and wetlands under the disturbance of intensified human activities. Our findings revealed a substantial divergence in the species richness patterns among different habitat groups and highlighted the group-specific and disparate environmental associations that underpin them. As we demonstrate, a focus on overall species richness alone might lead to incomplete or misguided understanding of spatial patterns. Conservation priorities that consider a broad spectrum of habitat groups will be more successful in safeguarding the multiple services of biodiversity.

  17. Drivers of Bird Species Richness within Moist High-Altitude Grasslands in Eastern South Africa

    PubMed Central

    Smit-Robinson, Hanneline; Underhill, Les G.; Altwegg, Res

    2016-01-01

    Moist high-altitude grasslands in South Africa are renowned for high avifaunal diversity and are priority areas for conservation. Conservation management of these areas conflicts with management for other uses, such as intensive livestock agriculture, which requires annual burning and leads to heavy grazing. Recently the area has become target for water storage schemes and renewable electricity energy projects. There is therefore an urgent need to investigate environmental factors and habitat factors that affect bird species richness in order to optimise management of those areas set aside for conservation. A particularly good opportunity to study these issues arose at Ingula in the eastern South African high-altitude grasslands. An area that had been subject to intense grazing was bought by the national power utility that constructed a pumped storage scheme on part of the land and set aside the rest for bird conservation. Since the new management took over in 2005 the area has been mostly annually burned with relatively little grazing. The new management seeks scientific advice on how to maintain avian species richness of the study area. We collected bird occurrence and vegetation data along random transects between 2006 and 2010 to monitor the impact of the new management, and to study the effect of the habitat changes on bird species richness. To achieve these, we convert bird transect data to presence only data to investigate how bird species richness were related to key transect vegetation attributes under this new grassland management. First we used generalised linear mixed models, to examine changes in vegetation grass height and cover and between burned and unburned habitats. Secondly, we examined how total bird species richness varied across seasons and years. And finally we investigated which habitat vegetation attributes were correlated with species richness of a group of grassland depended bird species only. Transects that were burned showed a larger

  18. Drivers of Bird Species Richness within Moist High-Altitude Grasslands in Eastern South Africa.

    PubMed

    Maphisa, David H; Smit-Robinson, Hanneline; Underhill, Les G; Altwegg, Res

    2016-01-01

    Moist high-altitude grasslands in South Africa are renowned for high avifaunal diversity and are priority areas for conservation. Conservation management of these areas conflicts with management for other uses, such as intensive livestock agriculture, which requires annual burning and leads to heavy grazing. Recently the area has become target for water storage schemes and renewable electricity energy projects. There is therefore an urgent need to investigate environmental factors and habitat factors that affect bird species richness in order to optimise management of those areas set aside for conservation. A particularly good opportunity to study these issues arose at Ingula in the eastern South African high-altitude grasslands. An area that had been subject to intense grazing was bought by the national power utility that constructed a pumped storage scheme on part of the land and set aside the rest for bird conservation. Since the new management took over in 2005 the area has been mostly annually burned with relatively little grazing. The new management seeks scientific advice on how to maintain avian species richness of the study area. We collected bird occurrence and vegetation data along random transects between 2006 and 2010 to monitor the impact of the new management, and to study the effect of the habitat changes on bird species richness. To achieve these, we convert bird transect data to presence only data to investigate how bird species richness were related to key transect vegetation attributes under this new grassland management. First we used generalised linear mixed models, to examine changes in vegetation grass height and cover and between burned and unburned habitats. Secondly, we examined how total bird species richness varied across seasons and years. And finally we investigated which habitat vegetation attributes were correlated with species richness of a group of grassland depended bird species only. Transects that were burned showed a larger

  19. Organochlorine residues in bird species collected dead in Ontario 1972-1988

    SciTech Connect

    Frank, R.; Braun, H.E. )

    1990-06-01

    Organochlorine residues have been reported in many species of birds found dead or shot around the Great Lakes Basin. Raptors and fish-eating birds have had very high residues in the past while terrestrial seed- and insect-eaters have had relatively low residues. Most of the organochlorine insecticides like DDT, aldrin, dieldrin, chlordane, endrin and heptachlor have been removed from field use, and controls have been placed on the dispersal of organochlorine industrial chemicals like mirex and PCB. These substances are very persistent. The major sources of contamination now are environmental residues picked up by birds in their normal feeding. These compounds bioaccumulate in bird species, and the highest residues accumulate at the top of the food chain. This paper is a compilation of data obtained from dead birds collected in the Great Lakes Basin over the last 16 years and analyzed for organochlorine contaminants.

  20. Occupancy dynamics in a tropical bird community: unexpectedly high forest use by birds classified as non-forest species

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ruiz-Gutierrez, Viviana; Zipkin, Elise F.; Dhondt, Andre A.

    2010-01-01

    1. Worldwide loss of biodiversity necessitates a clear understanding of the factors driving population declines as well as informed predictions about which species and populations are at greatest risk. The biggest threat to the long-term persistence of populations is the reduction and changes in configuration of their natural habitat. 2. Inconsistencies have been noted in the responses of populations to the combined effects of habitat loss and fragmentation. These have been widely attributed to the effects of the matrix habitats in which remnant focal habitats are typically embedded. 3. We quantified the potential effects of the inter-patch matrix by estimating occupancy and colonization of forest and surrounding non-forest matrix (NF). We estimated species-specific parameters using a dynamic, multi-species hierarchical model on a bird community in southwestern Costa Rica. 4. Overall, we found higher probabilities of occupancy and colonization of forest relative to the NF across bird species, including those previously categorized as open habitat generalists not needing forest to persist. Forest dependency was a poor predictor of occupancy dynamics in our study region, largely predicting occupancy and colonization of only non-forest habitats. 5. Our results indicate that the protection of remnant forest habitats is key for the long-term persistence of all members of the bird community in this fragmented landscape, including species typically associated with open, non-forest habitats. 6.Synthesis and applications. We identified 39 bird species of conservation concern defined by having high estimates of forest occupancy, and low estimates of occupancy and colonization of non-forest. These species survive in forest but are unlikely to venture out into open, non-forested habitats, therefore, they are vulnerable to the effects of habitat loss and fragmentation. Our hierarchical community-level model can be used to estimate species-specific occupancy dynamics for focal

  1. SITE CHARACTERIZATION USING BIRD SPECIES COMPOSITION IN EASTERN OREGON, USA

    EPA Science Inventory

    We conducted riparian bird surveys at 25 randomly selected stream reaches in the John Day River Basin of eastern Oregon as part of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Environmental Monitoring and Assessment Program (EMAP). At each reach along a kilometer-length transect, ...

  2. Microsporidian species known to infect humans are present in aquatic birds: implications for transmission via water?

    PubMed

    Slodkowicz-Kowalska, Anna; Graczyk, Thaddeus K; Tamang, Leena; Jedrzejewski, Szymon; Nowosad, Andrzej; Zduniak, Piotr; Solarczyk, Piotr; Girouard, Autumn S; Majewska, Anna C

    2006-07-01

    Human microsporidiosis, a serious disease of immunocompetent and immunosuppressed people, can be due to zoonotic and environmental transmission of microsporidian spores. A survey utilizing conventional and molecular techniques for examining feces from 570 free-ranging, captive, and livestock birds demonstrated that 21 animals shed microsporidian spores of species known to infect humans, including Encephalitozoon hellem (20 birds; 3.5%) and Encephalitozoon intestinalis (1 bird; 0.2%). Of 11 avian species that shed E. hellem and E. intestinalis, 8 were aquatic birds (i.e., common waterfowl). The prevalence of microsporidian infections in waterfowl (8.6%) was significantly higher than the prevalence of microsporidian infections in other birds (1.1%) (P < 0.03); waterfowl fecal droppings contained significantly more spores (mean, 3.6 x 10(5) spores/g) than nonaquatic bird droppings contained (mean, 4.4 x 10(4) spores/g) (P < 0.003); and the presence of microsporidian spores of species known to infect humans in fecal samples was statistically associated with the aquatic status of the avian host (P < 0.001). We demonstrated that a single visit of a waterfowl flock can introduce into the surface water approximately 9.1 x 10(8) microsporidian spores of species known to infect humans. Our findings demonstrate that waterborne microsporidian spores of species that infect people can originate from common waterfowl, which usually occur in large numbers and have unlimited access to surface waters, including waters used for production of drinking water.

  3. Cryptic diversity revealed by DNA barcoding in Colombian illegally traded bird species.

    PubMed

    Mendoza, Ángela María; Torres, María Fernanda; Paz, Andrea; Trujillo-Arias, Natalia; López-Alvarez, Diana; Sierra, Socorro; Forero, Fernando; Gonzalez, Mailyn A

    2016-07-01

    Colombia is the country with the largest number of bird species worldwide, yet its avifauna is seriously threatened by habitat degradation and poaching. We built a DNA barcode library of nearly half of the bird species listed in the CITES appendices for Colombia, thereby constructing a species identification reference that will help in global efforts for controlling illegal species trade. We obtained the COI barcode sequence of 151 species based on 281 samples, representing 46% of CITES bird species registered for Colombia. The species analysed belong to nine families, where Trochilidae and Psittacidae are the most abundant ones. We sequenced for the first time the DNA barcode of 47 species, mainly hummingbirds endemic of the Northern Andes region. We found a correct match between morphological and genetic identification for 86-92% of the species analysed, depending on the cluster analysis performed (BIN, ABGD and TaxonDNA). Additionally, we identified eleven cases of high intraspecific divergence based on K2P genetic distances (up to 14.61%) that could reflect cryptic diversity. In these cases, the specimens were collected in geographically distant sites such as different mountain systems, opposite flanks of the mountain or different elevations. Likewise, we found two cases of possible hybridization and incomplete lineage sorting. This survey constitutes the first attempt to build the DNA barcode library of endangered bird species in Colombia establishing as a reference for management programs of illegal species trade, and providing major insights of phylogeographic structure that can guide future taxonomic research.

  4. The North American Breeding Bird Survey 1966–2011: Summary analysis and species accounts

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sauer, John R.; Link, William A.; Fallon, Jane E.; Pardieck, Keith L.; Ziolkowski, David J.

    2013-01-01

    The North American Breeding Bird Survey is a roadside, count-based survey conducted by volunteer observers. Begun in 1966, it now is a primary source of information on spatial and temporal patterns of population change for North American birds. We analyze population change for states, provinces, Bird Conservation Regions, and the entire survey within the contiguous United States and southern Canada for 426 species using a hierarchical log-linear model that controls for observer effects in counting. We also map relative abundance and population change for each species using a spatial smoothing of data at the scale of survey routes. We present results in accounts that describe major breeding habitats, migratory status, conservation status, and population trends for each species at several geographic scales. We also present composite results for groups of species categorized by habitats and migratory status. The survey varies greatly among species in percentage of species' range covered and precision of results, but consistent patterns of decline occur among eastern forest, grassland, and aridland obligate birds while generalist bird species are increasing.

  5. A revision of the family Cerococcidae Balachowsky (Hemiptera: Sternorrhyncha, Coccomorpha) with particular reference to species from the Afrotropical, western Palaearctic and western Oriental Regions, with the revival of Antecerococcus Green and description of a new genus and fifteen new species, and with ten new synonomies.

    PubMed

    Hodgson, Chris J; Williams, Douglas J

    2016-03-14

    The scale insect family Cerococcidae (Hemiptera: Coccomorpha) or false pit scales was last revised during the 1970s and 1980s. At that time, it included three genera, Asterococcus Borchsenius, Cerococcus Comstock and Solenophora Maskell, and a total of 69 species. The present revision concentrates on species known from the western Palaearctic, western Oriental and Afrotropical Regions but includes notes on all known cerococcid species. Within the three geographical areas principally studied here, all known species are described and illustrated based on the adult females, including 13 new species. During this study, a new morphological character was discovered on the venter of the anal lobes that is taxonomically important and which is referred to as the anteroventral sclerotization. It was found that the anteroventral sclerotization was present in most species from the main study areas, but was absent from all species in the Nearctic and from many in the Australasian and Neotropical Regions as well. As the type species of Cerococcus is C. quercus Comstock from the Nearctic, the genus Antecerococcus Green, revived status (type species Cerococcus punctiferus Green) was resurrected to take all species with an anteroventral sclerotization. Resurrection of Antecerococcus means that names of genera previously synonymised with Cerococcus are now junior synonyms of Antecerococcus, e.g., Phenacobryum Cockerell, syn. nov., Amelococcus Marchal, syn. nov., Cercococcus Scott, syn. nov. and Coricoccus Mahdihassan, syn. nov. As a range of other characters also were found to support this division (such as absence of setae along inner margin of each anal lobe and presence of a ventral seta posteriorly on each lobe), the genera in Cerococcidae can be divided into two groups, those with an anteroventral sclerotization (Antecerococcus and probably Solenophora) and those without (Asterococcus and Cerococcus). As part of this revision, it was found necessary to consider the

  6. Dangers of predicting bird species distributions in response to land-cover changes.

    PubMed

    Vallecillo, Sara; Brotons, Lluís; Thuiller, Wilfried

    2009-03-01

    Land-cover changes from the last decades are leading to important declines in habitat quality, giving rise to changes in bird species distribution all over the world. However, land-cover changes result from a variety of different processes, and it is not clear how effective species distribution models are in capturing species responses to these changes. In this study, we evaluated our ability to predict the effects of land-cover changes on shifts in species distributions at large spatial and temporal scales using Mediterranean landscapes and early-successional, open-habitat birds as study models. Based on presence-absence data from the second Catalan Breeding Bird Atlas (1999-2002), we applied six different species distribution modeling techniques for 10 bird species using climate, topographic, and land-cover data as predictor variables. Then we back-projected the models on land-cover conditions from 1980 to evaluate the projections with field observation data from the first Catalan Breeding Bird Atlas (1975-1983). Finally, we assessed if, in addition to changes in habitat suitability resulting from land-cover shifts, descriptors of fire impact contributed to further explain species distribution dynamics: colonization and local extinction. We developed accurate model projections of current and past global patterns of species distribution, but our ability to predict species distribution dynamics was reduced. Colonization dynamics were generally more strongly related to fire descriptors than to changes in overall habitat suitability derived from land-cover changes. Our results warn of the dangers of projecting species distribution models onto future conditions if processes behind species distribution dynamics are not explicitly included. Consideration of ecologically meaningful processes for species (i.e., fire disturbance) when modeling species' distribution might contribute to a better explanation of species' colonization dynamics.

  7. Species richness and patterns of invasion in plants, birds, and fishes in the United States

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Stohlgren, Thomas J.; Barnett, David; Flather, Curtis; Fuller, Pam L.; Peterjohn, Bruce G.; Kartesz, John; Master, Lawrence L.

    2006-01-01

    We quantified broad-scale patterns of species richness and species density (mean # species/km2) for native and non-indigenous plants, birds, and fishes in the continental USA and Hawaii. We hypothesized that the species density of native and non-indigenous taxa would generally decrease in northern latitudes and higher elevations following declines in potential evapotranspiration, mean temperature, and precipitation. County data on plants (n = 3004 counties) and birds (n=3074 counties), and drainage (6 HUC) data on fishes (n = 328 drainages) showed that the densities of native and non-indigenous species were strongly positively correlated for plant species (r = 0.86, P < 0.0001), bird species (r = 0.93, P<0.0001), and fish species (r = 0.41, P<0.0001). Multiple regression models showed that the densities of native plant and bird species could be strongly predicted (adj. R2 = 0.66 in both models) at county levels, but fish species densities were less predictable at drainage levels (adj. R2 = 0.31,P<0.0001). Similarly, non-indigenous plant and bird species densities were strongly predictable (adj. R2 = 0.84 and 0.91 respectively), but non-indigenous fish species density was less predictable (adj. R2 = 0.38). County level hotspots of native and non-indigenous plants, birds, and fishes were located in low elevation areas close to the coast with high precipitation and productivity (vegetation carbon). We show that (1) native species richness can be moderately well predicted with abiotic factors; (2) human populations have tended to settle in areas rich in native species; and (3) the richness and density of non-indigenous plant, bird, and fish species can be accurately predicted from biotic and abiotic factors largely because they are positively correlated to native species densities. We conclude that while humans facilitate the initial establishment, invasions of non-indigenous species, the spread and subsequent distributions of non-indigenous species may be controlled

  8. Environmental gradients explain species richness and community composition of coastal breeding birds in the Baltic Sea.

    PubMed

    Nord, Maria; Forslund, Pär

    2015-01-01

    Scientifically-based systematic conservation planning for reserve design requires knowledge of species richness patterns and how these are related to environmental gradients. In this study, we explore a large inventory of coastal breeding birds, in total 48 species, sampled in 4646 1 km2 squares which covered a large archipelago in the Baltic Sea on the east coast of Sweden. We analysed how species richness (α diversity) and community composition (β diversity) of two groups of coastal breeding birds (specialists, i.e. obligate coastal breeders; generalists, i.e. facultative coastal breeders) were affected by distance to open sea, land area, shoreline length and archipelago width. The total number of species per square increased with increasing shoreline length, but increasing land area counteracted this effect in specialists. The number of specialist bird species per square increased with decreasing distance to open sea, while the opposite was true for the generalists. Differences in community composition between squares were associated with differences in land area and distance to open sea, both when considering all species pooled and each group separately. Fourteen species were nationally red-listed, and showed similar relationships to the environmental gradients as did all species, specialists and generalists. We suggest that availability of suitable breeding habitats, and probably also proximity to feeding areas, explain much of the observed spatial distributions of coastal birds in this study. Our findings have important implications for systematic conservation planning of coastal breeding birds. In particular, we provide information on where coastal breeding birds occur and which environments they seem to prefer. Small land areas with long shorelines are highly valuable both in general and for red-listed species. Thus, such areas should be prioritized for protection against human disturbance and used by management in reserve selection.

  9. Environmental Gradients Explain Species Richness and Community Composition of Coastal Breeding Birds in the Baltic Sea

    PubMed Central

    Nord, Maria; Forslund, Pär

    2015-01-01

    Scientifically-based systematic conservation planning for reserve design requires knowledge of species richness patterns and how these are related to environmental gradients. In this study, we explore a large inventory of coastal breeding birds, in total 48 species, sampled in 4646 1 km2 squares which covered a large archipelago in the Baltic Sea on the east coast of Sweden. We analysed how species richness (α diversity) and community composition (β diversity) of two groups of coastal breeding birds (specialists, i.e. obligate coastal breeders; generalists, i.e. facultative coastal breeders) were affected by distance to open sea, land area, shoreline length and archipelago width. The total number of species per square increased with increasing shoreline length, but increasing land area counteracted this effect in specialists. The number of specialist bird species per square increased with decreasing distance to open sea, while the opposite was true for the generalists. Differences in community composition between squares were associated with differences in land area and distance to open sea, both when considering all species pooled and each group separately. Fourteen species were nationally red-listed, and showed similar relationships to the environmental gradients as did all species, specialists and generalists. We suggest that availability of suitable breeding habitats, and probably also proximity to feeding areas, explain much of the observed spatial distributions of coastal birds in this study. Our findings have important implications for systematic conservation planning of coastal breeding birds. In particular, we provide information on where coastal breeding birds occur and which environments they seem to prefer. Small land areas with long shorelines are highly valuable both in general and for red-listed species. Thus, such areas should be prioritized for protection against human disturbance and used by management in reserve selection. PMID:25714432

  10. Is there an optimum scale for predicting bird species' distribution in agricultural landscapes?

    PubMed

    Pelosi, Céline; Bonthoux, Sébastien; Castellarini, Fabiana; Goulard, Michel; Ladet, Sylvie; Balent, Gérard

    2014-04-01

    Changes in forest cover in agricultural landscapes affect biodiversity. Its management needs some indications about scale to predict occurrence of populations and communities. In this study we considered a forest cover index to predict bird species and community patterns in agricultural landscapes in south-western France. We used generalized linear models for that purpose with prediction driven by wooded areas' spatial distribution at nine different radii. Using 1064 point counts, we modelled the distribution of 10 bird species whose habitat preferences are spread along a landscape opening gradient. We also modelled the distribution of species richness for farmland species and for forest species. We used satellite images to construct a 'wood/non-wood' map and calculated a forest index, considering the surface area of wooded areas at nine radii from 110m to 910m. The models' predictive quality was determined by the AUC (for predicted presences) and ρ (for predicted species richness) criteria. We found that the forest cover was a good predictor of the distribution of seven bird species in agricultural landscapes (mean AUC for the seven species = 0.74 for the radius 110m). Species richness of farmland and forest birds was satisfactorily predicted by the models (ρ = 0.55 and 0.49, respectively, for the radius 110m). The presence of the studied species and species richness metrics were better predicted at smaller scales (i.e. radii between 110 m and 310 m) within the range tested. These results have implications for bird population management in agricultural landscapes since better pinpointing the scale to predict species distributions will enhance targeting efforts to be made in terms of landscape management.

  11. Patterns of climate-induced density shifts of species: poleward shifts faster in northern boreal birds than in southern birds.

    PubMed

    Virkkala, Raimo; Lehikoinen, Aleksi

    2014-10-01

    Climate change has been shown to cause poleward range shifts of species. These shifts are typically demonstrated using presence-absence data, which can mask the potential changes in the abundance of species. Moreover, changes in the mean centre of weighted density of species are seldom examined, and comparisons between these two methods are even rarer. Here, we studied the change in the mean weighted latitude of density (MWLD) of 94 bird species in Finland, northern Europe, using data covering a north-south gradient of over 1000 km from the 1970s to the 2010s. The MWLD shifted northward on average 1.26 km yr(-1) , and this shift was significantly stronger in northern species compared to southern species. These shifts can be related to climate warming during the study period, because the annual temperature had increased more in northern Finland (by 1.7 °C) than in southern Finland (by 1.4 °C), although direct causal links cannot be shown. Density shifts of species distributed over the whole country did not differ from shifts in species situated on the edge of the species range in southern and northern species. This means that density shifts occur both in the core and on the edge of species distribution. The species-specific comparison of MWLD values with corresponding changes in the mean weighted latitude using presence-absence atlas data (MWL) revealed that the MWLD moved more slowly than the MWL in the atlas data in the southern species examined, but more rapidly in the northern species. Our findings highlight that population densities are also moving rapidly towards the poles and the use of presence-absence data can mask the shift of population densities. We encourage use of abundance data in studies considering the effects of climate change on biodiversity.

  12. Review of Afrotropical Figitinae (Figitidae, Cynipoidea, Hymenoptera) with the first records of Neralsia and Lonchidia for the region

    PubMed Central

    van Noort, Simon; Buffington, Matthew L.; Forshage, Mattias

    2014-01-01

    Abstract The cynipoid subfamily Figitinae is poorly represented in the Afrotropical region with two genera (Figites Latreille and Xyalophora Kieffer) and six species currently known. Here we record an additional two genera (Neralsia Cameron and Lonchidia Thomson) for the region and describe three new species: Neralsia haddocki sp. n.; Xyalophora tedjoansi sp. n.; Xyalophora tintini sp. n. Benoit’s species described in 1956 are synonymized under Figites aciculatus (Benoit, 1956): Figites effossus syn. n.; Figites favonius syn. n.; Figites furvus syn. n.; Figites fraudator syn. n. Identification keys to the figitine genera and species occurring in the Afrotropical region are provided. Online interactive Lucid Phoenix and Lucid matrix keys are available at: http://www.waspweb.org/Cynipoidea/Keys/index.htm PMID:25493059

  13. Chewing lice (Phthiraptera) species of wild birds in northwestern Turkey with a new host record.

    PubMed

    Girisgin, Ahmet Onur; Dik, Bilal; Girisgin, Oya

    2013-12-01

    The goal of this study was to identify the chewing lice species of migratory and non-migratory wild birds in the province of Bursa, which is located in northwestern Turkey, between August 2009 and November 2012. Sixty-eight birds brought to the animal hospital in need of medical intervention, which belonged to 25 species, 20 genera and 15 families in 10 orders, were examined for ectoparasites. To sample for the presence of chewing lice, an insecticide was pulverised on the feathers of each bird over a white piece of paper, and then all of the lice were collected and placed in tubes containing 70% alcohol. The lice specimens were cleared in 10% KOH for 24 h, mounted in Canada balsam and identified using a light microscope. Forty (58.8%) out of 68 birds examined were infested with at least one species of chewing lice, and a total of 29 lice species were found on the birds. This study represents the first documentation in Turkey of 9 of these lice species and also provides the first worldwide record of Degeeriella nisus on the Common buzzard (Buteo buteo).

  14. Goats, birds, and emergent diseases: apparent and hidden effects of exotic species in an island environment.

    PubMed

    Carrete, Martina; Serrano, David; Illera, Juan C; López, Guillermo; Vögeli, Matthias; Delgado, Antonio; Tella, José L

    2009-06-01

    Exotic species can have devastating effects on recipient environments and even lead to the outbreak of emergent diseases. We present here several hidden effects that the introduction of goats has had on the Lesser Short-toed Lark, Calandrella rufescens, the commonest native bird inhabiting the island of Fuerteventura (Canary Islands). Vegetation structure varied with grazing pressure, and indeed, vegetation was all but eradicated from the locality with greatest goat densities, which was also where the lowest density of Lesser Short-toed Larks was recorded. The impact of habitat impoverishment, however, was partially compensated for by changes in the foraging behavior of birds, which benefited from the abundant food provided to goats on farms. Capture-resighting methods showed that birds visiting farms outnumbered the estimates for birds obtained in the surrounding natural habitat, suggesting that there was recruitment from a much larger area. Stable isotope analyses of feathers indicated that island birds feed largely on the maize supplied at goat farms, showing poorer body condition than birds from populations not associated with farms (peninsular Spain and Morocco). Moreover, larks from Fuerteventura had a very high prevalence of poxvirus lesions compared with other bird populations worldwide and may increase the risk of contracting the disease by feeding on farms, where they aggregate and coexist atypically with domestic birds. The island birds also had lower average productivity, which may be the consequence of the emergent disease and/or the poor nutritional state resulting from feeding on a low-protein diet. Diseased and non-diseased birds from Fuerteventura showed similar body condition and annual survival rates. However, the isotopic traces of delta 13C indicate that the diet of diseased birds was more uniform than that of non-diseased birds, being based on food from goat farms. Our results show how the combination of species frequently introduced onto

  15. [Bird species diversity and related protection measures in urban park green spaces of Loudi City, Hunan Province of China].

    PubMed

    Li, Yi-de; Liu, Ping-yuan; Gong, Xun-sheng; Xiao, Xiao-jun

    2013-08-01

    Urban park green space is an important physical part of urban ecosystem, and also, the important habitat and carrier for birds and other animals. Rapid urbanization induces the great change in the spatial pattern of urban park green space, while the patched distribution of urban park green space has the habitat features similar to 'habitat islands', giving obvious effects on urban avian communities. In order to understand the bird species distribution and species diversity in Loudi City and to provide the basic information for the bird conservation, a line transect method and a quadrat sampling method were adopted to investigate the distribution pattern and species richness of the birds across seven urban parks in the Loudi City from November, 2010 to January, 2012. A total of 56 birds species belonging to 11 orders and 27 families were recorded, among which, there were 32, 12 and 12 species belonging to resident birds, summer migrant birds and winter migrant birds, accounting for 57.2%, 21.4% and 21.4%, respectively. As for the fauna, there were 27, 14, and 15 bird species belonging to oriental species, palaearctic species and widely distributed species, accounting for 48.2%, 25.0% and 26.8%, respectively. A total of 7 species belonging to the second class of the national key protected species were recorded, accounting for 12.5% of the total. The Shannon, Pielou and G-F indices of the bird communities in the urban parks in Loudi City were 1.49, 0.85 and 0.62, respectively. Zhushan Park had the highest species number (42), Shannon index (1.41), G index (3.46), F index (6.12) and G-F index (0.43), and Yueqin Hill Park had the highest Pielou index (0.92). The reasons of the poor bird species in Loudi City were analyzed, and some suggestions for preventing the birds were put forward.

  16. Avian sensitivity to mortality: prioritising migratory bird species for assessment at proposed wind farms.

    PubMed

    Desholm, Mark

    2009-06-01

    Wind power generation is likely to constitute one of the most extensive human physical exploitation activities of European marine areas in the near future. The many millions of migrating birds that pass these man-made obstacles are protected by international obligations and the subject of public concerns. Yet some bird species are more sensitive to bird-wind turbine mortality than others. This study developed a simple and logical framework for ranking bird species with regard to their relative sensitivity to bird-wind turbine-collisions, and applied it to a data set comprising 38 avian migrant species at the Nysted offshore wind farm in Denmark. Two indicators were selected to characterize the sensitivity of each individual species: 1) relative abundance and 2) demographic sensitivity (elasticity of population growth rate to changes in adult survival). In the case-study from the Nysted offshore wind farm, birds of prey and waterbirds dominated the group of high priority species and only passerines showed a low risk of being impacted by the wind farm. Even where passerines might be present in very high numbers, they often represent insignificant segments of huge reference populations that, from a demographic point of view, are relatively insensitive to wind farm-related adult mortality. It will always be important to focus attention and direct the resources towards the most sensitive species to ensure cost-effective environmental assessments in the future, and in general, this novel index seems capable of identifying the species that are at high risk of being adversely affected by wind farms.

  17. Effects of exurban development and temperature on bird species in the southern Appalachians.

    PubMed

    Lumpkin, Heather A; Pearson, Scott M

    2013-10-01

    Land-use dynamics and climatic gradients have large effects on many terrestrial systems. Exurban development, one of the fastest growing forms of land use in the United States, may affect wildlife through habitat fragmentation and building presence may alter habitat quality. We studied the effects of residential development and temperature gradients on bird species occurrence at 140 study sites in the southern Appalachian Mountains (North Carolina, U.S.A.) that varied with respect to building density and elevation. We used occupancy models to determine 36 bird species' associations with building density, forest canopy cover, average daily mean temperature, and an interaction between building density and mean temperature. Responses varied with habitat requirement, breeding range, and migration distance. Building density and mean temperature were both included in the top occupancy models for 19 of 36 species and a building density by temperature interaction was included in models for 8 bird species. As exurban development expands in the southern Appalachians, interior forest species and Neotropical migrants are likely to decline, but shrubland or edge species are not likely to benefit. Overall, effects of building density were greater than those of forest canopy cover. Exurban development had a greater effect on birds at high elevations due to a greater abundance of sensitive forest-interior species and Neotropical migrants. A warming climate may exacerbate these negative effects.

  18. Traffic noise affects forest bird species in a protected tropical forest.

    PubMed

    Arévalo, J Edgardo; Newhard, Kimberly

    2011-06-01

    The construction of roads near protected forest areas alters ecosystem function by creating habitat fragmentation and through several direct and indirect negative effects such as increased pollution, animal mortality through collisions, disturbance caused by excessive noise and wind turbulence. Noise in particular may have strong negative effects on animal groups such as frogs and birds, that rely on sound for communication as it can negatively interfere with vocalizations used for territorial defense or courtship. Thus, birds are expected to be less abundant close to the road where noise levels are high. In this study, we examined the effects of road traffic noise levels on forest bird species in a protected tropical forest in Costa Rica. Data collection was conducted in a forest segment of the Carara National Park adjacent to the Coastal Highway. We carried out 120 ten minute bird surveys and measured road noise levels 192 times from the 19th to the 23rd of April and from the 21st to the 28th of November, 2008. To maximize bird detection for the species richness estimates we operated six 12 m standard mist nets simultaneously with the surveys. The overall mist-netting effort was 240 net/h. In addition, we estimated traffic volumes by tallying the number of vehicles passing by the edge of the park using 24 one hour counts throughout the study. We found that the relative abundance of birds and bird species richness decreased significantly with the increasing traffic noise in the dry and wet season. Noise decreased significantly and in a logarithmic way with distance from the road in both seasons. However, noise levels at any given distance were significantly higher in the dry compared to the wet season. Our results suggest that noise might be an important factor influencing road bird avoidance as measured by species richness and relative abundance. Since the protected forest in question is located in a national park subjected to tourist visitation, these results

  19. Habitat fragmentation and effects of herbivore (howler monkey) abundances on bird species richness.

    PubMed

    Feeley, Kenneth J; Terborgh, John W

    2006-01-01

    Habitat fragmentation can alter herbivore abundances, potentially causing changes in the plant community that can propagate through the food web and eventually influence other important taxonomic groups such as birds. Here we test the relationship between the density of red howler monkeys (Alouatta seniculus) and bird species richness on a large set of recently isolated land-bridge islands in Lago Guri, Venezuela (n = 29 islands). Several of these islands host relict populations of howler monkeys at densities up to more than 30 times greater than those on the mainland. These "hyperabundant" herbivores previously have been shown to have a strong positive influence on aboveground plant productivity. We predicted that this should lead to a positive, indirect effect of howler monkey density on bird species richness. After accounting for passive sampling (the tendency for species richness to be positively associated with island area, regardless of differences in habitat quality) we found a significant positive correlation between howler monkey density and bird species richness. A path analysis incorporating data on tree growth rates from a subset of islands (n = 9) supported the hypothesis that the effect of howler monkeys on the resident bird communities is indirect and is mediated through changes in plant productivity and habitat quality. These results highlight the potential for disparate taxonomic groups to be related through indirect interactions and trophic cascades.

  20. Estimates of population change in selected species of tropical birds using mark-recapture data

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Brawn, J.; Nichols, J.D.; Hines, J.E.; Nesbitt, J.

    2000-01-01

    The population biology of tropical birds is known for a only small sample of species; especially in the Neotropics. Robust estimates of parameters such as survival rate and finite rate of population change (A) are crucial for conservation purposes and useful for studies of avian life histories. We used methods developed by Pradel (1996, Biometrics 52:703-709) to estimate A for 10 species of tropical forest lowland birds using data from a long-term (> 20 yr) banding study in Panama. These species constitute a ecologically and phylogenetically diverse sample. We present these estimates and explore if they are consistent with what we know from selected studies of banded birds and from 5 yr of estimating nesting success (i.e., an important component of A). A major goal of these analyses is to assess if the mark-recapture methods generate reliable and reasonably precise estimates of population change than traditional methods that require more sampling effort.

  1. Cross-species infection of hepatitis E virus in a zoo-like location, including birds.

    PubMed

    Zhang, W; Shen, Q; Mou, J; Yang, Z B; Yuan, C L; Cui, L; Zhu, J G; Hua, X G; Xu, C M; Hu, J

    2008-08-01

    Hepatitis E virus (HEV) is a zoonotic pathogen of which several species of animals are considered to be reservoirs. Thirty-eight faecal samples, obtained from 22 species of animals including birds in a wildlife first-aid centre in Eastern China, were tested for HEV RNA. Our survey revealed that in total 28.9% (95% confidence interval 14.5-43.4) of the faecal samples from various mammals and birds were HEV RNA positive. Sequence and phylogenetic analyses of the 11 isolates demonstrated that all sequences clustered in genotype 4 with 96-100% identity to each other. In addition, serum samples from seven animal handlers have shown that five (71.4%) were seropositive. The findings imply that cross-species infection of HEV had probably occurred in this zoo-like location, and moreover, birds can be infected naturally with mammalian HEV.

  2. Frequent inter-species transmission and geographic subdivision in avian influenza viruses from wild birds.

    PubMed

    Chen, Rubing; Holmes, Edward C

    2009-01-05

    Revealing the factors that shape the genetic structure of avian influenza viruses (AIVs) in wild bird populations is essential to understanding their evolution. However, the relationship between epidemiological dynamics and patterns of genetic diversity in AIV is not well understood, especially at the continental scale. To address this question, we undertook a phylogeographic analysis of complete genome sequences of AIV sampled from wild birds in North America. In particular, we asked whether host species, geographic location or sampling time played the major role in shaping patterns of viral genetic diversity. Strikingly, our analysis revealed no strong species effect, yet a significant viral clustering by time and place of sampling, as well as the circulation of multiple viral lineages in single locations. These results suggest that AIVs can readily infect many of the bird species that share breeding/feeding areas.

  3. Variation in helper effort among cooperatively breeding bird species is consistent with Hamilton's Rule

    PubMed Central

    Green, Jonathan P.; Freckleton, Robert P.; Hatchwell, Ben J.

    2016-01-01

    Investment by helpers in cooperative breeding systems is extremely variable among species, but this variation is currently unexplained. Inclusive fitness theory predicts that, all else being equal, cooperative investment should correlate positively with the relatedness of helpers to the recipients of their care. We test this prediction in a comparative analysis of helper investment in 36 cooperatively breeding bird species. We show that species-specific helper contributions to cooperative brood care increase as the mean relatedness between helpers and recipients increases. Helper contributions are also related to the sex ratio of helpers, but neither group size nor the proportion of nests with helpers influence helper effort. Our findings support the hypothesis that variation in helping behaviour among cooperatively breeding birds is consistent with Hamilton's rule, indicating a key role for kin selection in the evolution of cooperative investment in social birds. PMID:27554604

  4. Variation in helper effort among cooperatively breeding bird species is consistent with Hamilton's Rule.

    PubMed

    Green, Jonathan P; Freckleton, Robert P; Hatchwell, Ben J

    2016-08-24

    Investment by helpers in cooperative breeding systems is extremely variable among species, but this variation is currently unexplained. Inclusive fitness theory predicts that, all else being equal, cooperative investment should correlate positively with the relatedness of helpers to the recipients of their care. We test this prediction in a comparative analysis of helper investment in 36 cooperatively breeding bird species. We show that species-specific helper contributions to cooperative brood care increase as the mean relatedness between helpers and recipients increases. Helper contributions are also related to the sex ratio of helpers, but neither group size nor the proportion of nests with helpers influence helper effort. Our findings support the hypothesis that variation in helping behaviour among cooperatively breeding birds is consistent with Hamilton's rule, indicating a key role for kin selection in the evolution of cooperative investment in social birds.

  5. Monitoring potential geographical distribution of four wild bird species in China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dai, S.; Feng, D.; Xu, B.

    2015-12-01

    The outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) of the H5N1 subtype in wild birds and poultry have caught worldwide attention. To explore the association between wild bird migration and avian influenza virus transmission, we monitored potential geographical distribution of four wild bird species that might carry the avian influenza viruses in China. They are Bar-headed geese (Anser indicus), Ruddy Shelduck (Tadorna ferruginea), Whooper Swan (Cygnus cygnus) and Black-headed Gull (Larus ridibundus). They served as major reservoir of the avian influenza viruses. We used bird watching records with the precise latitude/longitude coordinates from January 2002 to August 2014, and environmental variables with a pixel resolution of 5 km × 5 km from 2002 to 2014. The study utilized maximum entropy (MaxEnt) model based on ecological niche model approaches, and got the following results: 1) MaxEnt model have good discriminatory ability with the area under the curve (AUC) of the receiver operating curve (ROC) of 0.86-0.97; 2) The four wild bird species were estimated to concentrate in the North China Plain, the middle and lower region of the Yangtze River, Qinghai Lake, Tianshan Mountain and Tarim Basin, part of Tibet Plateau, and Hengduan Mountains; 3) Radiation and the minimum temperature were found to provide the most significant information. Our findings will help to understand the spread of avian influenza viruses by wild bird migration in China, which benefits for effective monitoring strategies and prevention measures.

  6. Transport of Ixodes ricinus infected with Borrelia species to Norway by northward-migrating passerine birds.

    PubMed

    Hasle, Gunnar; Bjune, Gunnar Aksel; Midthjell, Liv; Røed, Knut Håkon; Leinaas, Hans Petter

    2011-03-01

    Birds are capable of transporting ticks and, consequently, tick-borne pathogens over long distances and across geographical barriers such as oceans and deserts. The purpose of this study was to assess the prevalence of Borrelia spp. in ticks transported by birds by using PCR. A total of 9768 northward-migrating passerine birds was examined for ticks at 4 bird observatories along the southern Norwegian coast during their spring migration in 2003-2005. Two of the bird observatories were located on islands where flagging revealed very few or no ticks (Akerøya and Store Færder), while the other 2 were located in areas with established dense tick populations: an island, Jomfruland (>100 ticks per hour of flagging) and a mainland locality, Lista (40 ticks in one hour of flagging). Borrelia spp. were found in 70 (13.6%) of 513 examined Ixodes ricinus nymphs (19 B. afzelii, 38 B. garinii, two B. turdi, and 11 B. valaisiana) and in 14 (8.1%) of 172 examined I. ricinus larvae (ten B. garinii, one B. turdi, and three B. valaisiana). This report is the first to identify B. turdi in Europe. Ticks collected from birds of the genus Turdus (T. merula, T. philomelos, and T. iliacus) had a higher prevalence of Borrelia spp. than ticks from the other passerine genera. Ticks that were cofeeding with a Borrelia-infected tick had an increased probability of being infected with the same Borrelia species. Ticks collected on birds from the south-western locality Lista were less likely to have Borrelia than ticks found on birds from the other, more eastern localities. The Turdus spp. are particularly important, both because they carry many ticks per bird and because ticks carried by these species have a higher prevalence of Borrelia. This higher prevalence may be related to Borrelia infection of the birds or transmission of Borrelia through cofeeding. The prevalence of the different Borrelia species in ticks collected from migratory birds may be related to migration routes.

  7. Ethical advantages of using domestic bird species for magnetic orientation research.

    PubMed

    Freire, Rafael

    2011-01-01

    Identifying the mechanism in birds that controls magnetic orientation behavior is proving elusive and is currently attracting a plethora of research activity. Much of this research involves wild birds that are caught in nets, tested and released. Ethical concerns regarding these experiments are likely to encompass the welfare of animals, their "rights" and conservation issues. Recently, Pekin ducks derived from migratory ancestors have been shown to posses a magnetic compass in a simple conditioning procedure. The use of domestic bird species provides a refinement in the ethics of animal experimentation since these birds are not caught in nets, are less fearful of humans and their use does not raise conservation concerns. The study of magnetic orientation is a high profile and fascinating areas of animal behavior research and one in which behavioral scientists should be seen to actively embrace the principles of the 3R's.

  8. Antibody response of five bird species after vaccination with a killed West Nile virus vaccine.

    PubMed

    Okeson, Danelle M; Llizo, Shirley Yeo; Miller, Christine L; Glaser, Amy L

    2007-06-01

    West Nile virus has been associated with numerous bird mortalities in the United States since 1999. Five avian species at three zoological parks were selected to assess the antibody response to vaccination for West Nile virus: black-footed penguins (Spheniscus demersus), little blue penguins (Eudyptula minor), American flamingos (Phoenicopterus ruber), Chilean flamingos (Phoenicopterus chilensis), and Attwater's prairie chickens (Tympanuchus cupido attwateri). All birds were vaccinated intramuscularly at least twice with a commercially available inactivated whole virus vaccine (Innovator). Significant differences in antibody titer over time were detected for black-footed penguins and both flamingo species.

  9. Interference competition between an invasive parakeet and native bird species at feeding sites.

    PubMed

    Le Louarn, Marine; Couillens, Bertrand; Deschamps-Cottin, Magali; Clergeau, Philippe

    2016-01-01

    Interference competition has proved to be a factor of successful establishment of invasive species. This type of competition may have a stronger impact when native species have temporal niche overlap with the invasive species. The ring-necked parakeet Psittacula krameri has been successfully introduced in many countries and its interspecific agonistic behavior has already been reported. The purpose of this study is to analyze the territorial and preemptive interference competition between the ring-necked parakeet and native bird species in a recently colonized area. We used an empirical approach by recording video sequences in gardens equipped with bird feeders in winter. Our results showed that the ring-necked parakeet was the most frequent species at the feeders. Several native species showed temporal niche overlap with the ring-necked parakeet, the highest overlap being with the starling Sturnus vulgaris. The starling was also the species most impacted by interference competition with the parakeet. Our study suggests that, by being most frequently present at the feeders, by demonstrating the most agonistic behavior and by hindering access to food of the other species, the ring-necked parakeet is a superior competitor and may compete with native bird species.

  10. Bird species migration ratio in East Asia, Australia, and surrounding islands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kuo, Yiliang; Lin, Da-Li; Chuang, Fu-Man; Lee, Pei-Fen; Ding, Tzung-Su

    2013-08-01

    Bird migration and its relationship with the contemporary environment have attracted long-term discussion. We calculated the avian migration ratio (the proportion of breeding species that migrate) in the areas from 70°E to 180°E and examined its relationship with the annual ranges of ambient temperature, primary productivity (estimated by the Enhanced Vegetation Index), and precipitation, along with island isolation and elevational range. The avian migration ratio increased with increasing latitude in general but varied greatly between the two hemispheres. Additionally, it showed minimal differences between continents and islands. Our analyses revealed that the seasonality of ambient temperature, which represents the energy expenditure of birds, is the dominant factor in determining bird species migration. Seasonality in primary productivity and other environmental factors play an indirect or limited role in bird species migration. The lower avian migration ratio in the Southern Hemisphere can be attributed to its paleogeographical isolation, stable paleoclimate, and warm contemporary environment. Under current trends of global warming, our findings should lead to further studies of the impact of warming on bird migration.

  11. Bird species migration ratio in East Asia, Australia, and surrounding islands.

    PubMed

    Kuo, Yiliang; Lin, Da-Li; Chuang, Fu-Man; Lee, Pei-Fen; Ding, Tzung-Su

    2013-08-01

    Bird migration and its relationship with the contemporary environment have attracted long-term discussion. We calculated the avian migration ratio (the proportion of breeding species that migrate) in the areas from 70°E to 180°E and examined its relationship with the annual ranges of ambient temperature, primary productivity (estimated by the Enhanced Vegetation Index), and precipitation, along with island isolation and elevational range. The avian migration ratio increased with increasing latitude in general but varied greatly between the two hemispheres. Additionally, it showed minimal differences between continents and islands. Our analyses revealed that the seasonality of ambient temperature, which represents the energy expenditure of birds, is the dominant factor in determining bird species migration. Seasonality in primary productivity and other environmental factors play an indirect or limited role in bird species migration. The lower avian migration ratio in the Southern Hemisphere can be attributed to its paleogeographical isolation, stable paleoclimate, and warm contemporary environment. Under current trends of global warming, our findings should lead to further studies of the impact of warming on bird migration.

  12. Learning about Bird Species on the Primary Level

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Randler, Christoph

    2009-01-01

    Animal species identification is often emphasized as a basic prerequisite for an understanding of ecology because ecological interactions are based on interactions between species at least as it is taught on the school level. Therefore, training identification skills or using identification books seems a worthwhile task in biology education, and…

  13. Can Birds Perceive Rhythmic Patterns? A Review and Experiments on a Songbird and a Parrot Species

    PubMed Central

    ten Cate, Carel; Spierings, Michelle; Hubert, Jeroen; Honing, Henkjan

    2016-01-01

    While humans can easily entrain their behavior with the beat in music, this ability is rare among animals. Yet, comparative studies in non-human species are needed if we want to understand how and why this ability evolved. Entrainment requires two abilities: (1) recognizing the regularity in the auditory stimulus and (2) the ability to adjust the own motor output to the perceived pattern. It has been suggested that beat perception and entrainment are linked to the ability for vocal learning. The presence of some bird species showing beat induction, and also the existence of vocal learning as well as vocal non-learning bird taxa, make them relevant models for comparative research on rhythm perception and its link to vocal learning. Also, some bird vocalizations show strong regularity in rhythmic structure, suggesting that birds might perceive rhythmic structures. In this paper we review the available experimental evidence for the perception of regularity and rhythms by birds, like the ability to distinguish regular from irregular stimuli over tempo transformations and report data from new experiments. While some species show a limited ability to detect regularity, most evidence suggests that birds attend primarily to absolute and not relative timing of patterns and to local features of stimuli. We conclude that, apart from some large parrot species, there is limited evidence for beat and regularity perception among birds and that the link to vocal learning is unclear. We next report the new experiments in which zebra finches and budgerigars (both vocal learners) were first trained to distinguish a regular from an irregular pattern of beats and then tested on various tempo transformations of these stimuli. The results showed that both species reduced the discrimination after tempo transformations. This suggests that, as was found in earlier studies, they attended mainly to local temporal features of the stimuli, and not to their overall regularity. However, some

  14. Elevational pattern of bird species richness and its causes along a central Himalaya gradient, China

    PubMed Central

    Pan, Xinyuan; Ding, Zhifeng; Hu, Yiming; Liang, Jianchao; Wu, Yongjie; Si, Xingfeng; Guo, Mingfang

    2016-01-01

    This study examines the relative importance of six variables: area, the mid-domain effect, temperature, precipitation, productivity, and habitat heterogeneity on elevational patterns of species richness for breeding birds along a central Himalaya gradient in the Gyirong Valley, the longest of five canyons in the Mount Qomolangma National Nature Reserve. We conducted field surveys in each of twelve elevational bands of 300 m between 1,800 and 5,400 m asl four times throughout the entire wet season. A total of 169 breeding bird species were recorded and most of the species (74%) were small-ranged. The species richness patterns of overall, large-ranged and small-ranged birds were all hump-shaped, but with peaks at different elevations. Large-ranged species and small-ranged species contributed equally to the overall richness pattern. Based on the bivariate and multiple regression analyses, area and precipitation were not crucial factors in determining the species richness along this gradient. The mid-domain effect played an important role in shaping the richness pattern of large-ranged species. Temperature was negatively correlated with overall and large-ranged species but positively correlated with small-ranged species. Productivity was a strong explanatory factor among all the bird groups, and habitat heterogeneity played an important role in shaping the elevational richness patterns of overall and small-ranged species. Our results highlight the need to conserve primary forest and intact habitat in this area. Furthermore, we need to increase conservation efforts in this montane biodiversity hotspot in light of increasing anthropogenic activities and land use pressure. PMID:27833806

  15. Elevational pattern of bird species richness and its causes along a central Himalaya gradient, China.

    PubMed

    Pan, Xinyuan; Ding, Zhifeng; Hu, Yiming; Liang, Jianchao; Wu, Yongjie; Si, Xingfeng; Guo, Mingfang; Hu, Huijian; Jin, Kun

    2016-01-01

    This study examines the relative importance of six variables: area, the mid-domain effect, temperature, precipitation, productivity, and habitat heterogeneity on elevational patterns of species richness for breeding birds along a central Himalaya gradient in the Gyirong Valley, the longest of five canyons in the Mount Qomolangma National Nature Reserve. We conducted field surveys in each of twelve elevational bands of 300 m between 1,800 and 5,400 m asl four times throughout the entire wet season. A total of 169 breeding bird species were recorded and most of the species (74%) were small-ranged. The species richness patterns of overall, large-ranged and small-ranged birds were all hump-shaped, but with peaks at different elevations. Large-ranged species and small-ranged species contributed equally to the overall richness pattern. Based on the bivariate and multiple regression analyses, area and precipitation were not crucial factors in determining the species richness along this gradient. The mid-domain effect played an important role in shaping the richness pattern of large-ranged species. Temperature was negatively correlated with overall and large-ranged species but positively correlated with small-ranged species. Productivity was a strong explanatory factor among all the bird groups, and habitat heterogeneity played an important role in shaping the elevational richness patterns of overall and small-ranged species. Our results highlight the need to conserve primary forest and intact habitat in this area. Furthermore, we need to increase conservation efforts in this montane biodiversity hotspot in light of increasing anthropogenic activities and land use pressure.

  16. Establishing appropriate measures for monitoring aging in birds: comparing short and long lived species

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ottinger, M.A.; Reed, E.; Wu, J.; Thompson, N.; French, J.B.

    2003-01-01

    In order to reveal patterns of reproductive aging in birds we focus on a short lived species, the Japanese quail and the American kestrel, which has a life span of medium length. Quail have been studied extensively in the laboratory as models for understanding avian endocrinology and behavior, and as a subject for toxicological research and testing. In the lab, Japanese quail show age-related deterioration in endocrine, behavioral, and sensory system responses; the American kestrel is relatively long lived and shows moderate evidence of senescence in the oldest birds. Using data collected from captive kestrels at the Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, a database was designed to document selected parameters over the life cycle of the kestrels. Life table data collated from many species indicate that longer lived species of birds show senescence in survival ability but this pattern has not been established for reproductive function. We suggest that useful comparisons among species can be made by identifying stages in reproductive life history, organized on a relative time scale. Preliminary data from quail and kestrels, admittedly only two species, do not yet indicate a pattern of greater reproductive senescence in longer-lived birds.

  17. Geographical variation in bill size across bird species provides evidence for Allen's rule.

    PubMed

    Symonds, Matthew R E; Tattersall, Glenn J

    2010-08-01

    Allen's rule proposes that the appendages of endotherms are smaller, relative to body size, in colder climates, in order to reduce heat loss. Empirical support for Allen's rule is mainly derived from occasional reports of geographical clines in extremity size of individual species. Interspecific evidence is restricted to two studies of leg proportions in seabirds and shorebirds. We used phylogenetic comparative analyses of 214 bird species to examine whether bird bills, significant sites of heat exchange, conform to Allen's rule. The species comprised eight diverse taxonomic groups-toucans, African barbets, Australian parrots, estrildid finches, Canadian galliforms, penguins, gulls, and terns. Across all species, there were strongly significant relationships between bill length and both latitude and environmental temperature, with species in colder climates having significantly shorter bills. Patterns supporting Allen's rule in relation to latitudinal or altitudinal distribution held within all groups except the finches. Evidence for a direct association with temperature was found within four groups (parrots, galliforms, penguins, and gulls). Support for Allen's rule in leg elements was weaker, suggesting that bird bills may be more susceptible to thermoregulatory constraints generally. Our results provide the strongest comparative support yet published for Allen's rule and demonstrate that thermoregulation has been an important factor in shaping the evolution of bird bills.

  18. Leucocytozoon (Apicomplexa: Leucocytozoidae) from West African birds, with descriptions of two species.

    PubMed

    Jones, Hugh I; Sehgal, Ravinder N M; Smith, Thomas B

    2005-04-01

    Five species of Leucocytozoon were recovered from 35/828 birds of 95 species examined from 6 sites in West Africa between May 1995 and June 2001. Leucocytozoon pogoniuli n. sp. is described from the tinker barbets Pogoniulus subsulphureus and Pogoniulus atroflavus. Leucocytozoon trachyphoni n. sp. is described from the barbet Trachyphonus purpureus. No leucocytozoids have been reported previously in species of Pogoniulus. Leucocytozoon nectariniae was identified from the sunbird Nectarinia olivacea, and Leucocytozoon brimonti was recovered from 4 species of Pycnonotidae (bulbuls), all of which are new host records. We also report the first Leucocytozoon to be recovered from the phylogenetically isolated bird, Picathartes sp. (Picathartidae). This parasite is similar in appearance to Leucocytozoon sakharoffi, and probably represents a previously undescribed species. In view of the intraspecific variability and, frequently, relatively minor interspecific differences within Leucocytozoidae, we suggest that the development and application of molecular techniques would greatly advance understanding of speciation and relationships within this family.

  19. Birds of a feather: using species assemblages to assess vulnerability to extinction.

    PubMed

    Paini, Dean R; Mokany, Karel

    2016-03-01

    Estimating extinction vulnerability for a large number of species presents significant challenges for researchers, but is of high importance considering the large number of species that are currently unassessed. We present a method using a type of artificial neural network (self organizing map; SOM), which utilizes the co-occurrence patterns of species to estimate each species' vulnerability to extinction. We use this method on Australian bird assemblages and compare the SOM-generated rankings for vulnerability with assessments from the IUCN Red List for those species in which populations have actually been estimated. For species that have had their populations estimated, the SOM performed well in distinguishing those species ranked of least concern by IUCN from those species in one of the other IUCN categories. Further, 19 species that were identified as highly vulnerable by the SOM analysis have never had their populations estimated and have been ranked by the IUCN of least concern. We show how the SOM can identify spatial variation in vulnerability for a species, and identify those regions in Australia in which the resident species have the greatest levels of vulnerability (central Australia). We conclude that the SOM provides a useful tool for researchers and agencies dealing with conservation strategies focused on large numbers of species and we urge a more detailed assessment of the 19 bird species identified by this analysis as vulnerable to extinction.

  20. BIRD SPECIES ASSEMBLAGES AS INDICATORS OF BIOLOGICAL INTEGRITY IN GREAT BASIN RANGELAND

    EPA Science Inventory

    The study evaluates the potential for bird species assemblages to serve as indicators of biological integrity of rangelands in the Great Basin in much the same way that fish and invertebrate assemblages have been used as indicators in aquatic environments. Our approach was to ide...

  1. Comparing Methods of Instruction Using Bird Species Identification Skills as Indicators.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Randler, Christoph; Bogner, Franz

    2002-01-01

    Compares two different methods of educational instruction, both addressing the improvement of pupils in bird species identification skills. Uses hands-on and group-based learning styles with (stuffed) taxidermy specimens and teacher-based slide presentations. Reports an increase in knowledge with both instructional methods but different learning…

  2. Student Science Teachers' Ideas about Endangered Bird Species: Hermit Ibis, Chukar Partridge

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cardak, Osman; Dikmenli, Musa

    2009-01-01

    In this study, student science teachers' ideas and views of endangered bird species and their protection are analysed. 173 student science teachers studying at Selcuk University in the department of science education, participated in the study. Data analysis provides evidence that the majority of students thought that human intervention is…

  3. Stomach nematodes of three sympatric species of anatid birds off the coast of Patagonia.

    PubMed

    Agüero, M L; Gilardoni, C; Cremonte, F; Diaz, J I

    2016-11-01

    The present study focuses on the nematode community in the stomachs of three sympatric anatid bird species from the Central Patagonian coast, Argentina. The bird species include the Chubut steamer duck, Tachyeres leucocephalus, the crested duck, Lophonetta specularioides, and the black-necked swan, Cygnus melancoryphus. Up to 138 nematodes representing five species were recovered from 10 of the 13 ducks examined, with an overall prevalence of 77% and a mean intensity of 13.8. Nematodes isolated from the gizzard were Streptocara formosensis and Sciadiocara legendrei (Acuariidae) in T. leucocephalus, and Epomidiostomum vogelsangi (Amidostomatidae) in C. melancoryphus, whereas Echinuria uncinata (Acuariidae) and Tetrameres (Petrowimeres) fissispina (Tetrameriidae) were found in the proventiculus of L. specularioides. In particular, S. legendrei was registered for the first time in South America and T. leucocephalus, whereas T. fissispina represents a new record in Argentina and L. specularioides. Moreover, E. vogelsangi and E. uncinata were isolated in Patagonia for the first time. The birds studied herein are sympatric in their distribution, and two of them are syntopic breeders; however, they were infected with different parasite species. This situation could be partially due to their diet or their seasonal movements, or a combination of both. Despite the low number of hosts examined, this work enhances our knowledge about parasites from a frequently occurring group of birds on the Patagonian coast, a subject that has not been studied extensively in South America.

  4. Detection and identification of Malassezia species in domestic animals and aquatic birds by PCR-RFLP.

    PubMed

    Zia, M; Mirhendi, H; Toghyani, M

    2015-01-01

    The present study aimed at detection and species-level identification of the Malassezia yeasts in domestic animals and aquatic birds by polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR-RFLP). Samples were collected using tape strips and swabs from 471 animals including 97 horses, 102 cattle, 105 sheep, 20 camels, 60 dogs, 30 cats, 1 hamster, 1 squirrel, 50 aquatic birds and 5 turkeys. Tape-strip samples were examined by direct microscopy. All samples were inoculated on modified Leeming and Notman agar medium. DNA extracted from the yeast colonies was amplified by PCR using primers specific for 26S rDNA. RFLP of the PCR products was performed using Hin6I enzyme, and PCR and RFLP products were visualized by agarose gel electrophoresis. Malassezia yeasts were detected at the following frequencies: 15.46% in horses, 12.74% in cattle, 12.38% in sheep, 28.33% in dogs, 26.66% in cats and 26% in aquatic birds. Eighty colonies of 6 species were isolated: Malassezia globosa 41.25%, Malassezia furfur 22.5%, Malassezia restricta 15%, Malassezia sympodialis 15%, Malassezia pachydermatis 5% and Malassezia slooffiae 1.25%. Therefore different lipophilic Malassezia species are found in a wide diversity of animals and aquatic birds. PCR-RFLP is a suitable technique for identification of different Malassezia species.

  5. Detection and identification of Malassezia species in domestic animals and aquatic birds by PCR-RFLP

    PubMed Central

    Zia, M.; Mirhendi, H.; Toghyani, M.

    2015-01-01

    The present study aimed at detection and species-level identification of the Malassezia yeasts in domestic animals and aquatic birds by polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR-RFLP). Samples were collected using tape strips and swabs from 471 animals including 97 horses, 102 cattle, 105 sheep, 20 camels, 60 dogs, 30 cats, 1 hamster, 1 squirrel, 50 aquatic birds and 5 turkeys. Tape-strip samples were examined by direct microscopy. All samples were inoculated on modified Leeming and Notman agar medium. DNA extracted from the yeast colonies was amplified by PCR using primers specific for 26S rDNA. RFLP of the PCR products was performed using Hin6I enzyme, and PCR and RFLP products were visualized by agarose gel electrophoresis. Malassezia yeasts were detected at the following frequencies: 15.46% in horses, 12.74% in cattle, 12.38% in sheep, 28.33% in dogs, 26.66% in cats and 26% in aquatic birds. Eighty colonies of 6 species were isolated: Malassezia globosa 41.25%, Malassezia furfur 22.5%, Malassezia restricta 15%, Malassezia sympodialis 15%, Malassezia pachydermatis 5% and Malassezia slooffiae 1.25%. Therefore different lipophilic Malassezia species are found in a wide diversity of animals and aquatic birds. PCR-RFLP is a suitable technique for identification of different Malassezia species. PMID:27175148

  6. Plastic ingestion in marine-associated bird species from the eastern North Pacific.

    PubMed

    Avery-Gomm, S; Provencher, J F; Morgan, K H; Bertram, D F

    2013-07-15

    In addition to monitoring trends in plastic pollution, multi-species surveys are needed to fully understand the pervasiveness of plastic ingestion. We examined the stomach contents of 20 bird species collected from the coastal waters of the eastern North Pacific, a region known to have high levels of plastic pollution. We observed no evidence of plastic ingestion in Rhinoceros Auklet, Marbled Murrelet, Ancient Murrelet or Pigeon Guillemot, and low levels in Common Murre (2.7% incidence rate). Small sample sizes limit our ability to draw conclusions about population level trends for the remaining fifteen species, though evidence of plastic ingestion was found in Glaucous-Winged Gull and Sooty Shearwater. Documenting levels of plastic ingestion in a wide array of species is necessary to gain a comprehensive understanding about the impacts of plastic pollution. We propose that those working with bird carcasses follow standard protocols to assess the levels of plastic ingestion whenever possible.

  7. Variable effects of climate change on six species of North American birds.

    PubMed

    Torti, Vanessa M; Dunn, Peter O

    2005-09-01

    Many recent studies have shown that birds are advancing their laying date in response to long-term increases in spring temperatures. These studies have been conducted primarily in Europe and at local scales. If climate change is a large-scale phenomenon, then we should see responses at larger scales and in other regions. We examined the effects of long-term temperature change on the laying dates and clutch sizes of six ecologically diverse species of North American birds using 50 years of nest record data. As predicted, laying dates for most (four of six) species were earlier when spring temperatures were warmer. Over the long-term, laying dates advanced over time for two species (red-winged blackbirds, Agelaius phoeniceus and eastern bluebirds, Sialia sialis). Laying date of song sparrows (Melospiza melodia) also advanced with increasing temperature when the analysis was restricted to eastern populations. Neither laying date nor clutch sizes changed significantly over time in the remaining species (American coot, Fulica americana, killdeer, Charadrius vociferous, and American robin, Turdus migratorius), an unsurprising result given the lack of increase in temperatures over time at nest locations of these species. This study indicates that the relationship between climate change and breeding in birds is variable within and among species. In large-scale analyses of North American birds, four of seven species have shown advances in laying dates with increasing temperature (including song sparrows in the east). These variable responses within and among species highlight the need for more detailed studies across large spatial scales.

  8. Protected areas alleviate climate change effects on northern bird species of conservation concern

    PubMed Central

    Virkkala, Raimo; Pöyry, Juha; Heikkinen, Risto K; Lehikoinen, Aleksi; Valkama, Jari

    2014-01-01

    Global climate change is a major threat to biodiversity, posing increasing pressures on species to adapt in situ or shift their ranges. A protected area network is one of the main instruments to alleviate the negative impacts of climate change. Importantly, protected area networks might be expected to enhance the resilience of regional populations of species of conservation concern, resulting in slower species loss in landscapes with a significant amount of protected habitat compared to unprotected landscapes. Based on national bird atlases compiled in 1974–1989 and 2006–2010, this study examines the recent range shifts in 90 forest, mire, marshland, and Arctic mountain heath bird species of conservation concern in Finland, as well as the changes in their species richness in protected versus unprotected areas. The trends emerging from the atlas data comparisons were also related to the earlier study dealing with predictions of distributional changes for these species for the time slice of 2051–2080, developed using bioclimatic envelope models (BEMs). Our results suggest that the observed changes in bird distributions are in the same direction as the BEM-based predictions, resulting in a decrease in species richness of mire and Arctic mountain heath species and an increase in marshland species. The patterns of changes in species richness between the two time slices are in general parallel in protected and unprotected areas. However, importantly, protected areas maintained a higher level of species richness than unprotected areas. This finding provides support for the significance and resilience provision of protected area networks in preserving species of conservation concern under climate change. PMID:25247057

  9. This (Sandpiper like) bird, as well as many other species keep watch over Moffett Field wetlands.

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1991-01-01

    This (Sandpiper like) bird, as well as many other species keep watch over Moffett Field wetlands. The shorebird in this picture is a greater yellowlegs (Tinga melanoleuca) which is a common bird found in our coastal salt marsh and tidal zones in winter months. Generally, they summer/breed up north in Canada and Alaska and then migrate in the fall to winter along the west coast of the U.S. and Mexico. Known for their loud call of a slightly descending series of three or more tew notes. Diet consists of small fish, insects, snails, worms, and tadpoles. used in Ames 60 yr. History NASA SP-2000-4314

  10. Acoustic classification of multiple simultaneous bird species: a multi-instance multi-label approach.

    PubMed

    Briggs, Forrest; Lakshminarayanan, Balaji; Neal, Lawrence; Fern, Xiaoli Z; Raich, Raviv; Hadley, Sarah J K; Hadley, Adam S; Betts, Matthew G

    2012-06-01

    Although field-collected recordings typically contain multiple simultaneously vocalizing birds of different species, acoustic species classification in this setting has received little study so far. This work formulates the problem of classifying the set of species present in an audio recording using the multi-instance multi-label (MIML) framework for machine learning, and proposes a MIML bag generator for audio, i.e., an algorithm which transforms an input audio signal into a bag-of-instances representation suitable for use with MIML classifiers. The proposed representation uses a 2D time-frequency segmentation of the audio signal, which can separate bird sounds that overlap in time. Experiments using audio data containing 13 species collected with unattended omnidirectional microphones in the H. J. Andrews Experimental Forest demonstrate that the proposed methods achieve high accuracy (96.1% true positives/negatives). Automated detection of bird species occurrence using MIML has many potential applications, particularly in long-term monitoring of remote sites, species distribution modeling, and conservation planning.

  11. Associations of forest cover, fragment area, and connectivity with neotropical understory bird species richness and abundance.

    PubMed

    Martensen, Alexandre Camargo; Ribeiro, Milton Cezar; Banks-Leite, Cristina; Prado, Paulo Inácio; Metzger, Jean Paul

    2012-12-01

    Theoretical and empirical studies demonstrate that the total amount of forest and the size and connectivity of fragments have nonlinear effects on species survival. We tested how habitat amount and configuration affect understory bird species richness and abundance. We used mist nets (almost 34,000 net hours) to sample birds in 53 Atlantic Forest fragments in southeastern Brazil. Fragments were distributed among 3 10,800-ha landscapes. The remaining forest in these landscapes was below (10% forest cover), similar to (30%), and above (50%) the theoretical fragmentation threshold (approximately 30%) below which the effects of fragmentation should be intensified. Species-richness estimates were significantly higher (F= 3715, p = 0.00) where 50% of the forest remained, which suggests a species occurrence threshold of 30-50% forest, which is higher than usually occurs (<30%). Relations between forest cover and species richness differed depending on species sensitivity to forest conversion and fragmentation. For less sensitive species, species richness decreased as forest cover increased, whereas for highly sensitive species the opposite occurred. For sensitive species, species richness and the amount of forest cover were positively related, particularly when forest cover was 30-50%. Fragment size and connectivity were related to species richness and abundance in all landscapes, not just below the 30% threshold. Where 10% of the forest remained, fragment size was more related to species richness and abundance than connectivity. However, the relation between connectivity and species richness and abundance was stronger where 30% of the landscape was forested. Where 50% of the landscape was forested, fragment size and connectivity were both related to species richness and abundance. Our results demonstrated a rapid loss of species at relatively high levels of forest cover (30-50%). Highly sensitive species were 3-4 times more common above the 30-50% threshold than below it

  12. Increasing numbers of bird species result from taxonomic progress, not taxonomic inflation

    PubMed Central

    Sangster, George

    2009-01-01

    The impact and significance of modern taxonomy on other fields in biology have been subjects of much debate. It has been proposed that increasing numbers of vertebrate species are largely owing to ‘taxonomic inflation’. According to this hypothesis, newly recognized species result from reinterpretations of species limits based on phylogenetic species concepts (PSCs) rather than from new discoveries. Here, I examine 747 proposals to change the taxonomic rank of birds in the period 1950–2007. The trend to recognize more species of birds started at least two decades before the introduction of PSCs. Most (84.6%) newly recognized species were supported by new taxonomic data. Proposals to recognize more species resulted from application of all six major taxonomic criteria. Many newly recognized species (63.4%) were not based exclusively on PSC-based criteria (diagnosability, monophyly and exclusive coalescence of gene trees). Therefore, this study finds no empirical support for the idea that the increase in species is primarily epistemological rather than data-driven. This study shows that previous claims about the causes and effects of taxonomic inflation lack empirical support. I argue that a more appropriate term for the increase in species is ‘taxonomic progress’. PMID:19520805

  13. Increasing numbers of bird species result from taxonomic progress, not taxonomic inflation.

    PubMed

    Sangster, George

    2009-09-07

    The impact and significance of modern taxonomy on other fields in biology have been subjects of much debate. It has been proposed that increasing numbers of vertebrate species are largely owing to 'taxonomic inflation'. According to this hypothesis, newly recognized species result from reinterpretations of species limits based on phylogenetic species concepts (PSCs) rather than from new discoveries. Here, I examine 747 proposals to change the taxonomic rank of birds in the period 1950-2007. The trend to recognize more species of birds started at least two decades before the introduction of PSCs. Most (84.6%) newly recognized species were supported by new taxonomic data. Proposals to recognize more species resulted from application of all six major taxonomic criteria. Many newly recognized species (63.4%) were not based exclusively on PSC-based criteria (diagnosability, monophyly and exclusive coalescence of gene trees). Therefore, this study finds no empirical support for the idea that the increase in species is primarily epistemological rather than data-driven. This study shows that previous claims about the causes and effects of taxonomic inflation lack empirical support. I argue that a more appropriate term for the increase in species is 'taxonomic progress'.

  14. Natural Cross Chlamydial Infection between Livestock and Free-Living Bird Species

    PubMed Central

    Lemus, Jesús A.; Fargallo, Juan A.; Vergara, Pablo; Parejo, Deseada; Banda, Eva

    2010-01-01

    The study of cross-species pathogen transmission is essential to understanding the epizootiology and epidemiology of infectious diseases. Avian chlamydiosis is a zoonotic disease whose effects have been mainly investigated in humans, poultry and pet birds. It has been suggested that wild bird species play an important role as reservoirs for this disease. During a comparative health status survey in common (Falco tinnunculus) and lesser (Falco naumanni) kestrel populations in Spain, acute gammapathies were detected. We investigated whether gammapathies were associated with Chlamydiaceae infections. We recorded the prevalence of different Chlamydiaceae species in nestlings of both kestrel species in three different study areas. Chlamydophila psittaci serovar I (or Chlamydophila abortus), an ovine pathogen causing late-term abortions, was isolated from all the nestlings of both kestrel species in one of the three studied areas, a location with extensive ovine livestock enzootic of this atypical bacteria and where gammapathies were recorded. Serovar and genetic cluster analysis of the kestrel isolates from this area showed serovars A and C and the genetic cluster 1 and were different than those isolated from the other two areas. The serovar I in this area was also isolated from sheep abortions, sheep faeces, sheep stable dust, nest dust of both kestrel species, carrion beetles (Silphidae) and Orthoptera. This fact was not observed in other areas. In addition, we found kestrels to be infected by Chlamydia suis and Chlamydia muridarum, the first time these have been detected in birds. Our study evidences a pathogen transmission from ruminants to birds, highlighting the importance of this potential and unexplored mechanism of infection in an ecological context. On the other hand, it is reported a pathogen transmission from livestock to wildlife, revealing new and scarcely investigated anthropogenic threats for wild and endangered species. PMID:20976071

  15. Natural cross chlamydial infection between livestock and free-living bird species.

    PubMed

    Lemus, Jesús A; Fargallo, Juan A; Vergara, Pablo; Parejo, Deseada; Banda, Eva

    2010-10-19

    The study of cross-species pathogen transmission is essential to understanding the epizootiology and epidemiology of infectious diseases. Avian chlamydiosis is a zoonotic disease whose effects have been mainly investigated in humans, poultry and pet birds. It has been suggested that wild bird species play an important role as reservoirs for this disease. During a comparative health status survey in common (Falco tinnunculus) and lesser (Falco naumanni) kestrel populations in Spain, acute gammapathies were detected. We investigated whether gammapathies were associated with Chlamydiaceae infections. We recorded the prevalence of different Chlamydiaceae species in nestlings of both kestrel species in three different study areas. Chlamydophila psittaci serovar I (or Chlamydophila abortus), an ovine pathogen causing late-term abortions, was isolated from all the nestlings of both kestrel species in one of the three studied areas, a location with extensive ovine livestock enzootic of this atypical bacteria and where gammapathies were recorded. Serovar and genetic cluster analysis of the kestrel isolates from this area showed serovars A and C and the genetic cluster 1 and were different than those isolated from the other two areas. The serovar I in this area was also isolated from sheep abortions, sheep faeces, sheep stable dust, nest dust of both kestrel species, carrion beetles (Silphidae) and Orthoptera. This fact was not observed in other areas. In addition, we found kestrels to be infected by Chlamydia suis and Chlamydia muridarum, the first time these have been detected in birds. Our study evidences a pathogen transmission from ruminants to birds, highlighting the importance of this potential and unexplored mechanism of infection in an ecological context. On the other hand, it is reported a pathogen transmission from livestock to wildlife, revealing new and scarcely investigated anthropogenic threats for wild and endangered species.

  16. High exposure rates of anticoagulant rodenticides in predatory bird species in intensively managed landscapes in Denmark.

    PubMed

    Christensen, Thomas Kjær; Lassen, Pia; Elmeros, Morten

    2012-10-01

    The extensive use of anticoagulant rodenticides (ARs) for rodent control has led to widespread secondary exposure in nontarget predatory wildlife species. We investigated exposure rates and concentrations of five ARs in liver samples from five raptors and six owls from Denmark. A total of 430 birds were analysed. ARs were detected in 84-100 % of individual birds within each species. Multiple AR exposure was detected in 73 % of all birds. Average number of substances detected in individual birds was 2.2 with no differences between owls and raptors. Difenacoum, bromadiolone, and brodifacoum were the most prevalent substances and occurred in the highest concentrations. Second-generation ARs made up 96 % of the summed AR burden. Among the six core species (sample size >30), summed AR concentrations were lower in rough-legged buzzard (Buteo lagopus) and long-eared owl (Asio otus) than in barn owl (Tyto alba), buzzard (B. buteo), kestrel (Falco tinnunculus), and tawny owl (Strix aluco). There was a strong tendency for seasonal variations in the summed AR concentration with levels being lowest during autumn, which is probably related to an influx of less-exposed migrating birds from northern Scandinavia during autumn. High hepatic AR residue concentrations (>100 ng/g wet weight), which have been associated with symptoms of rodenticide poisoning and increased mortality, were recorded high frequencies (12.9-37.4 %) in five of the six core species. The results suggest that the present use of ARs in Denmark, at least locally, may have adverse effects on reproduction and, ultimately, population status in some raptors and owls.

  17. Consequences of organic farming and landscape heterogeneity for species richness and abundance of farmland birds.

    PubMed

    Smith, Henrik G; Dänhardt, Juliana; Lindström, Ake; Rundlöf, Maj

    2010-04-01

    It has been suggested that organic farming may benefit farmland biodiversity more in landscapes that have lost a significant part of its former landscape heterogeneity. We tested this hypothesis by comparing bird species richness and abundance during the breeding season in organic and conventional farms, matched to eliminate all differences not directly linked to the farming practice, situated in either homogeneous plains with only a little semi-natural habitat or in heterogeneous farmland landscapes with abundant field borders and semi-natural grasslands. The effect of farm management on species richness interacted with landscape structure, such that there was a positive relationship between organic farming and diversity only in homogeneous landscapes. This pattern was mainly dependent on the species richness of passerine birds, in particular those that were invertebrate feeders. Species richness of non-passerines was positively related to organic farming independent of the landscape context. Bird abundance was positively related to landscape heterogeneity but not to farm management. This was mainly because the abundance of passerines, particularly invertebrate feeders, was positively related to landscape heterogeneity. We suggest that invertebrate feeders particularly benefit from organic farming because of improved foraging conditions through increased invertebrate abundances in otherwise depauperate homogeneous landscapes. Although many seed-eaters also benefit from increased insect abundance, they may also utilize crop seed resources in homogeneous landscapes and conventional farms. The occurrence of an interactive effect of organic farming and landscape heterogeneity on bird diversity will have consequences for the optimal allocation of resources to restore the diversity of farmland birds.

  18. Fatal columbid herpesvirus-1 infections in three species of Australian birds of prey.

    PubMed

    Phalen, D N; Holz, P; Rasmussen, L; Bayley, C

    2011-05-01

    We document columbid herpesvirus-1 (CoHV-1) infection in two barking owls (Ninox connivens), a powerful owl (Ninox strenua) and an Australian hobby (Falco longipennis). Antemortem signs of infection were non-specific and the birds either died soon after they were identified as ill or were found dead unexpectedly. Gross postmortem findings were also not specific. Microscopically, marked to massive splenic and hepatic necrosis with the presence of eosinophilic inclusion bodies in remaining splenocytes and hepatocytes was found in all birds. Herpesvirus virions were identified in liver sections from one of the boobook owls by electron microscopy. Using CoHV-1-specific primers and polymerase chain reaction, CoHV-1 DNA was amplified from tissue samples from all birds. A comparison of these sequences to previously reported sequences of CoHV-1 found them to be identical or to vary by a single base pair. These findings increase the number of known species of birds of prey that are susceptible to CoHV-1 infection and indicate that rock pigeons (Columbia livia) should not be included in the diet of captive Australian birds of prey.

  19. Very Low Population Structure in a Highly Mobile and Wide-Ranging Endangered Bird Species

    PubMed Central

    Kvistad, Lynna; Ingwersen, Dean; Pavlova, Alexandra; Bull, James K.; Sunnucks, Paul

    2015-01-01

    The loss of biodiversity following fragmentation and degradation of habitat is a major issue in conservation biology. As competition for resources increases following habitat loss and fragmentation, severe population declines may occur even in common, highly mobile species; such demographic decline may cause changes within the population structure of the species. The regent honeyeater, Anthochaera phrygia, is a highly nomadic woodland bird once common in its native southeast Australia. It has experienced a sharp decline in abundance since the late 1970s, following clearing of large areas of its preferred habitat, box-ironbark woodland, within the last 200 years. A captive breeding program has been established as part of efforts to restore this species. This study used genetic data to examine the range-wide population structure of regent honeyeaters, including spatial structure, its change through time, sex differences in philopatry and mobility, and genetic differences between the captive and wild populations. There was low genetic differentiation between birds captured in different geographic areas. Despite the recent demographic decline, low spatial structure appears to have some temporal consistency. Both sexes appear to be highly mobile, and there does not seem to be significant genetic differentiation between the captive and wild populations. We conclude that management efforts for survival of this species, including habitat protection, restoration, and release of captive-bred birds into the wild, can treat the species as effectively a single genetic population. PMID:26649426

  20. Very Low Population Structure in a Highly Mobile and Wide-Ranging Endangered Bird Species.

    PubMed

    Kvistad, Lynna; Ingwersen, Dean; Pavlova, Alexandra; Bull, James K; Sunnucks, Paul

    2015-01-01

    The loss of biodiversity following fragmentation and degradation of habitat is a major issue in conservation biology. As competition for resources increases following habitat loss and fragmentation, severe population declines may occur even in common, highly mobile species; such demographic decline may cause changes within the population structure of the species. The regent honeyeater, Anthochaera phrygia, is a highly nomadic woodland bird once common in its native southeast Australia. It has experienced a sharp decline in abundance since the late 1970s, following clearing of large areas of its preferred habitat, box-ironbark woodland, within the last 200 years. A captive breeding program has been established as part of efforts to restore this species. This study used genetic data to examine the range-wide population structure of regent honeyeaters, including spatial structure, its change through time, sex differences in philopatry and mobility, and genetic differences between the captive and wild populations. There was low genetic differentiation between birds captured in different geographic areas. Despite the recent demographic decline, low spatial structure appears to have some temporal consistency. Both sexes appear to be highly mobile, and there does not seem to be significant genetic differentiation between the captive and wild populations. We conclude that management efforts for survival of this species, including habitat protection, restoration, and release of captive-bred birds into the wild, can treat the species as effectively a single genetic population.

  1. Human-Induced Landscape Changes Homogenize Atlantic Forest Bird Assemblages through Nested Species Loss

    PubMed Central

    Villegas Vallejos, Marcelo Alejandro; Padial, André Andrian; Vitule, Jean Ricardo Simões

    2016-01-01

    The increasing number of quantitative assessments of homogenization using citizen science data is particularly important in the Neotropics, given its high biodiversity and ecological peculiarity, and whose communities may react differently to landscape changes. We looked for evidence of taxonomic homogenization in terrestrial birds by investigating patterns of beta diversity along a gradient of human-altered landscapes (HAL), trying to identify species associated with this process. We analyzed bird data from 87 sites sampled in a citizen science program in the south Brazilian Atlantic Forest. Regional-scale taxonomic homogenization was assessed by comparing beta diversity among sites in different HALs (natural, rural or urban landscapes) accounting for variation derived from geographical distance and zoogeographical affinities by georeferencing sites and determining their position in a phytogeographical domain. Beta diversity was calculated by multivariate dispersion and by testing compositional changes due to turnover and nestedness among HALs and phytogeographical domains. Finally, we assessed which species were typical for each group using indicator species analysis. Bird homogenization was indicated by decreases in beta diversity following landscape changes. Beta diversity of rural sites was roughly half that of natural habitats, while urban sites held less than 10% of the natural areas’ beta diversity. Species composition analysis revealed that the turnover component was important in differentiating sites depending on HAL and phytogeography; the nestedness component was important among HALs, where directional species loss is maintained even considering effects of sampling effort. A similar result was obtained among phytogeographical domains, indicating nested-pattern dissimilarity among compositions of overlapping communities. As expected, a few native generalists and non-native urban specialists were characteristic of rural and urban sites. We generated

  2. Human-Induced Landscape Changes Homogenize Atlantic Forest Bird Assemblages through Nested Species Loss.

    PubMed

    Villegas Vallejos, Marcelo Alejandro; Padial, André Andrian; Vitule, Jean Ricardo Simões

    2016-01-01

    The increasing number of quantitative assessments of homogenization using citizen science data is particularly important in the Neotropics, given its high biodiversity and ecological peculiarity, and whose communities may react differently to landscape changes. We looked for evidence of taxonomic homogenization in terrestrial birds by investigating patterns of beta diversity along a gradient of human-altered landscapes (HAL), trying to identify species associated with this process. We analyzed bird data from 87 sites sampled in a citizen science program in the south Brazilian Atlantic Forest. Regional-scale taxonomic homogenization was assessed by comparing beta diversity among sites in different HALs (natural, rural or urban landscapes) accounting for variation derived from geographical distance and zoogeographical affinities by georeferencing sites and determining their position in a phytogeographical domain. Beta diversity was calculated by multivariate dispersion and by testing compositional changes due to turnover and nestedness among HALs and phytogeographical domains. Finally, we assessed which species were typical for each group using indicator species analysis. Bird homogenization was indicated by decreases in beta diversity following landscape changes. Beta diversity of rural sites was roughly half that of natural habitats, while urban sites held less than 10% of the natural areas' beta diversity. Species composition analysis revealed that the turnover component was important in differentiating sites depending on HAL and phytogeography; the nestedness component was important among HALs, where directional species loss is maintained even considering effects of sampling effort. A similar result was obtained among phytogeographical domains, indicating nested-pattern dissimilarity among compositions of overlapping communities. As expected, a few native generalists and non-native urban specialists were characteristic of rural and urban sites. We generated

  3. The outcomes of most aggressive interactions among closely related bird species are asymmetric.

    PubMed

    Martin, Paul R; Freshwater, Cameron; Ghalambor, Cameron K

    2017-01-01

    Aggressive interactions among closely related species are common, and can play an important role as a selective pressure shaping species traits and assemblages. The nature of this selective pressure depends on whether the outcomes of aggressive contests are asymmetric between species (i.e., one species is consistently dominant), yet few studies have estimated the prevalence of asymmetric versus symmetric outcomes to aggressive contests. Here we use previously published data involving 26,212 interactions between 270 species pairs of birds from 26 taxonomic families to address the question: How often are aggressive interactions among closely related bird species asymmetric? We define asymmetry using (i) the proportion of contests won by one species, and (ii) statistical tests for asymmetric outcomes of aggressive contests. We calculate these asymmetries using data summed across different sites for each species pair, and compare results to asymmetries calculated using data separated by location. We find that 80% of species pairs had aggressive outcomes where one species won 80% or more of aggressive contests. We also find that the majority of aggressive interactions among closely related species show statistically significant asymmetries, and above a sample size of 52 interactions, all outcomes are asymmetric following binomial tests. Species pairs with dominance data from multiple sites showed the same dominance relationship across locations in 93% of the species pairs. Overall, our results suggest that the outcome of aggressive interactions among closely related species are usually consistent and asymmetric, and should thus favor ecological and evolutionary strategies specific to the position of a species within a dominance hierarchy.

  4. The outcomes of most aggressive interactions among closely related bird species are asymmetric

    PubMed Central

    Freshwater, Cameron; Ghalambor, Cameron K.

    2017-01-01

    Aggressive interactions among closely related species are common, and can play an important role as a selective pressure shaping species traits and assemblages. The nature of this selective pressure depends on whether the outcomes of aggressive contests are asymmetric between species (i.e., one species is consistently dominant), yet few studies have estimated the prevalence of asymmetric versus symmetric outcomes to aggressive contests. Here we use previously published data involving 26,212 interactions between 270 species pairs of birds from 26 taxonomic families to address the question: How often are aggressive interactions among closely related bird species asymmetric? We define asymmetry using (i) the proportion of contests won by one species, and (ii) statistical tests for asymmetric outcomes of aggressive contests. We calculate these asymmetries using data summed across different sites for each species pair, and compare results to asymmetries calculated using data separated by location. We find that 80% of species pairs had aggressive outcomes where one species won 80% or more of aggressive contests. We also find that the majority of aggressive interactions among closely related species show statistically significant asymmetries, and above a sample size of 52 interactions, all outcomes are asymmetric following binomial tests. Species pairs with dominance data from multiple sites showed the same dominance relationship across locations in 93% of the species pairs. Overall, our results suggest that the outcome of aggressive interactions among closely related species are usually consistent and asymmetric, and should thus favor ecological and evolutionary strategies specific to the position of a species within a dominance hierarchy. PMID:28070465

  5. Antimicrobial resistance profiles of Escherichia coli from common European wild bird species.

    PubMed

    Guenther, Sebastian; Grobbel, Mirjam; Lübke-Becker, Antina; Goedecke, Andreas; Friedrich, Nicole D; Wieler, Lothar H; Ewers, Christa

    2010-07-29

    The emergence and spread of multiresistant bacteria in natural environments constitute a serious impact on animal and human health. To gain more insight into the role of wild birds as carriers and reservoir of multiresistant Escherichia coli we tested a broad spectrum of common European bird species for the occurrence of E. coli strains and their antimicrobial resistance by minimal inhibitory concentration testing and PCR analysis of several resistance genes. Nine of the 187 E. coli isolates (4.8%) exhibited multiresistant phenotypes including resistances against beta-lactams, aminoglycosides, fluoroquinolones, tetracyclines and sulfonamides. By comparing avian E. coli resistance frequencies with frequencies known for E. coli isolated from livestock and companion animals analogous profiles were identified. Multiresistant E. coli strains were isolated from synanthropic avian species as well as from birds of prey, waterfowl and passerines. By that, all these avian hosts are suggested to represent a considerable reservoir of resistant E. coli strains. Consequently wild birds might constitute a potential hazard to human and animal health by transmitting multiresistant strains to waterways and other environmental sources via their faecal deposits.

  6. Influence of taxa, trophic level, and location on bioaccumulation of toxic metals in bird's feathers: a preliminary biomonitoring study using multiple bird species from Pakistan.

    PubMed

    Abbasi, Naeem Akhtar; Jaspers, Veerle Leontina Bernard; Chaudhry, Muhammad Jamshed Iqbal; Ali, Sakhawat; Malik, Riffat Naseem

    2015-02-01

    Increasing concentrations of heavy metals in the environment and their effects on ecosystems and biota is still an imminent threat, particularly in developing parts of the globe. The aim of the present study was to screen the heavy metal concentrations in multiple bird species across Pakistan and to preliminary evaluate the influence of taxa, trophic level, and geographical location on heavy metal accumulation in various bird species. For this purpose, we measured the concentration of 9 heavy metals (Pb, Cd, Cr, Ni, Co, Cu, Fe, Zn and Mn) in feathers of 48 bird species from different localities in Pakistan. Species exhibited heterogeneous levels of heavy metals in feathers with marked inter and intra specific variations. Mean concentrations of studied metals in feathers followed the trend Fe>Zn>Cu>Pb>Mn>Cr>Ni>Co>Cd. Species belonging to closely related taxa (families) showed comparable metal concentrations in their feathers, inferring potential phylogenetic similarities in metal exposure or accumulation. In general, concentrations of metals were greatest in carnivorous species followed by omnivorous and insectivorous birds, and granivores showing minimal levels (p<0.000). Furthermore, concentrations of metals varied significantly between locations (p<0.000) exhibiting highest concentrations in Punjab province and Baluchistan, probably due to higher industrial and agricultural activity and runoff, respectively. With certain limitation, influence of trophic level, taxonomic affiliation and sampling location of birds on toxic metal accumulation was also statistically corroborated through principal component analysis (PCA). This study highlights that despite restricted emissions, heavy metals persist in the local environment and may pose elevated risks for the studied bird species in Pakistan.

  7. Accumulation pattern of persistent organochlorine pesticides in liver tissues of various species of birds from India.

    PubMed

    Dhananjayan, Venugopal

    2013-05-01

    As part of a large study on assessing the impact of environmental contaminants in Indian avifauna, the presence of organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) in liver tissues of 16 species of birds collected from Ahmedabad, India during 2005-2007 was quantified. The higher concentrations of total organochlorine pesticides were detected in livers of shikra Accipiter badius (3.43 ± 0.99 μg/g wet wt) and the lower levels in white ibis Pseudibis papillosa (0.02 ± 0.01 μg/g wet wt). Marked differences in the concentrations of total OCPs occurred among species (p < 0.05). Concentrations of DDT and its metabolites, hexachlorocyclohexane (HCH) and isomers, dieldrin, and heptachlor epoxide were lower than the concentrations reported for various species of birds in India. Accumulation pattern of organochlorine pesticides in birds was, in general, in the order HCH > DDT > heptachlor epoxide > dieldrin. Among various pesticides analyzed, p,p'-DDE and β-HCH contributed maximum towards the total OCPs and study indicates the continuous use of lindane and DDT for agriculture and public health purpose, respectively. Although no serious threat is posed by any of the organochlorine pesticides detected in the present study species, continued monitoring is recommended.

  8. Species occurrence of marsh birds at Cape Cod National Seashore, Massachusetts

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Erwin, R.M.; Conway, C.J.; Hadden, S.W.

    2002-01-01

    We initiated an inventory and a field test of a protocol that could be used for monitoring marsh birds at the Cape Cod National Seashore in eastern Massachusetts during 1999 and 2000, as part of a more comprehensive national effort. Using cassette tapes during call broadcast surveys, we visited a total of 78 survey points at freshwater, brackish, and salt marsh sites three times on the ground or in canoes during the breeding season (May-June), fall migration (September to November), and twice during winter (December-January). Observer bias on our marsh bird surveys appeared negligible. Although both auditory and visual detection of most species was low (mean ( 0.3 birds per replicate-survey point), we confirmed the presence of seven marsh species, including American Bittern (Botaurus lentiginosus), Least Bittern (Ixobrychus exilis), American Coot (Fulica americana), King Rail (Rallus elegans), Pied-billed Grebe (Podilymbus podiceps), Sora (Porzana carolina), and Virginia Rail (Railus limicola). We suspected breeding of Least Bitterns and Soras at Great Pond in Provincetown, and for Virginia Rails at Hatches Harbor, Provincetown. The most frequently detected species were Soras, Pied-billed Grebes, and Virginia Rails. We recommend using call broadcast surveys for these cryptic species to enhance their probabilities of detection.

  9. Seroprevalence and risk factors associated with hepatitis E virus infection in three species of pet birds in northwest China.

    PubMed

    Cong, Wei; Meng, Qing-Feng; Shan, Xiao-Feng; Sun, Wu-Wen; Qin, Si-Yuan; Zhang, Xiao-Xuan; Huang, Si-Yang; Qian, Ai-Dong

    2014-01-01

    Hepatitis E virus (HEV), the causative agent of hepatitis E, has been reported in a wide variety of animals, including birds, but little is known of HEV infection in pet birds in northwest China. The objective of the present investigation was to examine HEV seroprevalence in three species of pet birds, namely, Eurasian siskin, Oriental skylark, and black-tailed grosbeak from Gansu. Serum samples collected from 685 pet birds from August 2011 to September 2012 were examined independently for the presence of antibodies against HEV. A total of 59 (8.31%) pet birds were tested positive for HEV antibodies by the commercially available enzyme immunoassay kits. Of these, the seroprevalence was diverse in different species pet birds; the most frequent level was 10.83% (39/360) in Eurasian siskin, followed by 6.57% (19/289) in Oriental skylark, and 2.29% (1/36) in black-tailed grosbeak. Age and collecting region of pet birds were the main risk factors associated with HEV infection. The present study firstly revealed the seroprevalence of HEV infection in three species of pet birds in northwest China, which provided the baseline data for taking comprehensive countermeasures and measures for effectively preventing and controlling HEV infection in birds.

  10. Seroprevalence and Risk Factors Associated with Hepatitis E Virus Infection in Three Species of Pet Birds in Northwest China

    PubMed Central

    Cong, Wei; Meng, Qing-Feng; Shan, Xiao-Feng; Sun, Wu-Wen; Qin, Si-Yuan; Zhang, Xiao-Xuan; Huang, Si-Yang; Qian, Ai-Dong

    2014-01-01

    Hepatitis E virus (HEV), the causative agent of hepatitis E, has been reported in a wide variety of animals, including birds, but little is known of HEV infection in pet birds in northwest China. The objective of the present investigation was to examine HEV seroprevalence in three species of pet birds, namely, Eurasian siskin, Oriental skylark, and black-tailed grosbeak from Gansu. Serum samples collected from 685 pet birds from August 2011 to September 2012 were examined independently for the presence of antibodies against HEV. A total of 59 (8.31%) pet birds were tested positive for HEV antibodies by the commercially available enzyme immunoassay kits. Of these, the seroprevalence was diverse in different species pet birds; the most frequent level was 10.83% (39/360) in Eurasian siskin, followed by 6.57% (19/289) in Oriental skylark, and 2.29% (1/36) in black-tailed grosbeak. Age and collecting region of pet birds were the main risk factors associated with HEV infection. The present study firstly revealed the seroprevalence of HEV infection in three species of pet birds in northwest China, which provided the baseline data for taking comprehensive countermeasures and measures for effectively preventing and controlling HEV infection in birds. PMID:25530995

  11. The influence of study species selection on estimates of pesticide exposure in free-ranging birds.

    PubMed

    Borges, Shannon L; Vyas, Nimish B; Christman, Mary C

    2014-02-01

    Field studies of pesticide effects on birds often utilize indicator species with the purpose of extrapolating to other avian taxa. Little guidance exists for choosing indicator species to monitor the presence and/or effects of contaminants that are labile in the environment or body, but are acutely toxic, such as anticholinesterase (anti-ChE) insecticides. Use of an indicator species that does not represent maximum exposure and/or effects could lead to inaccurate risk estimates. Our objective was to test the relevance of a priori selection of indicator species for a study on pesticide exposure to birds inhabiting fruit orchards. We used total plasma ChE activity and ChE reactivation to describe the variability in anti-ChE pesticide exposure among avian species in two conventionally managed fruit orchards. Of seven species included in statistical analyses, the less common species, chipping sparrow (Spizella passerina), showed the greatest percentage of exposed individuals and the greatest ChE depression, whereas the two most common species, American robins (Turdus migratorius) and gray catbirds (Dumatella carolinensis), did not show significant exposure. Due to their lower abundance, chipping sparrows would have been an unlikely choice for study. Our results show that selection of indicator species using traditionally accepted criteria such as abundance and ease of collection may not identify species that are at greatest risk. Our efforts also demonstrate the usefulness of conducting multiple-species pilot studies prior to initiating detailed studies on pesticide effects. A study such as ours can help focus research and resources on study species that are most appropriate.

  12. The Influence of Study Species Selection on Estimates of Pesticide Exposure in Free-Ranging Birds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Borges, Shannon L.; Vyas, Nimish B.; Christman, Mary C.

    2014-02-01

    Field studies of pesticide effects on birds often utilize indicator species with the purpose of extrapolating to other avian taxa. Little guidance exists for choosing indicator species to monitor the presence and/or effects of contaminants that are labile in the environment or body, but are acutely toxic, such as anticholinesterase (anti-ChE) insecticides. Use of an indicator species that does not represent maximum exposure and/or effects could lead to inaccurate risk estimates. Our objective was to test the relevance of a priori selection of indicator species for a study on pesticide exposure to birds inhabiting fruit orchards. We used total plasma ChE activity and ChE reactivation to describe the variability in anti-ChE pesticide exposure among avian species in two conventionally managed fruit orchards. Of seven species included in statistical analyses, the less common species, chipping sparrow ( Spizella passerina), showed the greatest percentage of exposed individuals and the greatest ChE depression, whereas the two most common species, American robins ( Turdus migratorius) and gray catbirds ( Dumatella carolinensis), did not show significant exposure. Due to their lower abundance, chipping sparrows would have been an unlikely choice for study. Our results show that selection of indicator species using traditionally accepted criteria such as abundance and ease of collection may not identify species that are at greatest risk. Our efforts also demonstrate the usefulness of conducting multiple-species pilot studies prior to initiating detailed studies on pesticide effects. A study such as ours can help focus research and resources on study species that are most appropriate.

  13. The influence of study species selection on estimates of pesticide exposure in free-ranging birds

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Borges, Shannon L.; Vyas, Nimish B.; Christman, Mary C.

    2014-01-01

    Field studies of pesticide effects on birds often utilize indicator species with the purpose 16 of extrapolating to other avian taxa. Little guidance exists for choosing indicator species to 17 monitor the presence and/or effects of contaminants that are labile in the environment or body, 18 but are acutely toxic, such as anticholinesterase (anti-ChE) insecticides. Use of an indicator 19 species that does not represent maximum exposure and/or effects could lead to inaccurate risk 20 estimates. Our objective was to test the relevance of a priori selection of indicator species for a 21 study on pesticide exposure to birds inhabiting fruit orchards. We used total plasma 22 cholinesterase (ChE) activity and ChE reactivation to describe the variability in anti-ChE exposure among avian species in two conventionally managed fruit orchards. Of seven 24 species included in statistical analyses, the less common species, chipping sparrow (Spizella 25 passerina), showed the greatest percentage of exposed individuals and the greatest ChE 26 depression, whereas the two most common species, American robins (Turdus migratorius) and 27 grey catbirds (Dumatella carolinensis), did not show significant exposure. Due to their lower 28 abundance, chipping sparrows would have been an unlikely choice for study. Our results show 29 that selection of indicator species using traditionally accepted criteria such as abundance and 30 ease of collection may not identify species that are at greatest risk. Our efforts also demonstrate 31 the usefulness of conducting multiple-species pilot studies prior to initiating detailed studies on 32 pesticide effects. A study such as ours can help focus research and resources on study species 33 that are most appropriate.

  14. Newly emergent and future threats of alien species to Pacific birds and ecosystems

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Loope, Lloyd L.; Howarth, Francis G.; Kraus, Frederick; Pratt, Thane K.

    2001-01-01

    Although the devastating effects of established alien species to Pacific birds and ecosystems are generally well recognized by the avian conservation community, we raise the under appreciated issue of effects of incipient and future invasions. Although special attention to Pacific bird species “on the brink” is to a certain extent appropriate and necessary, a comparable focus on stopping new invasions appears desperately needed. All indications suggest that introductions will escalate with the trend toward ever increasing commerce and unrestricted trade unless stronger preventative measures are implemented very soon. The threat to Pacific island avifaunas from the brown tree snake (Bniga irregularis) is well-known, but as many as several hundred of the world’s snake species, some of which are repeatedly smuggled illegally as pets, might have similar impacts on native birds if transported to Pacific islands. We touch upon a sampling of obviously severe potential future threats, with the hope of raising awareness and resolve to fix the current woefully inadequate system for prevention of and rapid response to new invasions.

  15. An Evaluation of Techniques to Control Problem Bird Species on Landfill Sites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cook, Aonghais; Rushton, Steven; Allan, John; Baxter, Andrew

    2008-06-01

    Birds feeding on landfill sites cause problems in terms of nuisance to neighbors, flight safety, a threat to public health, and affecting the day to day site operation. A number of control measures exist to deter problem species; however, research into their effectiveness across sites and for multiple species has been limited. We use a modeling approach in order to assess the effectiveness of nine techniques — pyrotechnics, hand-held distress calls, static distress calls, blank ammunition, a combination of blank and lethal use of ammunition, the use of falcons, the use of hawks, wailers and helium-filled bird-scaring kites — at deterring three commonly recorded species — the Black-headed Gull ( Larus ridibundus), the Herring Gull ( Larus argentatus) and the Lesser Black-backed Gull ( Larus fuscus) — from six landfill sites across the United Kingdom. The use of distress calls, falconry, and combinations of lethal and nonlethal use of ammunition were the most effective techniques for initially deterring birds from these sites. However, when habituation is considered, there is a clear difference between techniques such as falconry, which have a lethal aspect and may act to reinforce the deterrence, and the use of techniques such as distress calls, which do not. However there are problems related to legislation and public perception when lethal techniques are used.

  16. Phenological differences among selected residents and long-distance migrant bird species in central Europe

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bartošová, Lenka; Trnka, Miroslav; Bauer, Zdeněk; Možný, Martin; Štěpánek, Petr; Žalud, Zdeněk

    2014-07-01

    The phenological responses to climate of residents and migrants (short- and long-distance) differ. Although few previous studies have focussed on this topic, the agree that changes in phenology are more apparent for residents than for long-distance migrants. We analysed the breeding times of two selected residents ( Sitta europaea, Parus major) and one long-distance migrant ( Ficedula albicollis) from 1961 to 2007 in central Europe. The timing of the phenophases of all three bird species showed a significant advance to earlier times. Nevertheless, the most marked shift was observed for the long-distance migrant (1.9 days per decade on average in mean laying date with linearity at the 99.9 % confidence level). In contrast, the shifts shown by the residents were smaller (1.6 days for S. europaea and 1.5 days for P. major also on average in mean laying date for both, with linearity at the 95 % confidence level). Spearman rank correlation coefficients calculated for pairs of phenophases of given bird species in 20-year subsamples (e.g. 1961-1980, 1962-1981) showed higher phenological separation between the residents and the migrant. This separation is most apparent after the 1980s. Thus, our results indicate that the interconnections between the studied phenological stages of the three bird species are becoming weaker.

  17. Phenological differences among selected residents and long-distance migrant bird species in central Europe

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bartošová, Lenka; Trnka, Miroslav; Bauer, Zdeněk; Možný, Martin; Štěpánek, Petr; Žalud, Zdeněk

    2013-05-01

    The phenological responses to climate of residents and migrants (short- and long-distance) differ. Although few previous studies have focussed on this topic, the agree that changes in phenology are more apparent for residents than for long-distance migrants. We analysed the breeding times of two selected residents (Sitta europaea, Parus major) and one long-distance migrant (Ficedula albicollis) from 1961 to 2007 in central Europe. The timing of the phenophases of all three bird species showed a significant advance to earlier times. Nevertheless, the most marked shift was observed for the long-distance migrant (1.9 days per decade on average in mean laying date with linearity at the 99.9 % confidence level). In contrast, the shifts shown by the residents were smaller (1.6 days for S. europaea and 1.5 days for P. major also on average in mean laying date for both, with linearity at the 95 % confidence level). Spearman rank correlation coefficients calculated for pairs of phenophases of given bird species in 20-year subsamples (e.g. 1961-1980, 1962-1981) showed higher phenological separation between the residents and the migrant. This separation is most apparent after the 1980s. Thus, our results indicate that the interconnections between the studied phenological stages of the three bird species are becoming weaker.

  18. Differential matrix use by Neotropical birds based on species traits and landscape condition.

    PubMed

    Kennedy, Christina M; Zipkin, Elise F; Marra, Peter P

    2017-03-01

    There is considerable uncertainty about the role of human-modified habitats in supporting species in fragmented landscapes. This is because few studies sample outside of native habitats in the "matrix." Those that do, often fail to sample landscapes in a way that accounts for the confounding effects of native habitat pattern and species detection biases that can obscure species responses. We employed multi-species hierarchical occupancy models to determine the use of human-modified habitats by Neotropical birds in landscapes that were similar in forest amount and configuration but surrounded by a matrix of agriculture (predominately pasture), bauxite mining (surface mining for aluminum), or suburban development in central Jamaica. We found that the vast majority of bird species used the matrix: with the highest mean occurrences for open-associated, followed by generalist, and last forest-associated species. Migrant species had higher mean occurrences in all matrix types relative to resident species. Contrary to our expectation, mean occurrence for the entire species community, and for forest-associated and migrant species, were highest in bauxite, intermediate in suburban, and lowest in agriculture. Open-associated species had higher occurrences in both bauxite and agricultural matrices, whereas generalist species had higher occurrences in suburban matrices. Additional behavioral observations indicated that Neotropical birds used matrix areas, particularly scattered trees, to acquire food, and secondarily, as movement conduits. Matrix use patterns reflected the differential availability of potential resources and structural connectivity across the three landscape types, but only for those species adapted to open/edge environments and with generalized habitat requirements. Patterns of matrix use by forest specialists reflected the differential levels of degradation of the native forest; thus, we propose that higher matrix use for forest-dependent species may be

  19. Environmental species sorting dominates forest-bird community assembly across scales.

    PubMed

    Özkan, Korhan; Svenning, Jens-Christian; Jeppesen, Erik

    2013-01-01

    Environmental species sorting and dispersal are seen as key factors in community assembly, but their relative importance and scale dependence remain uncertain, as the extent to which communities are consistently assembled throughout their biomes. To address these issues, we analysed bird metacommunity structure in a 1200-km(2) forested landscape (Istranca Forests) in Turkish Thrace at the margin of the Western Palaearctic (WP) temperate-forest biome. First, we used spatial regressions and Mantel tests to assess the relative importance of environmental and spatial factors as drivers of local species richness and composition within the metacommunity. Second, we analysed species' abundance-occupancy relationship across the metacommunity and used null models to assess whether occupancy is determined by species' environmental niches. Third, we used generalized linear models to test for links between species' metacommunity-wide occupancy and their broader WP regional populations and assessed whether these links are consistent with environmental species sorting. There was strong environmental control on local species richness and composition patterns within the metacommunity, but non-environmental spatial factors had also an important joint role. Null model analyses on randomized communities showed that species' occupancy across the metacommunity was strongly determined by species' environmental niches, with occupancy being related to niche position marginality. Species' metacommunity-wide occupancy correlated with their local abundance as well as with their range size and total abundance for the whole WP, suggesting that the same assembly mechanisms act consistently across local to regional scales. A species specialization index that was estimated by bird species' habitat use across France, incorporating both niche position and breadth, was significantly related to species' occupancy and abundance at both metacommunity and WP regional scales. Hence, the same niche

  20. A new species of Neyraia Joyeux et Timon-David, 1934 (Cestoda: Dilepididae) from the Egyptian wild birds.

    PubMed

    Ashour, A; Lewis, J; Ahmed, S E

    1994-08-01

    A new species of the genus Neyraia Joyeux et Timon-David, 1934 is described from Egyptian wild birds; Neyraia epops from the hoopoe Upupa epops. The new species is compared and with the other related species of the genus. The erection of the new species was based primarily on differences in the number of testes and number of the rostellar hooks.

  1. Ecological traits affect the response of tropical forest bird species to land-use intensity.

    PubMed

    Newbold, Tim; Scharlemann, Jörn P W; Butchart, Stuart H M; Sekercioğlu, Cağan H; Alkemade, Rob; Booth, Hollie; Purves, Drew W

    2013-01-07

    Land-use change is one of the main drivers of current and likely future biodiversity loss. Therefore, understanding how species are affected by it is crucial to guide conservation decisions. Species respond differently to land-use change, possibly related to their traits. Using pan-tropical data on bird occurrence and abundance across a human land-use intensity gradient, we tested the effects of seven traits on observed responses. A likelihood-based approach allowed us to quantify uncertainty in modelled responses, essential for applying the model to project future change. Compared with undisturbed habitats, the average probability of occurrence of bird species was 7.8 per cent and 31.4 per cent lower, and abundance declined by 3.7 per cent and 19.2 per cent in habitats with low and high human land-use intensity, respectively. Five of the seven traits tested affected the observed responses significantly: long-lived, large, non-migratory, primarily frugivorous or insectivorous forest specialists were both less likely to occur and less abundant in more intensively used habitats than short-lived, small, migratory, non-frugivorous/insectivorous habitat generalists. The finding that species responses to land use depend on their traits is important for understanding ecosystem functioning, because species' traits determine their contribution to ecosystem processes. Furthermore, the loss of species with particular traits might have implications for the delivery of ecosystem services.

  2. Behavioral, morphological and physiological correlates of diurnal and nocturnal vision in selected wading bird species.

    PubMed

    Rojas, L M; McNeil, R; Cabana, T; Lachapelle, P

    1999-01-01

    We examined in selected wading bird species if diurnal or nocturnal foraging and the use of visual or tactile feeding strategies could be correlated with retinal structure and function. The selected species were the Yellow-crowned Night Heron (Nycticorax violaceus), a crepuscular and nocturnal forager, the Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias), a mainly crepuscular, but also diurnal and nocturnal feeder, the Roseate Spoonbill (Ajaia ajaja), a mainly crepuscular feeder which forages more at night than during the day, the Cattle (Bubulcus ibis) and Tricolored (Egretta tricolor) egrets and the American White Ibis (Eudocimus ruber) which forage only during daytime. Herons and egrets are visual foragers; ibises and spoonbills are tactile feeders. Electroretinograms were obtained from anesthetized birds in photopic and scotopic conditions to a wide range of light intensities, following which the retinae were processed for histological analysis. Based on rod densities and rods:cones ratios, nocturnal vision capability is greater in the Yellow-crowned Night Heron, followed by the Great Blue Heron and the spoonbill, then by the egrets and the ibis. Visual feeders that forage near dawn or dusk or at night have a higher rods:cones ratio, and consequently a greater night vision capability, than visual feeding species which forage only during daytime. Visual nocturnal feeders have a night vision capability greater than tactile diurnal as well as tactile nocturnal feeders. However, based on maximum scotopic b-wave amplitudes, all species studied have roughly comparable night vision capability. The factor that best discriminates between wading bird species appears to be the daytime visual capabilities. Indeed, the diurnal ibis and egrets have similar cone densities, cones:rods ratios, and photopic a-wave amplitudes, values which are greater than those measured in the two nocturnally active heron species.

  3. A revision of the Afrotropical spider genus Cambalida Simon, 1909 (Araneae, Corinnidae)

    PubMed Central

    Haddad, Charles Richard

    2012-01-01

    Abstract The non-mimetic Afrotropical spider genus Cambalida Simon, 1909, placed within a subfamily of predominantly ant-mimicking spiders (Araneae: Corinnidae: Castianeirinae), is revised. Three species are transferred from Castianeira Keyserling, 1879 to Cambalida: Cambalida deminuta (Simon, 1909), comb. n., Cambalida fulvipes (Simon, 1896), comb. n. and Cambalida loricifera (Simon, 1885), comb. n.. A fourth species, Cambalida fagei (Caporiacco, 1939), comb. n., is transferred from Brachyphaea Simon, 1895 to Cambalida. Two species, Castianeira depygata Strand, 1916, syn. n. and Cambalida mestrali Lessert, 1921, syn. n., are considered junior synonyms of Cambalida fulvipes. The males of Cambalida deminuta and Cambalida loricifera are redescribed and their unknown females are described for the first time. The female and male of Cambalida fulvipes and Cambalida coriacea Simon, 1909 are also redescribed. The type material of the type species of the genus, Cambalida insulana Simon, 1909 from Pagalu (Annobon) Island, is lost, and only immature specimens have been subsequently collected from a nearby island. The species is regarded as a nomen dubium until fresh adult material can be collected. A replacement name, Cambalida simoni nom. n. is proposed for Cambalida fulvipes Simon, 1909, the latter being a secondary junior homonym of Cambalida fulvipes (Simon, 1896). The type material of this species is also lost and it is too considered nomen dubium. The following new species are described: Cambalida compressa sp. n. from West Africa, Cambalida dippenaarae sp. n. from southern Africa, Cambalida griswoldi sp. n. and Cambalida lineata sp. n. from Madagascar, and Cambalida unica sp. n. from Cameroon. Notes are provided on the biology of each species and the distribution of the genus in the Afrotropical Region. PMID:23372409

  4. Offsets and conservation of the species of the EU habitats and birds directives.

    PubMed

    Regnery, Baptiste; Couvet, Denis; Kerbiriou, Christian

    2013-12-01

    Biodiversity offsets are intended to achieve no net loss of biodiversity due to economic and human development. A variety of biodiversity components are addressed by offset policies. It is required that loss of protected species due to development be offset under the EU Habitats and Birds Directives in Europe. We call this type of offset a species-equality offset because the offset pertains to the same species affected by the development project. Whether species equality can be achieved by offset design is unknown. We addressed this gap by reviewing derogation files (i.e., specific files that describe mitigation measures to ensure no net loss under the EU Habitats and Birds Directives) from 85 development projects in France (2009-2010). We collected information on type of effect (reversible vs. irreversible) and characteristics of affected and offset sites (i.e., types of species, total area). We analyzed how the type of effect and the affected-site characteristics influenced the occurrence of offset measures. The proportion of species targeted by offset measures (i.e., offset species) increased with the irreversibility of the effect of development and the conservation status of the species affected by development (i.e., affected species). Not all effects on endangered species (International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List) were offset; on average, 82% of affected species would be offset. Twenty-six percent of species of least concern were offset species. Thirty-five percent of development projects considered all affected species in their offset measures. Species richness was much lower in offset sites than in developed sites even after offset proposals. For developed areas where species richness was relatively high before development, species richness at offset sites was 5-10 times lower. The species-equality principle appears to have been applied only partially in offset policies, as in the EU directives. We suggest the application of this principle

  5. Bird Surveys at DARHT Before and During Operations: Comparison of Species Abundance and Composition and Trace Element Uptake

    SciTech Connect

    P. R. Fresquez, D. C. Keller, C. D. Hathcock

    2007-11-30

    The Dual-Axis Radiographic Hydrodynamic Test (DARHT) Facility Mitigation Action Plan specifies the comparison of baseline conditions in biotic and abiotic media with those collected after operations have started. Operations at DARHT at Los Alamos National Laboratory started in 2000. In this study, the abundance and composition of birds collected near the DARHT facility from 2003 through 2006 were determined and compared to a preoperational period (1999). In addition, the levels of radionuclides and other inorganic chemicals in birds were compared to regional statistical reference levels (RSRLs). The number and diversity of bird species generally increased over preoperational levels with the greatest number of birds (412) and species (46) occurring in 2005. The most common bird species collected regardless of time periods were the chipping sparrow (Spizella passerina), the Virginia's warbler (Vermivora virginiae), the western bluebird (Sialia mexicana), the broad-tailed hummingbird (Selasphorus platycercus), the sage sparrow (Amphispiza belli), and the western tanager (Piranga ludoviciana). Most radionuclides, with the exception of uranium-234 and uranium-238, in (whole body) birds collected after operations began were either not detected or below RSRLs. Uranium-234 and uranium-238 concentrations in a few samples were far below screening levels and do not pose a potential unacceptable dose to the birds. In contrast, many inorganic chemicals, particularly arsenic and silver, in birds collected before and after operations began were in higher concentrations than RSRLs. Because birds (skin plus feathers) collected in the years before operations began contained higher levels of arsenic and silver than RSRLs and because there was no evidence of these metals in soil and sediment directly around the DARHT facility, the elevated levels of these metals in birds during early operations are probably not related to DARHT operations. Arsenic and silver in birds, however, have

  6. Habitat availability is a more plausible explanation than insecticide acute toxicity for U.S. grassland bird species declines

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Grassland bird species have experienced substantial declines in North America. These declines have been largely attributed to habitat loss and degradation, especially from agricultural practices and intensification (the habitat-availability hypothesis). A recent analysis of North American Breeding B...

  7. Determinants of bird conservation-action implementation and associated population trends of threatened species.

    PubMed

    Luther, David A; Brooks, Thomas M; Butchart, Stuart H M; Hayward, Matt W; Kester, Marieke E; Lamoreux, John; Upgren, Amy

    2016-12-01

    Conservation actions, such as habitat protection, attempt to halt the loss of threatened species and help their populations recover. The efficiency and the effectiveness of actions have been examined individually. However, conservation actions generally occur simultaneously, so the full suite of implemented conservation actions should be assessed. We used the conservation actions underway for all threatened and near-threatened birds of the world (International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List of Threatened Species) to assess which biological (related to taxonomy and ecology) and anthropogenic (related to geoeconomics) factors were associated with the implementation of different classes of conservation actions. We also assessed which conservation actions were associated with population increases in the species targeted. Extinction-risk category was the strongest single predictor of the type of conservation actions implemented, followed by landmass type (continent, oceanic island, etc.) and generation length. Species targeted by invasive nonnative species control or eradication programs, ex situ conservation, international legislation, reintroduction, or education, and awareness-raising activities were more likely to have increasing populations. These results illustrate the importance of developing a predictive science of conservation actions and the relative benefits of each class of implemented conservation action for threatened and near-threatened birds worldwide.

  8. Nonrandom filtering effect on birds: species and guilds response to urbanization.

    PubMed

    Silva, Carmen Paz; Sepúlveda, Roger D; Barbosa, Olga

    2016-05-03

    Using bird survey data taken in three cities in Southern Chile, we evaluated the hypothesis that changes in community composition from periurban to urban areas are not random. Furthermore, the consistency of species and guild loss was assessed across cities. A consistent pattern of difference in community and guild structure between urban and periurban habitats was found. In addition, a nonrandom loss of species was found in urban areas compared to periurban areas, and non-native species dominated urban communities in all cities. The average abundance of omnivores, granivores, and habitat generalists was higher in urban areas, while insectivores and open habitat species were more abundant in periurban areas. These results strongly suggest that urban habitats act as filters offering suitable conditions for only a fraction of the bird species present in a given area, and the lack of suitable conditions may be facilitating local biotic homogenization in the three studied cities. The results of this study not only fill a biogeographical knowledge gap, but the work presented here also aids the general understanding of factors that affect community structure in habitats with varied levels of local and global urbanization.

  9. Species richness and abundance of forest birds in relation to radiation at Chernobyl.

    PubMed

    Moller, A P; Mousseau, T A

    2007-10-22

    The effects of low-level radiation on the abundance of animals are poorly known, as are the effects on ecosystems and their functioning. Recent conclusions from the UN Chernobyl forum and reports in the popular media concerning the effects of radiation from Chernobyl on animals have left the impression that the Chernobyl exclusion zone is a thriving ecosystem, filled with an increasing number of rare species. Surprisingly, there are no standardized censuses of common animals in relation to radiation, leaving the question about the ecological effects of radiation unresolved. We conducted standardized point counts of breeding birds at forest sites around Chernobyl differing in level of background radiation by over three orders of magnitude. Species richness, abundance and population density of breeding birds decreased with increasing level of radiation, even after controlling statistically for the effects of potentially confounding factors such as soil type, habitat and height of the vegetation. This effect was differential for birds eating soil invertebrates living in the most contaminated top soil layer. These results imply that the ecological effects of Chernobyl on animals are considerably greater than previously assumed.

  10. [Chewing-lice species (Phthiraptera) found on domestic and wild birds in Turkey].

    PubMed

    Dik, Bilal

    2010-01-01

    This study was carried out 48 domestic and wild bird samples belonging to 15 different species. Birds that were killed by traffic on the roads as well as birds that were ill or injured were brought for investigation to the Veterinary Faculty or Animal Keeping House of Konya Municipal. Firstly, all of them were inspected macroscopically for ectoparasites. Then, they were treated with an insecticidal drug, propoxur in a cartoon box. One long-eared owl, one Eurasian buzzard, four long-legged buzzards and five rock pigeons were found to be infested with lice, the others were not. The lice were mounted on slides into Canada balsam after being cleared in KOH 10 % and were identified to species under the light microscope. The lice were identified as Strigiphilus barbatus collected from the long-eared owl, as Kurodaia fulvofasciata collected from the Eurasian buzzard, as Crasspedorrhynchus platystomus, Degeeriella fulva, Colpocephalum nanum collected from long-legged buzzards and as Columbicola columbae collected from rock pigeons. This is the first time that Kurodaia fulvofasciata from the Eurasian buzzard and Strigiphilus barbatus from the long-eared owl has been recorded in Turkey.

  11. Multilocus analysis of intraspecific differentiation in three endemic bird species from the northern Neotropical dry forest.

    PubMed

    Arbeláez-Cortés, Enrique; Milá, Borja; Navarro-Sigüenza, Adolfo G

    2014-01-01

    Among-species phylogeographic concordance provides insight into the common processes driving lineage divergence in a particular region. However, identifying the processes that caused phylogeographic breaks is not always straight forward, and inferring past environmental conditions in combination with documented geologic events is sometimes necessary to explain current patterns. We searched for concordant phylogeographic patterns and investigated their causes in three bird species (Momotus mexicanus, Melanerpes chrysogenys, and Passerina leclancherii) that belong to three different avian orders and are endemic to the northernmost range of the Neotropical dry forest. We obtained mitochondrial DNA (ND2 and COI or cyt b) and nuclear DNA (20454, GAPDH, MUSK, and TGFB) sequences for at least one locus from 162 individuals across all species and defined climatically stable areas using environmental niche model projections for the last 130,000 years to have a paleoenvironmental framework for the phylogeographic results. All three species showed marked phylogeographic structure, with breaks found in roughly similar areas, such as the border between the Mexican states of Guerrero and Oaxaca, and between southern Jalisco and Michoacán. Both of these regions are known biogeographic breaks among other taxa. Patterns of genetic diversity and differentiation were partially compatible with climatically stable areas. Coalescent analyses revealed recent population growth and estimated the deeper haplogroup divergence of all three taxa to have occurred within the last 600,000 years. The phylogeographic patterns found are noteworthy because they are maintained in a relatively small area for bird species with continuous ranges, and highlight a unique situation when compared to phylogeographic patterns found in other studies of Neotropical birds that have stressed the role of geographic barriers to explain intraspecific differentiation. Our results point to a scenario of population

  12. Applying species--energy theory to conservation: a case study for North American birds.

    PubMed

    Phillips, Linda Bowers; Hansen, Andrew J; Flather, Curtis H; Robison-Cox, Jim

    2010-10-01

    Ecosystem energy is now recognized as a primary correlate and potential driver of global patterns of species richness. The increasingly well-tested species-energy relationship is now ripe for application to conservation, and recent advances in satellite technology make this more feasible. While the correlates for the species-energy relationship have been addressed many times previously, this study is among the first to apply species-energy theory to conservation. Our objectives were to: (1) determine the strongest model of bird richness across North America; (2) determine whether the slope of the best species-energy model varied with varying energy levels; and (3) identify the spatial patterns with similar or dissimilar slopes to draw inference for conservation. Model selection techniques were used to evaluate relationships between Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) measures of ecosystem energy and species richness of native land birds using the USGS Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) data. Linear, polynomial, and break point regression techniques were used to evaluate the shape of the relationships with correction for spatial autocorrelation. Spatial analyses were used to determine regions where slopes of the relationship differed. We found that annual gross primary production (GPP) was the strongest correlate of richness (adjusted R2 = 0.55), with a quadratic model being the strongest model. The negative slope of the model was confirmed significantly negative at the highest energy levels. This finding demonstrates that there are three different slopes to the species-energy relationship across the energy gradient of North America: positive, flat, and negative. If energy has a causal relationship with richness, then species-energy theory implies that energy causes richness to increase in low-energy areas, energy has little effect in intermediate-energy areas, and energy depresses richness in the highest-energy areas. This information provides a basis for

  13. Salmonella spp. as a cause of mortality and clinical symptoms in free-living garden bird species in Poland.

    PubMed

    Krawiec, M; Pietkiewicz, M; Wieliczko, A

    2014-01-01

    Some species of garden birds are considered to be sensitive to Salmonella (S.) spp. infections. The aim of this study was to determine the cause of mortality of six free-living birds in one private property in suburban area of Wrocław (Poland). In 2013 Poland experienced prolonged winter, with low temperatures and snow precipitations. During March and April, two dead individuals of the Eurasian siskin (Carduelis spinus) and four dead individuals of the Greenfinch (Carduelis chloris) were found in proximity of the bird feeder. At the time of ringing procedure in the same area, faecal samples of all individuals belonging to these two species of birds were collected, regardless clinical symptoms. In total, twenty two faecal samples of birds belonging to both bird species were collected in the same property. All of them were Salmonella enterica subsp. enterica serovar Typhimurium positive. The visible illness among European siskins and Greenfinches, caused by S. Typhimurium, sug- gests that both Eurasian siskin and Greenfinch may be potential reservoirs of Salmonella spp. Therefore they might play a role in transmission of zoonotic pathogens to other garden bird species or to people.

  14. Using a systematic approach to select flagship species for bird conservation.

    PubMed

    Veríssimo, Diogo; Pongiluppi, Tatiana; Santos, Maria Cintia M; Develey, Pedro F; Fraser, Iain; Smith, Robert J; MacMilan, Douglas C

    2014-02-01

    Conservation marketing campaigns that focus on flagship species play a vital role in biological diversity conservation because they raise funds and change people's behavior. However, most flagship species are selected without considering the target audience of the campaign, which can hamper the campaign's effectiveness. To address this problem, we used a systematic and stakeholder-driven approach to select flagship species for a conservation campaign in the Serra do Urubu in northeastern Brazil. We based our techniques on environmental economic and marketing methods. We used choice experiments to examine the species attributes that drive preference and latent-class models to segment respondents into groups by preferences and socioeconomic characteristics. We used respondent preferences and information on bird species inhabiting the Serra do Urubu to calculate a flagship species suitability score. We also asked respondents to indicate their favorite species from a set list to enable comparison between methods. The species' traits that drove audience preference were geographic distribution, population size, visibility, attractiveness, and survival in captivity. However, the importance of these factors differed among groups and groups differed in their views on whether species with small populations and the ability to survive in captivity should be prioritized. The popularity rankings of species differed between approaches, a result that was probably related to the different ways in which the 2 methods measured preference. Our new approach is a transparent and evidence-based method that can be used to refine the way stakeholders are engaged in the design of conservation marketing campaigns.

  15. Floral Diversity and Pollen Transfer Mechanisms in Bird-pollinated Salvia Species

    PubMed Central

    Wester, Petra; Claßen-Bockhoff, Regine

    2007-01-01

    Background and Aims Bird-pollinated (ornithophilous) Salvia species (sages) transfer pollen either by means of a staminal lever mechanism or by immovable stamens. As the distribution of the two modes within the genus is not known, we present a survey of all ornithophilous sages. The main focus is given to floral diversity especially with respect to functional lever morphology. Thereby the hypothesis is tested that, due to a pollinator shift from bees to birds, the lever mechanism became unnecessary. Methods To get a general idea about the diversity of pollen transfer mechanisms, 186 ornithophilous Salvia species were classified according to the functional morphology of the stamen and the need for a lever movement. To test the functionality of the staminal levers and the fitting between flowers and birds the process of pollen transfer was examined by pollinator observations and tested by inserting museum skins and metal rods into fresh flowers. Key Results The diversity of pollen transfer mechanisms is represented by eight case studies illustrating three main groups. In group I (approx. 50 %) the staminal lever mechanism is necessary to open access to nectar and to enable the transfer of pollen that is hidden in the upper lip. In group II (approx. 34 %) pollen is freely accessible and the lever mechanism is reduced in different ways and to different degrees. In group III (approx. 4 %) the lever works as in group I, but pollen is freely accessible as in II. The remaining approx. 13 % are not clearly classified. Conclusions It is considered that the driving force behind the diverse modes of reduction is the necessity to increase the distance between nectar and pollen, thereby ensuring pollen deposition on the bird's feathered head. This is achieved several times in parallel by corolla elongation and/or exposure of the pollen-sacs. As soon as pollen is freely accessible, the lever movement loses its significance for pollination. PMID:17522077

  16. Birds, Birds, Birds!

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Braus, Judy, Ed.

    1992-01-01

    Ranger Rick's Nature Scope is a creative education series dedicated to inspiring in children an understanding and appreciation of the natural world while developing the skills they will need to make responsible decisions about the environment. Contents are organized into the following sections: (1) "What Makes a Bird a Bird?," which…

  17. Breeding ecology and nesting habitat associations of five marsh bird species in western New York

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lor, S.; Malecki, R.A.

    2006-01-01

    Nesting habitats and nest success of five species of marsh birds were studied during 1997 and 1998 at the Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) and the adjacent Oak Orchard and Tonawanda State Wildlife Management Areas (WMA) located in western New York. Nest searches located 18 American Bittern (Botaurus lentiginosus), 117 Least Bittern (Ixobrychus exilis), 189 Pied-billed Grebe (Podilymbus podiceps), 23 Sora (Porzana carolina), and 72 Virginia Rail (Rallus limicola) nests. Average nest densities in 1998, our best nest searching year, ranged from 0.01/ha for Soras (N = 8) to 0.28/ha for Pied-billed Grebes (N = 160). Mayfield nest success estimates for Least Bittern were 80% (N = 16) in 1997 and 46% (N = 37) in 1998. Nest success estimates were 72% (N = 55) for Pied-billed Grebe, 43% (N = 6) for Sora, and 38% (N = 20) for Virginia Rail. Nests of all five species were located in ???70% emergent vegetation with a mean water depth of 24-56 cm and an average vegetation height that ranged from 69-133 cm. Logistic regression models were developed for each species using habitat variables at nest and random site locations. Each model was ranked with Akaike's Information Criterion for small sample size (AICc). In general, our best models indicated that increased emergent vegetation and horizontal cover with shallow water depths improved the odds of encountering marsh bird nests in the wetlands of western New York. We suggest that managing wetlands as a complex, at different stages of succession, would best benefit marsh bird species.

  18. Efficiency of playback for assessing the occurrence of five bird species in Brazilian Atlantic Forest fragments.

    PubMed

    Boscolo, Danilo; Metzger, Jean Paul; Vielliard, Jacques M E

    2006-12-01

    Playback of bird songs is a useful technique for species detection; however, this method is usually not standardized. We tested playback efficiency for five Atlantic Forest birds (White-browed Warbler Basileuterus leucoblepharus, Giant Antshrike Batara cinerea, Swallow-tailed Manakin Chiroxiphia caudata, Whiteshouldered Fire-eye Pyriglena leucoptera and Surucua Trogon Trogon surrucura) for different time of the day, season of the year and species abundance at the Morro Grande Forest Reserve (South-eastern Brazil) and at thirteen forest fragments in a nearby landscape. Vocalizations were broadcasted monthly at sunrise, noon and sunset, during one year. For B. leucoblepharus, C. caudata and T. surrucura, sunrise and noon were more efficient than sunset. Batara cinerea presented higher efficiency from July to October. Playback expanded the favourable period for avifaunal surveys in tropical forest, usually restricted to early morning in the breeding season. The playback was efficient in detecting the presence of all species when the abundance was not too low. But only B. leucoblepharus and T. surrucura showed abundance values significantly related to this efficiency. The present study provided a precise indication of the best daily and seasonal periods and a confidence interval to maximize the efficiency of playback to detect the occurrence of these forest species.

  19. Testing hypotheses of bird extinctions at Rio Palenque, Ecuador, with informal species lists.

    PubMed

    Pearson, David L; Anderson, Corey Devin; Mitchell, Brian R; Rosenberg, Michael S; Navarrete, Ronald; Coopmans, Paul

    2010-04-01

    Informally gathered species lists are a potential source of data for conservation biology, but most remain unused because of questions of reliability and statistical issues. We applied two alternative analytical methods (contingency tests and occupancy modeling) to a 35-year data set (1973-2007) to test hypotheses about local bird extinction. We compiled data from bird lists collected by expert amateurs and professional scientists in a 2-km(2) fragment of lowland tropical forest in coastal Ecuador. We tested the effects of the following on local extinction: trophic level, sociality, foraging specialization, light tolerance, geographical range area, and biogeographic source. First we assessed extinction on the basis of the number of years in which a species was not detected on the site and used contingency tests with each factor to compare the frequency of expected and observed extinction events among different species categories. Then we defined four multiyear periods that reflected different stages of deforestation and isolation of the study site and used occupancy modeling to test extinction hypotheses singly and in combination. Both types of analyses supported the biogeographic source hypothesis and the species-range hypothesis as causes of extinction; however, occupancy modeling indicated the model incorporating all factors except foraging specialization best fit the data.

  20. Spatial variation of haemosporidian parasite infection in African rainforest bird species.

    PubMed

    Loiseau, Claire; Iezhova, Tatjana; Valkiūnas, Gediminas; Chasar, Anthony; Hutchinson, Anna; Buermann, Wolfgang; Smith, Thomas B; Sehgal, Ravinder N M

    2010-02-01

    Spatial heterogeneity influences the distribution, prevalence, and diversity of haemosporidian parasites. Previous studies have found complex patterns of prevalence with respect to habitat characteristics and parasite genotype, and their interactions, but there is little information regarding how parasitemia intensity and the prevalence of co-infections may vary in space. Here, using both molecular methods and microscopy, we report an analysis of the variation of parasitemia intensity and co-infections of avian haemosporidian parasites ( Plasmodium and Haemoproteus species) in 2 common African birds species, the yellow-whiskered greenbul ( Andropadus latirostris ) and the olive sunbird ( Cyanomitra olivacea ), at 3 sites with distinct habitat characteristics in Ghana. First, we found an interaction between the site and host species for the prevalence of Plasmodium spp. and Haemoproteus spp. For the olive sunbird, the prevalence of Plasmodium spp., as well as the number of individuals with co-infections, varied significantly among the sites, but these measures remained constant for the yellow-whiskered greenbul. In addition, yellow-whiskered greenbuls infected with Haemoproteus spp. were found only at 1 site. Furthermore, for both bird species, the parasitemia intensity of Plasmodium spp. varied significantly among the 3 sites, but with opposing trends. These results suggest that spatial heterogeneity differently affects haemosporidian infection parameters in these vertebrate-hosts. Environmental conditions here can either favor or reduce parasite infection. We discuss the implications of these discrepancies for conservation and ecological studies of infectious diseases in natural populations.

  1. New data on the rare Afrotropical scarab beetles Orphnus drumonti Frolov and Delopleurus naviauxi Frolov et Cambefort (Coleoptera, Scarabaeidae, Orphninae and Scarabaeinae)

    PubMed Central

    Akhmetova, Lilia A.

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Background The scarab beetle genera Orphnus Macleay and Delopleurus Boheman are most speciose in the Afrotropical region. However, a number of species are only known from type specimens, sometimes only from one sex. New information New locality records of Orphnus drumonti Frolov (Orphninae) and Delopleurus naviauxi Frolov et Cambefort (Scarabaeinae) are given. The previously unknown female of the former and male of the latter species are described. PMID:26379459

  2. Declines in abundance and species richness of birds following a major flood on the upper Mississippi River

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Knutson, M.G.; Klaas, E.E.

    1997-01-01

    We examined the abundance and species richness of birds breeding in floodplain forests of the Upper Mississippi River in 1992 through 1994, and used a two-way ANOVA with repeated measures to identify effects of a 1993 flood on the bird community. Sixty-five study plots were divided into treatment and control plots based on whether they were flooded in 1993. Among 84 species observed on all plots, 41 species decreased in abundance from 1992 to 1994, 13 increased, 5 were unchanged. Sample sizes were inadequate to evaluate trends for 25 species. Species richness declined over the three-year period. Of 36 species tested with the ANOVA, 20 had a significant main effect of Year. Cool, wet conditions may have contributed to poor reproductive success in 1993, and resulted in widespread decline in floodplain bird abundance during the year following the flood. Bird abundance increased on most unflooded plots in 1993, probably because birds were displaced from flooded plots. This pattern was most striking for neotropical migrants, species preferring habitat edges, lower canopy nesters, and species that forage in the air. We suggest that periodic major flooding may maintain suitable floodplain habitat for Prothonotary Warblers (Protonotaria citrea) in the face of competition from House Wrens (Troglodytes aedon) for nest sites.

  3. KABAM Version 1.0 User's Guide and Technical Documentation - Appendix E - Selection of Bird Species of Concern and Corresponding Biological Parameters

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    Bird species of concern were identified to define default parameters (body weight and diet composition) to represent birds in KABAM. KABAM is a simulation model used to predict pesticide concentrations in aquatic regions for use in exposure assessments.

  4. DDTs and other organochlorine pesticides in tissues of four bird species from the Rift Valley region, Ethiopia.

    PubMed

    Yohannes, Yared Beyene; Ikenaka, Yoshinori; Nakayama, Shouta M M; Mizukawa, Hazuki; Ishizuka, Mayumi

    2017-01-01

    Despite the presence of a wide variety and number of birds, there is exceedingly little data on organochlorine pesticide (OCP) residues in birds inhabiting in Africa. In the present study, concentrations of dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethanes (DDTs), hexachlorocyclohexanes, drins, cyclodienes, and hexachlorobenzene were measured in liver, kidney, heart and brain of 4 bird species from the Rift Valley region, Ethiopia. Indoor residual spraying of DDT for malaria vector control, and indiscriminate and illegal use of pesticides underline the relevance of this study. Levels of ΣOCPs ranged from 1.87 to 4586ng/g wet weight, and the scavenger bird species Leptoptilos crumeniferus had the highest level in liver. In all tissues, contamination profiles of OCPs within the species were similar, with DDTs≫other OCPs. Among the DDTs, p,p'-DDE was the most abundant compound and had significantly a higher burden in all tissues. The risk characterization demonstrated potential risks to the studied birds associated with DDE exposure. Maximum hepatic levels of p,p'-DDE exceeded the levels reported to trigger adverse effects. The detection of p,p'-DDT in all bird tissues suggests the release of fresh DDT to the environment. This is the first study to assay OCPs in different tissues of birds from the Ethiopian Rift Valley region, and henceforth the data will serve as a reference data for future studies.

  5. Metal concentrations in three species of passerine birds breeding in the Hackensack Meadowlands of New Jersey

    SciTech Connect

    Tsipoura, Nellie; Burger, Joanna Feltes, Ross; Yacabucci, Janet; Mizrahi, David; Jeitner, Christian; Gochfeld, Michael

    2008-06-15

    The New Jersey Meadowlands is an important natural area, a diverse mosaic of wetland habitats positioned within the heavily urbanized NY City Metropolitan area and the NY/NJ Harbor. Persistent contaminants may pose threats to wildlife inhabiting these habitats, affecting reproduction, egg hatchability, nestling survivorship, and neurobehavioral development. Metals of concern in the Meadowlands include arsenic, cadmium, chromium, lead, and mercury. These metals were analyzed in feathers and blood of three passerine birds breeding in wetland habitats, including red-winged blackbirds (Agelaius phoeniceus), marsh wrens (Cistothorus palustris), and tree swallow (Tachycineta bicolor), as well as eggs of the first two species. These widespread species are abundant in wetland habitats across the Meadowlands District, and eat insects and other invertebrates. Lead levels were low in eggs, higher in feathers and very elevated in blood in all species compared to those that have been reported for other bird species. Lead levels were especially high in blood of marsh wren (mean of 0.8 ppm) and swallow (mean of 0.94 ppm, wet weight). Levels of lead in the blood for all three species sampled were higher than the negative impact threshold of 0.4 ppm. Mercury levels, while below the levels considered biologically harmful, were higher in eggs (mean of 0.2, wet weight) and feathers (3.2 ppm, dry weight) of marsh wren from Meadowlands than those seen in other passerines, and even some fish-eating birds. Furthermore, unhatched wren eggs had higher mercury levels (0.3 ppm, wet weight) than eggs randomly selected before hatch (0.18 ppm, wet weight). Blood tissue levels of mercury were low in all three species (mean of less than 0.035 ppm, wet weight). Chromium levels were relatively high in eggs and in blood, but lower in feathers when compared to those reported in the literature. Cadmium and arsenic levels were generally low for all tissues and in all species studied compared to those

  6. Potential environmental contaminant risks to avian species at important bird areas in the northeastern United States

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rattner, B.A.; Ackerson, B.K.

    2008-01-01

    Environmental contaminants can have profound effects on birds, acting from the molecular through population levels of biological organization. An analysis of potential contaminant threats was undertaken at 52 Important Bird Areas (IBAs) within the northeastern Atlantic coast drainage. Using geographic information system methodology, data layers describing or integrating contamination (impaired waters, fish or wildlife consumption advisories, toxic release inventory sites, and estimates of pesticide use) were overlaid on buffered IBA boundaries, and the relative threat at each site was ranked. The most threatened sites include Jefferson National Forest (NF), Stewart B. McKinney National Wildlife Refuge (NWR), Great Dismal Swamp NWR, Blue Ridge Parkway, Shenandoah National Park (NP), Adirondack Park, Edwin B. Forsythe NWR, George Washington NF, Green Mountain NF, Long Island Piping Plover Beaches, and Merrymeeting Bay. These sites exhibited moderate to high percentages of impaired waters and had fish consumption advisories related to mercury and polychlorinated biphenyls, and were located in counties with substantial pesticide use. Endangered, threatened and Watch List bird species are present at these sites. The Contaminant Exposure and Effects--Terrestrial Vertebrates database was searched within buffered IBA boundaries, and for a moderate number of sites there was concordance between the perceived risk and contaminant exposure. Several of the IBAs with apparently substantial contaminant threats had no avian ecotoxicological data (e.g., George Washington NF, Shenandoah NP). Based upon this screening level risk assessment, contaminant biomonitoring is warranted at such sites, and data generated from these efforts should foster natural resource management activities.

  7. Animal tracking meets migration genomics: transcriptomic analysis of a partially migratory bird species.

    PubMed

    Franchini, Paolo; Irisarri, Iker; Fudickar, Adam; Schmidt, Andreas; Meyer, Axel; Wikelski, Martin; Partecke, Jesko

    2017-03-17

    Seasonal migration is a widespread phenomenon, which is found in many different lineages of animals. This spectacular behaviour allows animals to avoid seasonally adverse environmental conditions to exploit more favourable habitats. Migration has been intensively studied in birds, which display astonishing variation in migration strategies, thus providing a powerful system for studying the ecological and evolutionary processes that shape migratory behaviour. Despite intensive research, the genetic basis of migration remains largely unknown. Here we used state-of-the-art radio-tracking technology to characterize the migratory behaviour of a partially migratory population of European blackbirds (Turdus merula) in southern Germany. We compared gene expression of resident and migrant individuals using high-throughput transcriptomics in blood samples. Analyses of sequence variation revealed a non-significant genetic structure between blackbirds differing by their migratory phenotype. We detected only four differentially expressed genes between migrants and residents, which might be associated with hyperphagia, moulting, and enhanced DNA replication and transcription. The most pronounced changes in gene expression occurred between migratory birds depending on when, in relation to their date of departure, blood was collected. Overall, the differentially expressed genes detected in this analysis may play crucial roles in determining the decision to migrate, or in controlling the physiological processes required for the onset of migration. These results provide new insights into, and testable hypotheses for, the molecular mechanisms controlling the migratory phenotype and its underlying physiological mechanisms in blackbirds and other migratory bird species. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

  8. Monitoring of the Bagaza virus epidemic in wild bird species in Spain, 2010.

    PubMed

    García-Bocanegra, I; Zorrilla, I; Rodríguez, E; Rayas, E; Camacho, L; Redondo, I; Gómez-Guillamón, F

    2013-04-01

    By the end of August 2010, high mortalities in red-legged partridges (Alectoris rufa) and pheasants (Phasianus colchicus) were detected in several hunting states in the province of Cádiz (southern Spain). Retrospective epidemiological studies revealed that the first clinical signs had been observed in late July-early August. The most common clinical signs were incoordination, disorientation and ataxia. The estimated mean morbidity rates were 37% in partridges and 11% in pheasants. The estimated mean mortality rates were 23% in partridges and 6% in pheasants. The estimated mean case-fatality rates were 38% and 8% in partridges and pheasants, respectively. A total of 19 clinically affected birds from 18 affected hunting states were analysed between August and November 2011. Histopathological analyses revealed encephalitis, myocarditis, leiomyositis, meningoencephalitis and neuritis as the most frequently observed lesions. Molecular analyses identified Bagaza virus (BAGV) as the causative agent of the epidemic. Further studies are needed to determine the source of introduction of the virus into Europe and to elucidate whether wild birds play a role in the epidemiology of BAGV. Surveillance in susceptible bird species, including partridges and pheasants, may be useful for the early detection of BAGV in an area.

  9. A comparative study of embryonic development of some bird species with different patterns of postnatal growth.

    PubMed

    Blom, Jonas; Lilja, Clas

    2005-01-01

    Some studies show that birds with high postnatal growth rates (e.g. altricial species) are characterized by a rapid early development of "supply" organs, such as digestive organs. Birds with low postnatal growth rates (e.g. precocial species) exhibit a slower early development of these organs and a more rapid early development of other "demand" organs, such as brain, muscles, skeleton and feathers. To test whether these differences can be traced back to early embryonic development and whether they can be associated with changes in developmental timing, i.e. heterochrony, we compared embryos of the precocial quail and the altricial fieldfare, two bird species with low and high postnatal growth rates, respectively. We used classical staging techniques that use developmental landmarks to categorize embryonic maturity as well as morphological measurements. These techniques were combined with immune detection of muscle specific proteins in the somites. Our data showed that the anlagen of the head, brain and eyes develop earlier in the quail than in the fieldfare in contrast to the gut which develops earlier in the fieldfare than in the quail. Our data also showed that the quail and the fieldfare displayed different rates of myotome formation in the somites which contribute to muscle formation in the limbs and thorax. We believe these observations are connected with important differences in neonatal characteristics, such as the size of the brain, eyes, organs for locomotion and digestion. This leads us to the conclusion that selection for late ontogenetic characteristics can alter early embryonic development and that growth rate is of fundamental importance for the patterning of avian embryonic development. It also appears that this comparative system offers excellent opportunities to test hypotheses about heterochrony.

  10. Survival and population size of a resident bird species are declining as temperature increases.

    PubMed

    Santisteban, Leonard; Benkman, Craig W; Fetz, Trevor; Smith, Julie W

    2012-03-01

    1. A large number of migratory bird species appear to be declining as the result of climate change, but whether resident bird species have or will be adversely affected by climate change is less clear. We focus on the South Hills crossbill (Loxia curvirostra complex), which is endemic to about 70 km(2) of Rocky Mountain lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta latifolia) forest in southern Idaho, USA. 2. Our results indicate that the South Hills crossbill has declined by over 60% between 2003 and 2008, and that decreasing adult survival drives this population decline. 3. We evaluated the relative support for multiple hypotheses linking crossbill survival to climate, an ectoparasitic mite (scaly-leg mites Knemidokoptes jamaicensis), and the recent emergence of West Nile virus. Changes in adult apparent survival rate were closely associated with average spring and annual temperatures, and with high temperatures (≥32 °C) during summer, which have increased during the last decade. In contrast, there was little evidence that scaly-leg mites or West Nile virus contributed to recent declines in adult survival. 4. The most probable mechanism causing the decline in adult survival and population size is a decrease in the availability of their primary food resource, seeds in serotinous pine cones. Cone production has declined with increasing annual temperatures, and these cones appear to be prematurely opening owing to increasingly hot summer conditions releasing their seeds and reducing the carrying capacity for crossbills later in the year. 5. In light of regional climate change forecasts, which include an increase in both annual temperature and hot days (>32 °C), and the likely disappearance of lodgepole pine from southern Idaho by the end of this century, additional research is needed to determine how to maintain lodgepole pine forests and their supply of seeds to conserve one of the few bird species endemic to the continental United States.

  11. Anatomy and histology of the Fibrocartilago humerocapsularis in some species of European wild birds.

    PubMed

    Canova, Marco; Bombardi, Cristiano; De Sordi, Nadia; Clavenzani, Paolo; Grandis, Annamaria

    2014-07-01

    The occurrence and structure of the fibrocartilago humerocapsularis (FHC) in the shoulders of 72 subjects of various species of wild birds were evaluated by gross dissection and histological examination with the purpose of increasing the body of knowledge regarding this structure and verifying the functional hypotheses submitted in the past in other species. The results showed that the FHC has a conical shape with a narrow cavity on the inside. The structure is heterogeneous in the various species and consists of different tissues, such as hyaline cartilage, fibrous cartilage, and bone. From the data obtained in this study, there does not appear to be any correlation between ossification and the weight of the prey lifted, wing shape, and aging. This study also provided interesting preliminary data regarding the ossification of the FHC. In fact, in the Hooded Crow (Corvus cornix), the ossification seemed to be correlated with the mechanical stimulation of flying. Additional studies are necessary to confirm this hypothesis.

  12. Bajan Birds Pull Strings: Two Wild Antillean Species Enter the Select Club of String-Pullers

    PubMed Central

    Ducatez, Simon; Lefebvre, Louis

    2016-01-01

    String-pulling is one of the most popular tests in animal cognition because of its apparent complexity, and of its potential to be applied to very different taxa. In birds, the basic procedure involves a food reward, suspended from a perch by a string, which can be reached by a series of coordinated pulling actions with the beak and holding actions of the pulled lengths of string with the foot. The taxonomic distribution of species that pass the test includes several corvids, parrots and parids, but in other families, data are much spottier and the number of individuals per species that succeed is often low. To date, the association between string-pulling ability and other cognitive traits was never tested. It is generally assumed that string-pulling is a complex form of problem-solving, suggesting that performance on string-pulling and other problem-solving tasks should be correlated. Here, we show that individuals of two innovative species from Barbados, the bullfinch Loxigilla barbadensis and the Carib grackle Quiscalus lugubris fortirostris, pass the string-pulling test. Eighteen of the 42 bullfinches tested succeeded, allowing us to correlate performance on this test to that on several other behavioral measurements. Surprisingly, string-pulling in bullfinches was unrelated to shyness, neophobia, problem-solving, discrimination and reversal learning performance. Only two of 31 grackles tested succeeded, precluding correlational analyses with other measures but still, the two successful birds largely differed in their other behavioral traits. PMID:27533282

  13. Potential environmental contaminant risks to avian species at important bird areas in the northeastern United States

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rattner, B.A.; Ackerson, B.K.

    2007-01-01

    Environmental contaminants, acting at molecular through population levels of biological organization, can have profound effects upon birds. A screening level risk assessment was conducted that examined potential contaminant threats at 52 Important Bird Areas (IBAs) in the northeastern Atlantic coast drainage. Using geographic information system methodology, data layers describing or integrating pollutant hazards (impaired waters, fish or wildlife consumption advisories, toxic release inventory data, estimated pesticide use and hazard) were overlaid on buffered IBA boundaries, and the relative contaminant threat for each site was ranked. The 10 sites identified as having the greatest contaminant threats included Jefferson National Forest, Stewart B. McKinney National Wildlife Refuge, Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge, Blue Ridge Parkway, Shenandoah National Park, Adirondack Park, Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge, George Washington National Forest, Green Mountain National Forest, and Long Island Piping Plover Beaches. These sites accounted for over 50% of the entire study area, and in general had moderate to high percentages of impaired waters, fish consumption advisories related to mercury and PCBs, and were located in counties with substantial application rates of pesticides known to be toxic to birds. Avian species at these IBAs include Federally endangered Roseate terns (Sterna dougallii), threatened piping plovers (Charadrius melodus), neotropical migrants, Bicknell?s thrush (Catharus bicknelli), Swainson?s warbler (Limnothlypis swainsonii) and wintering brant geese (Branta bernicla). Extant data for free-ranging birds from the Contaminant Exposure and Effects--Terrestrial Vertebrates database were examined within the buffered boundaries of each IBA, and for a moderate number of sites there was qualitative concordance between the perceived risk and actual contaminant exposure data. However, several of the IBAs with substantial contaminant

  14. Biological, ecological, conservation and legal information for all species and subspecies of Australian bird

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Garnett, Stephen T.; Duursma, Daisy E.; Ehmke, Glenn; Guay, Patrick-Jean; Stewart, Alistair; Szabo, Judit K.; Weston, Michael A.; Bennett, Simon; Crowley, Gabriel M.; Drynan, David; Dutson, Guy; Fitzherbert, Kate; Franklin, Donald C.

    2015-11-01

    We introduce a dataset of biological, ecological, conservation and legal information for every species and subspecies of Australian bird, 2056 taxa or populations in total. Version 1 contains 230 fields grouped under the following headings: Taxonomy & nomenclature, Phylogeny, Australian population status, Conservation status, Legal status, Distribution, Morphology, Habitat, Food, Behaviour, Breeding, Mobility and Climate metrics. It is envisaged that the dataset will be updated periodically with new data for existing fields and the addition of new fields. The dataset has already had, and will continue to have applications in Australian and international ornithology, especially those that require standard information for a large number of taxa.

  15. Biological, ecological, conservation and legal information for all species and subspecies of Australian bird

    PubMed Central

    Garnett, Stephen T.; Duursma, Daisy E.; Ehmke, Glenn; Guay, Patrick-Jean; Stewart, Alistair; Szabo, Judit K.; Weston, Michael A.; Bennett, Simon; Crowley, Gabriel M.; Drynan, David; Dutson, Guy; Fitzherbert, Kate; Franklin, Donald C.

    2015-01-01

    We introduce a dataset of biological, ecological, conservation and legal information for every species and subspecies of Australian bird, 2056 taxa or populations in total. Version 1 contains 230 fields grouped under the following headings: Taxonomy & nomenclature, Phylogeny, Australian population status, Conservation status, Legal status, Distribution, Morphology, Habitat, Food, Behaviour, Breeding, Mobility and Climate metrics. It is envisaged that the dataset will be updated periodically with new data for existing fields and the addition of new fields. The dataset has already had, and will continue to have applications in Australian and international ornithology, especially those that require standard information for a large number of taxa. PMID:26594379

  16. Species- and sex-specific connectivity effects of habitat fragmentation in a suite of woodland birds.

    PubMed

    Amos, Nevil; Harrisson, Katherine A; Radford, James Q; White, Matt; Newell, Graeme; Mac Nally, Ralph; Sunnucks, Paul; Pavlova, Alexandra

    2014-06-01

    Loss of functional connectivity following habitat loss and fragmentation could drive species declines. A comprehensive understanding of fragmentation effects on functional connectivity of an ecological assemblage requires investigation of multiple species with different mobilities, at different spatial scales, for each sex, and in different landscapes. Based on published data on mobility and ecological responses to fragmentation of 10 woodland-dependent birds, and using simulation studies, we predicted that (1) fragmentation would impede dispersal and gene flow of eight "decliners" (species that disappear from suitable patches when landscape-level tree cover falls below species-specific thresholds), but not of two "tolerant" species (whose occurrence in suitable habitat patches is independent of landscape tree cover); and that fragmentation effects would be stronger (2) in the least mobile species, (3) in the more philopatric sex, and (4) in the more fragmented region. We tested these predictions by evaluating spatially explicit isolation-by-landscape-resistance models of gene flow in fragmented landscapes across a 50 x 170 km study area in central Victoria, Australia, using individual and population genetic distances. To account for sex-biased dispersal and potential scale- and configuration-specific effects, we fitted models specific to sex and geographic zones. As predicted, four of the least mobile decliners showed evidence of reduced genetic connectivity. The responses were strongly sex specific, but in opposite directions in the two most sedentary species. Both tolerant species and (unexpectedly) four of the more mobile decliners showed no reduction in gene flow. This is unlikely to be due to time lags because more mobile species develop genetic signatures of fragmentation faster than do less mobile ones. Weaker genetic effects were observed in the geographic zone with more aggregated vegetation, consistent with gene flow being unimpeded by landscape

  17. Scale-dependent habitat use in three species of prairie wetland birds

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Naugle, D.E.; Higgins, K.F.; Nusser, S.M.; Johnson, W.C.

    1999-01-01

    We evaluated the influence of scale on habitat use for three wetland-obligate bird species with divergent life history characteristics and possible scale-dependent criteria for nesting and foraging in South Dakota, USA. A stratified, two-stage cluster sample was used to randomly select survey wetlands within strata defined by region, wetland density, and wetland surface area. We used 18-m (0.1 ha) fixed radius circular-plots to survey birds in 412 semipermanent wetlands during the summers of 1995 and 1996. Variation in habitat use by pied-billed grebes (Podilymbus podiceps) and yellow-headed blackbirds (Xanthocephalus xanthocephalus), two sedentary species that rarely exploit resources outside the vicinity of nest wetlands, was explained solely by within-patch variation. Yellow-headed blackbirds were a cosmopolitan species that commonly nested in small wetlands, whereas pied-billed grebes were an area-sensitive species that used larger wetlands regardless of landscape pattern. Area requirements for black terns (Chlidonias niger), a vagile species that typically forages up to 4 km away from the nest wetland, fluctuated in response to landscape structure. Black tern area requirements were small (6.5 ha) in heterogeneous landscapes compared to those in homogeneous landscapes (15.4-32.6 ha). Low wetland density landscapes composed of small wetlands, where few nesting wetlands occurred and potential food sources were spread over large distances, were not widely used by black terns. Landscape-level measurements related to black tern occurrence extended past relationships between wetlands into the surrounding matrix. Black terns were more likely to occur in landscapes where grasslands had not been tilled for agricultural production. Our findings represent empirical evidence that characteristics of entire landscapes, rather than individual patches, must be quantified to assess habitat suitability for wide-ranging species that use resources over large areas.

  18. Repeated patterns of trait divergence between closely related dominant and subordinate bird species.

    PubMed

    Freshwater, Cameron; Ghalambor, Cameron K; Martin, Paul R

    2014-08-01

    Ecologically similar species often compete aggressively for shared resources. These interactions are frequently asymmetric, with one species behaviorally dominant to another and excluding it from preferred resources. Despite the potential importance of this type of interference competition as a source of selection, we know little about patterns of trait divergence between dominant and subordinate species. We compiled published data on phylogenetically independent, closely related species of North American birds where one species was consistently dominant in aggressive interactions with a congeneric species. We then compared the body size, breeding phenology, life history, ecological breadth, and biogeography of these species. After accounting for body size and phylogeny, we found repeated patterns of trait divergence between subordinate and dominant species within genera. Subordinate species that migrated seasonally arrived 4-7 days later than dominants on their sympatric breeding grounds, and both resident and migratory subordinates initiated breeding 7-8 days later than their dominant, sympatric congeners. Subordinate species had a 5.2% higher annual adult mortality rate and laid eggs that were 0.02 g heavier for their body mass. Dominant and subordinate species used a similar number of different foods, foraging behaviors, nest sites, and habitats, but subordinates were more specialized in their foraging behaviors compared with closely related dominant species. The breeding and wintering ranges of subordinate species were 571 km farther apart than the ranges of dominant species, suggesting that subordinate species migrate greater distances. Range sizes and latitudinal distributions did not consistently differ, although subordinate species tended to breed farther north or winter farther south. These results are consistent with dominant species directly influencing the ecological strategies of subordinate species (via plastic or genetically based changes), either

  19. Game Birds of Colorado.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Colorado State Div. of Wildlife, Denver.

    This booklet is intended to familiarize the reader with game birds typical of Colorado. Discussions in English and Spanish are presented. Discussions cover the management of game birds, individual game bird species, and endangered species of birds related to game birds. (RE)

  20. Habitat availability is a more plausible explanation than insecticide acute toxicity for U.S. grassland bird species declines.

    PubMed

    Hill, Jason M; Egan, J Franklin; Stauffer, Glenn E; Diefenbach, Duane R

    2014-01-01

    Grassland bird species have experienced substantial declines in North America. These declines have been largely attributed to habitat loss and degradation, especially from agricultural practices and intensification (the habitat-availability hypothesis). A recent analysis of North American Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) "grassland breeding" bird trends reported the surprising conclusion that insecticide acute toxicity was a better correlate of grassland bird declines in North America from 1980-2003 (the insecticide-acute-toxicity hypothesis) than was habitat loss through agricultural intensification. In this paper we reached the opposite conclusion. We used an alternative statistical approach with additional habitat covariates to analyze the same grassland bird trends over the same time frame. Grassland bird trends were positively associated with increases in area of Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) lands and cropland used as pasture, whereas the effect of insecticide acute toxicity on bird trends was uncertain. Our models suggested that acute insecticide risk potentially has a detrimental effect on grassland bird trends, but models representing the habitat-availability hypothesis were 1.3-21.0 times better supported than models representing the insecticide-acute-toxicity hypothesis. Based on point estimates of effect sizes, CRP area and agricultural intensification had approximately 3.6 and 1.6 times more effect on grassland bird trends than lethal insecticide risk, respectively. Our findings suggest that preserving remaining grasslands is crucial to conserving grassland bird populations. The amount of grassland that has been lost in North America since 1980 is well documented, continuing, and staggering whereas insecticide use greatly declined prior to the 1990s. Grassland birds will likely benefit from the de-intensification of agricultural practices and the interspersion of pastures, Conservation Reserve Program lands, rangelands and other grassland habitats into

  1. Visualization of species pairwise associations: a case study of surrogacy in bird assemblages

    PubMed Central

    Lane, Peter W; Lindenmayer, David B; Barton, Philip S; Blanchard, Wade; Westgate, Martin J

    2014-01-01

    Quantifying and visualizing species associations are important to many areas of ecology and conservation biology. Species networks are one way to analyze species associations, with a growing number of applications such as food webs, nesting webs, plant–animal mutualisms, and interlinked extinctions. We present a new method for assessing and visualizing patterns of co-occurrence of species. The method depicts interactions and associations in an analogous way with existing network diagrams for studying pollination and trophic interactions, but adds the assessment of sign, strength, and direction of the associations. This provides a distinct advantage over existing methods of quantifying and visualizing co-occurrence. We demonstrate the utility of our new approach by showing differences in associations among woodland bird species found in different habitats and by illustrating the way these can be interpreted in terms of underlying ecological mechanisms. Our new method is computationally feasible for large assemblages and provides readily interpretable effects with standard errors. It has wide applications for quantifying species associations within ecological communities, examining questions about particular species that occur with others, and how their associations can determine the structure and composition of communities. PMID:25473480

  2. Fibroblasts From Longer-Lived Species of Primates, Rodents, Bats, Carnivores, and Birds Resist Protein Damage.

    PubMed

    Pickering, Andrew M; Lehr, Marcus; Kohler, William J; Han, Melissa L; Miller, Richard A

    2015-07-01

    Species differ greatly in their rates of aging. Among mammalian species life span ranges from 2 to over 60 years. Here, we test the hypothesis that skin-derived fibroblasts from long-lived species of animals differ from those of short-lived animals in their defenses against protein damage. In parallel studies of rodents, nonhuman primates, birds, and species from the Laurasiatheria superorder (bats, carnivores, shrews, and ungulates), we find associations between species longevity and resistance of proteins to oxidative stress after exposure to H(2)O(2) or paraquat. In addition, baseline levels of protein carbonyl appear to be higher in cells from shorter-lived mammals compared with longer-lived mammals. Thus, resistance to protein oxidation is associated with species maximal life span in independent clades of mammals, suggesting that this cellular property may be required for evolution of longevity. Evaluation of the properties of primary fibroblast cell lines can provide insights into the factors that regulate the pace of aging across species of mammals.

  3. Fibroblasts From Longer-Lived Species of Primates, Rodents, Bats, Carnivores, and Birds Resist Protein Damage

    PubMed Central

    Pickering, Andrew M.; Lehr, Marcus; Kohler, William J.; Han, Melissa L.

    2015-01-01

    Species differ greatly in their rates of aging. Among mammalian species life span ranges from 2 to over 60 years. Here, we test the hypothesis that skin-derived fibroblasts from long-lived species of animals differ from those of short-lived animals in their defenses against protein damage. In parallel studies of rodents, nonhuman primates, birds, and species from the Laurasiatheria superorder (bats, carnivores, shrews, and ungulates), we find associations between species longevity and resistance of proteins to oxidative stress after exposure to H2O2 or paraquat. In addition, baseline levels of protein carbonyl appear to be higher in cells from shorter-lived mammals compared with longer-lived mammals. Thus, resistance to protein oxidation is associated with species maximal life span in independent clades of mammals, suggesting that this cellular property may be required for evolution of longevity. Evaluation of the properties of primary fibroblast cell lines can provide insights into the factors that regulate the pace of aging across species of mammals. PMID:25070662

  4. [Urbanization mechanisms in bird species: population systems transformations or adaptations at the individual level?].

    PubMed

    Fridman, V S; Eremkin, G S; Zakharova-Kubareva, N Iu

    2008-01-01

    The present research deals with urbanization of wild bird and mammal species. Forms and mechanisms of population steadiness in the urban landscape have been examined. The urbanization process turned out to be a directed change of the population system forming de novo in the urbolandscape leading to a sustainable organization peculiar for the particular environment. The population organization of different types in urbolandscape is found to provide its stability under conditions of directed and fast changes accompanied with instability and heterogenous structure of habitats. It is shown that the same type of population organization meets the corresponding demands among different species settling in the urban environment. Its features are "openness" and "flowage" of the groups, far order of settlement levels and other units of population system, constant movements of the individuals between the groups as a respond to the signals of urboenvironment significant changes. The "urban" variant of the population system organization turns out to be opposite to that of the same species in the non-urban habitats. After formation of the urban types by the species and successful developing of the town, the urban population becomes separated from the maternal local population and begins to exist independently in the urban landscape. The variety of adaptation aberrations in ecology, behavior, and mode of life of urban birds is the population system stability function in the urban landscape and is not a results of individual selection. It is shown that the urbanization process of the species goes firstly on the population level being the system structure transformation developed by the species towards the most stable state in the town (city) territory. Only after the appearance of stable urban population, the urban individuals show the rapid growth of different changes in ecology, behavior, mode of life that was traditionally described by naturalists as species adaptation to the

  5. Ecological adaptation and species recognition drives vocal evolution in neotropical suboscine birds.

    PubMed

    Seddon, Nathalie

    2005-01-01

    Given that evolutionary divergence in mating signals leads to reproductive isolation in numerous animal taxa, understanding what drives signal divergence is fundamental to our understanding of speciation. Mating signals are thought to diverge via several processes, including (1) as a by-product of morphological adaptation, (2) through direct adaptation to the signaling environment, or (3) to facilitate species recognition. According to the first two hypotheses, birdsongs diversify in different foraging niches and habitats as a product of selection for optimal morphology and efficient sound transmission, respectively. According to the third hypothesis, they diversify as a result of selection against maladaptive hybridization. In this study I test all three hypotheses by examining the influence of morphology, acoustic environment, and the presence of closely related congeners on song structure in 163 species of antbird (Thamnophilidae). Unlike oscine passerines, these Neotropical suboscines make ideal subjects because they develop their songs without learning. In other words, patterns of vocal divergence are not complicated by cultural evolution. In support of the morphological adaptation hypothesis, body mass correlates with the acoustic frequency of songs, and bill size with temporal patterning. These relationships were robust, even when controlling for phylogenetic inertia using independent contrasts, suggesting that there has been correlated evolution between morphological and acoustic traits. The results also support the acoustic adaptation hypothesis: birds which habitually sing in the understory and canopy produce higher-pitched songs than those that sing in the midstory, suggesting that song structure is related to the sound transmission properties of different habitat strata. Finally, the songs of sympatric pairs of closely related species are more divergent than those of allopatric pairs, as predicted by the species recognition hypothesis. To my knowledge

  6. Habitat and landscape correlates of presence, density, and species richness of birds wintering in forest fragments in Ohio

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Doherty, P.F.; Grubb, T.C.

    2000-01-01

    We investigated the distribution of wintering woodland bird species in 47 very small, isolated, woodland fragments (0.54-6.01 ha) within an agricultural landscape in north-central Ohio. Our objectives were to determine correlations between temporal, habitat, and landscape variables and avian presence, density, and species richness within the smallest woodlots occupied by such species. Our results suggest that even common species are sensitive to variation in habitat, landscape, and season. Woodlot area explained the most variation in presence, density, and species richness. Shrub cover was also an important predictor variable for presence of the smallest resident birds. Shrub cover might function as both a refuge from predators and as a windbreak, reducing thermal costs in a flat, open landscape. Landscape factors related to isolation and connectedness were also correlated with species presence and density. The species composition of the community changed through the winter, as did the density of individual species, suggesting that the winter season may play an important role in determining the distributions of bird populations across woodlots. The models presented here for Ohio birds in this specific landscape may have biological inference for other species in similar landscapes.

  7. First molecular characterization of a Hepatozoon species (Apicomplexa: Hepatozoidae) infecting birds and description of a new species infecting storm petrels (Aves: Hydrobatidae).

    PubMed

    Merino, Santiago; Martínez, Javier; Masello, Juan F; Bedolla, Yuliana; Quillfeldt, Petra

    2014-06-01

    During a survey of blood parasites in a population of Leach's and black storm petrels ( Oceanodroma leucorhoa and Oceanodroma melania) in Mexico, infection by a Hepatozoon species in erythrocytes of several birds was noted. Here we describe the species as Hepatozoon peircei sp. nov. Some species of Hepatozoon described from birds have been identified as lankesterellids when DNA molecular analyses were conducted. However, a sequence of 1,774 bp of the parasite found infecting storm petrels in this study clearly show the parasite is a species of the genus Hepatozoon. This is the first Hepatozoon species infecting birds to be characterized at the molecular level and the first found infecting erythrocytes and not leucocytes.

  8. Population genetics of Cryptosporidium meleagridis in humans and birds: evidence for cross-species transmission.

    PubMed

    Wang, Yuanfei; Yang, Wenli; Cama, Vitaliano; Wang, Lin; Cabrera, Lilia; Ortega, Ynes; Bern, Caryn; Feng, Yaoyu; Gilman, Robert; Xiao, Lihua

    2014-07-01

    Population genetic studies have been used to understand the transmission of pathogens in humans and animals, especially the role of zoonotic infections and evolution and dispersal of virulent subtypes. In this study, we analysed the genetic diversity and population structure of Cryptosporidium meleagridis, the only known Cryptosporidium species that infects both avian and mammalian hosts and is responsible for approximately 10% of human cryptosporidiosis in some areas. A total of 62 C. meleagridis specimens from children, AIDS patients, and birds in Lima, Peru were characterised by sequence analysis of the ssrRNA gene and five minisatellite, microsatellite and polymorphic markers in chromosome 6, including the 60 kDa glycoprotein (gp60), 47 kDa glycoprotein (CP47), a serine repeat antigen (MSC6-5), retinitis pigmentosa GTPase regulator (RPGR) and thrombospondin protein 8 (TSP8). The multilocus sequence analysis identified concurrent infections with Cryptosporidium hominis in four AIDS patients and three children. Unique subtypes of C. meleagridis ranged from eight at the gp60 locus (gene diversity -Hd=0.651), three at the RPGR (Hd=0.556), three at the MSC6-5 locus (Hd=0.242), two at TSP8 (Hd=0.198), to one at CP47 (monomorphic), much lower than that of C. hominis in the same area. Intragenic linkage disequilibrium was strong and complete at all gene loci. Intergenic linkage disequilibrium was highly significant (P<0.001) for all pairs of polymorphic loci. Two major groups of subtypes were seen, with most subtypes belonging to group 1. Within group 1, there was no clear population segregation, and two of the 14 multilocus subtypes of C. meleagridis were found in both AIDS patients and birds. We believe that these results provide the first evidence of a clonal population structure of C. meleagridis and the likely occurrence of cross-species transmission of C. meleagridis between birds and humans.

  9. Power to detect trends in abundance of secretive marsh birds: effects of species traits and sampling effort

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Steidl, Robert J.; Conway, Courtney J.; Litt, Andrea R.

    2013-01-01

    Standardized protocols for surveying secretive marsh birds have been implemented across North America, but the efficacy of surveys to detect population trends has not been evaluated. We used survey data collected from populations of marsh birds across North America and simulations to explore how characteristics of bird populations (proportion of survey stations occupied, abundance at occupied stations, and detection probability) and aspects of sampling effort (numbers of survey routes, stations/route, and surveys/station/year) affect statistical power to detect trends in abundance of marsh bird populations. In general, the proportion of survey stations along a route occupied by a species had a greater relative effect on power to detect trends than did the number of birds detected per survey at occupied stations. Uncertainty introduced by imperfect detection during surveys reduced power to detect trends considerably, but across the range of detection probabilities for most species of marsh birds, variation in detection probability had only a minor influence on power. For species that occupy a relatively high proportion of survey stations (0.20), have relatively high abundances at occupied stations (2.0 birds/station), and have high detection probability (0.50), ≥40 routes with 10 survey stations per route surveyed 3 times per year would provide an 80% chance of detecting a 3% annual decrease in abundance after 20 years of surveys. Under the same assumptions but for species that are less common, ≥100 routes would be needed to achieve the same power. Our results can help inform the design of programs to monitor trends in abundance of marsh bird populations, especially with regards to the amount of sampling effort necessary to meet programmatic goals.

  10. Closely related bird species demonstrate flexibility between beak morphology and underlying developmental programs

    PubMed Central

    Mallarino, Ricardo; Campàs, Otger; Fritz, Joerg A.; Burns, Kevin J.; Weeks, Olivia G.; Brenner, Michael P.; Abzhanov, Arhat

    2012-01-01

    The astonishing variation in the shape and size of bird beaks reflects a wide range of dietary specializations that played an important role in avian diversification. Among Darwin’s finches, ground finches (Geospiza spp.) have beaks that represent scaling variations of the same shape, which are generated by alterations in the signaling pathways that regulate growth of the two skeletal components of the beak: the prenasal cartilage (pnc) and the premaxillary bone (pmx). Whether this developmental mechanism is responsible for variation within groups of other closely related bird species, however, has remained unknown. Here, we report that the Caribbean bullfinches (Loxigilla spp.), which are closely related to Darwin’s finches, have independently evolved beaks of a novel shape, different from Geospiza, but also varying from each other only in scaling. However, despite sharing the same beak shape, the signaling pathways and tissues patterning Loxigilla beaks differ among the three species. In Loxigilla noctis, as in Geospiza, the pnc develops first, shaped by Bmp4 and CaM signaling, followed by the development of the pmx, regulated by TGFβIIr, β-catenin, and Dkk3 signaling. In contrast, beak morphogenesis in Loxigilla violacea and Loxigilla portoricensis is generated almost exclusively by the pmx through a mechanism in which Ihh and Bmp4 synergize to promote expansion of bone tissue. Together, our results demonstrate high flexibility in the relationship between morphology and underlying developmental causes, where different developmental programs can generate identical shapes, and similar developmental programs can pattern different shapes. PMID:22988109

  11. Radiocesium in migratory bird species in northern Ireland following the Chernobyl accident

    SciTech Connect

    Pearce, J.

    1995-06-01

    Radioactive fallout arising form the nuclear reactor accident at Chernobyl on 26 April 1986 reached Northern Ireland in early May and was deposited in rain. However, the subsequent contamination of food supplies in Northern Ireland were well below national and international levels at which any action would be considered necessary and presented no risks to health. In addition to the direct contamination of food supplies with radionuclides in the form of fallout following the Chernobyl incident another potential source of radioactive contamination entering the human food chain was through the arrival of migratory species of game birds. Each autumn and winter many thousands of birds migrate to Northern Ireland from Northern and Eastern Europe and some of these could have been contaminated as a result of being directly affected by the fallout from Chernobyl. The purpose of this work was to examine the extend of radionuclide contamination in such species and a number of samples were obtained for analyses during the autumn/winter periods in 1986/87 and 1987/88. The results obtained are outlined below. 5 refs., 3 tabs.

  12. A species assemblage approach to comparative phylogeography of birds in southern Australia

    PubMed Central

    Dolman, Gaynor; Joseph, Leo

    2012-01-01

    We present a novel approach to investigating the divergence history of biomes and their component species using single-locus data prior to investing in multilocus data. We use coalescent-based hierarchical approximate Bayesian computation (HABC) methods (MsBayes) to estimate the number and timing of discrete divergences across a putative barrier and to assign species to their appropriate period of co-divergence. We then apply a coalescent-based full Bayesian model of divergence (IMa) to suites of species shown to have simultaneously diverged. The full Bayesian model results in reduced credibility intervals around divergence times and allows other parameters associated with divergence to be summarized across species assemblages. We apply this approach to 10 bird species that are wholly or patchily discontinuous in semi-arid habitats between Australia's southwest (SW) and southeast (SE) mesic zones. There was substantial support for up to three discrete periods of divergence. HABC indicates that two species wholly restricted to more mesic habitats diverged earliest, between 594,382 and 3,417,699 years ago, three species from semi-arid habitats diverged between 0 and 1,508,049 years ago, and four diverged more recently, between 0 and 396,843 years ago. Eight species were assigned to three periods of co-divergence with confidence. For full Bayesian analyses, we accounted for uncertainty in the two remaining species by analyzing all possible suites of species. Estimates of divergence times from full Bayesian divergence models ranged between 429,105 and 2,006,355; 67,172 and 663,837; and 24,607 and 171,085 for the earliest, middle, and most recent periods of co-divergence, respectively. This single-locus approach uses the power of multitaxa coalescent analyses as an efficient means of generating a foundation for further, targeted research using multilocus and genomic tools applied to an understudied biome. PMID:22423329

  13. Project description: DNA barcodes of bird species in the national museum of natural history, smithsonian institution, USA.

    PubMed

    Schindel, David E; Stoeckle, Mark Y; Milensky, Chris; Trizna, Michael; Schmidt, Brian; Gebhard, Christina; Graves, Gary

    2011-01-01

    The Division of Birds, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC, has obtained and released DNA barcodes for 2808 frozen tissue samples. Of the 1,403 species represented by these samples, 1,147 species have not been barcoded previously. This data release increases the number of bird species with standard barcodes by 91%. These records meet the data standard of the Consortium for the Barcode of Life and they have the reserved keyword BARCODE in GenBank. The data are now available on GenBank and the Barcode of Life Data Systems.

  14. Detection of aflatoxin-contaminated grain by three granivorous bird species.

    PubMed

    Perez, M; Henke, S E; Fedynich, A M

    2001-04-01

    Supplemental feeding of game species and the use of backyard feeders to attract avian wildlife are common practices throughout the United States. However, these activities may expose wildlife to aflatoxins. We tested the hypothesis that wild birds would avoid consuming aflatoxin-contaminated feed. Individual northern bobwhites (Colinus virginianus), white-winged doves (Zenaida asiatica), and green jays (Cyanocorax yncas) were presented with feeders that had four compartments, which contained milo that was contaminated with aflatoxin levels of 0, 100, 500, and 1,000 microg/kg, respectively. Feed remaining was weighed at 6, 12, 18, 24, 36, 48, 60, and 72 hr after the initiation of the trial. White-winged doves and northern bobwhites did not avoid contaminated feed. However, green jays selected against aflatoxin-tainted grain. Because white-winged doves and northern bobwhites did not avoid contaminated feed, the risk of exposure to this potentially hazardous toxin exists for these species.

  15. Trace Element Contamination in Tissues of Four Bird Species from the Rift Valley Region, Ethiopia.

    PubMed

    Yohannes, Yared Beyene; Ikenaka, Yoshinori; Nakayama, Shouta M M; Mizukawa, Hazuki; Ishizuka, Mayumi

    2017-02-01

    Concentrations of ten trace elements (Hg, As, Cd, Pb, Co, Cr, Cu, Ni, Se and Zn) were determined in different tissues (liver, kidney, muscle, heart and brain) of African sacred ibis (Threskiornis aethiopicus), Hamerkop (Scopus umbretta), marabou stork (Leptoptilos crumeniferus) and great white pelican (Pelecanus onocrotalus) inhabiting the Ethiopian Rift Valley region. There were differences in trace element patterns among the bird species. Significantly (p < 0.05) higher concentrations of Cd (5.53 µg/g dw ± 2.94) in kidney and Hg (0.75 µg/g ww ± 0.30) in liver were observed in the great white pelican compared to the other species, and liver concentrations of these two elements showed positive correlations with trophic level. Concentrations of toxic elements (As, Cd, Pb and Hg) in liver were below their respective toxicological thresholds, indicating that the data may provide baseline information for future studies.

  16. Referential calls coordinate multi-species mobbing in a forest bird community.

    PubMed

    Suzuki, Toshitaka N

    2016-01-01

    Japanese great tits (Parus minor) use a sophisticated system of anti-predator communication when defending their offspring: they produce different mobbing calls for different nest predators (snake versus non-snake predators) and thereby convey this information to conspecifics (i.e. functionally referential call system). The present playback experiments revealed that these calls also serve to coordinate multi-species mobbing at nests; snake-specific mobbing calls attracted heterospecific individuals close to the sound source and elicited snake-searching behaviour, whereas non-snake mobbing calls attracted these birds at a distance. This study demonstrates for the first time that referential mobbing calls trigger different formations of multi-species mobbing parties.

  17. Conservation Action Based on Threatened Species Capture Taxonomic and Phylogenetic Richness in Breeding and Wintering Populations of Central Asian Birds

    PubMed Central

    Schweizer, Manuel; Ayé, Raffael; Kashkarov, Roman; Roth, Tobias

    2014-01-01

    Although phylogenetic diversity has been suggested to be relevant from a conservation point of view, its role is still limited in applied nature conservation. Recently, the practice of investing conservation resources based on threatened species was identified as a reason for the slow integration of phylogenetic diversity in nature conservation planning. One of the main arguments is based on the observation that threatened species are not evenly distributed over the phylogenetic tree. However this argument seems to dismiss the fact that conservation action is a spatially explicit process, and even if threatened species are not evenly distributed over the phylogenetic tree, the occurrence of threatened species could still indicate areas with above average phylogenetic diversity and consequently could protect phylogenetic diversity. Here we aim to study the selection of important bird areas in Central Asia, which were nominated largely based on the presence of threatened bird species. We show that although threatened species occurring in Central Asia do not capture phylogenetically more distinct species than expected by chance, the current spatially explicit conservation approach of selecting important bird areas covers above average taxonomic and phylogenetic diversity of breeding and wintering birds. We conclude that the spatially explicit processes of conservation actions need to be considered in the current discussion of whether new prioritization methods are needed to complement conservation action based on threatened species. PMID:25337861

  18. Temporal variation in population size of European bird species: effects of latitude and marginality of distribution.

    PubMed

    Cuervo, José J; Møller, Anders P

    2013-01-01

    In the Northern Hemisphere, global warming has been shown to affect animal populations in different ways, with southern populations in general suffering more from increased temperatures than northern populations of the same species. However, southern populations are also often marginal populations relative to the entire breeding range, and marginality may also have negative effects on populations. To disentangle the effects of latitude (possibly due to global warming) and marginality on temporal variation in population size, we investigated European breeding bird species across a latitudinal gradient. Population size estimates were regressed on years, and from these regressions we obtained the slope (a proxy for population trend) and the standard error of the estimate (SEE) (a proxy for population fluctuations). The possible relationships between marginality or latitude on one hand and slopes or SEE on the other were tested among populations within species. Potentially confounding factors such as census method, sampling effort, density-dependence, habitat fragmentation and number of sampling years were controlled statistically. Population latitude was positively related to regression slopes independent of marginality, with more positive slopes (i.e., trends) in northern than in southern populations. The degree of marginality was positively related to SEE independent of latitude, with marginal populations showing larger SEE (i.e., fluctuations) than central ones. Regression slopes were also significantly related to our estimate of density-dependence and SEE was significantly affected by the census method. These results are consistent with a scenario in which southern and northern populations of European bird species are negatively affected by marginality, with southern populations benefitting less from global warming than northern populations, thus potentially making southern populations more vulnerable to extinction.

  19. Response of bird species densities to habitat structure and fire history along a Midwestern open-forest gradient

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Grundel, R.; Pavlovic, N.B.

    2007-01-01

    Oak savannas were historically common but are currently rare in the Midwestern United States. We assessed possible associations of bird species with savannas and other threatened habitats in the region by relating fire frequency and vegetation characteristics to seasonal densities of 72 bird species distributed across an open-forest gradient in northwestern Indiana. About one-third of the species did not exhibit statistically significant relationships with any combination of seven vegetation characteristics that included vegetation cover in five vertical strata, dead tree density, and tree height. For 40% of the remaining species, models best predicting species density incorporated tree density. Therefore, management based solely on manipulating tree density may not be an adequate strategy for managing bird populations along this open-forest gradient. Few species exhibited sharp peaks in predicted density under habitat conditions expected in restored savannas, suggesting that few savanna specialists occur among Midwestern bird species. When fire frequency, measured over fifteen years, was added to vegetation characteristics as a predictor of species density, it was incorporated into models for about one-quarter of species, suggesting that fire may modify habitat characteristics in ways that are important for birds but not captured by the structural habitat variables measured. Among those species, similar numbers had peaks in predicted density at low, intermediate, or high fire frequency. For species suggested by previous studies to have a preference for oak savannas along the open-forest gradient, estimated density was maximized at an average fire return interval of about one fire every three years. ?? The Cooper Ornithological Society 2007.

  20. Can Establishment Success Be Determined through Demographic Parameters? A Case Study on Five Introduced Bird Species

    PubMed Central

    Sanz-Aguilar, Ana; Anadón, José D.; Edelaar, Pim; Carrete, Martina; Tella, José Luis

    2014-01-01

    The dominant criterion to determine when an introduced species is established relies on the maintenance of a self-sustaining population in the area of introduction, i.e. on the viability of the population from a demographic perspective. There is however a paucity of demographic studies on introduced species, and establishment success is thus generally determined by expert opinion without undertaking population viability analyses (PVAs). By means of an intensive five year capture-recapture monitoring program (involving >12,000 marked individuals) we studied the demography of five introduced passerine bird species in southern Spain which are established and have undergone a fast expansion over the last decades. We obtained useful estimates of demographic parameters (survival and reproduction) for one colonial species (Ploceus melanocephalus), confirming the long-term viability of its local population through PVAs. However, extremely low recapture rates prevented the estimation of survival parameters and population growth rates for widely distributed species with low local densities (Estrilda troglodytes and Amandava amandava) but also for highly abundant yet non-colonial species (Estrilda astrild and Euplectes afer). Therefore, determining the establishment success of introduced passerine species by demographic criteria alone may often be troublesome even when devoting much effort to field-work. Alternative quantitative methodologies such as the analysis of spatio-temporal species distributions complemented with expert opinion deserve thus their role in the assessment of establishment success of introduced species when estimates of demographic parameters are difficult to obtain, as is generally the case for non-colonial, highly mobile passerines. PMID:25333743

  1. Can establishment success be determined through demographic parameters? A case study on five introduced bird species.

    PubMed

    Sanz-Aguilar, Ana; Anadón, José D; Edelaar, Pim; Carrete, Martina; Tella, José Luis

    2014-01-01

    The dominant criterion to determine when an introduced species is established relies on the maintenance of a self-sustaining population in the area of introduction, i.e. on the viability of the population from a demographic perspective. There is however a paucity of demographic studies on introduced species, and establishment success is thus generally determined by expert opinion without undertaking population viability analyses (PVAs). By means of an intensive five year capture-recapture monitoring program (involving >12,000 marked individuals) we studied the demography of five introduced passerine bird species in southern Spain which are established and have undergone a fast expansion over the last decades. We obtained useful estimates of demographic parameters (survival and reproduction) for one colonial species (Ploceus melanocephalus), confirming the long-term viability of its local population through PVAs. However, extremely low recapture rates prevented the estimation of survival parameters and population growth rates for widely distributed species with low local densities (Estrilda troglodytes and Amandava amandava) but also for highly abundant yet non-colonial species (Estrilda astrild and Euplectes afer). Therefore, determining the establishment success of introduced passerine species by demographic criteria alone may often be troublesome even when devoting much effort to field-work. Alternative quantitative methodologies such as the analysis of spatio-temporal species distributions complemented with expert opinion deserve thus their role in the assessment of establishment success of introduced species when estimates of demographic parameters are difficult to obtain, as is generally the case for non-colonial, highly mobile passerines.

  2. Spotted fever Rickettsia species in Hyalomma and Ixodes ticks infesting migratory birds in the European Mediterranean area

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background A few billion birds migrate annually between their breeding grounds in Europe and their wintering grounds in Africa. Many bird species are tick-infested, and as a result of their innate migratory behavior, they contribute significantly to the geographic distribution of pathogens, including spotted fever rickettsiae. The aim of the present study was to characterize, in samples from two consecutive years, the potential role of migrant birds captured in Europe as disseminators of Rickettsia-infected ticks. Methods Ticks were collected from a total of 14,789 birds during their seasonal migration northwards in spring 2009 and 2010 at bird observatories on two Mediterranean islands: Capri and Antikythira. All ticks were subjected to RNA extraction followed by cDNA synthesis and individually assayed with a real-time PCR targeting the citrate synthase (gltA) gene. For species identification of Rickettsia, multiple genes were sequenced. Results Three hundred and ninety-eight (2.7%) of all captured birds were tick-infested; some birds carried more than one tick. A total number of 734 ticks were analysed of which 353 ± 1 (48%) were Rickettsia-positive; 96% were infected with Rickettsia aeschlimannii and 4% with Rickettsia africae or unidentified Rickettsia species. The predominant tick taxon, Hyalomma marginatum sensu lato constituted 90% (n = 658) of the ticks collected. The remaining ticks were Ixodes frontalis, Amblyomma sp., Haemaphysalis sp., Rhipicephalus sp. and unidentified ixodids. Most ticks were nymphs (66%) followed by larvae (27%) and adult female ticks (0.5%). The majority (65%) of ticks was engorged and nearly all ticks contained visible blood. Conclusions Migratory birds appear to have a great impact on the dissemination of Rickettsia-infected ticks, some of which may originate from distant locations. The potential ecological, medical and veterinary implications of such Rickettsia infections need further examination. PMID:25011617

  3. Does mixed-species flocking influence how birds respond to a gradient of land-use intensity?

    PubMed

    Mammides, Christos; Chen, Jin; Goodale, Uromi Manage; Kotagama, Sarath Wimalabandara; Sidhu, Swati; Goodale, Eben

    2015-07-22

    Conservation biology is increasingly concerned with preserving interactions among species such as mutualisms in landscapes facing anthropogenic change. We investigated how one kind of mutualism, mixed-species bird flocks, influences the way in which birds respond to different habitat types of varying land-use intensity. We use data from a well-replicated, large-scale study in Sri Lanka and the Western Ghats of India, in which flocks were observed inside forest reserves, in 'buffer zones' of degraded forest or timber plantations, and in areas of intensive agriculture. We find flocks affected the responses of birds in three ways: (i) species with high propensity to flock were more sensitive to land use; (ii) different flock types, dominated by different flock leaders, varied in their sensitivity to land use and because following species have distinct preferences for leaders, this can have a cascading effect on followers' habitat selection; and (iii) those forest-interior species that remain outside of forests were found more inside flocks than would be expected by chance, as they may use flocks more in suboptimal habitat. We conclude that designing policies to protect flocks and their leading species may be an effective way to conserve multiple bird species in mixed forest and agricultural landscapes.

  4. Color patterns of closely related bird species are more divergent at intermediate levels of breeding-range sympatry.

    PubMed

    Martin, Paul R; Montgomerie, Robert; Lougheed, Stephen C

    2015-04-01

    Closely related species of birds often differ markedly in their color patterns. Here we examine the influence of breeding-range overlap (breeding sympatry) on the evolution of color pattern differences in a sample of closely related bird species. We used a sister-lineage method to analyze 73 phylogenetically independent comparisons among 246 species and 39 families of birds worldwide. We found that divergence of color patterns among closely related species was greater between sympatric than between allopatric lineages, but only at intermediate levels of sympatry (50%-80% breeding-range overlap). This pattern suggests that closely related species incur costs at intermediate levels of sympatry if they exhibit similar color patterns-costs that could include hybridization, interspecific aggression, competition for signaling space, or ecological interactions that secondarily influence color patterns. The decline in color pattern divergence with further increase in sympatry suggests either the relaxation of divergent selection, increased impediment of gene flow, or an increased role for counteracting selection at higher levels of sympatry. We also found that the differences in color pattern between sympatric and allopatric sister species were greatest at lower latitudes. The global scale and broad taxonomic coverage in our study suggest that the divergence of color patterns between sympatrically breeding closely related species is widespread in birds.

  5. Does mixed-species flocking influence how birds respond to a gradient of land-use intensity?

    PubMed Central

    Mammides, Christos; Chen, Jin; Goodale, Uromi Manage; Kotagama, Sarath Wimalabandara; Sidhu, Swati; Goodale, Eben

    2015-01-01

    Conservation biology is increasingly concerned with preserving interactions among species such as mutualisms in landscapes facing anthropogenic change. We investigated how one kind of mutualism, mixed-species bird flocks, influences the way in which birds respond to different habitat types of varying land-use intensity. We use data from a well-replicated, large-scale study in Sri Lanka and the Western Ghats of India, in which flocks were observed inside forest reserves, in ‘buffer zones' of degraded forest or timber plantations, and in areas of intensive agriculture. We find flocks affected the responses of birds in three ways: (i) species with high propensity to flock were more sensitive to land use; (ii) different flock types, dominated by different flock leaders, varied in their sensitivity to land use and because following species have distinct preferences for leaders, this can have a cascading effect on followers' habitat selection; and (iii) those forest-interior species that remain outside of forests were found more inside flocks than would be expected by chance, as they may use flocks more in suboptimal habitat. We conclude that designing policies to protect flocks and their leading species may be an effective way to conserve multiple bird species in mixed forest and agricultural landscapes. PMID:26156772

  6. Ecological risk assessments for protected migratory birds and marine species at Midway Atoll

    SciTech Connect

    Scatolini, S.; Hope, B.; Lees, D.

    1995-12-31

    In June 1997, the US Navy plans to close its Naval Air Facility on Sand Island and transfer the atoll to the US Fish and Wildlife Service for use as a National Wildlife Refuge. Midway provides breeding and feeding habitat for migratory seabirds, terrestrial and marine mammals, sea turtles and other reptiles, and a variety of reef fishes and invertebrates. As part of the base closure and transfer process, 36 sites of potential environmental concern were identified on Sand and Eastern islands. These sites include landfills and uncontrolled disposal areas, hazardous materials storage areas, abandoned transformers, sewer outfalls, and other potential hazardous waste sites. Potential contaminants include pesticides, PAHs, PCBs, and heavy metals. A screening ecological risk assessment was performed at each site with a goal of determining whether contaminants could pose any current or future risks to protected migratory bird or marine mammal wildlife species. Specific exposure pathways investigated were dermal and inhalation routes for ground-nesting and burrowing seabirds; incidental soil ingestion for shore birds; consumption for monk seals and sea turtles. Exposure analysis involved sediment and soil chemistry, marine invertebrate tissue chemistry, bioassays (bioavailability), and food web modeling. Effects analysis involved benthic infauna community analysis, acute and chronic invertebrate sediment bioassays, and extensive literature reviews. Risk characterization used both toxicity quotient methods and weight-of-evidence analysis. Because work by other investigators suggests that birds and perhaps marine wildlife acquire significant contaminant loads while feeding away from the atoll, on-atoll risk investigations had to consider whether atoll sites made significant marginal contributions to existing contaminant loads, particularly with respect to PCBs.

  7. Observations on the biology of Afrotropical Hesperiidae (Lepidoptera). Part 9. Hesperiinae incertae sedis: Zingiberales feeders, genera of unknown biology and an overview of the Hesperiinae incertae sedis.

    PubMed

    Cock, Matthew J W; Congdon, T Colin E; Collins, Steve C

    2016-01-15

    The Afrotropical genera that have been recorded to feed on Zingiberales are documented. Partial life histories are presented for Erionota torus Evans (a South-East Asian species established in Mauritius), Semalea arela (Mabille), S. pulvina (Plötz), Xanthodisca vibius (Hewitson), X. rega (Mabille), Hypoleucis ophiusa (Hewitson), Caenides dacena (Hewitson), Osmodes adon (Mabille), Gretna cylinda (Hewitson) and Moltena fiara (Butler). Additional notes from the literature are provided on the genera Leona and Rhabdomantis. Notes on natural enemies of E. torus and M. fiara are included. We find that the Zingiberaceae and Costaceae feeding genera, Semalea, Xanthodiscus, Hypoleucis and Caenides (part) are united by a C-shaped raised rim to the prothoracic spiracle of the pupa. The pupa of Osmodes adon indicates this genus may have no close affinities to other Afrotropical genera for which the life history is known. The pupa of G. cylinda is unlike any other that we have documented and may reflect that this is the only species which we have found to be formed on the open leaf under surface rather than in a shelter. The early stages of M. fiara indicate affinities with Zophopetes and related genera. The paper concludes with a brief comparative discussion of the early stages of the Afrotropical Hesperiinae incertae sedis as a whole. There appear to be useful characters to group species by the ova and pupae but less so by the caterpillars. Based on pupae alone, the Hesperiinae incertae sedis might be divided into nine groups.

  8. Evidence for increased olfactory receptor gene repertoire size in two nocturnal bird species with well-developed olfactory ability

    PubMed Central

    Steiger, Silke S; Fidler, Andrew E; Kempenaers, Bart

    2009-01-01

    Background In vertebrates, the molecular basis of the sense of smell is encoded by members of a large gene family, namely olfactory receptor (OR) genes. Both the total number of OR genes and the proportion of intact OR genes in a genome may indicate the importance of the sense of smell for an animal. There is behavioral, physiological, and anatomical evidence that some bird species, in particular nocturnal birds, have a well developed sense of smell. Therefore, we hypothesized that nocturnal birds with good olfactory abilities have evolved (i) more OR genes and (ii) more intact OR genes than closely related and presumably less 'olfaction-dependent' day-active avian taxa. Results We used both non-radioactive Southern hybridization and PCR with degenerate primers to investigate whether two nocturnal bird species that are known to rely on olfactory cues, the brown kiwi (Apteryx australis) and the kakapo (Strigops habroptilus), have evolved a larger OR gene repertoire than their day-active, closest living relatives (for kiwi the emu Dromaius novaehollandiae, rhea Rhea americana, and ostrich Struthio camelus and for kakapo the kaka Nestor meridionalis and kea Nestor notabilis). We show that the nocturnal birds did not have a significantly higher proportion of intact OR genes. However, the estimated total number of OR genes was larger in the two nocturnal birds than in their relatives. Conclusion Our results suggest that ecological niche adaptations such as daily activity patterns may have shaped avian OR gene repertoires. PMID:19467156

  9. New records of three hippoboscid species on newly captured birds from nature in Paraná, Brazil.

    PubMed

    Vaz, Frederico Fontanelli; Teixeira, Valéria Natascha

    2016-01-01

    The aims of this study was to provide new records of hippoboscid flies collected over an one-year period on newly captured birds from nature in the state of Paraná, Brazil. The birds were received by a wildlife center in Tijucas do Sul and the hippoboscid flies were collect by hand or by tweezers, generating a prevalence of 0.7% (16/2232) of parasitized birds. New information about distribution of hippoboscid flies on Asio clamator, Rupornis magnirostris and Athene cunicularia was reported in the state of Paraná. The Caracara plancus, Falco peregrinus and Penelope obscura are new host species for Ornithoctona erythrocephala in the state of Paraná, and the Asio stygius for Icosta rufiventris and Ornithoica vicina in Brazil. This study provided new information about hosts and distribution of hippoboscid flies in Brazilian birds.

  10. Evaluation of autonomous recording units for detecting 3 species of secretive marsh birds

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sidie-Slettehahl, Anna M.; Jensen, Kent C.; Johnson, Rex R.; Arnold, Todd W.; Austin, Jane; Stafford, Joshua D.

    2015-01-01

    Population status and habitat use of yellow rails (Coturnicops noveboracensis), Nelson's sparrows (Ammodramus nelsoni), and Le Conte's sparrows (A. leconteii) are poorly known, so standardized surveys of these species are needed to inform conservation planning and management. A protocol for monitoring secretive marsh birds exists; however, these species regularly call at night and may be missed during early morning surveys. We tested the effectiveness of autonomous recording units (hereafter, recording units) to survey these species by analyzing recorded vocalizations using bioacoustics software. We deployed 22 recording units at 54 sites in northern Minnesota and eastern North Dakota, USA, and conducted traditional broadcast surveys during May–June, 2010 and 2011. We compared detection probabilities between recording units and standard monitoring protocols using robust-design occupancy models. On average, recording units detected 0.59 (SE = 0.11) fewer Le Conte's sparrows, 0.76 (SE = 0.15) fewer Nelson's sparrows, and 1.01 (SE = 0.14) fewer yellow rails per survey than were detected using the standard protocol. Detection probabilities using the standard protocol averaged 0.95 (yellow rail; 95% CI = 0.86–0.98), 0.93 (Le Conte's sparrow; 95% CI = 0.78–0.98), and 0.89 (Nelson's sparrow; 95% CI = 0.56–0.98), but averaged 0.71 (yellow rail; 95% CI = 0.56–0.83), 0.61 (Le Conte's sparrow; 95% CI = 0.42–0.78), and 0.51 (Nelson's sparrow; 95% CI = 0.19–0.82) using recording units. Reduced detection by recording units was likely due to the ability of human listeners to identify birds calling at greater distances. Recording units may be effective for surveying nocturnal secretive marsh birds if investigators correct for differential detectability. Reduced detectability may be outweighed by the increased spatial and temporal coverage feasible with recording units.

  11. Extreme genetic structure in a social bird species despite high dispersal capacity.

    PubMed

    Morinha, Francisco; Dávila, José A; Bastos, Estela; Cabral, João A; Frías, Óscar; González, José L; Travassos, Paulo; Carvalho, Diogo; Milá, Borja; Blanco, Guillermo

    2017-02-21

    Social barriers have been shown to reduce gene flow and contribute to genetic structure among populations in species with high cognitive capacity and complex societies, such as cetaceans, apes and humans. In birds, high dispersal capacity is thought to prevent population divergence unless major geographical or habitat barriers induce isolation patterns by dispersal, colonization or adaptation limitation. We report that Iberian populations of the red-billed chough, a social, gregarious corvid with high dispersal capacity, show a striking degree of genetic structure composed of at least 15 distinct genetic units. Monitoring of marked individuals over 30 years revealed that long-distance movements over hundreds of kilometres are common, yet recruitment into breeding populations is infrequent and highly philopatric. Genetic differentiation is weakly related to geographical distance, and habitat types used are overall qualitatively similar among regions and regularly shared by individuals of different populations, so that genetic structure is unlikely to be due solely to isolation by distance or isolation by adaptation. Moreover, most population nuclei showed relatively high levels of genetic diversity, suggesting a limited role for genetic drift in significantly differentiating populations. We propose that social mechanisms may underlie this unprecedented level of genetic structure in birds through a pattern of isolation by social barriers not yet described, which may have driven this remarkable population divergence in the absence of geographical and environmental barriers.

  12. Global evolutionary isolation measures can capture key local conservation species in Nearctic and Neotropical bird communities.

    PubMed

    Redding, David W; Mooers, Arne O; Şekercioğlu, Çağan H; Collen, Ben

    2015-02-19

    Understanding how to prioritize among the most deserving imperilled species has been a focus of biodiversity science for the past three decades. Though global metrics that integrate evolutionary history and likelihood of loss have been successfully implemented, conservation is typically carried out at sub-global scales on communities of species rather than among members of complete taxonomic assemblages. Whether and how global measures map to a local scale has received little scrutiny. At a local scale, conservation-relevant assemblages of species are likely to be made up of relatively few species spread across a large phylogenetic tree, and as a consequence there are potentially relatively large amounts of evolutionary history at stake. We ask to what extent global metrics of evolutionary history are useful for conservation priority setting at the community level by evaluating the extent to which three global measures of evolutionary isolation (evolutionary distinctiveness (ED), average pairwise distance (APD) and the pendant edge or unique phylogenetic diversity (PD) contribution) capture community-level phylogenetic and trait diversity for a large sample of Neotropical and Nearctic bird communities. We find that prioritizing the most ED species globally safeguards more than twice the total PD of local communities on average, but that this does not translate into increased local trait diversity. By contrast, global APD is strongly related to the APD of those same species at the community level, and prioritizing these species also safeguards local PD and trait diversity. The next step for biologists is to understand the variation in the concordance of global and local level scores and what this means for conservation priorities: we need more directed research on the use of different measures of evolutionary isolation to determine which might best capture desirable aspects of biodiversity.

  13. Two new and two redescribed species of Anonchotaenia (Cestoda: Paruterinidae) from South American birds.

    PubMed

    Phillips, Anna J; Georgiev, Boyko B; Waeschenbach, Andrea; Mariaux, Jean

    2014-10-01

    Morphological examination of novel specimens of paruterinid cestodes from passerine birds from Brazil and Chile and of museum specimens from Paraguay revealed two new species: Anonchotaenia prolixa sp. n. from Elaenia albiceps chilensis Hellmayr from Chile, and Anonchotaenia vaslata sp. n. from Tyrannus melancholicus (Vieillot) (type host) and Myiodynastes maculatus (Statius Muller) from Paraguay. The generic diagnosis of Anonchotaenia Conn, 1900 is amended, prompted by the presence of the armed cirrus and the elongated cirrus sac of A. prolixa. Two species were redescribed: Anonchotaenia brasiliensis Fuhrmann, 1908 from Tachyphonus coronatus (Vieillot) and Thraupis cyanoptera (Vieillot) (new host records) from Brazil, and Thraupis sayaca (Linnaeus) and Volatinia jacarina (Linnaeus) from Paraguay (new host and geographic records); and Anonchotaenia macrocephala Fuhrmann, 1908 from Tachycineta leucorrhoa (Vieillot) (new host record) from Brazil, Tachycineta meyeni (Cabanis) from Chile (new host and geographic record) and Stelgidopteryx ruficollis (Vieillot) from Paraguay (new host and geographic record). Scanning electron microscopy of A. brasiliensis and A. macrocephala revealed less microthrix variation than has been reported for other cyclophyllidean taxa. Sequence data were generated for nuclear ssr- and lsr-DNA and mitochondrial rrnL and cox1 for A. prolixa, A. brasiliensis, and A. macrocephala. Maximum likelihood and Bayesian inference analyses supported each species as distinct, but revealed cryptic diversity among A. brasiliensis specimens from different host families. New host records of A. brasiliensis and A. macrocephala prompted a formal assessment of host specificity. Anonchotaenia prolixa was found to be oioxenous (HS(S) = 0), A. vaslata and A. macrocephala were found to be metastenoxenous (HS(S) = 3.000 and 3.302, respectively), whereas A. brasiliensis was found to be euryxenous (HS(S) = 5.876). Anonchotaenia brasiliensis has been found parasitising

  14. A password for species recognition in a brood-parasitic bird.

    PubMed

    Hauber, M E; Russo, S A; Sherman, P W

    2001-05-22

    Recognition of conspecifics is an essential precursor of sexual reproduction. Most mammals and birds learn salient features of their parents or siblings early in ontogeny and later recognize individuals whose phenotypes match the mental image (template) of relatives closely enough as conspecifics. However, the young of brood parasites are reared among heterospecifics, so social learning will yield inappropriate species recognition templates. Initially, it was inferred that conspecific recognition in brood parasites depended on genetically determined templates. More recently it was demonstrated that learning plays a critical role in the development of parasites' social preferences. Here we propose a mechanism that accommodates the interaction of learned and genetic components of recognition. We suggest that conspecific recognition is initiated when a young parasite encounters some unique species-specific signal or "password" (e.g. a vocalization, behaviour or other characteristic) that triggers learning of additional aspects of the password-giver's phenotype. We examined the possibility that nestlings of the obligately brood-parasitic brown-headed cowbird (Molothrus ater) could use a species-specific vocalization, the "chatter", as a password. We found that six-day-old nestlings responded (begged) significantly more frequently to playbacks of chatters than to other avian sounds and that two-month-old fledglings approached playbacks of chatters more quickly than vocalizations of heterospecifics. Free-living cowbird fledglings and adults also approached playbacks of chatters more often than control sounds. Passwords may be involved in the ontogeny of species recognition in brood parasites generally.

  15. Molecular and morphological divergence in a pair of bird species and their ectoparasites.

    PubMed

    Whiteman, Noah K; Dosanjh, Vishal S; Palma, Ricardo L; Hull, Joshua M; Kimball, Rebecca T; Sánchez, Pablo; Sarasola, José Hernán; Parker, Patricia G

    2009-12-01

    In an evolutionary context, parasites tend to be morphologically conservative relative to their hosts. However, the rate of neutral molecular evolution across many parasite lineages is faster than in their hosts. Although this relationship is apparent at the macroevolutionary scale, insight into the processes underpinning it may be gained through investigations at the microevolutionary scale. Birds and their ectoparasitic lice have served as important natural experiments in co-evolution. Here, we compared mitochondrial and morphological divergence in 2 recently diverged avian host lineages and their parasites. Gálapagos hawks (Buteo galapagoensis) are phenotypically divergent from their closest mainland relatives, the Swainson's hawk (Buteo swainsoni). Both species are host to a feather louse species of Craspedorrhynchus (Insecta: Phthiraptera: Ischnocera, Philopteridae). We sequenced the 5′ end of the mitochondrial gene cytochrome oxidase c subunit I (COI) from a set of hawks and lice. Although this fragment allowed unambiguous identification of host and parasite lineages on the islands and the mainland, only a single variable site was present in the 2 hosts, but 2 major Craspedorrhynchus clades divergent by ~10% were recovered that sorted perfectly with host species. We found significant population genetic structure within the Galápagos Craspedorrhynchus lineage. While the host species are highly differentiated phenotypically, the 2 Craspedorrhynchus louse lineages are phenotypically overlapping, although subtle but significant morphological differences exist.

  16. Inter- and intraclutch variation in egg mercury levels in marine bird species from the Canadian Arctic.

    PubMed

    Akearok, Jason A; Hebert, Craig E; Braune, Birgit M; Mallory, Mark L

    2010-01-15

    Mercury (Hg) is a toxic metal that has been of increasing concern in the Canadian Arctic. We measured total Hg in eggs of three marine birds (Arctic terns Sterna paradisaea, common eiders Somateria mollissima borealis, long-tailed ducks Clangula hyemalis) that breed in the Canadian Arctic, to compare Hg laying order effects from the same clutch and to examine Hg among species. Early-laid eggs of all three species had 24-48% higher Hg concentrations than late laid eggs. Arctic terns had approximately twice the concentration of Hg in their eggs as the two duck species, and Hg in eider eggs from the High Arctic was higher than Hg in eggs from the Low Arctic. Higher Hg in tern eggs was consistent with this species occupying a higher trophic position in marine food webs, as indicated by stable nitrogen isotope (delta(15)N) values. The egg-laying sequence may need to be considered for Hg biomonitoring studies where small samples sizes are planned, and early eggs may be preferable for such studies since early eggs may be more representative of potential maximum levels of Hg in the marine food webs.

  17. 75 FR 606 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Listing Foreign Bird Species in Peru and Bolivia...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-01-05

    ...We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), propose to list the following six South American bird species (collectively referred to as ``species'' for purposes of this proposed rule) as endangered under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act) (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.): ash-breasted tit-tyrant (Anairetes alpinus), Junin grebe (Podiceps taczanowskii), Junin rail (Laterallus......

  18. Species-specific accumulation of polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) and other emerging flame retardants in several species of birds from Korea.

    PubMed

    Jin, Xiangzi; Lee, Sunggyu; Jeong, Yunsun; Yu, Jae-Pyoung; Baek, Woon Kee; Shin, Kyung-Hoon; Kannan, Kurunthachalam; Moon, Hyo-Bang

    2016-12-01

    Few studies have been conducted on the alternatives to legacy flame retardants in avian species worldwide. In this study, polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) and alternative flame retardants such as novel brominated flame retardants (NBFRs) and dechlorane plus (DP) were determined in livers of 10 species of birds from Korea to elucidate species-specific accumulation, biological factors that affect accumulation, and bioaccumulation potentials of these contaminants. Among the emerging alternative flame retardants, the highest occurrence was found for bis(2-ethylhexyl)-3,4,5,6-tetrabromo-phthalate (BEHTBP), syn-DP, anti-DP, and decabromodiphenyl ethane (DBDPE). PBDE concentrations (median: 17.1 ng/g lipid wt) measured in our study were within the ranges reported in previous studies, while the concentrations of BEHTBP, BTBPE and DP were greater than those reported earlier. Residential predatory birds showed significantly greater concentrations of PBDEs and NBFRs than migratory predators and passerine birds. The concentrations of PBDEs, BEHTBP, and DP in residential predatory birds were significantly correlated with increasing stable nitrogen isotope ratio (δ(15)N), which indicated biomagnification potentials of these contaminants. Our results suggest that the concentrations and accumulation patterns of PBDEs, NBFRs, and DP depend on the feeding habits and migration patterns of avian species. This is the first report on the accumulation of emerging alternatives to PBDEs in birds from Korea.

  19. Marsh birds and the North American Breeding Bird Survey: judging the value of a landscape level survey for habitat specialist species with low detection rates

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sauer, J.R.

    1999-01-01

    The North American Breeding Bird Survey was started in 1966, and provides information on population change for >400 species of birds. it covers the continental United States, Canada, and Alaska, and is conducted once each year, in June, by volunteer observers. A 39.4 kIn roadside survey route is driven starting 30 min before sunrise, and a 3 min point count is conducted at each of 50 stops spaced every 0.8 kIn. Existing analyses of the data are internet-based (http://www.mbr-pwrc.usgs.govlbbslbbs.html), and include maps of relative abundance, estimates of population change including trends (%/yr), composite annual indices (pattern in time), and maps of population trend (pattern in space). At least 36 species of marsh birds are encountered on the BBS, and the survey provides estimates with greatly varying levels of efficiency for the species. It is often difficult to understand how well the BBS surveys a species. Often, efficiency is judged by estimating trend and its variance for a species, then by calculating power and needed samples to detect a prespecified trend over some time period (e.g., a 2%/yr trend over 31 yr). Unfortunately, this approach is not always valid, as estimated trends and variances can be of little use if the population is poorly sampled. Lurking concerns with BBS data include (1) incomplete coverage of species range; (2) undersampling of habitats; and (3) low and variable visibility of birds during point counts. It is difficult to evaluate these concerns, because known populations do not exist for comparison with counts, and detection rates are time-consuming and costly to estimate. I evaluated the efficiency of the BBS for selected rails (Rallidae) and snipes (Scolopacidae), presenting estimates of population trend over 1966-1996 (T), power to detect 2%/yr trend over 31 yr, needed samples to achieve power of 0.75 with alpha= 0.1, number of survey routes with data for the species (N), average abundance on survey routes (RA), and maps of

  20. Breeding Atlantic Puffins, Fratercula arctica, and other birds species of Coburg Island, Nunavut

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Robards, Martin D.; Gilchrist, H.G.; Allard, K.

    2000-01-01

    Coburg Island and neighbouring waters were recently designated a Canadian National Wildlife Area. The large seabird colony at Cambridge Point has been previously described, and is dominated by Thick-billed Murres (160 000 pairs). We found that a small offshore island, named Princess Charlotte Monument, also supported breeding populations of seven marine bird species; three of which did not breed at the main colony (i.e., Northern Fulmar, Common Eider, and Atlantic Puffin). This is the most northern confirmed breeding site for Atlantic Puffins in Canada. Puffins at both Coburg Island and northern Greenland nest in rock crevices, apparently because permafrost in soil prevents burrow nesting. We suggest that puffin populations in the high arctic may be limited by habitat, rather than prey availability.

  1. Higher reproductive skew among birds than mammals in cooperatively breeding species

    PubMed Central

    Raihani, Nichola J.; Clutton-Brock, Tim H.

    2010-01-01

    While competition for limited breeding positions is a common feature of group life, species vary widely in the extent to which reproduction is shared among females (‘reproductive skew’). In recent years, there has been considerable debate over the mechanisms that generate variation in reproductive skew, with most evidence suggesting that subordinates breed when dominants are unable to prevent them from doing so. Here, we suggest that viviparity reduces the ability of dominant females to control subordinate reproduction and that, as a result, dominant female birds are more able than their mammal counterparts to prevent subordinates from breeding. Empirical data support this assertion. This perspective may increase our understanding of how cooperative groups form and are stabilized in nature. PMID:20236970

  2. Higher reproductive skew among birds than mammals in cooperatively breeding species.

    PubMed

    Raihani, Nichola J; Clutton-Brock, Tim H

    2010-10-23

    While competition for limited breeding positions is a common feature of group life, species vary widely in the extent to which reproduction is shared among females ('reproductive skew'). In recent years, there has been considerable debate over the mechanisms that generate variation in reproductive skew, with most evidence suggesting that subordinates breed when dominants are unable to prevent them from doing so. Here, we suggest that viviparity reduces the ability of dominant females to control subordinate reproduction and that, as a result, dominant female birds are more able than their mammal counterparts to prevent subordinates from breeding. Empirical data support this assertion. This perspective may increase our understanding of how cooperative groups form and are stabilized in nature.

  3. Short-chain chlorinated paraffins in terrestrial bird species inhabiting an e-waste recycling site in South China.

    PubMed

    Luo, Xiao-Jun; Sun, Yu-Xin; Wu, Jiang-Ping; Chen, She-Jun; Mai, Bi-Xian

    2015-03-01

    Short-chain chlorinated paraffins (SCCPs) are under review by the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants. Currently, limited data are available about SCCPs in terrestrial organisms. In the present study, SCCP concentration in the muscles of seven terrestrial bird species (n = 38) inhabiting an e-waste recycling area in South China was determined. This concentration varied from 620 to 17,000 ng/g lipid. Resident birds accumulated significantly higher SCCP concentrations than migratory birds (p < 0.01). Trophic magnification was observed for migratory bird species but not for resident, which was attributed to high heterogeneity of SCCP in e-waste area. Two different homologue group patterns were observed in avian samples. The first pattern was found in five bird species dominated by C10 and C11 congeners, while the second was found in the remains, which show rather equal abundance of homologue groups. This may be caused by two sources of SCCPs (local and e-waste) in the study area.

  4. Diffuse migratory connectivity in two species of shrubland birds: evidence from stable isotopes

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Knick, Steven T.; Leu, Matthias; Rotenberry, John T.; Hanser, Steven E.; Fesenmyer, Kurt

    2014-01-01

    Connecting seasonal ranges of migratory birds is important for understanding the annual template of stressors that influence their populations. Brewer’s sparrows (Spizella breweri) and sagebrush sparrows (Artemisiospiza nevadensis) share similar sagebrush (Artemisia spp.) habitats for breeding but have different population trends that might be related to winter location. To link breeding and winter ranges, we created isoscapes of deuterium [stable isotope ratio (δ) of deuterium; δ2H] and nitrogen (δ15N) for each species modeled from isotope ratios measured in feathers of 264 Brewer’s and 82 sagebrush sparrows and environmental characteristics at capture locations across their breeding range. We then used feather δ2Hf and δ15Nf measured in 1,029 Brewer’s and 527 sagebrush sparrows captured on winter locations in southwestern United States to assign probable breeding ranges. Intraspecies population mixing from across the breeding range was strong for both Brewer’s and sagebrush sparrows on winter ranges. Brewer’s sparrows but not sagebrush sparrows were linked to more northerly breeding locations in the eastern part of their winter range. Winter location was not related to breeding population trends estimated from US Geological Survey Breeding Bird Survey routes for either Brewer’s or sagebrush sparrows. Primary drivers of population dynamics are likely independent for each species; Brewer’s and sagebrush sparrows captured at the same winter location did not share predicted breeding locations or population trends. The diffuse migratory connectivity displayed by Brewer’s and sagebrush sparrows measured at the coarse spatial resolution in our analysis also suggests that local environments rather than broad regional characteristics are primary drivers of annual population trends.

  5. Avian malaria in Hawaiian forest birds: Infection and population impacts across species and elevations

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Samuel, Michael D.; Woodworth, Bethany L.; Atkinson, Carter T.; Hart, P. J.; LaPointe, Dennis

    2015-01-01

    Wildlife diseases can present significant threats to ecological systems and biological diversity, as well as domestic animal and human health. However, determining the dynamics of wildlife diseases and understanding the impact on host populations is a significant challenge. In Hawai‘i, there is ample circumstantial evidence that introduced avian malaria (Plasmodium relictum) has played an important role in the decline and extinction of many native forest birds. However, few studies have attempted to estimate disease transmission and mortality, survival, and individual species impacts in this distinctive ecosystem. We combined multi-state capture-recapture (longitudinal) models with cumulative age-prevalence (cross-sectional) models to evaluate these patterns in Apapane, Hawai‘i Amakihi, and Iiwi in low-, mid-, and high-elevation forests on the island of Hawai‘i based on four longitudinal studies of 3–7 years in length. We found species-specific patterns of malaria prevalence, transmission, and mortality rates that varied among elevations, likely in response to ecological factors that drive mosquito abundance. Malaria infection was highest at low elevations, moderate at mid elevations, and limited in high-elevation forests. Infection rates were highest for Iiwi and Apapane, likely contributing to the absence of these species in low-elevation forests. Adult malaria fatality rates were highest for Iiwi, intermediate for Amakihi at mid and high elevations, and lower for Apapane; low-elevation Amakihi had the lowest malaria fatality, providing strong evidence of malaria tolerance in this low-elevation population. Our study indicates that hatch-year birds may have greater malaria infection and/or fatality rates than adults. Our study also found that mosquitoes prefer feeding on Amakihi rather than Apapane, but Apapane are likely a more important reservoir for malaria transmission to mosquitoes. Our approach, based on host abundance and infection rates, may be an

  6. Classification of Tree Species in Overstorey Canopy of Subtropical Forest Using QuickBird Images

    PubMed Central

    Lin, Chinsu; Popescu, Sorin C.; Thomson, Gavin; Tsogt, Khongor; Chang, Chein-I

    2015-01-01

    This paper proposes a supervised classification scheme to identify 40 tree species (2 coniferous, 38 broadleaf) belonging to 22 families and 36 genera in high spatial resolution QuickBird multispectral images (HMS). Overall kappa coefficient (OKC) and species conditional kappa coefficients (SCKC) were used to evaluate classification performance in training samples and estimate accuracy and uncertainty in test samples. Baseline classification performance using HMS images and vegetation index (VI) images were evaluated with an OKC value of 0.58 and 0.48 respectively, but performance improved significantly (up to 0.99) when used in combination with an HMS spectral-spatial texture image (SpecTex). One of the 40 species had very high conditional kappa coefficient performance (SCKC ≥ 0.95) using 4-band HMS and 5-band VIs images, but, only five species had lower performance (0.68 ≤ SCKC ≤ 0.94) using the SpecTex images. When SpecTex images were combined with a Visible Atmospherically Resistant Index (VARI), there was a significant improvement in performance in the training samples. The same level of improvement could not be replicated in the test samples indicating that a high degree of uncertainty exists in species classification accuracy which may be due to individual tree crown density, leaf greenness (inter-canopy gaps), and noise in the background environment (intra-canopy gaps). These factors increase uncertainty in the spectral texture features and therefore represent potential problems when using pixel-based classification techniques for multi-species classification. PMID:25978466

  7. [Influenza virus epidemiology and ecology, with special reference to bird species associated with water. Literature review and observations].

    PubMed

    van Tongeren, H A; Voous, K H

    1987-12-01

    Only a limited number of A-subtypes of influenza virus so far caused disease in human subjects, pigs and horses; this occurred in more or less defined areas which occasionally showed epidemic aggravations, becoming apparent as rapidly spreading epidemics or otherwise in even the form of pandemics. However this number of antigenic subtypes was found to be fairly constant and host-specific. Earlier studies were done in domesticated fowl and birds, though particularly in water birds in recent years, and numerous subtypes were detected, only a small number of these subtypes also being found to occur in man, pigs and horses. It became increasingly apparent that particularly mallards, but also other water birds play an extremely important role in the maintenance as well as in the distribution and circulation of these orthomyxoviruses in nature. These infections in water birds were not merely caused by a single subtype but occasionally by two or more antigenically different subtypes. This could be conducive to the appearance of recombinants as a result of genetic rearrangement in the cells lining the alimentary tracts of birds. Occasionally, subtypes observed in man were also found to occur in birds, which gave rise to the question of the extent to which birds are the origin or sources of infections of human epidemics caused by these subtypes. This also holds good for the subtypes in pigs. In addition to a number of oecological and ornithological considerations, reference was also made to systematic facts and routes along which further investigations on the presence of influenza viruses in the world of birds could be taken up, particular attention being paid to migratory birds. As birds of passage pass over and find their way into isolated areas as well as human population centres, these birds play a role which is yet unknown both in the distribution and in the overwintering of influenza viruses. Conditions in which wild and domesticated (water) birds, pigs, horses and

  8. Species- and tissue-specific accumulation of Dechlorane Plus in three terrestrial passerine bird species from the Pearl River Delta, South China.

    PubMed

    Sun, Yuxin; Luo, Xiaojun; Wu, Jiangping; Mo, Ling; Chen, Shejun; Zhang, Qiang; Zou, Fasheng; Mai, Bixian

    2012-10-01

    Little data is available on the bioaccumulation of Dechlorane Plus (DP) in terrestrial organisms. Three terrestrial passerine bird species, light-vented bulbul, long-tailed shrike, and oriental magpie-robin, were collected from rural and urban sites in the Pearl River Delta to analyze for the presence of DP and its dechlorinated products in muscle and liver tissues. The relationships between trophic level and concentration and isomeric composition of DP in birds were also investigated based on stable nitrogen isotope analysis. DP levels had a wide range from 3.9 to 930 ng g(-1)lipid weight (lw) in muscle and from 7.0 to 1300 ng g(-1)lw in liver. Anti-Cl(11)-DP and syn-Cl(11)-DP, two dechlorinated products of DP, were also detected in bird samples with concentrations ranged between not detected (nd)-41 and nd-7.6 ng g(-1)lw, respectively. DP preferentially accumulated in liver rather than in muscle for all three bird species. Birds had significantly higher concentrations of DP in urban sites than in rural sites (mean, 300 vs 73 ng g(-1)lw). The fractions of anti-DP (f(anti)) were higher in birds collected in rural sites than in urban sites. Significant positive correlation between DP levels and δ(15)N values but significant negative correlation between f(anti) and δ(15)N values were found for birds in both urban and rural sites, indicating that trophic level of birds play an important role in determining DP level and isomeric profile.

  9. Senescence in cell oxidative status in two bird species with contrasting life expectancy.

    PubMed

    Bize, Pierre; Cotting, Sophie; Devevey, Godefroy; van Rooyen, Juan; Lalubin, Fabrice; Glaizot, Olivier; Christe, Philippe

    2014-04-01

    Oxidative stress occurs when the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) by an organism exceeds its capacity to mitigate the damaging effects of the ROS. Consequently, oxidative stress hypotheses of ageing argue that a decline in fecundity and an increase in the likelihood of death with advancing age reported at the organism level are driven by gradual disruption of the oxidative balance at the cellular level. Here, we measured erythrocyte resistance to oxidative stress in the same individuals over several years in two free-living bird species with contrasting life expectancy, the great tit (known maximum life expectancy is 15.4 years) and the Alpine swift (26 years). In both species, we found evidence for senescence in cell resistance to oxidative stress, with patterns of senescence becoming apparent as subjects get older. In the Alpine swift, there was also evidence for positive selection on cell resistance to oxidative stress, the more resistant subjects being longer lived. The present findings of inter-individual selection and intra-individual deterioration in cell oxidative status at old age in free-living animals support a role for oxidative stress in the ageing of wild animals.

  10. Mobbing calls signal predator category in a kin group-living bird species.

    PubMed

    Griesser, Michael

    2009-08-22

    Many prey species gather together to approach and harass their predators despite the associated risks. While mobbing, prey usually utter calls and previous experiments have demonstrated that mobbing calls can convey information about risk to conspecifics. However, the risk posed by predators also differs between predator categories. The ability to communicate predator category would be adaptive because it would allow other mobbers to adjust their risk taking. I tested this idea in Siberian jays Perisoreus infaustus, a group-living bird species, by exposing jay groups to mounts of three hawk and three owl species of varying risks. Groups immediately approached to mob the mount and uttered up to 14 different call types. Jays gave more calls when mobbing a more dangerous predator and when in the presence of kin. Five call types were predator-category-specific and jays uttered two hawk-specific and three owl-specific call types. Thus, this is one of the first studies to demonstrate that mobbing calls can simultaneously encode information about both predator category and the risk posed by a predator. Since antipredator calls of Siberian jays are known to specifically aim at reducing the risk to relatives, kin-based sociality could be an important factor in facilitating the evolution of predator-category-specific mobbing calls.

  11. Mobbing calls signal predator category in a kin group-living bird species

    PubMed Central

    Griesser, Michael

    2009-01-01

    Many prey species gather together to approach and harass their predators despite the associated risks. While mobbing, prey usually utter calls and previous experiments have demonstrated that mobbing calls can convey information about risk to conspecifics. However, the risk posed by predators also differs between predator categories. The ability to communicate predator category would be adaptive because it would allow other mobbers to adjust their risk taking. I tested this idea in Siberian jays Perisoreus infaustus, a group-living bird species, by exposing jay groups to mounts of three hawk and three owl species of varying risks. Groups immediately approached to mob the mount and uttered up to 14 different call types. Jays gave more calls when mobbing a more dangerous predator and when in the presence of kin. Five call types were predator-category-specific and jays uttered two hawk-specific and three owl-specific call types. Thus, this is one of the first studies to demonstrate that mobbing calls can simultaneously encode information about both predator category and the risk posed by a predator. Since antipredator calls of Siberian jays are known to specifically aim at reducing the risk to relatives, kin-based sociality could be an important factor in facilitating the evolution of predator-category-specific mobbing calls. PMID:19474047

  12. Preferred temperature and thermal breadth of birds wintering in peninsular Spain: the limited effect of temperature on species distribution

    PubMed Central

    Palomino, David

    2016-01-01

    Background. The availability of environmental energy, as measured by temperature, is expected to limit the abundance and distribution of endotherms wintering at temperate latitudes. A prediction of this hypothesis is that birds should attain their highest abundances in warmer areas. However, there may be a spatial mismatch between species preferred habitats and species preferred temperatures, so some species might end-up wintering in sub-optimal thermal environments. Methods. We model the influence of minimum winter temperature on the relative abundance of 106 terrestrial bird species wintering in peninsular Spain, at 10 ×10 km2 resolution, using 95%-quantile regressions. We analyze general trends across species on the shape of the response curves, the environmental preferred temperature (at which the species abundance is maximized), the mean temperature in the area of distribution and the thermal breadth (area under the abundance-temperature curve). Results. Temperature explains a low proportion of variation in abundance. The most significant effect is on limiting the maximum potential abundance of species. Considering this upper-limit response, there is a large interspecific variability on the thermal preferences and specialization of species. Overall, there is a preponderance of positive relationships between species abundance and temperature; on average, species attain their maximum abundances in areas 1.9 °C warmer than the average temperature available in peninsular Spain. The mean temperature in the area of distribution is lower than the thermal preferences of the species. Discussion. Many species prefer the warmest areas to overwinter, which suggests that temperature imposes important restrictions to birds wintering in the Iberian Peninsula. However, one third of species overwinter in locations colder than their thermal preferences, probably reflecting the interaction between habitat and thermal requirements. There is a high inter-specific variation in

  13. Quantitative analysis of forest fragmentation in the atlantic forest reveals more threatened bird species than the current red list.

    PubMed

    Schnell, Jessica K; Harris, Grant M; Pimm, Stuart L; Russell, Gareth J

    2013-01-01

    Habitat loss and attendant fragmentation threaten the existence of many species. Conserving these species requires a straightforward and objective method that quantifies how these factors affect their survival. Therefore, we compared a variety of metrics that assess habitat fragmentation in bird ranges, using the geographical ranges of 127 forest endemic passerine birds inhabiting the Atlantic Forest of Brazil. A common, non-biological metric - cumulative area of size-ranked fragments within a species range - was misleading, as the least threatened species had the most habitat fragmentation. Instead, we recommend a modified version of metapopulation capacity. The metric links detailed spatial information on fragment sizes and spatial configuration to the birds' abilities to occupy and disperse across large areas (100,000+ km(2)). In the Atlantic Forest, metapopulation capacities were largely bimodal, in that most species' ranges had either low capacity (high risk of extinction) or high capacity (very small risk of extinction). This pattern persisted within taxonomically and ecologically homogenous groups, indicating that it is driven by fragmentation patterns and not differences in species ecology. Worryingly, we found IUCN considers some 28 of 58 species in the low metapopulation capacity cluster to not be threatened. We propose that assessing the effect of fragmentation will separate species more clearly into distinct risk categories than does a simple assessment of remaining habitat.

  14. Unveiling the conservation biogeography of a data-deficient endangered bird species under climate change.

    PubMed

    Hu, Junhua; Liu, Yang

    2014-01-01

    It remains a challenge to identify the geographical patterns and underlying environmental associations of species with unique ecological niches and distinct behaviors. This in turn hinders our understanding of the ecology as well as effective conservation management of threatened species. The white-eared night heron (Gorsachius magnificus) is a non-migratory nocturnal bird species that has a patchy distribution in the mountainous forests of East Asia. It is currently categorized as "Endangered" on the IUCN Red List, primarily due to its restricted range and fragmented habitat. To improve our knowledge of the biogeography and conservation of this species, we modeled the geographical pattern of its suitable habitat and evaluated the potential impacts of climate change using ecological niche modeling with a maximum entropy approach implemented in Maxent. Our results indicated that the amount of suitable habitat in all of East Asia was about 130 000 km(2), which can be spatially subdivided into several mountain ranges in southern and southwestern China and northern Vietnam. The extent of suitable habitat range may shrink by more than 35% under a predicted changing climate when assuming the most pessimistic condition of dispersal, while some more suitable habitat would be available if the heron could disperse unrestrainedly. The significant future changes in habitat suitability suggested for Gorsachius magnificus urge caution in any downgrading of Red List status that may be considered. Our results also discern potentially suitable areas for future survey efforts on new populations. Overall, this study demonstrates that ecological niche modeling offers an important tool for evaluating the habitat suitability and potential impacts of climate change on an enigmatic and endangered species based on limited presence data.

  15. Unveiling the Conservation Biogeography of a Data-Deficient Endangered Bird Species under Climate Change

    PubMed Central

    Hu, Junhua; Liu, Yang

    2014-01-01

    It remains a challenge to identify the geographical patterns and underlying environmental associations of species with unique ecological niches and distinct behaviors. This in turn hinders our understanding of the ecology as well as effective conservation management of threatened species. The white-eared night heron (Gorsachius magnificus) is a non-migratory nocturnal bird species that has a patchy distribution in the mountainous forests of East Asia. It is currently categorized as “Endangered” on the IUCN Red List, primarily due to its restricted range and fragmented habitat. To improve our knowledge of the biogeography and conservation of this species, we modeled the geographical pattern of its suitable habitat and evaluated the potential impacts of climate change using ecological niche modeling with a maximum entropy approach implemented in Maxent. Our results indicated that the amount of suitable habitat in all of East Asia was about 130 000 km2, which can be spatially subdivided into several mountain ranges in southern and southwestern China and northern Vietnam. The extent of suitable habitat range may shrink by more than 35% under a predicted changing climate when assuming the most pessimistic condition of dispersal, while some more suitable habitat would be available if the heron could disperse unrestrainedly. The significant future changes in habitat suitability suggested for Gorsachius magnificus urge caution in any downgrading of Red List status that may be considered. Our results also discern potentially suitable areas for future survey efforts on new populations. Overall, this study demonstrates that ecological niche modeling offers an important tool for evaluating the habitat suitability and potential impacts of climate change on an enigmatic and endangered species based on limited presence data. PMID:24404169

  16. Highly pathogenic avian influenza (H7N7): vaccination of zoo birds and transmission to non-poultry species.

    PubMed

    Philippa, Joost D W; Munster, Vincent J; Bolhuis, Hester van; Bestebroer, Theo M; Schaftenaar, Willem; Beyer, Walter E P; Fouchier, Ron A M; Kuiken, Thijs; Osterhaus, Albert D M E

    2005-12-30

    In 2003 an outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza virus (H7N7) struck poultry in The Netherlands. A European Commission directive made vaccination of valuable species in zoo collections possible under strict conditions. We determined pre- and post-vaccination antibody titres in 211 birds by haemagglutination inhibition test as a measure of vaccine efficacy. After booster vaccination, 81.5% of vaccinated birds developed a titre of > or =40, while overall geometric mean titre (GMT) was 190 (95% CI: 144-251). Birds of the orders Anseriformes, Galliformes and Phoenicopteriformes showed higher GMT, and larger percentages developed titres > or =40 than those of the other orders. Antibody response decreased with increasing mean body weight in birds > or =1.5 kg body weight. In the vicinity of the outbreak, H7N7 was detected by RT-PCR in wild species (mallards and mute swans) kept in captivity together with infected poultry, illustrating the potential threat of transmission from poultry into other avian species, and the importance of protecting valuable avian species by means of vaccination.

  17. Species richness and relative abundance of breeding birds in forests of the Mississippi Alluvial Valley

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Nelms, C.O.; Twedt, D.J.; Smith, Winston Paul

    1993-01-01

    In 1992, the Vicksburg Field Research Station of the National Wetlands Research Center initiated research on the ecology of migratory birds within forests of the Mississippi Alluvial Valley (MAV). The MAV was historically a nearly contiguous bottomland hardwood forest, however, only remnants remain. These remnants are fragmented and often influenced by drainage projects, silviculture, agriculture, and urban development. Our objectives are to assess species richness and relative abundance, and to relate these to the size, quality, and composition of forest stands. Species richness and relative abundance were estimated for 53 randomly selected forest sites using 1 to 8 point counts per site, depending on the size of the forest fragment. However, statistical comparisons among sites will be restricted to an equal number ofpoint counts within the sites being compared. Point counts, lasting five minutes, were conducted from 11 May to 29 June 1992, foltowing Ralph, Sauer, and Droege (Point Count Standards; memo dated 9 March 1992). Vegetation was measured at the first three points on each site using a modification of the methods employed by Martin and Roper (Condor 90: 5 1-57; 1988). During 252 counts, 7 1 species were encountered, but only 62 species were encountered within a 50-m radius of point center. The mean number of species encountered within 50 m of a point, was 7.3 (s.d. = 2.7) and the mean number of individuals was 11.2 (s.d. = 4.2). The mean number of species detected at any distance was 9.6 (s.d, = 2.8) and the mean number of individuals was 15.6 (s.d. = 7.9). The most frequently encountered warblers in the MAV were Prothonotary Warbler and Northern Parula. Rarely encountered warblers were American Redstart and Worm-eating Warbler. The genera, Quercus, Ulmus, Carya, and Celtis were each encountered at 80 or more of the 152 points at which vegetation was sampled. Species most frequentlyencountered were: sugarberry (Celtis laevagata), water hickory (Caqa

  18. Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) and hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD) in seven different marine bird species from Iceland.

    PubMed

    Jörundsdóttir, Hrönn; Löfstrand, Karin; Svavarsson, Jörundur; Bignert, Anders; Bergman, Åke

    2013-11-01

    Data on distribution, concentration and trends of polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) and hexabromocyclododecanes (HBCDs) is scarce in biota from the sub-Arctic region of the Atlantic. The present study is an investigation on PBDE and HBCD concentrations in eggs from seven marine bird species from Iceland, i.e. common eider (Somateria mollissima), arctic tern (Sterna paradisaea), guillemot (Uria aalge), fulmar (Fulmarus glacialis), lesser black-backed gull (Larus fuscus), great black-backed gull (Larus marinus) and great skua (Stercorarius skua). Concentrations of sum PBDEs ranged from 44 ng g(-1)fat in eider eggs to 2400 ng g(-1)fat in great skua eggs. The contribution of different PBDE congeners to the sum concentration differed between species. Concentration of HBCDs (sum of α-,β(-) and γ-HBCD) ranged from 1.3 ng g(-1)fat in arctic tern eggs to 41 ng g(-1)fat in great black-backed gull. PCA on PBDE and HBCD shows different trends between the two BFR groups, further indicating different sources/usage. Investigations on any potential health or population effects of environmental pollutants on the great skua are advised since both the PBDE and HBCD concentrations are high.

  19. Correlating Flight Behavior and Radar Measurements for Species Based Classification of Bird Radar Echoes for Wind Energy Site Assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Werth, S. P.; Frasier, S. J.

    2015-12-01

    Wind energy is one of the fastest-growing segments of the world energy market, offering a clean and abundant source of electricity. However, wind energy facilities can have detrimental effects on wildlife, especially birds and bats. Monitoring systems based on marine navigation radar are often used to quantify migration near potential wind sites, but the ability to reliably distinguish between bats and different varieties of birds has not been practically achieved. This classification capability would enable wind site selection that protects more vulnerable species, such as bats and raptors. Flight behavior, such as wing beat frequency, changes in speed, or changes in orientation, are known to vary by species [1]. The ability to extract these properties from radar data could ultimately enable a species based classification scheme. In this work, we analyze the relationship between radar measurements and bird flight behavior in echoes from avifauna. During the 2014 fall migration season, the UMass dual polarized weather radar was used to collect low elevation observations of migrating birds as they traversed through a fixed antenna beam. The radar was run during the night time, in clear-air conditions. Data was coherently integrated, and detections of biological targets exceeding an SNR threshold were extracted. Detections without some dominant frequency content (i.e. clear periodicity, potentially the wing beat frequency) were removed from the sample in order to isolate observations suspected to contain a single species or bird. For the remaining detections, measurements including the polarimetric products and the Doppler spectrum were extracted at each time step over the duration of the observation. The periodic and time changing nature of some of these different measurements was found to have a strong correlation with flight behavior (i.e. flapping vs. gliding behavior). Assumptions about flight behavior and orientation were corroborated through scattering

  20. Which forest bird species are the main hosts of the tick, Ixodes ricinus, the vector of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato, during the breeding season?

    PubMed

    Marsot, M; Henry, P-Y; Vourc'h, G; Gasqui, P; Ferquel, E; Laignel, J; Grysan, M; Chapuis, J-L

    2012-07-01

    Wild birds are important hosts for vector-borne pathogens, especially those borne by ticks. However, few studies have been conducted on the role of different bird species within a community as hosts of vector-borne pathogens. This study addressed individual and species factors that could explain the burden of Ixodes ricinus on forest birds during the reproductive periods of both vectors and hosts. The goal was to identify which bird species contribute the most to the tick population at the community level. Birds were mist-netted on four plots in 2008 and on seven plots in 2009 in two forests (Sénart and Notre Dame, near Paris, France). The dependence of the tick load per bird upon environmental conditions (questing nymph density, year and plot) and on host species traits (species, age, sex, body size, vertical space use, level of innate and acquired immunity) was analysed. Finally, the relative contribution of each bird species to the local dynamics of ticks was estimated, while accounting for their respective abundance. Tick burden differed markedly between bird species and varied according to questing nymph density. Bird species with a high body mass, those that forage low in the vegetation, and those that had a high innate immune response and a high spleen mass were more likely to have a high tick burden. Four species (the Common Blackbird, Turdus merula, the European Robin, Erithacus rubecula, the Song Thrush, Turdus philomelos, and the Winter Wren, Troglodytes troglodytes) hosted more than 90% of the ticks in the local bird community. These species, and particularly T. merula which was host to a high proportion of the nymphs, are likely to contribute significantly to the circulation of pathogens for which they are competent, such as the agent of Lyme borreliosis.

  1. Plants, birds and butterflies: short-term responses of species communities to climate warming vary by taxon and with altitude.

    PubMed

    Roth, Tobias; Plattner, Matthias; Amrhein, Valentin

    2014-01-01

    As a consequence of climate warming, species usually shift their distribution towards higher latitudes or altitudes. Yet, it is unclear how different taxonomic groups may respond to climate warming over larger altitudinal ranges. Here, we used data from the national biodiversity monitoring program of Switzerland, collected over an altitudinal range of 2500 m. Within the short period of eight years (2003-2010), we found significant shifts in communities of vascular plants, butterflies and birds. At low altitudes, communities of all species groups changed towards warm-dwelling species, corresponding to an average uphill shift of 8 m, 38 m and 42 m in plant, butterfly and bird communities, respectively. However, rates of community changes decreased with altitude in plants and butterflies, while bird communities changed towards warm-dwelling species at all altitudes. We found no decrease in community variation with respect to temperature niches of species, suggesting that climate warming has not led to more homogenous communities. The different community changes depending on altitude could not be explained by different changes of air temperatures, since during the 16 years between 1995 and 2010, summer temperatures in Switzerland rose by about 0.07°C per year at all altitudes. We discuss that land-use changes or increased disturbances may have prevented alpine plant and butterfly communities from changing towards warm-dwelling species. However, the findings are also consistent with the hypothesis that unlike birds, many alpine plant species in a warming climate could find suitable habitats within just a few metres, due to the highly varied surface of alpine landscapes. Our results may thus support the idea that for plants and butterflies and on a short temporal scale, alpine landscapes are safer places than lowlands in a warming world.

  2. Plants, Birds and Butterflies: Short-Term Responses of Species Communities to Climate Warming Vary by Taxon and with Altitude

    PubMed Central

    Roth, Tobias; Plattner, Matthias; Amrhein, Valentin

    2014-01-01

    As a consequence of climate warming, species usually shift their distribution towards higher latitudes or altitudes. Yet, it is unclear how different taxonomic groups may respond to climate warming over larger altitudinal ranges. Here, we used data from the national biodiversity monitoring program of Switzerland, collected over an altitudinal range of 2500 m. Within the short period of eight years (2003–2010), we found significant shifts in communities of vascular plants, butterflies and birds. At low altitudes, communities of all species groups changed towards warm-dwelling species, corresponding to an average uphill shift of 8 m, 38 m and 42 m in plant, butterfly and bird communities, respectively. However, rates of community changes decreased with altitude in plants and butterflies, while bird communities changed towards warm-dwelling species at all altitudes. We found no decrease in community variation with respect to temperature niches of species, suggesting that climate warming has not led to more homogenous communities. The different community changes depending on altitude could not be explained by different changes of air temperatures, since during the 16 years between 1995 and 2010, summer temperatures in Switzerland rose by about 0.07°C per year at all altitudes. We discuss that land-use changes or increased disturbances may have prevented alpine plant and butterfly communities from changing towards warm-dwelling species. However, the findings are also consistent with the hypothesis that unlike birds, many alpine plant species in a warming climate could find suitable habitats within just a few metres, due to the highly varied surface of alpine landscapes. Our results may thus support the idea that for plants and butterflies and on a short temporal scale, alpine landscapes are safer places than lowlands in a warming world. PMID:24416144

  3. A Niche-Based Framework to Assess Current Monitoring of European Forest Birds and Guide Indicator Species' Selection

    PubMed Central

    Wade, Amy S. I.; Barov, Boris; Burfield, Ian J.; Gregory, Richard D.; Norris, Ken; Vorisek, Petr; Wu, Taoyang; Butler, Simon J.

    2014-01-01

    Concern that European forest biodiversity is depleted and declining has provoked widespread efforts to improve management practices. To gauge the success of these actions, appropriate monitoring of forest ecosystems is paramount. Multi-species indicators are frequently used to assess the state of biodiversity and its response to implemented management, but generally applicable and objective methodologies for species' selection are lacking. Here we use a niche-based approach, underpinned by coarse quantification of species' resource use, to objectively select species for inclusion in a pan-European forest bird indicator. We identify both the minimum number of species required to deliver full resource coverage and the most sensitive species' combination, and explore the trade-off between two key characteristics, sensitivity and redundancy, associated with indicators comprising different numbers of species. We compare our indicator to an existing forest bird indicator selected on the basis of expert opinion and show it is more representative of the wider community. We also present alternative indicators for regional and forest type specific monitoring and show that species' choice can have a significant impact on the indicator and consequent projections about the state of the biodiversity it represents. Furthermore, by comparing indicator sets drawn from currently monitored species and the full forest bird community, we identify gaps in the coverage of the current monitoring scheme. We believe that adopting this niche-based framework for species' selection supports the objective development of multi-species indicators and that it has good potential to be extended to a range of habitats and taxa. PMID:24819734

  4. Retinal Ganglion Cell Topography of Five Species of Ground-Foraging Birds

    PubMed Central

    Dolan, Tracy; Fernández-Juricic, Esteban

    2010-01-01

    Birds that forage on the ground have been studied extensively in relation to behavioral trade-offs between foraging and scanning for predators; however, we know little about the topography of their retinas, which can influence how they gather visual information. We characterized the density of retinal ganglion cells across the retina and estimated visual acuity of four Passeriformes (European starling Sturnus vulgaris, brown-headed cowbird Molothrus ater, house sparrow Passer domesticus, house finch Carpodacus mexicanus) and one Columbiforme (mourning dove Zenaida macroura) that forage on the ground. We used cresyl violet to stain retinal ganglion cells and estimated visual acuity based on cell density and eye size. All species contained a single area centralis, where cell densities were >20,000 cells/mm2. The proportion of the retina that fell in each of five cell density ranges varied between species. European starlings and house finches had the largest area of high cell density, mourning doves had the smallest. The largest proportion of the retina (>35%) of brown-headed cowbird and house sparrow was in the second-lowest cell density range. Considering the 25th percentile of highest cell densities, house finches and European starlings showed the highest cell densities and mourning doves the lowest. Estimated visual acuity increased from house finch, house sparrow, brown-headed cowbird, European starling to mourning dove, and was associated with both retinal area and cell density. Our findings suggest that these ground foragers do not have highly specialized retinas in relation to other types of foragers (e.g. tree foragers), probably because foraging on seeds and insects from the ground is not as visually demanding; however, the studied species showed variability in retinal topography that may be related to foraging techniques, eye size constraints, and size of the area centralis. PMID:20516656

  5. Molecular Identification of Birds: Performance of Distance-Based DNA Barcoding in Three Genes to Delimit Parapatric Species

    PubMed Central

    Aliabadian, Mansour; Kaboli, Mohammad; Nijman, Vincent; Vences, Miguel

    2009-01-01

    Background DNA barcoding based on the mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase subunit I gene (cox1 or COI) has been successful in species identification across a wide array of taxa but in some cases failed to delimit the species boundaries of closely allied allopatric species or of hybridising sister species. Methodology/Principal Findings In this study we extend the sample size of prior studies in birds for cox1 (2776 sequences, 756 species) and target especially species that are known to occur parapatrically, and/or are known to hybridise, on a Holarctic scale. In order to obtain a larger set of taxa (altogether 2719 species), we include also DNA sequences of two other mitochondrial genes: cytochrome b (cob) (4614 sequences, 2087 species) and 16S (708 sequences, 498 species). Our results confirm the existence of a wide gap between intra- and interspecies divergences for both cox1 and cob, and indicate that distance-based DNA barcoding provides sufficient information to identify and delineate bird species in 98% of all possible pairwise comparisons. This DNA barcoding gap was not statistically influenced by the number of individuals sequenced per species. However, most of the hybridising parapatric species pairs have average divergences intermediate between intraspecific and interspecific distances for both cox1 and cob. Conclusions/Significance DNA barcoding, if used as a tool for species discovery, would thus fail to identify hybridising parapatric species pairs. However, most of them can probably still assigned to known species by character-based approaches, although development of complementary nuclear markers will be necessary to account for mitochondrial introgression in hybridising species. PMID:19127298

  6. Chewing lice (Phthiraptera) from wild birds in Senegal, with descriptions of three new species of the genera Brueelia and Philopteroides.

    PubMed

    Najer, Tomáš; Sychra, Oldřich; Literák, Ivan; Procházka, Petr; Capek, Miroslav; Koubek, Petr

    2012-03-01

    A total of 170 wild birds from Senegal, belonging to 48 species and 9 orders, were searched for lice in 2005 and 2007. Chewing lice were found on 58 birds of 18 species and 5 orders (Columbiformes, Cuculiformes, Coraciiformes, Galliformes and Passeriformes). Twenty-two species of chewing lice of 13 genera were determined. Other nine samples of chewing lice that represent a new host-parasite association were determined at generic level only, because only one sex or nymph of these lice were found. Our records represent the first louse records from passerines Camaroptera brachyura (Cisticolidae), Chalcomitra senegalensis (Nectariniidae), Corvinella corvina (Laniidae), Laniarius barbarus (Malaconotidae), Prinia erythroptera (Cisticolidae) and Turdus pelios (Turdidae). Descriptions and illustrations are given for Brueelia chalcomitrae Najer et Sychra sp. nov. ex Chalcomitra senegalensis (Nectariniidae), Brueelia priniae Najer et Sychra sp. nov. ex Prinia subflava (Cisticolidae), and Philopteroides terpsiphoni Najer et Sychra sp. nov. ex Terpsiphone viridis (Monarchidae).

  7. Identifying the world's most climate change vulnerable species: a systematic trait-based assessment of all birds, amphibians and corals.

    PubMed

    Foden, Wendy B; Butchart, Stuart H M; Stuart, Simon N; Vié, Jean-Christophe; Akçakaya, H Resit; Angulo, Ariadne; DeVantier, Lyndon M; Gutsche, Alexander; Turak, Emre; Cao, Long; Donner, Simon D; Katariya, Vineet; Bernard, Rodolphe; Holland, Robert A; Hughes, Adrian F; O'Hanlon, Susannah E; Garnett, Stephen T; Sekercioğlu, Cagan H; Mace, Georgina M

    2013-01-01

    Climate change will have far-reaching impacts on biodiversity, including increasing extinction rates. Current approaches to quantifying such impacts focus on measuring exposure to climatic change and largely ignore the biological differences between species that may significantly increase or reduce their vulnerability. To address this, we present a framework for assessing three dimensions of climate change vulnerability, namely sensitivity, exposure and adaptive capacity; this draws on species' biological traits and their modeled exposure to projected climatic changes. In the largest such assessment to date, we applied this approach to each of the world's birds, amphibians and corals (16,857 species). The resulting assessments identify the species with greatest relative vulnerability to climate change and the geographic areas in which they are concentrated, including the Amazon basin for amphibians and birds, and the central Indo-west Pacific (Coral Triangle) for corals. We found that high concentration areas for species with traits conferring highest sensitivity and lowest adaptive capacity differ from those of highly exposed species, and we identify areas where exposure-based assessments alone may over or under-estimate climate change impacts. We found that 608-851 bird (6-9%), 670-933 amphibian (11-15%), and 47-73 coral species (6-9%) are both highly climate change vulnerable and already threatened with extinction on the IUCN Red List. The remaining highly climate change vulnerable species represent new priorities for conservation. Fewer species are highly climate change vulnerable under lower IPCC SRES emissions scenarios, indicating that reducing greenhouse emissions will reduce climate change driven extinctions. Our study answers the growing call for a more biologically and ecologically inclusive approach to assessing climate change vulnerability. By facilitating independent assessment of the three dimensions of climate change vulnerability, our approach can

  8. Contrasting Patterns of Species Richness and Functional Diversity in Bird Communities of East African Cloud Forest Fragments.

    PubMed

    Ulrich, Werner; Lens, Luc; Tobias, Joseph A; Habel, Jan C

    2016-01-01

    Rapid fragmentation and degradation of large undisturbed habitats constitute major threats to biodiversity. Several studies have shown that populations in small and highly isolated habitat patches are prone to strong environmental and demographic stochasticity and increased risk of extinction. Based on community assembly theory, we predict recent rapid forest fragmentation to cause a decline in species and functional guild richness of forest birds combined with a high species turnover among habitat patches, and well defined dominance structures, if competition is the major driver of community assembly. To test these predictions, we analysed species co-occurrence, nestedness, and competitive strength to infer effects of interspecific competition, habitat structure, and species' traits on the assembly of bird species communities from 12 cloud forest fragments in southern Kenya. Our results do not point to a single ecological driver of variation in species composition. Interspecific competition does not appear to be a major driver of species segregation in small forest patches, while its relative importance appears to be higher in larger ones, which may be indicative for a generic shift from competition-dominated to colonisation-driven community structure with decreasing fragment size. Functional trait diversity was independent of fragment size after controlling for species richness. As fragmentation effects vary among feeding guilds and habitat generalists, in particular, tend to decline in low quality forest patches, we plead for taking species ecology fully into account when predicting tropical community responses to habitat change.

  9. Referential calls signal predator behavior in a group-living bird species.

    PubMed

    Griesser, Michael

    2008-01-08

    Predation is a powerful agent of natural selection, driving the evolution of antipredator calls [1]. These calls have been shown to communicate predator category [2-4] and/or predator distance to conspecifics [5-7]. However, the risk posed by predators depends also on predator behavior [8], and the ability of prey to communicate predator behavior to conspecifics would be a selective advantage reducing their predation risk. I tested this idea in Siberian jays (Perisoreus infaustus), a group-living bird species. Predation by hawks, and to a lesser extent by owls, is substantial and the sole cause of mortality in adult jays [9]. By using field data and predator-exposure experiments, I show here that jays used antipredator calls for hawks depending on predator behavior. A playback experiment demonstrated that these prey-to-prey calls were specific to hawk behavior (perch, prey search, attack) and elicited distinct, situation-specific escape responses. This is the first study to demonstrate that prey signals convey information about predator behavior to conspecifics. Given that antipredator calls in jays aim at protecting kin group members [10, 11], consequently lowering their mortality [9], kin-selected benefits could be an important factor for the evolution of predator-behavior-specific antipredator calls in such systems.

  10. The Relationships between Morphological Characteristics and Foraging Behavior in Four Selected Species of Shorebirds and Water Birds Utilizing Tropical Mudflats

    PubMed Central

    Norazlimi, Nor Atiqah; Ramli, Rosli

    2015-01-01

    A study was conducted to investigate the relationship between the physical morphology of shorebirds and water birds (i.e., Lesser adjutant (Leptoptilos javanicus), Common redshank (Tringa totanus), Whimbrel (Numenius phaeopus), and Little heron (Butorides striata)) and their foraging behavior in the mudflats area of Selangor, Peninsular Malaysia, from August 2013 to July 2014 by using direct observation techniques (using binoculars and a video recorder). The actively foraging bird species were watched, and their foraging activities were recorded for at least 30 seconds for up to a maximum of five minutes. A Spearman Rank Correlation highlighted a significant relationship between bill size and foraging time (R = 0.443, p < 0.05), bill size and prey size (R = −0.052, p < 0.05), bill size and probing depth (R = 0.42, p = 0.003), and leg length and water/mud depth (R = 0.706, p < 0.005). A Kruskal-Wallis Analysis showed a significant difference between average estimates of real probing depth of the birds (mm) and species (H = 15.96, p = 0.0012). Three foraging techniques were recorded: pause-travel, visual-feeding, and tactile-hunting. Thus, morphological characteristics of bird do influence their foraging behavior and strategies used when foraging. PMID:26345324

  11. Identifying the World's Most Climate Change Vulnerable Species: A Systematic Trait-Based Assessment of all Birds, Amphibians and Corals

    PubMed Central

    Foden, Wendy B.; Butchart, Stuart H. M.; Stuart, Simon N.; Vié, Jean-Christophe; Akçakaya, H. Resit; Angulo, Ariadne; DeVantier, Lyndon M.; Gutsche, Alexander; Turak, Emre; Cao, Long; Donner, Simon D.; Katariya, Vineet; Bernard, Rodolphe; Holland, Robert A.; Hughes, Adrian F.; O’Hanlon, Susannah E.; Garnett, Stephen T.; Şekercioğlu, Çagan H.; Mace, Georgina M.

    2013-01-01

    Climate change will have far-reaching impacts on biodiversity, including increasing extinction rates. Current approaches to quantifying such impacts focus on measuring exposure to climatic change and largely ignore the biological differences between species that may significantly increase or reduce their vulnerability. To address this, we present a framework for assessing three dimensions of climate change vulnerability, namely sensitivity, exposure and adaptive capacity; this draws on species’ biological traits and their modeled exposure to projected climatic changes. In the largest such assessment to date, we applied this approach to each of the world’s birds, amphibians and corals (16,857 species). The resulting assessments identify the species with greatest relative vulnerability to climate change and the geographic areas in which they are concentrated, including the Amazon basin for amphibians and birds, and the central Indo-west Pacific (Coral Triangle) for corals. We found that high concentration areas for species with traits conferring highest sensitivity and lowest adaptive capacity differ from those of highly exposed species, and we identify areas where exposure-based assessments alone may over or under-estimate climate change impacts. We found that 608–851 bird (6–9%), 670–933 amphibian (11–15%), and 47–73 coral species (6–9%) are both highly climate change vulnerable and already threatened with extinction on the IUCN Red List. The remaining highly climate change vulnerable species represent new priorities for conservation. Fewer species are highly climate change vulnerable under lower IPCC SRES emissions scenarios, indicating that reducing greenhouse emissions will reduce climate change driven extinctions. Our study answers the growing call for a more biologically and ecologically inclusive approach to assessing climate change vulnerability. By facilitating independent assessment of the three dimensions of climate change vulnerability

  12. High Prevalence of West Nile Virus in Domestic Birds and Detection in 2 New Mosquito Species in Madagascar.

    PubMed

    Maquart, Marianne; Boyer, Sébastien; Rakotoharinome, Vincent Michel; Ravaomanana, Julie; Tantely, Michael Luciano; Heraud, Jean-Michel; Cardinale, Eric

    2016-01-01

    West Nile virus is an arthropod-borne zoonosis transmitted by a large number of mosquito species, and birds play a key role as reservoir of the virus. Its distribution is largely widespread over Africa, Asia, the Americas and Europe. Since 1978, it has frequently been reported in Madagascar. Studies described a high seroprevalence level of the virus in humans in different areas of the island and a human fatal case of WNV infection was reported in 2011. Despite these reports, the epidemiology of WNV in Madagascar, in particular, viral circulation remains unclear. To explore the transmission of WNV in two rural human populations of Madagascar, we investigated local mosquitoes and poultry for evidence of current infections, and determined seroprevalence of candidate sentinel species among the local poultry. These 2 areas are close to lakes where domestic birds, migratory wild birds and humans coexist. Serological analysis revealed WNV antibodies in domestic birds (duck, chicken, goose, turkey and guinea fowl) sampled in both districts (Antsalova 29.4% and Mitsinjo 16.7%). West Nile virus nucleic acid was detected in one chicken and in 8 pools of mosquitoes including 2 mosquito species (Aedeomyia madagascarica and Anopheles pauliani) that have not been previously described as candidate vectors for WNV. Molecular analysis of WNV isolates showed that all viruses detected were part of the lineage 2 that is mainly distributed in Africa, and were most closely matched by the previous Malagasy strains isolated in 1988. Our study showed that WNV circulates in Madagascar amongst domestic birds and mosquitoes, and highlights the utility of poultry as a surveillance tool to detect WNV transmission in a peri-domestic setting.

  13. Annotated catalogue of the Tachinidae (Insecta, Diptera) of the Afrotropical Region, with the description of seven new genera

    PubMed Central

    O’Hara, James E.; Cerretti, Pierfilippo

    2016-01-01

    Abstract The Tachinidae of the Afrotropical Region are catalogued and seven genera and eight species are newly described. There are 237 genera and 1126 species recognized, of which 101 genera and 1043 species are endemic to the region. The catalogue is based on examination of the primary literature comprising about 525 references as well as numerous name-bearing types and other specimens housed in collections. Taxa are arranged hierarchically and alphabetically under the categories of subfamily, tribe, genus, subgenus (where recognized), species, and rarely subspecies. Nomenclatural information is provided for all genus-group and species-group names, including lists of synonyms (mostly restricted to Afrotropical taxa) and name-bearing type data. Species distributions are recorded by country within the Afrotropical Region and by larger geographical divisions outside the region. Additional information is given in the form of notes, numbering about 300 in the catalogue section. Seven genera and eight species are described as new: Afrophylax Cerretti & O’Hara with type species Sturmia aureiventris Villeneuve, 1910, gen. n. (Exoristinae, Eryciini); Austrosolieria Cerretti & O’Hara with type species Austrosolieria londti Cerretti & O’Hara, gen. n. and sp. n. (South Africa) and Austrosolieria freidbergi Cerretti & O’Hara, sp. n. (Malawi) (Tachininae, Leskiini); Carceliathrix Cerretti & O’Hara with type species Phorocera crassipalpis Villeneuve, 1938, gen. n. (Exoristinae, Eryciini); Filistea Cerretti & O’Hara with type species Viviania aureofasciata Curran, 1927, gen. n. and Filistea verbekei Cerretti & O’Hara, sp. n. (Cameroon, D.R. Congo, Uganda) (Exoristinae, Blondeliini); Mesnilotrix Cerretti & O’Hara with type species Dexiotrix empiformis Mesnil, 1976, gen. n. (Dexiinae, Dexiini); Myxophryxe Cerretti & O’Hara with type species Phorocera longirostris Villeneuve, 1938, gen. n., Myxophryxe murina Cerretti & O’Hara, sp. n. (South Africa), Myxophryxe

  14. Corticosterone responses in birds: individual variation and repeatability in Adelie penguins (Pygoscelisadeliae) and other species, and the use of power analysis to determine sample sizes.

    PubMed

    Cockrem, John F; Barrett, D Paul; Candy, E Jane; Potter, Murray A

    2009-09-01

    Plasma corticosterone concentrations increase when birds experience a stressor, and in this study we quantified variation in corticosterone responses for the first time in a species of free-living bird. Adelie penguins (Pygoscelisadeliae) nesting at Cape Bird on Ross Island in Antarctica were sampled on three occasions. Penguins with relatively low or high corticosterone responses on the first occasion had consistently low or high responses, as previously found for great tits and chickens. A model for birds is proposed in which birds with low corticosterone responses and proactive personalities are likely to be more successful (have greater fitness) in constant or predictable conditions, whilst birds with reactive personalities and high corticosterone responses will be more successful in changing or unpredictable conditions. There is thus no linear relationship between the size of a corticosterone response and fitness. Whilst the absolute magnitude of corticosterone responses varies markedly across species of birds, coefficients of variation are similar. Individual corticosterone responses are generally repeatable, with significant statistical repeatabilities for 30 min corticosterone concentrations and integrated corticosterone concentrations in the Adelie penguin, great tit and chicken. Coefficients of variation in corticosterone responses between birds and power analyses were used to provide a rule of thumb for determining differences between groups of birds in mean corticosterone concentrations to enable statistical analyses to have acceptable levels of statistical power for given sample sizes. It is suggested that power analyses and this rule of thumb be adopted in future investigations of corticosterone responses in birds.

  15. Population Trends of Central European Montane Birds Provide Evidence for Adverse Impacts of Climate Change on High-Altitude Species.

    PubMed

    Flousek, Jiří; Telenský, Tomáš; Hanzelka, Jan; Reif, Jiří

    2015-01-01

    Climate change is among the most important global threats to biodiversity and mountain areas are supposed to be under especially high pressure. Although recent modelling studies suggest considerable future range contractions of montane species accompanied with increased extinction risk, data allowing to test actual population consequences of the observed climate changes and identifying traits associated to their adverse impacts are very scarce. To fill this knowledge gap, we estimated long-term population trends of montane birds from 1984 to 2011 in a central European mountain range, the Giant Mountains (Krkonoše), where significant warming occurred over this period. We then related the population trends to several species' traits related to the climate change effects. We found that the species breeding in various habitats at higher altitudes had more negative trends than species breeding at lower altitudes. We also found that the species moved upwards as a response to warming climate, and these altitudinal range shifts were associated with more positive population trends at lower altitudes than at higher altitudes. Moreover, long-distance migrants declined more than residents or species migrating for shorter distances. Taken together, these results indicate that the climate change, besides other possible environmental changes, already influences populations of montane birds with particularly adverse impacts on high-altitude species such as water pipit (Anthus spinoletta). It is evident that the alpine species, predicted to undergo serious climatically induced range contractions due to warming climate in the future, already started moving along this trajectory.

  16. Contrasting Patterns of Species Richness and Functional Diversity in Bird Communities of East African Cloud Forest Fragments

    PubMed Central

    Ulrich, Werner; Lens, Luc; Tobias, Joseph A.; Habel, Jan C.

    2016-01-01

    Rapid fragmentation and degradation of large undisturbed habitats constitute major threats to biodiversity. Several studies have shown that populations in small and highly isolated habitat patches are prone to strong environmental and demographic stochasticity and increased risk of extinction. Based on community assembly theory, we predict recent rapid forest fragmentation to cause a decline in species and functional guild richness of forest birds combined with a high species turnover among habitat patches, and well defined dominance structures, if competition is the major driver of community assembly. To test these predictions, we analysed species co-occurrence, nestedness, and competitive strength to infer effects of interspecific competition, habitat structure, and species′ traits on the assembly of bird species communities from 12 cloud forest fragments in southern Kenya. Our results do not point to a single ecological driver of variation in species composition. Interspecific competition does not appear to be a major driver of species segregation in small forest patches, while its relative importance appears to be higher in larger ones, which may be indicative for a generic shift from competition-dominated to colonisation-driven community structure with decreasing fragment size. Functional trait diversity was independent of fragment size after controlling for species richness. As fragmentation effects vary among feeding guilds and habitat generalists, in particular, tend to decline in low quality forest patches, we plead for taking species ecology fully into account when predicting tropical community responses to habitat change. PMID:27855174

  17. Ecological Consequences of Island Colonization by Southwest Pacific Birds, II. The Effect of Species Diversity on Total Population Density

    PubMed Central

    Diamond, Jared M.

    1970-01-01

    Among southwest Pacific birds colonizing a species-poor island from a species-rich island, spatial expansion of the niche to include a wider range of altitudes, habitats, or vertical strata is often an immediate response, while changes in foraging techniques and diet usually occur more slowly and require genotypic change. Despite occupation of spatially broader niches by some colonizing species and increases in abundance by others, the total population density of the whole avifauna is up to nine times lower on a species-poor island than in a comparable habitat on a species-rich island. Total population density varies among islands approximately linearly with the number of species in the lowlands, supralinearly at higher elevations. Part of the explanation is that many birds on small islands expand into niche space which is suboptimal for them and from which they would be excluded by species utilizing this niche space optimally on a species-rich island. The other suggested explanation is an intrinsic inefficiency or loss of fitness among populations on small Pacific islands compared to large-island populations, due to impoverished gene pools, reduced selection pressure, and low degree of endemism. PMID:5275372

  18. Population Trends of Central European Montane Birds Provide Evidence for Adverse Impacts of Climate Change on High-Altitude Species

    PubMed Central

    Flousek, Jiří; Telenský, Tomáš; Hanzelka, Jan; Reif, Jiří

    2015-01-01

    Climate change is among the most important global threats to biodiversity and mountain areas are supposed to be under especially high pressure. Although recent modelling studies suggest considerable future range contractions of montane species accompanied with increased extinction risk, data allowing to test actual population consequences of the observed climate changes and identifying traits associated to their adverse impacts are very scarce. To fill this knowledge gap, we estimated long-term population trends of montane birds from 1984 to 2011 in a central European mountain range, the Giant Mountains (Krkonoše), where significant warming occurred over this period. We then related the population trends to several species' traits related to the climate change effects. We found that the species breeding in various habitats at higher altitudes had more negative trends than species breeding at lower altitudes. We also found that the species moved upwards as a response to warming climate, and these altitudinal range shifts were associated with more positive population trends at lower altitudes than at higher altitudes. Moreover, long-distance migrants declined more than residents or species migrating for shorter distances. Taken together, these results indicate that the climate change, besides other possible environmental changes, already influences populations of montane birds with particularly adverse impacts on high-altitude species such as water pipit (Anthus spinoletta). It is evident that the alpine species, predicted to undergo serious climatically induced range contractions due to warming climate in the future, already started moving along this trajectory. PMID:26426901

  19. Feather barbs as a good source of mtDNA for bird species identification in forensic wildlife investigations

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background The ability to accurately identify bird species is crucial for wildlife law enforcement and bird-strike investigations. However, such identifications may be challenging when only partial or damaged feathers are available for analysis. Results By applying vigorous contamination controls and sensitive PCR amplification protocols, we found that it was feasible to obtain accurate mitochondrial (mt)DNA-based species identification with as few as two feather barbs. This minimally destructive DNA approach was successfully used and tested on a variety of bird species, including North American wild turkey (Meleagris gallopavo), Canada goose (Branta canadensis), blue heron (Ardea herodias) and pygmy owl (Glaucidium californicum). The mtDNA was successfully obtained from 'fresh' feathers, historic museum specimens and archaeological samples, demonstrating the sensitivity and versatility of this technique. Conclusions By applying appropriate contamination controls, sufficient quantities of mtDNA can be reliably recovered and analyzed from feather barbs. This previously overlooked substrate provides new opportunities for accurate DNA species identification when minimal feather samples are available for forensic analysis. PMID:21794178

  20. A critical look at national monitoring programs for birds and other wildlife species

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sauer, J.R.; O'Shea, T.J.; Bogon, M.A.

    2003-01-01

    Concerns?about declines in numerous taxa have created agreat deal of interest in survey development. Because birds have traditionally been monitored by a variety of methods, bird surveys form natural models for development of surveys for other taxa. Here I suggest that most bird surveys are not appropriate models for survey design. Most lack important design components associated with estimation of population parameters at sample sites or with sampling over space, leading to estimates that may be biased, I discuss the limitations of national bird monitoring programs designed to monitor population size. Although these surveys are often analyzed, careful consideration must be given to factors that may bias estimates but that cannot be evaluated within the survey. Bird surveys with appropriate designs have generally been developed as part of management programs that have specific information needs. Experiences gained from bird surveys provide important information for development of surveys for other taxa, and statistical developments in estimation of population sizes from counts provide new approaches to overcoming the limitations evident in many bird surveys. Design of surveys is a collaborative effort, requiring input from biologists, statisticians, and the managers who will use the information from the surveys.

  1. Immunoglobulin detection in wild birds: Effectiveness of three secondary anti-avian IgY antibodies in direct ELISAs in 41 avian species

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Fassbinder-Orth, Carol A.; Wilcoxen, Travis E.; Tran, Tiffany; Boughton, Raoul K.; Fair, Jeanne M.; Hofmeister, Erik K.; Grindstaff, Jennifer L.; Owen, Jen C.

    2016-01-01

    4.This study indicates that the anti-passerine IgY secondary antibody can effectively be used in immunological assays to detect passerine IgY for species in most passerine families and is preferred over anti-chicken and anti-bird secondary antibodies for the majority of passerine species. This anti-passerine antibody will allow for more accurate detection and quantification of IgY in more wild bird species than was possible with previously available secondary antibodies.

  2. Species interactions in an Andean bird-flowering plant network: phenology is more important than abundance or morphology.

    PubMed

    Gonzalez, Oscar; Loiselle, Bette A

    2016-01-01

    Biological constraints and neutral processes have been proposed to explain the properties of plant-pollinator networks. Using interactions between nectarivorous birds (hummingbirds and flowerpiercers) and flowering plants in high elevation forests (i.e., "elfin" forests) of the Andes, we explore the importance of biological constraints and neutral processes (random interactions) to explain the observed species interactions and network metrics, such as connectance, specialization, nestedness and asymmetry. In cold environments of elfin forests, which are located at the top of the tropical montane forest zone, many plants are adapted for pollination by birds, making this an ideal system to study plant-pollinator networks. To build the network of interactions between birds and plants, we used direct field observations. We measured abundance of birds using mist-nets and flower abundance using transects, and phenology by scoring presence of birds and flowers over time. We compared the length of birds' bills to flower length to identify "forbidden interactions"-those interactions that could not result in legitimate floral visits based on mis-match in morphology. Diglossa flowerpiercers, which are characterized as "illegitimate" flower visitors, were relatively abundant. We found that the elfin forest network was nested with phenology being the factor that best explained interaction frequencies and nestedness, providing support for biological constraints hypothesis. We did not find morphological constraints to be important in explaining observed interaction frequencies and network metrics. Other network metrics (connectance, evenness and asymmetry), however, were better predicted by abundance (neutral process) models. Flowerpiercers, which cut holes and access flowers at their base and, consequently, facilitate nectar access for other hummingbirds, explain why morphological mis-matches were relatively unimportant in this system. Future work should focus on how changes in

  3. Quantitative Analysis of Forest Fragmentation in the Atlantic Forest Reveals More Threatened Bird Species than the Current Red List

    PubMed Central

    Schnell, Jessica K.; Harris, Grant M.; Pimm, Stuart L.; Russell, Gareth J.

    2013-01-01

    Habitat loss and attendant fragmentation threaten the existence of many species. Conserving these species requires a straightforward and objective method that quantifies how these factors affect their survival. Therefore, we compared a variety of metrics that assess habitat fragmentation in bird ranges, using the geographical ranges of 127 forest endemic passerine birds inhabiting the Atlantic Forest of Brazil. A common, non-biological metric — cumulative area of size-ranked fragments within a species range — was misleading, as the least threatened species had the most habitat fragmentation. Instead, we recommend a modified version of metapopulation capacity. The metric links detailed spatial information on fragment sizes and spatial configuration to the birds’ abilities to occupy and disperse across large areas (100,000+ km2). In the Atlantic Forest, metapopulation capacities were largely bimodal, in that most species’ ranges had either low capacity (high risk of extinction) or high capacity (very small risk of extinction). This pattern persisted within taxonomically and ecologically homogenous groups, indicating that it is driven by fragmentation patterns and not differences in species ecology. Worryingly, we found IUCN considers some 28 of 58 species in the low metapopulation capacity cluster to not be threatened. We propose that assessing the effect of fragmentation will separate species more clearly into distinct risk categories than does a simple assessment of remaining habitat. PMID:23734248

  4. Functional Implications of Species Differences in the Size and Morphology of the Isthmo Optic Nucleus (ION) in Birds

    PubMed Central

    Gutiérrez-Ibáñez, Cristián; Iwaniuk, Andrew N.; Lisney, Thomas J.; Faunes, Macarena; Marín, Gonzalo J.; Wylie, Douglas R.

    2012-01-01

    In birds, there is a retinofugal projection from the brain to the retina originating from the isthmo optic nucleus (ION) in the midbrain. Despite a large number of anatomical, physiological and histochemical studies, the function of this retinofugal system remains unclear. Several functions have been proposed including: gaze stabilization, pecking behavior, dark adaptation, shifting attention, and detection of aerial predators. This nucleus varies in size and organization among some species, but the relative size and morphology of the ION has not been systematically studied. Here, we present a comparison of the relative size and morphology of the ION in 81 species of birds, representing 17 different orders. Our results show that several orders of birds, besides those previously reported, have a large, well-organized ION, including: hummingbirds, woodpeckers, coots and allies, and kingfishers. At the other end of the spectrum, parrots, herons, waterfowl, owls and diurnal raptors have relatively small ION volumes. ION also appears to be absent or unrecognizable is several taxa, including one of the basal avian groups, the tinamous, which suggests that the ION may have evolved only in the more modern group of birds, Neognathae. Finally, we demonstrate that evolutionary changes in the relative size and the cytoarchitectonic organization of ION have occurred largely independent of phylogeny. The large relative size of the ION in orders with very different lifestyles and feeding behaviors suggest there is no clear association with pecking behavior or predator detection. Instead, our results suggest that the ION is more complex and enlarged in birds that have eyes that are emmetropic in some parts of the visual field and myopic in others. We therefore posit that the ION is involved in switching attention between two parts of the retina i.e. from an emmetropic to a myopic part of the retina. PMID:22666395

  5. Functional implications of species differences in the size and morphology of the isthmo optic nucleus (ION) in birds.

    PubMed

    Gutiérrez-Ibáñez, Cristián; Iwaniuk, Andrew N; Lisney, Thomas J; Faunes, Macarena; Marín, Gonzalo J; Wylie, Douglas R

    2012-01-01

    In birds, there is a retinofugal projection from the brain to the retina originating from the isthmo optic nucleus (ION) in the midbrain. Despite a large number of anatomical, physiological and histochemical studies, the function of this retinofugal system remains unclear. Several functions have been proposed including: gaze stabilization, pecking behavior, dark adaptation, shifting attention, and detection of aerial predators. This nucleus varies in size and organization among some species, but the relative size and morphology of the ION has not been systematically studied. Here, we present a comparison of the relative size and morphology of the ION in 81 species of birds, representing 17 different orders. Our results show that several orders of birds, besides those previously reported, have a large, well-organized ION, including: hummingbirds, woodpeckers, coots and allies, and kingfishers. At the other end of the spectrum, parrots, herons, waterfowl, owls and diurnal raptors have relatively small ION volumes. ION also appears to be absent or unrecognizable is several taxa, including one of the basal avian groups, the tinamous, which suggests that the ION may have evolved only in the more modern group of birds, Neognathae. Finally, we demonstrate that evolutionary changes in the relative size and the cytoarchitectonic organization of ION have occurred largely independent of phylogeny. The large relative size of the ION in orders with very different lifestyles and feeding behaviors suggest there is no clear association with pecking behavior or predator detection. Instead, our results suggest that the ION is more complex and enlarged in birds that have eyes that are emmetropic in some parts of the visual field and myopic in others. We therefore posit that the ION is involved in switching attention between two parts of the retina i.e. from an emmetropic to a myopic part of the retina.

  6. Sero-survey of Avian Influenza in backyard poultry and wild bird species in Iran-2014.

    PubMed

    Fallah Mehrabadi, M H; Bahonar, A R; Vasfi Marandi, M; Sadrzadeh, A; Tehrani, F; Salman, M D

    2016-06-01

    In almost all villages in Iran backyard birds, especially chickens, are kept for egg and meat production. AI H9N2 subtype is endemic in Iran. Therefore, estimation of AI prevalence among these birds is important to determine the risk of transmission of infection to commercial farms. The aim of this study was to estimate subclinical infections or previous exposure to H5, H7, and H9 subtypes and to identify potentially important determinants of prevalence of this infectious at premises level in backyard poultry, bird gardens, zoos, and wild bird markets in Iran. A survey was conducted using a cross-sectional design throughout the entire country. A total of 329 villages, seven bird gardens, three zoos and five wild bird markets were included. In each village four families that kept birds were included in the collection of biological samples and background information. The Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA) was used as the screening test and all ELISA-positive samples were examined with the HI test to differentiate H5, H7, and H9. Among the bird gardens, eight of 15 premises (53.3%) were positive in both the ELISA test and HI for H9N2. Testing of samples collected in the villages revealed that 296 out of 329 villages (90%) had positive ELISA tests and also HI tests for H9. The HI-H9 mean titers in positive units were significantly higher than negative units (P<.001). This study revealed no significant statistical differences between risk variables in seropositive and seronegative bird gardens in the case of H9 (P>.05). The results of this study showed that among the risk variables, mountainous area was a protective factor and lack of hygienic disposal of dead birds was a risk factor for AI; this was also observed in rural poultry. The high sero-prevalence of influenza H9N2 in rural domestic poultry indicates that the disease is endemic. It is necessary to include backyard poultry in any surveillance system and control strategy due to the existence of AIV in

  7. Evolutionary consequences of human disturbance in a rainforest bird species from Central Africa.

    PubMed

    Smith, Thomas B; Milá, Borja; Grether, Gregory F; Slabbekoorn, Hans; Sepil, Irem; Buermann, Wolfgang; Saatchi, Sassan; Pollinger, John P

    2008-01-01

    Relatively little attention has been directed towards understanding the impacts of human disturbance on evolutionary processes that produce and maintain biodiversity. Here, we examine the influence of anthropogenic habitat changes on traits typically associated with natural and sexual selection in the little greenbul (Andropadus virens), an African rainforest bird species. Using satellite remote-sensing and field survey data, we classified habitats into nonhuman-altered mature and human-altered secondary forest. Mature rainforest consisted of pristine rainforest, with little or no human influence, and secondary forest was characterized by plantations of coffee and cacao and high human impacts. Andropadus virens abundance was higher in secondary forest, and populations inhabiting mature rainforest were significantly larger in wing and tarsus length and bill size; characters often correlated with fitness. To assess the extent to which characters important in sexual section and mate choice might be influenced by habitat change, we also examined differences in plumage colour and song. Plumage colour and the variance in plumage luminance were found to differ between forest types, and song duration was found to be significantly longer in mature forest. The possible adaptive significance of these differences in traits is discussed. Despite relatively high levels of gene flow across habitats, amplified fragment length polymorphism analysis revealed that a small proportion of high-F(ST) loci differentiated mature from secondary forest populations. These loci were significant outliers against neutral expectations in a simulation analysis, suggesting a role for divergent selection in differentiation across habitats. A distance-based redundancy analysis further showed that forest type as defined by remote-sensing variables was significantly associated with genetic dissimilarities between habitats, even when controlling for distance. The observed shifts in morphology, plumage

  8. Projected Hg dietary exposure of 3 bird species nesting on a contaminated floodplain (South River, Virginia, USA).

    PubMed

    Wang, Jincheng; Newman, Michael C

    2013-04-01

    Dietary Hg exposure was modeled for Carolina wren (Thryothorus ludovicianus), Eastern song sparrow (Melospiza melodia), and Eastern screech owl (Otus asio) nesting on the contaminated South River floodplain (Virginia, USA). Parameterization of Monte-Carlo models required formal expert elicitation to define bird body weight and feeding ecology characteristics because specific information was either unavailable in the published literature or too difficult to collect reliably by field survey. Mercury concentrations and weights for candidate food items were obtained directly by field survey. Simulations predicted the probability that an adult bird during breeding season would ingest specific amounts of Hg during daily foraging and the probability that the average Hg ingestion rate for the breeding season of an adult bird would exceed published rates reported to cause harm to other birds (>100 ng total Hg/g body weight per day). Despite the extensive floodplain contamination, the probabilities that these species' average ingestion rates exceeded the threshold value were all <0.01. Sensitivity analysis indicated that overall food ingestion rate was the most important factor determining projected Hg ingestion rates. Expert elicitation was useful in providing sufficiently reliable information for Monte-Carlo simulation.

  9. Helminth communities of two species of piscivorous birds, Ardea alba (Linnaeus) and Nyctanassa violacea (Gmelin) (Ciconiiformes: Ardeidae), in two coastal lagoons from Guerrero state, Mexico.

    PubMed

    Violante-González, Juan; Monks, Scott; Gil-Guerrero, Salvador; Rojas-Herrera, Agustín A; Flores-Rodríguez, Pedro

    2012-07-01

    The composition and species richness in helminth communities of two species of heron, Ardea alba and Nyctanassa violacea, in two coastal lagoons from Guerrero, Mexico were examined. Nineteen species of helminth (7,804 individuals) were identified in 43 adult birds: 15 digeneans, 1 acanthocephalan, 1 cestode, and 2 nematodes. Eight species co-occurred in herons of both species and lagoons. The prevalence values of seven species and the mean abundance of five species varied significantly between species of birds and between lagoons. The heterophyid, Ascocotyle (Phagicola) longa, was the helminth numerically dominant in the helminth community of A. alba in both lagoons, while the cestode, Parvitaenia cochlearii, dominated the community of N. violacea. At the component community level, species richness varied significantly: 10 species in A. alba from Coyuca to 16 in N. violacea (Tres Palos). All of the birds examined were infected with helminth parasites: three to seven species per host in A. alba from Coyuca, and two to eight species in A. alba and N. violacea from Tres Palos. The results indicate that even though species composition was similar between both species of heron, the structure of their communities was not the same. Differences in the feeding behavior of the birds (day/night habits), as well as local differences in the abundance of species of fish, and infection levels of helminths in each lagoon are suggested as being responsible for the variations registered in the structure of the helminth communities.

  10. Accumulation pattern and distribution of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in liver tissues of seven species of birds from Ahmedabad, India, during 2005-2007.

    PubMed

    Dhananjayan, Venugopal

    2013-05-01

    Concentrations of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) were measured in liver tissues of seven species of birds collected from Ahmedabad, India during 2005-2007. All the samples collected were dead as victims of kite flying. Concentrations of ∑PAHs in livers of birds were ranged from 110 ± 32.6 ng/g wet wt (1,078 ± 320 lipid wt) in common myna Acridotheres tristis to 382 ± 90.1 ng/g (2,388 ± 563 lipid wt) in white-backed vulture. Statistically significant (p < 0.05) differences in ∑PAHs were observed among species. However, year of collection and sex of birds did not show significant differences in concentrations of PAHs. The levels of ∑PAHs measured in the present study species were higher than the levels documented for a number of avian species and were lower than those reported to have deleterious effects on survival or reproduction of birds. Presence of PAH residues in birds of Ahmedabad city show the continuous input of PAHs through environmental exposure. Although no threat is posed by any of the hydrocarbons detected, continuous monitoring of breeding colonies of birds is recommended in unpolluted reference sites as well as polluted sites. It is also the first account of a comprehensive analysis of PAHs in various species of birds in India. Therefore, the values reported in this study can serve as baseline values for future research.

  11. Evaluation of four enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays for the serologic survey of avian influenza in wild bird species.

    PubMed

    Claes, Gerwin; Vangeluwe, Didier; Van der Stede, Yves; van den Berg, Thierry; Lambrecht, Bénédicte; Marché, Sylvie

    2012-12-01

    Wild birds that reside in aquatic environments are the major reservoir of avian influenza viruses (AIVs). Since this reservoir of AIVs forms a constant threat for poultry, many countries have engaged in AIV surveillance. More and more commercial enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISA) are available for serologic surveillance, but these tests are often developed and validated for use in domestic poultry. However, for a correct interpretation of ELISA test results from wild bird sera, more information is needed. In the present study, four ELISA test kits (ID-Vet IDScreen, IDEXX FlockChek AI MultiS-Screen Ab Test Kit, Synbiotics FluDETECTBE, and BioChek AIMSp) were compared for the serologic analysis of 172 serum samples from mallard, mute swan, and Canada goose. Samples were selected based on ID-Vet IDScreen results to obtain an approximately equal number of positive and negative samples. In addition, 92 serum samples from experimentally infected specific-pathogen-free (SPF) chickens and Pekin ducks were included in the tests for validation purposes. Cohen's kappa statistics and Spearman correlation coefficients were calculated for each combination of two tests and for each bird species. Test agreement for mallard sera varied from poor to moderate, while test results for Canada goose and swan sera agreed from fair to almost perfect. The best agreement was obtained with sera from experimentally infected SPF chickens and Pekin ducks. This study shows that some care must be taken before using nucleoprotein ELISAs for the testing of sera from wild birds and that more reliable validation studies should be considered before their use in the serologic surveillance of wild birds.

  12. Chewing lice (Phthiraptera: Amblycera and Ischnocera) from wild birds in southern Vietnam, with descriptions of two new species.

    PubMed

    Najer, Tomas; Sychra, Oldrich; Kounek, Filip; Papousek, Ivo; Hung, Nguyen Manh

    2014-01-24

    A total of 239 individuals of 50 bird species were examined for chewing lice (Insecta: Phthiraptera) in southern Vietnam. Fifty-six birds of 20 species were parasitised by 15 species of lice belonging to 10 genera from two suborders, Amblycera: Menacanthus, Meromenopon, Myrsidea, and Ischnocera: Alcedoecus, Brueelia, Cuculicola, Meropoecus, Penenirmus, Philopteroides and Philopterus. Thirteen louse samples from Passeriformes were identified to genus only because they contain inadequate material. A total of 29 host-louse associations were found, of which nine are new, including: (1) two new species of the genus Brueelia, which are described and named in this paper: Brueelia binhchauensis from Megalaima lineata (Vieillot, 1816) (Piciformes: Megalaimidae), and Brueelia malacocincla from Malacocincla abbotti Blyth, 1845 (Passeriformes: Pellorneidae); (2) first records of lice from Cyornis hainanus (Ogilvie-Grant, 1900); and (3) the first record of Myrsidea claytoni Hellenthal & Price, 2003 from Cymbirhynchus macrorhynchos (Gmelin, 1788) (Passeriformes: Eurylaimidae), here regarded as a case of natural host-switching. A portion of the mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase I (COI) gene for some species of chewing lice was sequenced in order to assess their genetic divergences.

  13. Thyroid Hormones Correlate with Basal Metabolic Rate but Not Field Metabolic Rate in a Wild Bird Species

    PubMed Central

    Welcker, Jorg; Chastel, Olivier; Gabrielsen, Geir W.; Guillaumin, Jerome; Kitaysky, Alexander S.; Speakman, John R.; Tremblay, Yann; Bech, Claus

    2013-01-01

    Thyroid hormones (TH) are known to stimulate in vitro oxygen consumption of tissues in mammals and birds. Hence, in many laboratory studies a positive relationship between TH concentrations and basal metabolic rate (BMR) has been demonstrated whereas evidence from species in the wild is scarce. Even though basal and field metabolic rates (FMR) are often thought to be intrinsically linked it is still unknown whether a relationship between TH and FMR exists. Here we determine the relationship between the primary thyroid hormone triiodothyronine (T3) with both BMR and FMR in a wild bird species, the black-legged kittiwake (Rissa tridactyla). As predicted we found a strong and positive relationship between plasma concentrations of T3 and both BMR and mass-independent BMR with coefficients of determination ranging from 0.36 to 0.60. In contrast there was no association of T3 levels with either whole-body or mass-independent FMR (R2 = 0.06 and 0.02, respectively). In accordance with in vitro studies our data suggests that TH play an important role in modulating BMR and may serve as a proxy for basal metabolism in wild birds. However, the lack of a relationship between TH and FMR indicates that levels of physical activity in kittiwakes are largely independent of TH concentrations and support recent studies that cast doubt on a direct linkage between BMR and FMR. PMID:23437096

  14. Climate change will seriously impact bird species dwelling above the treeline: A prospective study for the Italian Alps.

    PubMed

    Ferrarini, Alessandro; Alatalo, Juha M; Gustin, Marco

    2017-07-15

    High mountain systems are predicted to be especially vulnerable to the impact of climate change, with the climatically-constrained tree limit rapidly shifted upslope. In turn, the impact of upward treeline migration on mountain-dwelling bird species is expected to significantly reduce habitat suitability. We developed the first projection of the expected climate-driven rise of the whole treeline (19,256km) of the Italian Alps. The study area extends over 20,700km(2), ranging over 550km in longitude and 320km in latitude. We then investigated how much the expected treeline rise will induce a) shrinking and shifting of the elevation range and b) loss in suitable habitat for the flagship species rock ptarmigan, an alpine bird species dwelling above the treeline and, similarly to many other alpine species, highly vulnerable to treeline rise. We also investigated the potential gain in suitable habitat for rock ptarmigan due to the climate-driven upshift in the uppermost thermal limit. At lower altitudes (1500-1600m a.s.l.), the average expected upshift in the current treeline resulted in 195, 274 and 354m over the short (2010-2039), medium (2040-2069) and long term (2070-2099) respectively. Above 2400m a.s.l., it was less than 30m even in the long term. Overall, during the three climate periods the extent of suitable habitat for rock ptarmigan above the current treeline is projected to decrease by 28.12%, 38.43% and 49.11% respectively. In contrast, the expected gain in suitable habitat due to the shift in the uppermost thermal limit will be severely restrained by the limited surface extension in the top portion of the Italian Alps. The presented approach can promote similar studies elsewhere in the globe, providing a regional perspective to the projection of climate change impact on bird species dwelling above the treeline.

  15. Empirical analysis suggests continuous and homogeneous circulation of Newcastle disease virus in a wide range of wild bird species in Africa.

    PubMed

    Cappelle, J; Caron, A; Servan De Almeida, R; Gil, P; Pedrono, M; Mundava, J; Fofana, B; Balança, G; Dakouo, M; Ould El Mamy, A B; Abolnik, C; Maminiaina, O F; Cumming, G S; De Visscher, M-N; Albina, E; Chevalier, V; Gaidet, N

    2015-04-01

    Newcastle disease (ND) is one of the most important poultry diseases worldwide and can lead to annual losses of up to 80% of backyard chickens in Africa. All bird species are considered susceptible to ND virus (NDV) infection but little is known about the role that wild birds play in the epidemiology of the virus. We present a long-term monitoring of 9000 wild birds in four African countries. Overall, 3·06% of the birds were PCR-positive for NDV infection, with prevalence ranging from 0% to 10% depending on the season, the site and the species considered. Our study shows that ND is circulating continuously and homogeneously in a large range of wild bird species. Several genotypes of NDV circulate concurrently in different species and are phylogenetically closely related to strains circulating in local domestic poultry, suggesting that wild birds may play several roles in the epidemiology of different NDV strains in Africa. We recommend that any strategic plan aiming at controlling ND in Africa should take into account the potential role of the local wild bird community in the transmission of the disease.

  16. Influence of Host Ecology and Behavior on Campylobacter jejuni Prevalence and Environmental Contamination Risk in a Synanthropic Wild Bird Species

    PubMed Central

    Weis, Allison M.; Wheeler, Sarah; Hinton, Mitchell G.; Weimer, Bart C.; Barker, Christopher M.; Jones, Melissa; Logsdon, Ryane; Smith, Woutrina A.; Boyce, Walter M.; Townsend, Andrea K.

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Campylobacter jejuni is a foodborne pathogen that often leads to human infections through the consumption of contaminated poultry. Wild birds may play a role in the transmission of C. jejuni by acting as reservoir hosts. Despite ample evidence that wild birds harbor C. jejuni, few studies have addressed the role of host ecology in transmission to domestic animals or humans. We tested the hypothesis that host social behavior and habitat play a major role in driving transmission risk. C. jejuni infection and host ecology were studied simultaneously in wild American crows (Corvus brachyrhynchos) in Davis, CA, over 3 years. We found that 178 of 337 samples tested were culture positive (53%), with infection varying by season and host age. Among adult crows, infection rates were highest during the winter, when migrants return and crows form large communal roosts. Nestlings had the highest risk of infection, and whole-genome sequencing supports the observation of direct transmission between nestlings. We deployed global positioning system (GPS) receivers to quantify habitat use by crows; space use was nonrandom, with crows preferentially occupying some habitats while avoiding others. This behavior drastically amplified the risk of environmental contamination from feces in specific locations. This study demonstrates that social behavior contributes to infection within species and that habitat use leads to a heterogeneous risk of cross-species transmission. IMPORTANCE Campylobacter jejuni is the most common cause of gastroenteritis in industrialized countries. Despite efforts to reduce the colonization of poultry flocks and eventual infection of humans, the incidence of human C. jejuni infection has remained high. Because wild birds can harbor strains of C. jejuni that eventually infect humans, there has long been speculation that wild birds might act as an important reservoir in the C. jejuni infection cycle. We simultaneously studied infection prevalence, social

  17. Which Species Are We Researching and Why? A Case Study of the Ecology of British Breeding Birds

    PubMed Central

    McKenzie, Ailsa J.; Robertson, Peter A.

    2015-01-01

    Our ecological knowledge base is extensive, but the motivations for research are many and varied, leading to unequal species representation and coverage. As this evidence is used to support a wide range of conservation, management and policy actions, it is important that gaps and biases are identified and understood. In this paper we detail a method for quantifying research effort and impact at the individual species level, and go on to investigate the factors that best explain between-species differences in outputs. We do this using British breeding birds as a case study, producing a ranked list of species based on two scientific publication metrics: total number of papers (a measure of research quantity) and h-index (a measure of the number of highly cited papers on a topic – an indication of research quality). Widespread, populous species which are native, resident and in receipt of biodiversity action plans produced significantly higher publication metrics. Guild was also significant, birds of prey the most studied group, with pigeons and doves the least studied. The model outputs for both metrics were very similar, suggesting that, at least in this example, research quantity and quality were highly correlated. The results highlight three key gaps in the evidence base, with fewer citations and publications relating to migrant breeders, introduced species and species which have experienced contractions in distribution. We suggest that the use of publication metrics in this way provides a novel approach to understanding the scale and drivers of both research quantity and impact at a species level and could be widely applied, both taxonomically and geographically. PMID:26154759

  18. Revision of the Afrotropical genus Notomela Jacoby, 1899 with description of N. joliveti sp. n. from Principe Island (Coleoptera, Chrysomelidae, Galerucinae, Alticini)

    PubMed Central

    Biondi, Maurizio; D’Alessandro, Paola

    2015-01-01

    Abstract The Afrotropical flea beetle genus Notomela Jacoby, 1899 is reviewed. Notomela joliveti sp.n. from Principe Island is described. The following new synonymies are established: Notomela cyanipennis Jacoby, 1899 = Notomela viridipennis Bryant, 1941, syn. n. = Notomela cyanipennis macrosoma Bechyné, 1959, syn. n. In addition, the new combination is established: Notomela fulvofasciata Jacoby, 1903 is transfered to Amphimela [Amphimela fulvofasciata (Jacoby, 1903), comb. n.]. Micrographs of male and female genitalia, scanning electron micrographs of some diagnostic morphological characters, a key to identification, and distributional data for all species of Notomela, are provided. PMID:26798314

  19. Immunoglobulin detection in wild birds: effectiveness of three secondary anti-avian IgY antibodies in direct ELISAs in 41 avian species.

    PubMed

    Fassbinder-Orth, Carol A; Wilcoxen, Travis E; Tran, Tiffany; Boughton, Raoul K; Fair, Jeanne M; Hofmeister, Erik K; Grindstaff, Jennifer L; Owen, Jen C

    2016-10-01

    Immunological reagents for wild, non-model species are limited or often non-existent for many species.In this study, we compare the reactivity of a new anti-passerine IgY secondary antibody with existing secondary antibodies developed for use with birds. Samples from 41 species from the following six avian orders were analysed: Anseriformes (1 family, 1 species), Columbiformes (1 family, 2 species), Galliformes (1 family, 1 species), Passeriformes (16 families, 34 species), Piciformes (1 family, 2 species) and Suliformes (1 family, 1 species). Direct ELISAs were performed to detect total IgY using goat anti-passerine IgY, goat anti-chicken IgY or goat anti-bird IgY secondary antibodies.The anti-passerine antibody exhibited significantly higher IgY reactivity compared to the anti-chicken and/or anti-bird antibodies in 80% of the passerine families tested. Birds in the order Piciformes (woodpeckers) and order Suliformes (cormorants) were poorly detected by all three secondary antibodies. A comparison of serum and plasma IgY levels was made within the same individuals for two passerine species (house finch and white-crowned sparrow), and serum exhibited significantly more IgY than the plasma for all three secondary antibodies. This result indicates that serum may be preferred to plasma when measuring total antibody levels in blood.This study indicates that the anti-passerine IgY secondary antibody can effectively be used in immunological assays to detect passerine IgY for species in most passerine families and is preferred over anti-chicken and anti-bird secondary antibodies for the majority of passerine species. This anti-passerine antibody will allow for more accurate detection and quantification of IgY in more wild bird species than was possible with previously available secondary antibodies.

  20. First records of two species of Oriental scuttle flies (Diptera: Phoridae) from forensic cases.

    PubMed

    Thevan, Kumara; Disney, R Henry L Henry; Ahmad, Abu Hassan

    2010-02-25

    In Penang, Malaysia, the Oriental and Afrotropical Megaselia curtineura (Brues) and the Oriental and Japanese Megaselia spiracularis Schmitz are reported from human corpses, these being the first reports of these species in such forensic cases.

  1. Restoration practices have positive effects on breeding bird species of concern in the Chihuahuan Desert

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Woody plant encroachment into grasslands is a global concern. Efforts to restore grasslands often assume that removal of woody plants benefits biodiversity but assumptions are rarely tested. In the Chihuahan Desert of the southwestern USA, we tested whether abundances of grassland specialist bird sp...

  2. Functional and evolutionary anatomy of the African suckermouth catfishes (Siluriformes: Mochokidae): convergent evolution in Afrotropical and Neotropical faunas

    PubMed Central

    Geerinckx, Tom; De Kegel, Barbara

    2014-01-01

    Of those fishes scraping food off substrates and using head parts in substrate attachment for station-holding, the catfish families Loricariidae, Astroblepidae and Mochokidae display the most dramatically adapted morphologies. Loricariidae and Astroblepidae, living in the Neotropical freshwaters, exclusively contain suckermouth catfish species, and their anatomy and head kinematics have already been studied into detail. Among Mochokidae, living in the tropical freshwaters of Africa, only the chiloglanidine subfamily has a sucker mouth, and occupies similar niches in Africa as both Neotropical families do in South America. Having derived from relatively unrelated catfish ancestors, their anatomy is poorly known, and the nature of their scraping and station-holding capabilities is not known at all. This paper provides details on the chiloglanidine head anatomy and function (relating their anatomy to that of the non-suckermouth Mochokidae), and compares this Afrotropical suckermouth taxon with both Neotropical suckermouth families. It identifies both convergences and differing anatomical and kinematic solutions to the same key needs of food-scraping and station-holding suckermouth fishes. Chiloglanidine mochokids differ from both Neotropical families in having less mobile jaws, with an upper jaw assisting more in station-holding than in feeding. They share the highly mobile lower lip with both Neotropical taxa, although the configuration of the intermandibular/protractor hyoidei muscle system, changing the volume of the sucker-disc cavity, differs in all three taxa. Chiloglanidines have a single, posterior inflow opening into this cavity, whereas Loricariidae have two lateral openings, and Astroblepidae have none, using an opercular incurrent opening instead. The chiloglanidine buccal valve system consists of two passive valves, as in Astroblepidae. Although less diverse in number of genera and species, this Afrotropical suckermouth taxon possesses the anatomical and

  3. Functional and evolutionary anatomy of the African suckermouth catfishes (Siluriformes: Mochokidae): convergent evolution in Afrotropical and Neotropical faunas.

    PubMed

    Geerinckx, Tom; De Kegel, Barbara

    2014-08-01

    Of those fishes scraping food off substrates and using head parts in substrate attachment for station-holding, the catfish families Loricariidae, Astroblepidae and Mochokidae display the most dramatically adapted morphologies. Loricariidae and Astroblepidae, living in the Neotropical freshwaters, exclusively contain suckermouth catfish species, and their anatomy and head kinematics have already been studied into detail. Among Mochokidae, living in the tropical freshwaters of Africa, only the chiloglanidine subfamily has a sucker mouth, and occupies similar niches in Africa as both Neotropical families do in South America. Having derived from relatively unrelated catfish ancestors, their anatomy is poorly known, and the nature of their scraping and station-holding capabilities is not known at all. This paper provides details on the chiloglanidine head anatomy and function (relating their anatomy to that of the non-suckermouth Mochokidae), and compares this Afrotropical suckermouth taxon with both Neotropical suckermouth families. It identifies both convergences and differing anatomical and kinematic solutions to the same key needs of food-scraping and station-holding suckermouth fishes. Chiloglanidine mochokids differ from both Neotropical families in having less mobile jaws, with an upper jaw assisting more in station-holding than in feeding. They share the highly mobile lower lip with both Neotropical taxa, although the configuration of the intermandibular/protractor hyoidei muscle system, changing the volume of the sucker-disc cavity, differs in all three taxa. Chiloglanidines have a single, posterior inflow opening into this cavity, whereas Loricariidae have two lateral openings, and Astroblepidae have none, using an opercular incurrent opening instead. The chiloglanidine buccal valve system consists of two passive valves, as in Astroblepidae. Although less diverse in number of genera and species, this Afrotropical suckermouth taxon possesses the anatomical and

  4. A comparison of reptilian and avian olfactory receptor gene repertoires: Species-specific expansion of group γ genes in birds

    PubMed Central

    Steiger, Silke S; Kuryshev, Vladimir Y; Stensmyr, Marcus C; Kempenaers, Bart; Mueller, Jakob C

    2009-01-01

    Background The detection of odorants is mediated by olfactory receptors (ORs). ORs are G-protein coupled receptors that form a remarkably large protein superfamily in vertebrate genomes. We used data that became available through recent sequencing efforts of reptilian and avian genomes to identify the complete OR gene repertoires in a lizard, the green anole (Anolis carolinensis), and in two birds, the chicken (Gallus gallus) and the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata). Results We identified 156 green anole OR genes, including 42 pseudogenes. The OR gene repertoire of the two bird species was substantially larger with 479 and 553 OR gene homologs in the chicken and zebra finch, respectively (including 111 and 221 pseudogenes, respectively). We show that the green anole has a higher fraction of intact OR genes (~72%) compared with the chicken (~66%) and the zebra finch (~38%). We identified a larger number and a substantially higher proportion of intact OR gene homologs in the chicken genome than previously reported (214 versus 82 genes and 66% versus 15%, respectively). Phylogenetic analysis showed that lizard and bird OR gene repertoires consist of group α, θ and γ genes. Interestingly, the vast majority of the avian OR genes are confined to a large expansion of a single branch (the so called γ-c clade). An analysis of the selective pressure on the paralogous genes of each γ-c clade revealed that they have been subjected to adaptive evolution. This expansion appears to be bird-specific and not sauropsid-specific, as it is lacking from the lizard genome. The γ-c expansions of the two birds do not intermix, i.e., they are lineage-specific. Almost all (group γ-c) OR genes mapped to the unknown chromosome. The remaining OR genes mapped to six homologous chromosomes plus three to four additional chromosomes in the zebra finch and chicken. Conclusion We identified a surprisingly large number of potentially functional avian OR genes. Our data supports recent

  5. The Relative Impacts of Climate and Land-Use Change on Conterminous United States Bird Species from 2001 to 2075

    PubMed Central

    Sohl, Terry L.

    2014-01-01

    Species distribution models often use climate data to assess contemporary and/or future ranges for animal or plant species. Land use and land cover (LULC) data are important predictor variables for determining species range, yet are rarely used when modeling future distributions. In this study, maximum entropy modeling was used to construct species distribution maps for 50 North American bird species to determine relative contributions of climate and LULC for contemporary (2001) and future (2075) time periods. Species presence data were used as a dependent variable, while climate, LULC, and topographic data were used as predictor variables. Results varied by species, but in general, measures of model fit for 2001 indicated significantly poorer fit when either climate or LULC data were excluded from model simulations. Climate covariates provided a higher contribution to 2001 model results than did LULC variables, although both categories of variables strongly contributed. The area deemed to be “suitable” for 2001 species presence was strongly affected by the choice of model covariates, with significantly larger ranges predicted when LULC was excluded as a covariate. Changes in species ranges for 2075 indicate much larger overall range changes due to projected climate change than due to projected LULC change. However, the choice of study area impacted results for both current and projected model applications, with truncation of actual species ranges resulting in lower model fit scores and increased difficulty in interpreting covariate impacts on species range. Results indicate species-specific response to climate and LULC variables; however, both climate and LULC variables clearly are important for modeling both contemporary and potential future species ranges. PMID:25372571

  6. The relative impacts of climate and land-use change on conterminous United States bird species from 2001 to 2075.

    PubMed

    Sohl, Terry L

    2014-01-01

    Species distribution models often use climate data to assess contemporary and/or future ranges for animal or plant species. Land use and land cover (LULC) data are important predictor variables for determining species range, yet are rarely used when modeling future distributions. In this study, maximum entropy modeling was used to construct species distribution maps for 50 North American bird species to determine relative contributions of climate and LULC for contemporary (2001) and future (2075) time periods. Species presence data were used as a dependent variable, while climate, LULC, and topographic data were used as predictor variables. Results varied by species, but in general, measures of model fit for 2001 indicated significantly poorer fit when either climate or LULC data were excluded from model simulations. Climate covariates provided a higher contribution to 2001 model results than did LULC variables, although both categories of variables strongly contributed. The area deemed to be "suitable" for 2001 species presence was strongly affected by the choice of model covariates, with significantly larger ranges predicted when LULC was excluded as a covariate. Changes in species ranges for 2075 indicate much larger overall range changes due to projected climate change than due to projected LULC change. However, the choice of study area impacted results for both current and projected model applications, with truncation of actual species ranges resulting in lower model fit scores and increased difficulty in interpreting covariate impacts on species range. Results indicate species-specific response to climate and LULC variables; however, both climate and LULC variables clearly are important for modeling both contemporary and potential future species ranges.

  7. The relative impacts of climate and land-use change on conterminous United States bird species from 2001 to 2075

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sohl, Terry L.

    2014-01-01

    Species distribution models often use climate data to assess contemporary and/or future ranges for animal or plant species. Land use and land cover (LULC) data are important predictor variables for determining species range, yet are rarely used when modeling future distributions. In this study, maximum entropy modeling was used to construct species distribution maps for 50 North American bird species to determine relative contributions of climate and LULC for contemporary (2001) and future (2075) time periods. Species presence data were used as a dependent variable, while climate, LULC, and topographic data were used as predictor variables. Results varied by species, but in general, measures of model fit for 2001 indicated significantly poorer fit when either climate or LULC data were excluded from model simulations. Climate covariates provided a higher contribution to 2001 model results than did LULC variables, although both categories of variables strongly contributed. The area deemed to be "suitable" for 2001 species presence was strongly affected by the choice of model covariates, with significantly larger ranges predicted when LULC was excluded as a covariate. Changes in species ranges for 2075 indicate much larger overall range changes due to projected climate change than due to projected LULC change. However, the choice of study area impacted results for both current and projected model applications, with truncation of actual species ranges resulting in lower model fit scores and increased difficulty in interpreting covariate impacts on species range. Results indicate species-specific response to climate and LULC variables; however, both climate and LULC variables clearly are important for modeling both contemporary and potential future species ranges.

  8. Top-Down-Assisted Bottom-Up Method for Homologous Protein Sequencing: Hemoglobin from 33 Bird Species

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Song, Yang; Laskay, Ünige A.; Vilcins, Inger-Marie E.; Barbour, Alan G.; Wysocki, Vicki H.

    2015-11-01

    Ticks are vectors for disease transmission because they are indiscriminant in their feeding on multiple vertebrate hosts, transmitting pathogens between their hosts. Identifying the hosts on which ticks have fed is important for disease prevention and intervention. We have previously shown that hemoglobin (Hb) remnants from a host on which a tick fed can be used to reveal the host's identity. For the present research, blood was collected from 33 bird species that are common in the U.S. as hosts for ticks but that have unknown Hb sequences. A top-down-assisted bottom-up mass spectrometry approach with a customized searching database, based on variability in known bird hemoglobin sequences, has been devised to facilitate fast and complete sequencing of hemoglobin from birds with unknown sequences. These hemoglobin sequences will be added to a hemoglobin database and used for tick host identification. The general approach has the potential to sequence any set of homologous proteins completely in a rapid manner.

  9. Effect of air and noise pollution on species diversity and population density of forest birds at Lalpahari, West Bengal, India.

    PubMed

    Saha, Dulal C; Padhy, Pratap K

    2011-11-15

    The Rajmahal-type quality stones for building purposes are found abundantly in Birbhum district, West Bengal, India, where stone mining and crushing have become the main industrial activity. Although crusher dust is injurious to health, demand for crushed stone is ever-increasing as a result of rapid infrastructural growth in the country. Most of the crusher units at Rampurhat are situated along the roadways adjacent to forest under Tumboni Beat of Rampurhat Range of Birbhum Forest Division. Excessive load of air pollution in this area has led to degradation of this forest. The status of the ambient air and noise level was evaluated. The effect of air and noise pollution on abundance and variability of birds in this forest have been compared to an almost non-polluted forest of the same bio-geographic zone. Both species diversity and population density of birds were found to decrease in the polluted forest, especially in the areas adjacent to crushers. For comparing the pollution status of two different forest sites and for establishing whether the density of birds have any correlation between the sites, the Student's t-test and the chi-square test were applied respectively. Most of the results proved to be significant.

  10. Confirmed mixed bird-insect pollination system of Scrophularia trifoliata L., a Tyrrhenian species with corolla spots.

    PubMed

    Navarro-Pérez, M L; López, J; Rodríguez-Riaño, T; Bacchetta, G; de Miguel Gordillo, C; Ortega-Olivencia, A

    2017-01-28

    Both bird and mixed vertebrate-insect (MVI) pollination systems are very rare in Europe and the Mediterranean region. Because MVI can ensure reproduction over a wider range of environmental conditions than when insects are the sole pollinators, under certain circumstances such systems are highly advantageous to plants. Here, we investigated the pollination and some reproductive traits of the Tyrrhenian Scrophularia trifoliata, the only species of the genus possessing two showy dark spots inside the corolla, for which MVI pollination system had been inferred on the basis of limited censuses. We conducted field experiments to study MVI pollination and some reproductive traits and elucidate the role of corolla spots, analysing their ultraviolet pattern, histology and pigments versus the rest of the corolla. The primary pollinators were wasps and passerine birds. Corolla spots absorb UV light, present abundant anthocyanins and are histologically identical to the rest of the corolla. Control flowers had higher visitation frequency than flowers without spots. S. trifoliata is self-compatible, with efficient intrafloral protogyny and herkogamy that prevent self-pollination but not geitonogamy. We confirmed the existence of a mixed bird-insect pollination system in S. trifoliata. This system is found in three other Scrophularia species with large, showy flowers - two Mediterranean (S. grandiflora and S. sambucifolia) and one Macaronesian (S. calliantha). Unlike those species, S. trifoliata has two large spots inside the corolla. These likely operate as nectar guides and their dark colouration is related to abundant anthocyanin content.

  11. Use of observed wild bird activity on poultry farms and a literature review to target species as high priority for avian influenza testing in 2 regions of Canada

    PubMed Central

    Burns, Theresa E.; Ribble, Carl; Stephen, Craig; Kelton, David; Toews, Lorraine; Osterhold, Jason; Wheeler, Hazel

    2012-01-01

    The risk of avian influenza outbreaks in poultry is partially dependent on the probability of contact between domestic poultry and wild birds shedding avian influenza (AI) virus. The major objective of this study was to document wild bird activity on poultry farms to determine which wild bird species should be targeted for AI surveillance in Canada. We collected data in 2 major poultry producing regions of Canada, southwestern Ontario and the Fraser Valley of British Columbia, on the relative abundance of various wild bird species found on poultry farms and on how these species utilized habitat around poultry farms. We reviewed the published literature to determine what was known about AI pathobiology in the species we observed. From these results we created a list of 10 wild bird species that are a priority for further study. These species are the European starling, barn swallow, rock dove, American crow, northwestern crow, American robin, dark-eyed junco, song sparrow, horned lark, and common grackle. Abundance of these and other species varied between provinces and seasons. PMID:22851777

  12. Use of observed wild bird activity on poultry farms and a literature review to target species as high priority for avian influenza testing in 2 regions of Canada.

    PubMed

    Burns, Theresa E; Ribble, Carl; Stephen, Craig; Kelton, David; Toews, Lorraine; Osterhold, Jason; Wheeler, Hazel

    2012-02-01

    The risk of avian influenza outbreaks in poultry is partially dependent on the probability of contact between domestic poultry and wild birds shedding avian influenza (AI) virus. The major objective of this study was to document wild bird activity on poultry farms to determine which wild bird species should be targeted for AI surveillance in Canada. We collected data in 2 major poultry producing regions of Canada, southwestern Ontario and the Fraser Valley of British Columbia, on the relative abundance of various wild bird species found on poultry farms and on how these species utilized habitat around poultry farms. We reviewed the published literature to determine what was known about AI pathobiology in the species we observed. From these results we created a list of 10 wild bird species that are a priority for further study. These species are the European starling, barn swallow, rock dove, American crow, northwestern crow, American robin, dark-eyed junco, song sparrow, horned lark, and common grackle. Abundance of these and other species varied between provinces and seasons.

  13. Species-distance relation for birds of the Solomon Archipelago, and the paradox of the great speciators

    PubMed Central

    Diamond, Jared M.; Gilpin, Michael E.; Mayr, Ernst

    1976-01-01

    For scattered remote islands and for likely forms of immigration and extinction curves, the equilibrium theory of island biogeography leads to the prediction [unk]2 log S/[unk]A[unk]D > 0, where S is the number of species on an island, A island area, and D island distance from the colonization source. This prediction is confirmed for birds of the Solomon Archipelago. Bird species can be classified into three types according to how distance affects their distributions: non-water-crossers, which are stopped completely (usually for psychological reasons) by water gaps of even 1 mile; short-distance colonists, successful at colonizing close but not remote islands; and long-distance colonists, successful at colonizing remote as well as close islands. Almost all of the “great speciators”, the species for whose inter-island geographic variation the Solomons are famous, prove to be short-distance colonists. Lack's interpretation of the decrease in S with D is shown to rest on incorrect assumptions. PMID:16592328

  14. Interspecifc variation in eye shape and retinal topography in seven species of galliform bird (Aves: Galliformes: Phasianidae).

    PubMed

    Lisney, Thomas J; Iwaniuk, Andrew N; Kolominsky, Jeffrey; Bandet, Mischa V; Corfield, Jeremy R; Wylie, Douglas R

    2012-10-01

    Eye morphology and the retinal topography of animals that live in either 'open' (e.g., grassland) or 'enclosed' (e.g., forest) terrestrial habitats show common adaptations to constraints imposed by these different habitat types. Although relationships between habitat and the visual system are well documented in most vertebrates, relatively few studies have examined this relationship in birds. Here, we compare eye shape and retinal topography across seven species from the family Phasianidae (Galliformes) that are diurnally active in either open or enclosed habitats. Species from enclosed habitats have significantly larger corneal diameters, relative to transverse diameters, than species from open habitats, which we predict serves to enhance visual sensitivity. Retinal topography, however, was similar across all seven species and consisted of a centrally positioned area centralis and a weak horizontal visual streak, with no discernible fovea. In the Japanese quail (Coturnix japonica), there was also a dorso-temporal extension of increased neuron density and, in some specimens, a putative area dorsalis. The total number of neurons in the retinal ganglion cell layer was correlated with retinal whole-mount area. Average and peak neuron densities were similar across species, with the exception of the Japanese quail, which had greater average and peak densities. Peak anatomical spatial resolving power was also similar among species, ranging from approximately 10-13 cycles/°. Overall, the pattern of retinal topography we found in phasianids is associated with ground-foraging in birds and presumably facilitates the identification of small food items on the ground as well as other visually guided behaviors, irrespective of habitat type.

  15. DNA sampling from eggshell swabbing is widely applicable in wild bird populations as demonstrated in 23 species.

    PubMed

    Martín-Gálvez, David; Peralta-Sánchez, Juan M; Dawson, Deborah A; Martín-Platero, Antonio M; Martínez-Bueno, Manuel; Burke, Terry; Soler, Juan J

    2011-05-01

    There is increasing interest in noninvasive DNA sampling techniques. In birds, there are several methods proposed for sampling DNA, and of these, the use of eggshell swabbing is potentially applicable to a wide range of species. We estimated the effectiveness of this method in the wild by sampling the eggs of 23 bird species. Sampling of eggs was performed twice per nest, soon after the clutch was laid and again at the end of egg incubation. We genotyped DNA samples using a set of five conserved microsatellite markers, which included a Z-linked locus and a sex-typing marker. We successfully collected avian DNA from the eggs of all species tested and from 88.48% of the samples. In most of the cases, the DNA concentration was low (ca. 10 ng/μL). The number of microsatellite loci amplified per sample (0-5) was used as a measure of the genotyping success of the sample. On average, we genotyped 3.01 ± 0.12 loci per sample (mean ± SE), and time of sampling did not seem to have an effect; however, genotyping success differed among species and was greater in those species that used feather material for lining their nest cups. We also checked for the occurrence of possible genotyping errors derived from using samples with very low DNA quantities (i.e. allelic dropout or false alleles) and for DNA contamination from individuals other than the mother, which appeared at a moderate rate (in 44% of the PCR replicates and in 17.36% of samples, respectively). Additionally, we investigated whether the DNA on eggshells corresponded to maternal DNA by comparing the genotypes obtained from the eggshells to those obtained from blood samples of all the nestlings for six nests of magpies. In five of the six magpie nests, we found evidence that the swab genotypes were a mixture of genotypes from both parents and this finding was independent of the time of incubation. Thus, our results broadly confirm that the swabbing of eggshells can be used as a noninvasive method for obtaining DNA

  16. Patterns of diversification of Afrotropical Otiteselline fig wasps: phylogenetic study reveals a double radiation across host figs and conservatism of host association.

    PubMed

    Jousselin, E; Van Noort, S; Rasplus, J-Y; Greeff, J M

    2006-01-01

    We studied the phylogenetic relationships of Otiteselline fig waSPS associated with Ficus in the Afrotropical region using rDNA sequences. African fig species usually host two species of Otiteselline fig waSPS. Phylogenetic analyses reveal that this pattern of association results from the radiation of two clades of waSPS superimposed on the fig system. Within each clade, wasp species generally cluster according to their host classification. The phylogenies of the two clades are also generally more congruent than expected by chance. Together these results suggest that Otiteselline wasp speciation is largely constrained by the diversification of their hosts. Finally, we show a difference in ovipositor length between the two Otiteselline species coexisting in the same Ficus species, which probably corresponds to ecological differences. The diversification of ecological niches within the fig is probably, with cospeciation, one of the key factors explaining the diversification and maintenance of species of parasites of the fig/pollinator system.

  17. Inference about species richness and community structure using species-specific occupancy models in the National Swiss Breeding Bird Survey MUB

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kery, M.; Royle, J. Andrew; Thomson, David L.; Cooch, Evan G.; Conroy, Michael J.

    2009-01-01

    Species richness is the most widely used biodiversity measure. Virtually always, it cannot be observed but needs to be estimated because some species may be present but remain undetected. This fact is commonly ignored in ecology and management, although it will bias estimates of species richness and related parameters such as occupancy, turnover or extinction rates. We describe a species community modeling strategy based on species-specific models of occurrence, from which estimates of important summaries of community structure, e.g., species richness, occupancy, or measures of similarity among species or sites, are derived by aggregating indicators of occurrence for all species observed in the sample, and for the estimated complement of unobserved species. We use data augmentation for an efficient Bayesian approach to estimation and prediction under this model based on MCMC in WinBUGS. For illustration, we use the Swiss breeding bird survey (MHB) that conducts 2?3 territory-mapping surveys in a systematic sample of 267 1 km2 units on quadrat-specific routes averaging 5.1 km to obtain species-specific estimates of occupancy, and estimates of species richness of all diurnal species free of distorting effects of imperfect detectability. We introduce into our model species-specific covariates relevant to occupancy (elevation, forest cover, route length) and sampling (season, effort). From 1995 to 2004, 185 diurnal breeding bird species were known in Switzerland, and an additional 13 bred 1?3 times since 1900. 134 species were observed during MHB surveys in 254 quadrats surveyed in 2001, and our estimate of 169.9 (95% CI 151?195) therefore appeared sensible. The observed number of species ranged from 4 to 58 (mean 32.8), but with an estimated 0.7?11.2 (mean 2.6) further, unobserved species, the estimated proportion of detected species was 0.48?0.98 (mean 0.91). As is well known, species richness declined at higher elevation and fell above the timberline, and most

  18. Are Species Coexistence Areas a Good Option for Conservation Management? Applications from Fine Scale Modelling in Two Steppe Birds

    PubMed Central

    Tarjuelo, Rocío; Morales, Manuel B.; Traba, Juan; Delgado, M. Paula

    2014-01-01

    Biotic interactions and land uses have been proposed as factors that determine the distribution of the species at local scale. The presence of heterospecifics may modify the habitat selection pattern of the individuals and this may have important implications for the design of effective conservation strategies. However, conservation proposals are often focused on a single flagship or umbrella species taken as representative of an entire assemblage requirements. Our aim is to identify and evaluate the role of coexistence areas at local scale as conservation tools, by using distribution data of two endangered birds, the Little Bustard and the Great Bustard. Presence-only based suitability models for each species were built with MaxEnt using variables of substrate type and topography. Probability maps of habitat suitability for each species were combined to generate a map in which coexistence and exclusive use areas were delimitated. Probabilities of suitable habitat for each species inside coexistence and exclusive areas were compared. As expected, habitat requirements of Little and Great Bustards differed. Coexistence areas presented lower probabilities of habitat suitability than exclusive use ones. We conclude that differences in species' habitat preferences can hinder the efficiency of protected areas with multi-species conservation purposes. Our results highlight the importance of taking into account the role of biotic interactions when designing conservation measurements. PMID:24498210

  19. Are species coexistence areas a good option for conservation management? Applications from fine scale modelling in two steppe birds.

    PubMed

    Tarjuelo, Rocío; Morales, Manuel B; Traba, Juan; Delgado, M Paula

    2014-01-01

    Biotic interactions and land uses have been proposed as factors that determine the distribution of the species at local scale. The presence of heterospecifics may modify the habitat selection pattern of the individuals and this may have important implications for the design of effective conservation strategies. However, conservation proposals are often focused on a single flagship or umbrella species taken as representative of an entire assemblage requirements. Our aim is to identify and evaluate the role of coexistence areas at local scale as conservation tools, by using distribution data of two endangered birds, the Little Bustard and the Great Bustard. Presence-only based suitability models for each species were built with MaxEnt using variables of substrate type and topography. Probability maps of habitat suitability for each species were combined to generate a map in which coexistence and exclusive use areas were delimitated. Probabilities of suitable habitat for each species inside coexistence and exclusive areas were compared. As expected, habitat requirements of Little and Great Bustards differed. Coexistence areas presented lower probabilities of habitat suitability than exclusive use ones. We conclude that differences in species' habitat preferences can hinder the efficiency of protected areas with multi-species conservation purposes. Our results highlight the importance of taking into account the role of biotic interactions when designing conservation measurements.

  20. Observations on the biology of Afrotropical Hesperiidae (Lepidoptera). Part 6. Hesperiinae incertae sedis: palm feeders.

    PubMed

    Cock, Matthew J W; Congdon, T Colin E; Collins, Steve C

    2014-07-08

    Partial life histories for 12 Hesperiinae incertae sedis that feed on palms (Arecaceae) are described and illustrated. The genera dealt with are: Perrotia (part), Ploetzia, Zophopetes, Gretna (part), Pteroteinon, Leona, and Caenides (part) (all from Evans' Ploetzia genera group). Although Gamia spp. have been reported to feed on palms, these records are considered to be in error, as caterpillars of this genus feed on Dracaena spp. (Asparagaceae). The life histories of the species documented are fairly uniform, in that caterpillars of most species have rounded brown heads, wider basally, with or without limited black markings, smooth bodies and make simple shelters by rolling leaves. Variation in caterpillar markings and male genitalia of Zophopetes dysmephila (Trimen) and caterpillar and adult markings of Gretna carmen Evans merit further study. In G. carmen, G. waga (Plötz) and G. balenge (Holland), the caterpillars' head and body are covered with hair-like setae, and develop an extensive covering of white waxy powder, which in G. balenge also covers the long setae. Furthermore, the pupa of G. balenge is unusual in having a pair of large, elaborate processes frontally on the head; when disturbed, the pupa vibrates violently and rattles noisily against the sides of the shelter. Ploetzia amygdalis (Mabille) and Pteroteinon laufella (Hewitson) have gregarious caterpillars, whereas the remaining species are solitary. After eclosion, the first instar caterpillars of Gretna spp. moult to the second instar without feeding. The implications of a palm-feeding life-style are discussed, and economic damage and plant quarantine risks to coconut, oil palm and ornamental palms pointed out. The known life histories suggest that all Afrotropical palm-feeding Hesperiidae will belong in the same tribe when the incertae sedis section is further elucidated, although the affinities of Gretna deserve further consideration. 

  1. Determination of temperate bird-flower interactions as entangled mutualistic and antagonistic sub-networks: characterization at the network and species levels.

    PubMed

    Yoshikawa, Tetsuro; Isagi, Yuji

    2014-05-01

    Most network studies on biological interactions consider only a single interaction type. However, individual species are simultaneously positioned in various types of interactions. The ways in which different network types are merged and entangled, and the variations in network structures between different sympatric networks, require full elucidation. Incorporating interaction types and disentangling complex networks is crucial, because the integration of various network architectures has the potential to alter the stability and co-evolutionary dynamics of the whole network. To reveal how different types of interaction networks are entangled, we focused on the interaction between birds and flowers of temperate plants in Japan, where flower-feeding birds are mainly generalist passerines, acting as pollinators and predators of flowers. Using long-term monitoring data, we investigated the flower-feeding episodes of birds. We constructed the whole network (WN) between birds and plants, separating the network into mutualistic and antagonistic sub-networks (MS and AS, respectively). We investigated structural properties of the three quantified networks and species-level characteristics of the main bird species. For bird species, we evaluated dietary similarity, dietary specialization and shifts of feeding behaviour relative to plant traits. Our results indicate that WN comprises entangled MS and AS, sharing considerable proportions of bird and plant assemblages. We observed distinctive differences in the network structural properties between the two sub-networks. In comparison with AS, MS had lower numbers of bird and plant species, showed lower specialization and modularity and exhibited higher nestedness. At the species level, the Japanese white-eye acted as pollinator, while the brown-eared bulbul acted as both pollinator and predator for large numbers of flowers, based on its behavioural plasticity. Overall, the pattern of avian feeding behaviour was influenced by

  2. Anticoagulant rodenticide exposure and toxicosis in four species of birds of prey presented to a wildlife clinic in Massachusetts, 2006-2010.

    PubMed

    Murray, Maureen

    2011-03-01

    Mortalities among birds of prey from anticoagulant rodenticide (AR) toxicosis have been documented in several countries. Reports on extent of exposure within regions of the United States are limited. This study investigated AR exposure and toxicosis in four species of birds of prey (red-tailed hawks [Buteo jamaicensis], barred owls [Strix varia], eastern screech owls [Megascops asio] and great horned owls [Bubo virginianus]) presented to a wildlife clinic in Massachusetts. The aims of this study are to document the proportion of these four species that died or were euthanized due to their presenting injuries that had detectable amounts of ARs in liver tissue; to identify and quantify ARs present; to describe clinical, postmortem, and histopathologic signs of toxicosis; to evaluate potential sublethal effects of AR exposure; and to associate liver AR level with toxicosis. Birds included in the study were sampled without regard to signs of AR toxicosis. Postmortem examinations were conducted, and liver samples were analyzed for AR residues. Of 161 birds tested, 86% had AR residues in liver tissue. The second-generation AR (SGAR) brodifacoum was identified in 99% of positive birds. Mortality from AR toxicosis was diagnosed in 6% of birds. No indications of sublethal effects of exposure were found, and no association between liver brodifacoum level and signs of toxicosis was apparent. Given the high proportion of birds in this study exposed to ARs, specifically brodifacoum, continued monitoring is warranted as new U.S. Environmental Protection Agency regulations on the sale and use of SGARs are enacted.

  3. Predicting Landscape-Genetic Consequences of Habitat Loss, Fragmentation and Mobility for Multiple Species of Woodland Birds

    PubMed Central

    Amos, J. Nevil; Bennett, Andrew F.; Mac Nally, Ralph; Newell, Graeme; Pavlova, Alexandra; Radford, James Q.; Thomson, James R.; White, Matt; Sunnucks, Paul

    2012-01-01

    Inference concerning the impact of habitat fragmentation on dispersal and gene flow is a key theme in landscape genetics. Recently, the ability of established approaches to identify reliably the differential effects of landscape structure (e.g. land-cover composition, remnant vegetation configuration and extent) on the mobility of organisms has been questioned. More explicit methods of predicting and testing for such effects must move beyond post hoc explanations for single landscapes and species. Here, we document a process for making a priori predictions, using existing spatial and ecological data and expert opinion, of the effects of landscape structure on genetic structure of multiple species across replicated landscape blocks. We compare the results of two common methods for estimating the influence of landscape structure on effective distance: least-cost path analysis and isolation-by-resistance. We present a series of alternative models of genetic connectivity in the study area, represented by different landscape resistance surfaces for calculating effective distance, and identify appropriate null models. The process is applied to ten species of sympatric woodland-dependant birds. For each species, we rank a priori the expectation of fit of genetic response to the models according to the expected response of birds to loss of structural connectivity and landscape-scale tree-cover. These rankings (our hypotheses) are presented for testing with empirical genetic data in a subsequent contribution. We propose that this replicated landscape, multi-species approach offers a robust method for identifying the likely effects of landscape fragmentation on dispersal. PMID:22363508

  4. Do Bird Assemblages Predict Susceptibility by E-Waste Pollution? A Comparative Study Based on Species- and Guild-Dependent Responses in China Agroecosystems

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Qiang; Wu, Jiangping; Sun, Yuxin; Zhang, Min; Mai, Bixian; Mo, Ling; Lee, Tien Ming; Zou, Fasheng

    2015-01-01

    Indirect effects of electronic waste (e-waste) have been proposed as a causal factor in the decline of bird populations, but analyses of the severity impacts on community assembly are currently lacking. To explore how population abundance/species diversity are influenced, and which functional traits are important in determining e-waste susceptibility, here we surveyed breeding and overwintering birds with a hierarchically nested sampling design, and used linear mixed models to analyze changes in bird assemblages along an exposure gradient in South China. Total bird abundance and species diversity decreased with e-waste severity (exposed < surrounding < reference), reflecting the decreasing discharge and consequent side effects. Twenty-five breeding species exclusively used natural farmland, and nine species decreased significantly in relative abundance at e-waste polluted sites. A high pairwise similarity between exposed and surrounding sites indicates a diffuse effect of pollutants on the species assembly at local scale. We show that sensitivity to e-waste severity varies substantially across functional guild, with the prevalence of woodland insectivorous and grassland specialists declining, while some open farmland generalists such as arboreal frugivores, and terrestrial granivores were also rare. By contrast, the response of waterbirds, omnivorous and non-breeding visitors seem to be tolerable to a wide range of pollution so far. These findings underscore that improper e-waste dismantling results in a severe decline of bird diversity, and the different bird assemblages on polluted and natural farmlands imply species- and guild-dependent susceptibility with functional traits. Moreover, a better understanding of the impact of e-waste with different pollution levels, combined multiple pollutants, and in a food-web context on bird is required in future. PMID:25811881

  5. Do bird assemblages predict susceptibility by e-waste pollution? A comparative study based on species- and guild-dependent responses in China agroecosystems.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Qiang; Wu, Jiangping; Sun, Yuxin; Zhang, Min; Mai, Bixian; Mo, Ling; Lee, Tien Ming; Zou, Fasheng

    2015-01-01

    Indirect effects of electronic waste (e-waste) have been proposed as a causal factor in the decline of bird populations, but analyses of the severity impacts on community assembly are currently lacking. To explore how population abundance/species diversity are influenced, and which functional traits are important in determining e-waste susceptibility, here we surveyed breeding and overwintering birds with a hierarchically nested sampling design, and used linear mixed models to analyze changes in bird assemblages along an exposure gradient in South China. Total bird abundance and species diversity decreased with e-waste severity (exposed < surrounding < reference), reflecting the decreasing discharge and consequent side effects. Twenty-five breeding species exclusively used natural farmland, and nine species decreased significantly in relative abundance at e-waste polluted sites. A high pairwise similarity between exposed and surrounding sites indicates a diffuse effect of pollutants on the species assembly at local scale. We show that sensitivity to e-waste severity varies substantially across functional guild, with the prevalence of woodland insectivorous and grassland specialists declining, while some open farmland generalists such as arboreal frugivores, and terrestrial granivores were also rare. By contrast, the response of waterbirds, omnivorous and non-breeding visitors seem to be tolerable to a wide range of pollution so far. These findings underscore that improper e-waste dismantling results in a severe decline of bird diversity, and the different bird assemblages on polluted and natural farmlands imply species- and guild-dependent susceptibility with functional traits. Moreover, a better understanding of the impact of e-waste with different pollution levels, combined multiple pollutants, and in a food-web context on bird is required in future.

  6. Variation of Basal EROD Activities in Ten Passerine Bird Species – Relationships with Diet and Migration Status

    PubMed Central

    Rainio, Miia J.; Kanerva, Mirella; Wahlberg, Niklas; Nikinmaa, Mikko; Eeva, Tapio

    2012-01-01

    Inter-specific differences in animal defence mechanisms against toxic substances are currently poorly understood. The ethoxyresorufin-O-deethylase (EROD) enzyme plays an important role in defence against toxic chemicals in a wide variety of animals, and it is an important biomarker for environmental contamination. We compared basal hepatic EROD activity levels among ten passerine species to see if there is inter-specific variation in enzyme activity, especially in relation to their diet and migration status. Migratory insectivores showed higher EROD activity compared to granivores. We hypothesize that the variable invertebrate diet of migratory insectivores contains a wider range of natural toxins than the narrower diet of granivores. This may have affected the evolution of mixed function oxidases (MFO) system and enzyme activities. We further tested whether metabolic rates or relative liver size were associated with the variation in detoxification capacity. We found no association between EROD activity and relative (per mass unit) basal metabolic rate (BMR). Instead, EROD activity and relative liver mass (% of body mass) correlated positively, suggesting that a proportionally large liver also functions efficiently. Our results suggest that granivores and non-migratory birds may be more vulnerable to environmental contaminants than insectivores and migratory birds. The diet and migration status, however, are phylogenetically strongly connected to each other, and their roles cannot be fully separated in our analysis with only ten passerine species. PMID:22479477

  7. Genetic signature of population fragmentation varies with mobility in seven bird species of a fragmented Kenyan cloud forest.

    PubMed

    Callens, Tom; Galbusera, Peter; Matthysen, Erik; Durand, Eric Y; Githiru, Mwangi; Huyghe, Jeroen R; Lens, Luc

    2011-05-01

    Habitat fragmentation can restrict geneflow, reduce neighbourhood effective population size, and increase genetic drift and inbreeding in small, isolated habitat remnants. The extent to which habitat fragmentation leads to population fragmentation, however, differs among landscapes and taxa. Commonly, researchers use information on the current status of a species to predict population effects of habitat fragmentation. Such methods, however, do not convey information on species-specific responses to fragmentation. Here, we compare levels of past population differentiation, estimated from microsatellite genotypes, with contemporary dispersal rates, estimated from multi-strata capture-recapture models, to infer changes in mobility over time in seven sympatric, forest-dependent bird species of a Kenyan cloud forest archipelago. Overall, populations of sedentary species were more strongly differentiated and clustered compared to those of vagile ones, while geographical patterning suggested an important role of landscape structure in shaping genetic variation. However, five of seven species with broadly similar levels of genetic differentiation nevertheless differed substantially in their current dispersal rates. We conclude that post-fragmentation levels of vagility, without reference to past population connectivity, may not be the best predictor of how forest fragmentation affects the life history of forest-dependent species. As effective conservation strategies often hinge on accurate prediction of shifts in ecological and genetic relationships among populations, conservation practices based solely upon current population abundances or movements may, in the long term, prove to be inadequate.

  8. The influence of vegetation height heterogeneity on forest and woodland bird species richness across the United States.

    PubMed

    Huang, Qiongyu; Swatantran, Anu; Dubayah, Ralph; Goetz, Scott J

    2014-01-01

    Avian diversity is under increasing pressures. It is thus critical to understand the ecological variables that contribute to large scale spatial distribution of avian species diversity. Traditionally, studies have relied primarily on two-dimensional habitat structure to model broad scale species richness. Vegetation vertical structure is increasingly used at local scales. However, the spatial arrangement of vegetation height has never been taken into consideration. Our goal was to examine the efficacies of three-dimensional forest structure, particularly the spatial heterogeneity of vegetation height in improving avian richness models across forested ecoregions in the U.S. We developed novel habitat metrics to characterize the spatial arrangement of vegetation height using the National Biomass and Carbon Dataset for the year 2000 (NBCD). The height-structured metrics were compared with other habitat metrics for statistical association with richness of three forest breeding bird guilds across Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) routes: a broadly grouped woodland guild, and two forest breeding guilds with preferences for forest edge and for interior forest. Parametric and non-parametric models were built to examine the improvement of predictability. Height-structured metrics had the strongest associations with species richness, yielding improved predictive ability for the woodland guild richness models (r(2) = ∼ 0.53 for the parametric models, 0.63 the non-parametric models) and the forest edge guild models (r(2) = ∼ 0.34 for the parametric models, 0.47 the non-parametric models). All but one of the linear models incorporating height-structured metrics showed significantly higher adjusted-r2 values than their counterparts without additional metrics. The interior forest guild richness showed a consistent low association with height-structured metrics. Our results suggest that height heterogeneity, beyond canopy height alone, supplements habitat characterization and

  9. Cestodes of the family Dilepididae (Cestoda:Cyclophyllidea) from fish-eating birds in Mexico: a survey of species.

    PubMed

    Scholz, Tomás; Kuchta, Roman; Salgado-Madonado, Guillermo

    2002-07-01

    A survey of adults of dilepidid tapeworms (Cyclophyllidea) from piscivorous birds from Mexico is presented on the basis of the taxonomic evaluation of freshly collected and voucher specimens. The following species are reported (first records from Mexico marked with an asterisk): Cyclustera capito (Rudolphi, 1819); *C. ibisae (Schmidt & Bush, 1972); *Dendrouterina ardeae Rausch, 1955; *D. herodiae Fuhrmann, 1912; *D. papillifera (Fuhrmann, 1908); Glossocercus auritus (Rudolphi, 1819); *Neogryporhynchus cheilancristrotus (Wedl, 1855); Paradilepis caballeroi Rysavy & Macko, 1973; Paradilepis sp.; Parvitaenia cochlearii Coil, 1955; and Valipora mutabilis Linton, 1927. Dendrouteria herodiae is reported from America for the first time. New definitive hosts are Phalacrocorax olivaceus for C. capito, N. cheilancristrotus and P. caballeroi; Casmerodius albus and Egretta thula for G. auritus; and E. thula for D. herodiae. Data on the morphology of the rostellar hooks of all species, their hosts and distribution in Mexico are provided.

  10. Is supplementary feeding in gardens a driver of evolutionary change in a migratory bird species?

    PubMed

    Plummer, Kate E; Siriwardena, Gavin M; Conway, Greg J; Risely, Kate; Toms, Mike P

    2015-12-01

    Human activities are causing rapid environmental change at a global scale. Urbanization is responsible for some of the most extreme human-altered habitats and is a known driver of evolutionary change, but evidence and understanding of these processes is limited. Here, we investigate the potential underlying mechanisms contributing to the contemporary evolution of migration behaviour in the Eurasian blackcap (Sylvia atricapilla). Blackcaps from central Europe have been wintering in urban areas of Britain with increasing frequency over the past 60 years, rather than migrating south to the Mediterranean. It has been hypothesized that the popularization of providing supplementary foods for wild birds within Britain may have influenced this marked migratory change, but quantifying the selective forces shaping evolutionary changes remains challenging. Using a long-term national scale data set, we examine both the spatial distribution and interannual variation in blackcap wintering behaviour in Britain in relation to supplementary food availability and local climate. Over a 12-year period, we show that blackcaps are becoming increasingly associated with the provision of supplementary foods in British gardens, and that the reliability of bird food supplies is influencing their winter distribution at a national scale. In addition, local climatic temperatures and broader scale weather variation are also important determinants of blackcap wintering patterns once they arrive in Britain. Based on our findings, we conclude that a synergistic effect of increased availability of feeding resources, in the form of garden bird food, coupled with climatic amelioration, has enabled a successful new wintering population to become established in Britain. As global biodiversity is threatened by human-induced environmental change, this study presents new and timely evidence of the role human activities can play in shaping evolutionary trajectories.

  11. Bird and mammal species composition in distinct geographic regions and their relationships with environmental factors across multiple spatial scales.

    PubMed

    Kent, Rafi; Bar-Massada, Avi; Carmel, Yohay

    2014-05-01

    Global patters of species distributions and their underlying mechanisms are a major question in ecology, and the need for multi-scale analyses has been recognized. Previous studies recognized climate, topography, habitat heterogeneity and disturbance as important variables affecting such patterns. Here we report on analyses of species composition - environment relationships among different taxonomic groups in two continents, and the components of such relationships, in the contiguous USA and Australia. We used partial Canonical Correspondence Analysis of occurrence records of mammals and breeding birds from the Global Biodiversity Information Facility, to quantify relationships between species composition and environmental variables in remote geographic regions at multiple spatial scales, with extents ranging from 10(5) to 10(7) km(2) and sampling grids from 10 to 10,000 km(2). We evaluated the concept that two elements contribute to the impact of environmental variables on composition: the strength of species' affinity to an environmental variable, and the amount of variance in the variable. To disentangle these two elements, we analyzed correlations between resulting trends and the amount of variance contained in different environmental variables to isolate the mechanisms behind the observed relationships. We found that climate and land use-land cover are responsible for most explained variance in species composition, regardless of scale, taxonomic group and geographic region. However, the amount of variance in species composition attributed to land use / land cover (LULC) was closely related to the amount of intrinsic variability in LULC in the USA, but not in Australia, while the effect of climate on species composition was negatively correlated to the variability found in the climatic variables. The low variance in climate, compared to LULC, suggests that species in both taxonomic groups have strong affinity to climate, thus it has a strong effect on species

  12. Detectability in Audio-Visual Surveys of Tropical Rainforest Birds: The Influence of Species, Weather and Habitat Characteristics.

    PubMed

    Anderson, Alexander S; Marques, Tiago A; Shoo, Luke P; Williams, Stephen E

    2015-01-01

    Indices of relative abundance do not control for variation in detectability, which can bias density estimates such that ecological processes are difficult to infer. Distance sampling methods can be used to correct for detectability, but in rainforest, where dense vegetation and diverse assemblages complicate sampling, information is lacking about factors affecting their application. Rare species present an additional challenge, as data may be too sparse to fit detection functions. We present analyses of distance sampling data collected for a diverse tropical rainforest bird assemblage across broad elevational and latitudinal gradients in North Queensland, Australia. Using audio and visual detections, we assessed the influence of various factors on Effective Strip Width (ESW), an intuitively useful parameter, since it can be used to calculate an estimate of density from count data. Body size and species exerted the most important influence on ESW, with larger species detectable over greater distances than smaller species. Secondarily, wet weather and high shrub density decreased ESW for most species. ESW for several species also differed between summer and winter, possibly due to seasonal differences in calling behavior. Distance sampling proved logistically intensive in these environments, but large differences in ESW between species confirmed the need to correct for detection probability to obtain accurate density estimates. Our results suggest an evidence-based approach to controlling for factors influencing detectability, and avenues for further work including modeling detectability as a function of species characteristics such as body size and call characteristics. Such models may be useful in developing a calibration for non-distance sampling data and for estimating detectability of rare species.

  13. Detectability in Audio-Visual Surveys of Tropical Rainforest Birds: The Influence of Species, Weather and Habitat Characteristics

    PubMed Central

    Anderson, Alexander S.; Marques, Tiago A.; Shoo, Luke P.; Williams, Stephen E.

    2015-01-01

    Indices of relative abundance do not control for variation in detectability, which can bias density estimates such that ecological processes are difficult to infer. Distance sampling methods can be used to correct for detectability, but in rainforest, where dense vegetation and diverse assemblages complicate sampling, information is lacking about factors affecting their application. Rare species present an additional challenge, as data may be too sparse to fit detection functions. We present analyses of distance sampling data collected for a diverse tropical rainforest bird assemblage across broad elevational and latitudinal gradients in North Queensland, Australia. Using audio and visual detections, we assessed the influence of various factors on Effective Strip Width (ESW), an intuitively useful parameter, since it can be used to calculate an estimate of density from count data. Body size and species exerted the most important influence on ESW, with larger species detectable over greater distances than smaller species. Secondarily, wet weather and high shrub density decreased ESW for most species. ESW for several species also differed between summer and winter, possibly due to seasonal differences in calling behavior. Distance sampling proved logistically intensive in these environments, but large differences in ESW between species confirmed the need to correct for detection probability to obtain accurate density estimates. Our results suggest an evidence-based approach to controlling for factors influencing detectability, and avenues for further work including modeling detectability as a function of species characteristics such as body size and call characteristics. Such models may be useful in developing a calibration for non-distance sampling data and for estimating detectability of rare species. PMID:26110433

  14. Species richness, relative abundance, and habitat associations of nocturnal birds along the rio grande in Southern texas

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Skoruppa, M.K.; Woodin, M.C.; Blacklock, G.

    2009-01-01

    The segment of the Rio Grande between International Falcon Reservoir and Del Rio, Texas (distance ca. 350 km), remains largely unexplored ornithologically. We surveyed nocturnal birds monthly during February-June 1998 at 19 stations along the Rio Grande (n = 6) and at upland stock ponds (n = 13) in Webb County, Texas. We conducted 10-min point counts (n = 89) after sunset and before moonset. Four species of owls and five species of nightjars were detected. Nightjars, as a group, were nearly five limes more abundant (mean number/count = 2.63) than owls (mean number = 0.55). The most, common owl, the great horned owl (Bubo virginianus), had a mean number of 0.25/point count. The mean for elf owls (Micrathene whitneyi) was 0.16/point count. The most common nightjars were the common poorwill (Phalaenoptilus nuttallii; 1.21/point count) and lesser nighthawk (Chordeiles acutipennir, 1.16/point count). Survey sites on the river supported more species (mean = 2.2) than did upland stock ponds (mean = 1.4). However, only one species (common pauraque, Nyctidromus albicollis) showed a preference for the river sites. Our results establish this segment of the Rio Grande in southern Texas as an area of high diversity of nightjars in the United States, matched (in numbers of species) only by southeastern Arizona and southwestern New Mexico.

  15. Dramatic niche shifts and morphological change in two insular bird species

    PubMed Central

    Alström, Per; Jønsson, Knud A.; Fjeldså, Jon; Ödeen, Anders; Ericson, Per G. P.; Irestedt, Martin

    2015-01-01

    Colonizations of islands are often associated with rapid morphological divergence. We present two previously unrecognized cases of dramatic morphological change and niche shifts in connection with colonization of tropical forest-covered islands. These evolutionary changes have concealed the fact that the passerine birds madanga, Madanga ruficollis, from Buru, Indonesia, and São Tomé shorttail, Amaurocichla bocagii, from São Tomé, Gulf of Guinea, are forest-adapted members of the family Motacillidae (pipits and wagtails). We show that Madanga has diverged mainly in plumage, which may be the result of selection for improved camouflage in its new arboreal niche, while selection pressures for other morphological changes have probably been weak owing to preadaptations for the novel niche. By contrast, we suggest that Amaurocichla's niche change has led to divergence in both structure and plumage. PMID:26064613

  16. Steroidal feedback on photoperiodic induction of testicular growth and development in two bird species.

    PubMed

    Kumar, Sunil; Pandey, R K; Choudhary, I; Bhardwaj, S K

    2012-01-01

    Present study was performed to demonstrate the effect of exogenous administration of testosterone propionate on photoperiodic induction of testicular growth and development in brahminy myna (Sturnus pagodarum) and baya weaver (Ploceus philippinus). Two groups of brahminy myna and baya weaver (n=5 each) were exposed to 15L:9D (group-I) and 9L:15D (group-II), and received 30 microg of TP bird(-1) for 15 days. Then, the photoperiod was reversed; the one receiving 15L was exposed to 9L and vice versa. Observations on body mass and testis volume were taken at the beginning and at 15 days interval. In brahminy myna, a significant change in body mass occurred under 9L:15D, transfer to 15L:9D, but not under 15L:9D group, transfer to 9L:15D. Also, testes were stimulated under 15L:9D transferred to 9L:15D, but not under 9L:15D transferred to 15L:9D. In baya weaver, body mass increased under 15L:9D and 9L:15D for first 15 days and was maintained until the end of the experiment. Testes enlarged gradually in both groups (15L:9D and 9L:15D transfer to vice versa), but it regressed in 15L:9D group, transferred to 9L:15D after 45 days. Taken together it appears that body mass response indicates the photoperiodic effect and gonadal response indicates the hormonal effect. Finally results conclude that the photoperiod and circulating testosterone levels feedback on to hypothalamus regulates reproductive cycle in these birds.

  17. Fine-scale kin recognition in the absence of social familiarity in the Siberian jay, a monogamous bird species.

    PubMed

    Griesser, Michael; Halvarsson, Peter; Drobniak, Szymon M; Vilà, Carles

    2015-11-01

    Kin recognition is a critical element to kin cooperation, and in vertebrates, it is primarily based on associative learning. Recognition of socially unfamiliar kin occurs rarely, and it is reported only in vertebrate species where promiscuity prevents recognition of first-order relatives. However, it is unknown whether the recognition of socially unfamiliar kin can evolve in monogamous species. Here, we investigate whether genetic relatedness modulates aggression among group members in Siberian jays (Perisoreus infaustus). This bird species is genetically and socially monogamous and lives in groups that are formed through the retention of offspring beyond independence, and the immigration of socially unfamiliar nonbreeders. Observations on feeders showed that genetic relatedness modulated aggression of breeders towards immigrants in a graded manner, in that they chased most intensely the immigrant group members that were genetically the least related. However, cross-fostering experiments showed that breeders were equally tolerant towards their own and cross-fostered young swapped as nestlings. Thus, breeders seem to use different mechanisms to recognize socially unfamiliar individuals and own offspring. As Siberian jays show a high degree of nepotism during foraging and predator encounters, inclusive fitness benefits may play a role for the evolution of fine-scale kin recognition. More generally, our results suggest that fine-graded kin recognition can evolve independently of social familiarity, highlighting the evolutionary importance of kin recognition for social species.

  18. Testing for effects of climate change on competitive relationships and coexistence between two bird species.

    PubMed

    Stenseth, Nils Chr; Durant, Joël M; Fowler, Mike S; Matthysen, Erik; Adriaensen, Frank; Jonzén, Niclas; Chan, Kung-Sik; Liu, Hai; De Laet, Jenny; Sheldon, Ben C; Visser, Marcel E; Dhondt, André A

    2015-05-22

    Climate change is expected to have profound ecological effects, yet shifts in competitive abilities among species are rarely studied in this context. Blue tits (Cyanistes caeruleus) and great tits (Parus major) compete for food and roosting sites, yet coexist across much of their range. Climate change might thus change the competitive relationships and coexistence between these two species. Analysing four of the highest-quality, long-term datasets available on these species across Europe, we extend the textbook example of coexistence between competing species to include the dynamic effects of long-term climate variation. Using threshold time-series statistical modelling, we demonstrate that long-term climate variation affects species demography through different influences on density-dependent and density-independent processes. The competitive interaction between blue tits and great tits has shifted in one of the studied sites, creating conditions that alter the relative equilibrium densities between the two species, potentially disrupting long-term coexistence. Our analyses show that long-term climate change can, but does not always, generate local differences in the equilibrium conditions of spatially structured species assemblages. We demonstrate how long-term data can be used to better understand whether (and how), for instance, climate change might change the relationships between coexisting species. However, the studied populations are rather robust against competitive exclusion.

  19. Testing for effects of climate change on competitive relationships and coexistence between two bird species

    PubMed Central

    Stenseth, Nils Chr.; Durant, Joël M.; Fowler, Mike S.; Matthysen, Erik; Adriaensen, Frank; Jonzén, Niclas; Chan, Kung-Sik; Liu, Hai; De Laet, Jenny; Sheldon, Ben C.; Visser, Marcel E.; Dhondt, André A.

    2015-01-01

    Climate change is expected to have profound ecological effects, yet shifts in competitive abilities among species are rarely studied in this context. Blue tits (Cyanistes caeruleus) and great tits (Parus major) compete for food and roosting sites, yet coexist across much of their range. Climate change might thus change the competitive relationships and coexistence between these two species. Analysing four of the highest-quality, long-term datasets available on these species across Europe, we extend the textbook example of coexistence between competing species to include the dynamic effects of long-term climate variation. Using threshold time-series statistical modelling, we demonstrate that long-term climate variation affects species demography through different influences on density-dependent and density-independent processes. The competitive interaction between blue tits and great tits has shifted in one of the studied sites, creating conditions that alter the relative equilibrium densities between the two species, potentially disrupting long-term coexistence. Our analyses show that long-term climate change can, but does not always, generate local differences in the equilibrium conditions of spatially structured species assemblages. We demonstrate how long-term data can be used to better understand whether (and how), for instance, climate change might change the relationships between coexisting species. However, the studied populations are rather robust against competitive exclusion. PMID:25904659

  20. Integration of Genetic and Phenotypic Data in 48 Lineages of Philippine Birds Shows Heterogeneous Divergence Processes and Numerous Cryptic Species

    PubMed Central

    Campbell, Kyle K.; Braile, Thomas

    2016-01-01

    The Philippine Islands are one of the most biologically diverse archipelagoes in the world. Current taxonomy, however, may underestimate levels of avian diversity and endemism in these islands. Although species limits can be difficult to determine among allopatric populations, quantitative methods for comparing phenotypic and genotypic data can provide useful metrics of divergence among populations and identify those that merit consideration for elevation to full species status. Using a conceptual approach that integrates genetic and phenotypic data, we compared populations among 48 species, estimating genetic divergence (p-distance) using the mtDNA marker ND2 and comparing plumage and morphometrics of museum study skins. Using conservative speciation thresholds, pairwise comparisons of genetic and phenotypic divergence suggested possible species-level divergences in more than half of the species studied (25 out of 48). In speciation process space, divergence routes were heterogeneous among taxa. Nearly all populations that surpassed high genotypic divergence thresholds were Passeriformes, and non-Passeriformes populations surpassed high phenotypic divergence thresholds more commonly than expected by chance. Overall, there was an apparent logarithmic increase in phenotypic divergence with respect to genetic divergence, suggesting the possibility that divergence among these lineages may initially be driven by divergent selection in this allopatric system. Also, genetic endemism was high among sampled islands. Higher taxonomy affected divergence in genotype and phenotype. Although broader lineage, genetic, phenotypic, and numeric sampling is needed to further explore heterogeneity among divergence processes and to accurately assess species-level diversity in these taxa, our results support the need for substantial taxonomic revisions among Philippine birds. The conservation implications are profound. PMID:27442510

  1. Integration of Genetic and Phenotypic Data in 48 Lineages of Philippine Birds Shows Heterogeneous Divergence Processes and Numerous Cryptic Species.

    PubMed

    Campbell, Kyle K; Braile, Thomas; Winker, Kevin

    2016-01-01

    The Philippine Islands are one of the most biologically diverse archipelagoes in the world. Current taxonomy, however, may underestimate levels of avian diversity and endemism in these islands. Although species limits can be difficult to determine among allopatric populations, quantitative methods for comparing phenotypic and genotypic data can provide useful metrics of divergence among populations and identify those that merit consideration for elevation to full species status. Using a conceptual approach that integrates genetic and phenotypic data, we compared populations among 48 species, estimating genetic divergence (p-distance) using the mtDNA marker ND2 and comparing plumage and morphometrics of museum study skins. Using conservative speciation thresholds, pairwise comparisons of genetic and phenotypic divergence suggested possible species-level divergences in more than half of the species studied (25 out of 48). In speciation process space, divergence routes were heterogeneous among taxa. Nearly all populations that surpassed high genotypic divergence thresholds were Passeriformes, and non-Passeriformes populations surpassed high phenotypic divergence thresholds more commonly than expected by chance. Overall, there was an apparent logarithmic increase in phenotypic divergence with respect to genetic divergence, suggesting the possibility that divergence among these lineages may initially be driven by divergent selection in this allopatric system. Also, genetic endemism was high among sampled islands. Higher taxonomy affected divergence in genotype and phenotype. Although broader lineage, genetic, phenotypic, and numeric sampling is needed to further explore heterogeneity among divergence processes and to accurately assess species-level diversity in these taxa, our results support the need for substantial taxonomic revisions among Philippine birds. The conservation implications are profound.

  2. Different scales of spatial segregation of two species of feather mites on the wings of a passerine bird.

    PubMed

    Mestre, Alexandre; Mesquita-Joanes, Francesc; Proctor, Heather; Monrós, Juan S

    2011-04-01

    The "condition-specific competition hypothesis" proposes that coexistence of 2 species is possible when spatial or temporal variations in environmental conditions exist and each species responds differently to those conditions. The distribution of different species of feather mites on their hosts is known to be affected by intrinsic host factors such as structure of feathers and friction among feathers during flight, but there is also evidence that external factors such as humidity and temperature can affect mite distribution. Some feather mites have the capacity to move through the plumage rather rapidly, and within-host variation in intensity of sunlight could be one of the cues involved in these active displacements. We analyzed both the within- and between-feather spatial distribution of 2 mite species, Trouessartia bifurcata and Dolichodectes edwardsi , that coexist in flight feathers of the moustached warbler Acrocephalus melanopogon. A complex spatial segregation between the 2 species was observed at 3 spatial levels, i.e., "feather surfaces," "between feathers," and "within feathers." Despite certain overlapping distribution among feathers, T. bifurcata dominated proximal and medial regions on dorsal faces, while D. edwardsi preferred disto-ventral feather areas. An experiment to check the behavioral response of T. bifurcata to sunlight showed that mites responded to light exposure by approaching the feather bases and even leaving its dorsal face. Spatial heterogeneity across the 3 analyzed levels, together with response to light and other particular species adaptations, may have played a role in the coexistence and segregation of feather mites competing for space and food in passerine birds.

  3. First Record of the Myrmicine Ant Genus Meranoplus Smith, 1853 (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) from the Arabian Peninsula with Description of a New Species and Notes on the Zoogeography of Southwestern Kingdom Saudi Arabia

    PubMed Central

    Sharaf, Mostafa R.; Al Dhafer, Hathal M.; Aldawood, Abdulrahman S.

    2014-01-01

    The ant genus Meranoplus is reported for the first time from the Arabian Peninsula (Kingdom of Saudi Arabia) by the new species M. pulcher sp. n., based on the worker caste. Specimens were collected from Al Sarawat and Asir Mountains of southwestern Kingdom of Saudi Arabia using pitfall traps. Meranoplus pulcher sp. n. is included in the Afrotropical M. magretii-group, with greatest similarity to M. magrettii André from Sudan. A key to the Afrotropical species of the M. magretii-group is presented. A brief review of the ant taxa with Afrotropical affinities in southwestern region of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is given. PMID:25375104

  4. Two sympatric species of passerine birds imitate the same raptor calls in alarm contexts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ratnayake, Chaminda P.; Goodale, Eben; Kotagama, Sarath W.

    2010-01-01

    While some avian mimics appear to select sounds randomly, other species preferentially imitate sounds such as predator calls that are associated with danger. Previous work has shown that the Greater Racket-tailed Drongo ( Dicrurus paradiseus) incorporates predator calls and heterospecific alarm calls into its own species-typical alarm vocalizations. Here, we show that another passerine species, the Sri Lanka Magpie ( Urocissa ornata), which inhabits the same Sri Lankan rainforest, imitates three of the same predator calls that drongos do. For two of these call types, there is evidence that magpies also use them in alarm contexts. Our results support the hypothesis that imitated predator calls can serve as signals of alarm to multiple species.

  5. Biochemical characterization of lysozymes present in egg white of selected species of anatid birds.

    PubMed

    D'Surney, S J; deKloet, S R

    1985-01-01

    The isolation of lysozyme from the egg white of several representative species of waterfowl is described. The purified lysozymes were analyzed to determine the type and molecular weight of each enzyme. All enzymes found in duck egg whites were found to be of the c-type. In contrast all true geese, and the mute swan species as well as the northern blackneck screamer contain lysozyme g in their egg white.

  6. Character displacement from the receiver's perspective: species and mate recognition despite convergent signals in suboscine birds

    PubMed Central

    Seddon, Nathalie; Tobias, Joseph A.

    2010-01-01

    Many social animals use long-distance signals to attract mates and defend territories. They face the twin challenges of discriminating between species to identify conspecific mates, and between individuals to recognize collaborators and competitors. It is therefore often assumed that long-distance signals are under strong selection for species-specificity and individual distinctiveness, and that this will drive character displacement when closely related species meet, particularly in noisy environments. However, the occurrence of signal stereotypy and convergence in rainforest species seems to contradict these ideas, and raises the question of whether receivers in these systems can recognize species or individuals by long-distance signals alone. Here, we test for acoustically mediated recognition in two sympatric antbird species that are known to have convergent songs. We show that male songs are stereotyped yet individually distinctive, and we use playback experiments to demonstrate that females can discriminate not only between conspecific and heterospecific males, but between mates and strangers. These findings provide clear evidence that stereotypy and convergence in male signals can be accommodated by fine tuning of perceptual abilities in female receivers, suggesting that the evolutionary forces driving divergent character displacement in animal signals are weaker than is typically assumed. PMID:20375056

  7. Colonial, more widely distributed and less abundant bird species undergo wider population fluctuations independent of their population trend

    PubMed Central

    Møller, Anders P.

    2017-01-01

    Understanding temporal variability in population size is important for conservation biology because wide population fluctuations increase the risk of extinction. Previous studies suggested that certain ecological, demographic, life-history and genetic characteristics of species might be related to the degree of their population fluctuations. We checked whether that was the case in a large sample of 231 European breeding bird species while taking a number of potentially confounding factors such as population trends or similarities among species due to common descent into account. When species-specific characteristics were analysed one by one, the magnitude of population fluctuations was positively related to coloniality, habitat, total breeding range, heterogeneity of breeding distribution and natal dispersal, and negatively related to urbanisation, abundance, relative number of subspecies, parasitism and proportion of polymorphic loci. However, when abundance (population size) was included in the analyses of the other parameters, only coloniality, habitat, total breeding range and abundance remained significantly related to population fluctuations. The analysis including all these predictors simultaneously showed that population size fluctuated more in colonial, less abundant species with larger breeding ranges. Other parameters seemed to be related to population fluctuations only because of their association with abundance or coloniality. The unexpected positive relationship between population fluctuations and total breeding range did not seem to be mediated by abundance. The link between population fluctuations and coloniality suggests a previously unrecognized cost of coloniality. The negative relationship between population size and population fluctuations might be explained by at least three types of non-mutually exclusive stochastic processes: demographic, environmental and genetic stochasticity. Measurement error in population indices, which was unknown, may

  8. Colonial, more widely distributed and less abundant bird species undergo wider population fluctuations independent of their population trend.

    PubMed

    Cuervo, José J; Møller, Anders P

    2017-01-01

    Understanding temporal variability in population size is important for conservation biology because wide population fluctuations increase the risk of extinction. Previous studies suggested that certain ecological, demographic, life-history and genetic characteristics of species might be related to the degree of their population fluctuations. We checked whether that was the case in a large sample of 231 European breeding bird species while taking a number of potentially confounding factors such as population trends or similarities among species due to common descent into account. When species-specific characteristics were analysed one by one, the magnitude of population fluctuations was positively related to coloniality, habitat, total breeding range, heterogeneity of breeding distribution and natal dispersal, and negatively related to urbanisation, abundance, relative number of subspecies, parasitism and proportion of polymorphic loci. However, when abundance (population size) was included in the analyses of the other parameters, only coloniality, habitat, total breeding range and abundance remained significantly related to population fluctuations. The analysis including all these predictors simultaneously showed that population size fluctuated more in colonial, less abundant species with larger breeding ranges. Other parameters seemed to be related to population fluctuations only because of their association with abundance or coloniality. The unexpected positive relationship between population fluctuations and total breeding range did not seem to be mediated by abundance. The link between population fluctuations and coloniality suggests a previously unrecognized cost of coloniality. The negative relationship between population size and population fluctuations might be explained by at least three types of non-mutually exclusive stochastic processes: demographic, environmental and genetic stochasticity. Measurement error in population indices, which was unknown, may

  9. Experimental infection of different species of birds with pigeon paramyxovirus type 1 virus--evaluation of clinical outcomes, viral shedding, and distribution in tissues.

    PubMed

    Śmietanka, Krzysztof; Olszewska, Monika; Domańska-Blicharz, Katarzyna; Bocian, A Lukasz; Minta, Zenon

    2014-12-01

    The virulence of pigeon paramyxovirus type 1 (PPMV-1) for different species of birds was investigated in two independent sets of experiments in which groups of pigeons, chickens, turkeys, quails, and geese (10 birds per group) were inoculated with 10(6) median embryo infectious doses of PPMV-1 isolate: 1) nonpassaged (nPPMV-1, intracerebral pathogenicity [ICPI] value = 1.27) and 2) after six passages in specific-pathogen-free chickens (pPPMV-1, ICPI = 1.46) via the oculonasal route. Naive birds were placed in contact with infected birds (two birds per group) to monitor virus transmission. Clinical observation was performed daily. Additionally, cloacal swabs, oropharyngeal swabs, and selected organ samples were collected on days 2, 4, 7, 10, and 14 postinfection and tested by real-time reverse transcriptase-PCR for estimation of viral shedding and distribution in tissues. Infected pigeons exhibited nervous and digestive tract symptoms, mortality, shedding, and transmission to contact birds. Chickens, turkeys, quails, and geese did not exhibit any clinical signs regardless of the PPMV-1 strain used for inoculation. However, in contrast to quails and geese, chickens and turkeys shed the virus via the oral cavity and cloaca, and transmission to contact birds was also observed. Viral RNA was identified in tissues collected from all pPPMV-1-infected birds, whereas negative results were obtained in the case of tissues taken from nPPMV-1-infected quails and geese. We conclude that the PPMV-1 used in this study was most virulent to pigeons, followed by chickens and turkeys, while quails and geese seem to have the highest level of innate resistance to this strain. However, passaging of PPMV-1 in chickens resulted in the increase of ICPI and noticeable but sometimes contrasting changes in the replication capacities of the virus.

  10. The Bird.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hannon, Jean

    2001-01-01

    Students use a dead bird to learn about bird life, anatomy, and death. Students examine a bird body and discuss what happened to the bird. Uses outdoor education as a resource for learning about animals. (SAH)

  11. Molecular detection of Anaplasma, Bartonella, and Borrelia species in ticks collected from migratory birds from Hong-do Island, Republic of Korea.

    PubMed

    Kang, Jun-Gu; Kim, Heung-Chul; Choi, Chang-Yong; Nam, Hyun-Young; Chae, Hee-Young; Chong, Sung-Tae; Klein, Terry A; Ko, Sungjin; Chae, Joon-Seok

    2013-04-01

    Bird migration is a recurring annual and seasonal event undertaken by more than 100 species of birds in the southeast Asian and northeast Palearctic regions that pass through or remain for short periods from April to May and September to November at Hong-do Island, Republic of Korea (ROK). A total of 212 ticks (40 Haemaphysalis flava, 12 H. longicornis, 146 Ixodes turdus, 13 I. nipponensis, and 1 I. ornithophila) were collected from 65/2,161 (3.0%) migratory birds consisting of 21 species that were captured from January, 2008, through December, 2009, as part of the Migratory Birds Center, Hong-do bird banding program for studying bird migration patterns. Adult ticks were assayed individually while larvae and nymphs were pooled (1-22 and 1-6 ticks per pool, respectively) into 31 and 65 pools, respectively. Ticks were assayed for zoonotic pathogens by PCR using 16S rRNA, heat shock protein (groEL), and internal transcribed spacer (ITS) gene primers to amplify genera specific for Anapalsma, Bartonella, and Borrelia PCR amplicons. Using the 16S rRNA-based nested PCR, A. phagocytophilum (n=1) was detected in I. nipponensis collected from Zoothera sibirica and A. bovis (n=1) was detected in I. turdus collected from Emberiza chrysophrys. Borrelia turdi 16S rRNA genes (n=3) were detected in I. turdus and I. nipponensis collected from Turdus pallidus and Zoothera aurea. Borrelia spp. 16S rRNA genes (n=4) were detected in Ixodes ticks collected from Emberiza tristrami, T. pallidus, and Z. aurea. The Bartonella grahamii ITS gene (n=1) was detected by nested PCR assay in I. turdus collected from Z. aurea. These results provide insight into the potential role of migratory birds in the dispersal of ticks and associated tick-borne pathogens throughout their ranges in Asia.

  12. Genetic depletion at adaptive but not neutral loci in an endangered bird species.

    PubMed

    Hartmann, Stefanie A; Schaefer, H Martin; Segelbacher, Gernot

    2014-12-01

    Many endangered species suffer from the loss of genetic diversity, but some populations may be able to thrive even if genetically depleted. To investigate the underlying genetic processes of population bottlenecks, we apply an innovative approach for assessing genetic diversity in the last known population of the endangered Pale-headed Brushfinch (Atlapetes pallidiceps) in Ecuador. First, we measure genetic diversity at eleven neutral microsatellite loci and adaptive SNP variation in five Toll-like receptor (TLR) immune system genes. Bottleneck tests confirm genetic drift as the main force shaping genetic diversity in this species and indicate a 99 % reduction in population size dating back several hundred years. Second, we compare contemporary microsatellite diversity with historic museum samples of A. pallidiceps, finding no change in genetic diversity. Third, we compare genetic diversity in the Pale-headed Brushfinch with two co-occurring-related brushfinch species (Atlapetes latinuchus, Buarremon torquatus), finding a reduction of up to 91% diversity in the immune system genes but not in microsatellites. High TLR diversity is linked to decreased survival probabilities in A. pallidiceps. Low TLR diversity is thus probably an adaptation to the specific selection regime within its currently very restricted distribution (approximately 200 ha), but could severely restrict the adaptive potential of the species in the long run. Our study illustrates the importance of investigating both neutral and adaptive markers to assess the effect of population bottlenecks and for recommending specific management plans in endangered species.

  13. Two new Trypanosoma species from African birds, with notes on the taxonomy of avian trypanosomes.

    PubMed

    Valkiūnas, Gediminas; Iezhova, Tatjana A; Carlson, Jenny S; Sehgal, Ravinder N M

    2011-10-01

    Trypanosoma anguiformis n. sp. and Trypanosoma polygranularis n. sp. are described from the African olive sunbird, Cyanomitra olivacea, and Latham's forest francolin, Francolinus lathami, respectively, based on the morphology of their hematozoic trypomastigotes and partial sequences of the small subunit ribosomal RNA gene. Both new species belong to the group of small non-striated avian trypanosomes (<30 µm in length on average) with the kinetoplast situated close to the posterior end of the body. Trypanosoma anguiformis can be readily distinguished from other small avian trypanosomes due to its markedly attenuated (snake-shaped) form of the hematozoic trypomastigotes and the dumbbell-shaped nucleus of the parasite. Trypanosoma polygranularis is readily distinguishable due to the markedly off-center (anteriorly) located nucleus, numerous azurophilic granules that are arranged in a line following the undulating membrane, and the large kinetoplast (with an area up to 1.7 µm(2) [1.1 µm(2) on average]). Illustrations of hematozoic trypomastigotes of the new species are given, and DNA lineages associated with these parasites are reported. The current situation in species taxonomy of avian trypanosomes is discussed. We call for the redescription of valid species of avian trypanosomes from their type vertebrate hosts and type localities by using morphological and polymerase chain reaction-based techniques as an initial essential step towards revising the species composition of avian trypanosomes and reconstructing the taxonomy of these organisms.

  14. Flow pattern similarities in the near wake of three bird species suggest a common role for unsteady aerodynamic effects in lift generation.

    PubMed

    Gurka, Roi; Krishnan, Krishnamoorthy; Ben-Gida, Hadar; Kirchhefer, Adam J; Kopp, Gregory A; Guglielmo, Christopher G

    2017-02-06

    Analysis of the aerodynamics of flapping wings has yielded a general understanding of how birds generate lift and thrust during flight. However, the role of unsteady aerodynamics in avian flight due to the flapping motion still holds open questions in respect to performance and efficiency. We studied the flight of three distinctive bird species: western sandpiper (Calidris mauri), European starling (Sturnus vulgaris) and American robin (Turdus migratorius) using long-duration, time-resolved particle image velocimetry, to better characterize and advance our understanding of how birds use unsteady flow features to enhance their aerodynamic performances during flapping flight. We show that during transitions between downstroke and upstroke phases of the wing cycle, the near wake-flow structures vary and generate unique sets of vortices. These structures appear as quadruple layers of concentrated vorticity aligned at an angle with respect to the horizon (named 'double branch'). They occur where the circulation gradient changes sign, which implies that the forces exerted by the flapping wings of birds are modified during the transition phases. The flow patterns are similar in (non-dimensional) size and magnitude for the different birds suggesting that there are common mechanisms operating during flapping flight across species. These flow patterns occur at the same phase where drag reduction of about 5% per cycle and lift enhancement were observed in our prior studies. We propose that these flow structures should be considered in wake flow models that seek to account for the contribution of unsteady flow to lift and drag.

  15. A low false negative filter for detecting rare bird species from short video segments using a probable observation data set-based EKF method.

    PubMed

    Song, Dezhen; Xu, Yiliang

    2010-09-01

    We report a new filter to assist the search for rare bird species. Since a rare bird only appears in front of a camera with very low occurrence (e.g., less than ten times per year) for very short duration (e.g., less than a fraction of a second), our algorithm must have a very low false negative rate. We verify the bird body axis information with the known bird flying dynamics from the short video segment. Since a regular extended Kalman filter (EKF) cannot converge due to high measurement error and limited data, we develop a novel probable observation data set (PODS)-based EKF method. The new PODS-EKF searches the measurement error range for all probable observation data that ensures the convergence of the corresponding EKF in short time frame. The algorithm has been extensively tested using both simulated inputs and real video data of four representative bird species. In the physical experiments, our algorithm has been tested on rock pigeons and red-tailed hawks with 119 motion sequences. The area under the ROC curve is 95.0%. During the one-year search of ivory-billed woodpeckers, the system reduces the raw video data of 29.41 TB to only 146.7 MB (reduction rate 99.9995%).

  16. Species-specific differences in relative eye size are related to patterns of edge avoidance in an Amazonian rainforest bird community

    PubMed Central

    Martínez-Ortega, Cristina; Santos, Eduardo SA; Gil, Diego

    2014-01-01

    Eye size shows a large degree of variation among species, even after correcting for body size. In birds, relatively larger eyes have been linked to predation risk, capture of mobile prey, and nocturnal habits. Relatively larger eyes enhance visual acuity and also allow birds to forage and communicate in low-light situations. Complex habitats such as tropical rain forests provide a mosaic of diverse lighting conditions, including differences among forest strata and at different distances from the forest edge. We examined in an Amazonian forest bird community whether microhabitat occupancy (defined by edge avoidance and forest stratum) was a predictor of relative eye size. We found that relative eye size increased with edge avoidance, but did not differ according to forest stratum. Nevertheless, the relationship between edge avoidance and relative eye size showed a nonsignificant positive trend for species that inhabit lower forest strata. Our analysis shows that birds that avoid forest edges have larger eyes than those living in lighter parts. We expect that this adaptation may allow birds to increase their active daily period in dim areas of the forest. The pattern that we found raises the question of what factors may limit the evolution of large eyes. PMID:25614788

  17. Morphometric analysis of telencephalic structure in a variety of neognath and paleognath bird species reveals regional differences associated with specific behavioral traits.

    PubMed

    Corfield, Jeremy R; Wild, J Martin; Parsons, Stuart; Kubke, M Fabiana

    2012-01-01

    Birds exhibit a huge array of behavior, ecology and physiology, and occupy nearly every environment on earth, ranging from the desert outback of Australia to the tropical rain forests of Panama. Some birds have adopted a fully nocturnal lifestyle, such as the barn owl and kiwi, while others, such as the albatross, spend nearly their entire life flying over the ocean. Each species has evolved unique adaptations over millions of years to function in their respective niche. In order to increase processing power or network efficiency, many of these adaptations require enlargements and/or specializations of the brain as a whole or of specific brain regions. In this study, we examine the relative size and morphology of 9 telencephalic regions in a number of Paleognath and Neognath birds and relate the findings to differences in behavior and sensory ecology. We pay particular attention to those species that have undergone a relative enlargement of the telencephalon to determine whether this relative increase in telencephalic size is homogeneous across different brain regions or whether particular regions have become differentially enlarged. The analysis indicates that changes in the relative size of telencephalic regions are not homogeneous, with every species showing hypertrophy or hypotrophy of at least one of them. The three-dimensional structure of these regions in different species was also variable, in particular that of the mesopallium in kiwi. The findings from this study provide further evidence that the changes in relative brain size in birds reflect a process of mosaic evolution.

  18. A new marker based on the avian spindlin gene that is able to sex most birds, including species problematic to sex with CHD markers.

    PubMed

    Dawson, Deborah A; Dos Remedios, Natalie; Horsburgh, Gavin J

    2016-11-01

    We have developed a new marker (Z43B) that can be successfully used to identify the sex of most birds (69%), including species difficult or impossible to sex with other markers. We utilized the zebra finch Taeniopygia guttata EST microsatellite sequence (CK309496) which displays sequence homology to the 5' untranslated region (UTR) of the avian spindlin gene. This gene is known to be present on the Z and W chromosomes. To maximize cross-species utility, the primer set was designed from a consensus sequence created from homologs of CK309496 that were isolated from multiple distantly related species. Both the forward and reverse primer sequences were 100% identical to 14 avian species, including the Z chromosome of eight species and the chicken Gallus gallus W chromosome, as well as the saltwater crocodile Crocodylus porosus. The Z43B primer set was assessed by genotyping individuals of known sex belonging to 61 non-ratite species and a single ratite. The Z and W amplicons differed in size making it possible to distinguish between males (ZZ) and females (ZW) for the majority (69%) of non-ratite species tested, comprising 10 orders of birds. We predict that this marker will be useful for obtaining sex-typing data for ca 6,869 species of birds (69% of non-ratites but not galliforms). A wide range of species could be sex-typed including passerines, shorebirds, eagles, falcons, bee-eaters, cranes, shags, parrots, penguins, ducks, and a ratite species, the brown kiwi, Apteryx australis. Those species sexed include species impossible or problematic to sex-type with other markers (magpie, albatross, petrel, eagle, falcon, crane, and penguin species). Zoo Biol. 35:533-545, 2016. © 2016 The Authors. Zoo Biology published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  19. Estimates of dietary overlap for six species of Amazonian manakin birds using stable isotopes.

    PubMed

    Fair, Jeanne M; Ryder, Thomas B; Loiselle, Bette A; Blake, John G; Larson, Toti E; Davis, Paul; Syme, James; Perkins, George B; Heikoop, Jeffrey M

    2013-01-01

    We used stable isotope ratios to determine the metabolic routing fraction of carbon and nitrogen in feathers in addition to faecal analysis to estimate diet overlap of six sympatric species of manakins in the eastern lowland forest of Ecuador. Collectively, all species varied from-23.7 to-32.7 ‰ for δ(13)C, and from 6.0 to 9.9‰ for δ(15)N, with Machaeropterus regulus showing isotopic differences from the other species. We developed a mixing model that explicitly addresses the routing of carbon and nitrogen to feathers. Interestingly, these results suggest a higher proportion of nitrogen and carbon derived from insects than anticipated based on feeding observations and faecal analysis. A concentration-dependent mixing isotopic model was also used to look at dietary proportions. While larvae and arachnids had higher δ(15)N values, these two groups may also be preferred prey of manakins and may be more assimilated into tissues, leading to a potential overestimation of the contribution to diet. This study supports the finding that manakin species, previously thought be primarily frugivorous, contain a significant amount of arthropods in their diet.

  20. Ancient host specificity within a single species of brood parasitic bird

    PubMed Central

    Spottiswoode, Claire N.; Stryjewski, Katherine Faust; Quader, Suhel; Colebrook-Robjent, John F. R.; Sorenson, Michael D.

    2011-01-01

    Parasites that exploit multiple hosts often experience diversifying selection for host-specific adaptations. This can result in multiple strains of host specialists coexisting within a single parasitic species. A long-standing conundrum is how such sympatric host races can be maintained within a single parasitic species in the face of interbreeding among conspecifics specializing on different hosts. Striking examples are seen in certain avian brood parasites such as cuckoos, many of which show host-specific differentiation in traits such as host egg mimicry. Exploiting a Zambian egg collection amassed over several decades and supplemented by recent fieldwork, we show that the brood parasitic Greater Honeyguide Indicator indicator exhibits host-specific differentiation in both egg size and egg shape. Genetic analysis of honeyguide eggs and chicks show that two highly divergent mitochondrial DNA lineages are associated with ground- and tree-nesting hosts, respectively, indicating perfect fidelity to two mutually exclusive sets of host species for millions of years. Despite their age and apparent adaptive diversification, however, these ancient lineages are not cryptic species; a complete lack of differentiation in nuclear genes shows that mating between individuals reared by different hosts is sufficiently frequent to prevent speciation. These results indicate that host specificity is maternally inherited, that host-specific adaptation among conspecifics can be maintained without reproductive isolation, and that host specificity can be remarkably ancient in evolutionary terms. PMID:21949391

  1. Long-term population dynamics of breeding bird species in the German Wadden Sea area

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vauk, Gottfried; Prüter, Johannes; Hartwig, Eike

    1989-09-01

    For no other group of organisms in coastal areas are there so exact and long-term data available as there are for seabirds. Since the beginning of the 20th century, documentation of population size, especially for species breeding in colonies from the groups gulls, terns and auks, is almost complete. These species act as bio-indicators, and data on fluctuations in their population size are useful as they reflect changes in the state of the marine ecosystem. The population development of some of these seabird species (Herring Gull, Guillemot, Common, Arctic and Sandwich Tern) from the German North Sea coast, which primarily feed on fish, is given. Common to all these species is an exponential increase in numbers in recent years (1970 1985). Possible causes for this development, e.g. pressure from enemies or competitors, availability of breeding places, anthropogenic stress and mortality factors, as well as the direct and indirect anthropogenic-influenced changes in the trophic system due to the increasing eutrophication of coastal waters, are evaluated. Signs of a collapse in the stocks of seabrids resulting from environmental pollution are discussed. Consequences resulting from the ecosystem changes, such as reduction of nutrient discharge into the North Sea and the expansion of biological monitoring, are described.

  2. Ancient host specificity within a single species of brood parasitic bird.

    PubMed

    Spottiswoode, Claire N; Stryjewski, Katherine Faust; Quader, Suhel; Colebrook-Robjent, John F R; Sorenson, Michael D

    2011-10-25

    Parasites that exploit multiple hosts often experience diversifying selection for host-specific adaptations. This can result in multiple strains of host specialists coexisting within a single parasitic species. A long-standing conundrum is how such sympatric host races can be maintained within a single parasitic species in the face of interbreeding among conspecifics specializing on different hosts. Striking examples are seen in certain avian brood parasites such as cuckoos, many of which show host-specific differentiation in traits such as host egg mimicry. Exploiting a Zambian egg collection amassed over several decades and supplemented by recent fieldwork, we show that the brood parasitic Greater Honeyguide Indicator indicator exhibits host-specific differentiation in both egg size and egg shape. Genetic analysis of honeyguide eggs and chicks show that two highly divergent mitochondrial DNA lineages are associated with ground- and tree-nesting hosts, respectively, indicating perfect fidelity to two mutually exclusive sets of host species for millions of years. Despite their age and apparent adaptive diversification, however, these ancient lineages are not cryptic species; a complete lack of differentiation in nuclear genes shows that mating between individuals reared by different hosts is sufficiently frequent to prevent speciation. These results indicate that host specificity is maternally inherited, that host-specific adaptation among conspecifics can be maintained without reproductive isolation, and that host specificity can be remarkably ancient in evolutionary terms.

  3. Flying with the birds? Recent large-area dispersal of four Australian Limnadopsis species (Crustacea: Branchiopoda: Spinicaudata).

    PubMed

    Schwentner, Martin; Timms, Brian V; Richter, Stefan

    2012-07-01

    Temporary water bodies are important freshwater habitats in the arid zone of Australia. They harbor a distinct fauna and provide important feeding and breeding grounds for water birds. This paper assesses, on the basis of haplotype networks, analyses of molecular variation and relaxed molecular clock divergence time estimates, the phylogeographic history, and population structure of four common temporary water species of the Australian endemic clam shrimp taxon Limnadopsis in eastern and central Australia (an area of >1,350,000 km(2)). Mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit I sequences of 413 individuals and a subset of 63 nuclear internal transcribed spacer 2 sequences were analyzed. Genetic differentiation was observed between populations inhabiting southeastern and central Australia and those inhabiting the northern Lake Eyre Basin and Western Australia. However, over large parts of the study area and across river drainage systems in southeastern and central Australia (the Murray-Darling Basin, Bulloo River, and southern Lake Eyre Basin), no evidence of population subdivision was observed in any of the four Limnadopsis species. This indicates recent gene flow across an area of ∼800,000 km(2). This finding contrasts with patterns observed in other Australian arid zone taxa, particularly freshwater species, whose populations are often structured according to drainage systems. The lack of genetic differentiation within the area in question may be linked to the huge number of highly nomadic water birds that potentially disperse the resting eggs of Limnadopsis among temporary water bodies. Genetically undifferentiated populations on a large geographic scale contrast starkly with findings for many other large branchiopods in other parts of the world, where pronounced genetic structure is often observed even in populations inhabiting pools separated by a few kilometers. Due to its divergent genetic lineages (up to 5.6% uncorrected p-distance) and the relaxed

  4. Flying with the birds? Recent large-area dispersal of four Australian Limnadopsis species (Crustacea: Branchiopoda: Spinicaudata)

    PubMed Central

    Schwentner, Martin; Timms, Brian V; Richter, Stefan

    2012-01-01

    Temporary water bodies are important freshwater habitats in the arid zone of Australia. They harbor a distinct fauna and provide important feeding and breeding grounds for water birds. This paper assesses, on the basis of haplotype networks, analyses of molecular variation and relaxed molecular clock divergence time estimates, the phylogeographic history, and population structure of four common temporary water species of the Australian endemic clam shrimp taxon Limnadopsis in eastern and central Australia (an area of >1,350,000 km2). Mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit I sequences of 413 individuals and a subset of 63 nuclear internal transcribed spacer 2 sequences were analyzed. Genetic differentiation was observed between populations inhabiting southeastern and central Australia and those inhabiting the northern Lake Eyre Basin and Western Australia. However, over large parts of the study area and across river drainage systems in southeastern and central Australia (the Murray–Darling Basin, Bulloo River, and southern Lake Eyre Basin), no evidence of population subdivision was observed in any of the four Limnadopsis species. This indicates recent gene flow across an area of ∼800,000 km2. This finding contrasts with patterns observed in other Australian arid zone taxa, particularly freshwater species, whose populations are often structured according to drainage systems. The lack of genetic differentiation within the area in question may be linked to the huge number of highly nomadic water birds that potentially disperse the resting eggs of Limnadopsis among temporary water bodies. Genetically undifferentiated populations on a large geographic scale contrast starkly with findings for many other large branchiopods in other parts of the world, where pronounced genetic structure is often observed even in populations inhabiting pools separated by a few kilometers. Due to its divergent genetic lineages (up to 5.6% uncorrected p-distance) and the relaxed

  5. Impact of forestry practices on fitness correlates and population productivity in an open-nesting bird species.

    PubMed

    Griesser, Michael; Nystrand, Magdalena; Eggers, Sönke; Ekman, Jan

    2007-06-01

    In the boreal forests of Fennoscandia, over 99% of forest area has been altered by forestry practices, which has created forest with age structures and stand characteristics that differ from primary forest stands. Although many researchers have investigated how forestry affects species abundance, few have assessed how forestry practices affect fitness correlates of species living in altered habitats, and this has negatively affected management efforts. We experimentally addressed the effect of standard forestry practices on fitness correlates of an open-nesting, long-lived bird species typical to boreal forests of Eurasia, the Siberian Jay (Perisoreus infaustus). We used a before-after comparison of reproductive data on the level of territories and found that standard forestry practices had a strong negative effect on the breeding success of jays. Both partial thinning of territories and partial clearcutting of territories reduced future breeding success by a factor of 0.35. Forestry practices reduced territory occupancy. Thus, over the 15 years of the study, productivity of the affected population declined over 50% as a result of territory abandonment and reduced breeding success. Results of previous studies on Siberian Jays suggest that the strong effect of forest thinning on fitness is explained by the fact that most common predators of nests and adults are visually oriented and thus thinning makes prey and nests more visible to predators. The consequences of thinning we observed are likely to apply to a wide range of species that rely on understory to provide visual protection from predators. Thus, our results are important for the development of effective conservation management protocols and for the refinement of thinning practices.

  6. Phenological adjustment in arctic bird species: relative importance of snow melt and ecological factors

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Liebezeit, Joseph R.; Gurney, K. E. B.; Budde, Michael E.; Zack, Steve; Ward, David H.

    2014-01-01

    Previous studies have documented advancement in clutch initiation dates (CIDs) in response to climate change, most notably for temperate-breeding passerines. Despite accelerated climate change in the Arctic, few studies have examined nest phenology shifts in arctic breeding species. We investigated whether CIDs have advanced for the most abundant breeding shorebird and passerine species at a long-term monitoring site in arctic Alaska. We pooled data from three additional nearby sites to determine the explanatory power of snow melt and ecological variables (predator abundance, green-up) on changes in breeding phenology. As predicted, all species (semipalmated sandpiper, Calidris pusilla, pectoral sandpiper, Calidris melanotos, red-necked phalarope, Phalaropus lobatus, red phalarope, Phalaropus fulicarius, Lapland longspur, Calcarius lapponicus) exhibited advanced CIDs ranging from 0.40 to 0.80 days/year over 9 years. Timing of snow melt was the most important variable in explaining clutch initiation advancement (“climate/snow hypothesis”) for four of the five species, while green-up was a much less important explanatory factor. We found no evidence that high predator abundances led to earlier laying dates (“predator/re-nest hypothesis”). Our results support previous arctic studies in that climate change in the cryosphere will have a strong impact on nesting phenology although factors explaining changes in nest phenology are not necessarily uniform across the entire Arctic. Our results suggest some arctic-breeding shorebird and passerine species are altering their breeding phenology to initiate nesting earlier enabling them to, at least temporarily, avoid the negative consequences of a trophic mismatch.

  7. Egg laying sequence influences egg mercury concentrations and egg size in three bird species: Implications for contaminant monitoring programs

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ackerman, Joshua T.; Eagles-Smith, Collin A.; Herzog, Mark P.; Yee, Julie L.; Hartman, C. Alex

    2016-01-01

    Bird eggs are commonly used in contaminant monitoring programs and toxicological risk assessments, but intra-clutch variation and sampling methodology could influence interpretability. We examined the influence of egg laying sequence on egg mercury concentrations and burdens in American avocets, black-necked stilts, and Forster's terns. The average decline in mercury concentrations between the first and last egg laid was 33% for stilts, 22% for terns, and 11% for avocets, and most of this decline occurred between the first and second eggs laid (24% for stilts, 18% for terns, and 9% for avocets). Trends in egg size with egg laying order were inconsistent among species and overall differences in egg volume, mass, length, and width were <3%. We summarized the literature and, among 17 species studied, mercury concentrations generally declined by 16% between the first and second eggs laid. Despite the strong effect of egg laying sequence, most of the variance in egg mercury concentrations still occurred among clutches (75%-91%) rather than within clutches (9%-25%). Using simulations, we determined that to accurately estimate a population's mean egg mercury concentration using only a single random egg from a subset of nests, it would require sampling >60 nests to represent a large population (10% accuracy) or ≥14 nests to represent a small colony that contained <100 nests (20% accuracy).

  8. Androgens during development in a bird species with extremely sexually dimorphic growth, the brown songlark, Cinclorhamphus cruralis.

    PubMed

    Isaksson, C; Magrath, M J L; Groothuis, T G G; Komdeur, J

    2010-01-01

    In birds, early exposure to androgens has been shown to influence offspring growth and begging behaviour, and has been proposed as a mechanism for the development of sexual size dimorphism (SSD). Sex specific effects during development can occur due to sex-specific allocation of maternal androgens, sensitivity to, or synthesis of, androgens. In addition, maternal hormones have been suggested as a mechanism to skew brood sex ratio. This study uses one of the world's most extreme SSD species, the brown songlark Cinclorhamphus cruralis, to investigate (1) sex-specific differences of androgens in yolk and chick plasma and (2) the relationship between androgens and sex ratio bias. The study reveals no indication of sex-specific maternal allocation, but a modest sex effect during the later stages of incubation when the embryo starts to produce its own androgens. Moreover, there was a strong seasonal sex ratio bias: female-biased early and male-biased later in the season, but yolk testosterone (T) did not show a seasonal trend. Taken together these results suggest that if androgens, from any source, have a significant role in development of SSD in this species it is most likely via sex-specific sensitivity or synthesis rather than differential maternal transfer to the egg.

  9. Outbreak of mortality in psittacine birds in a mixed-species aviary associated with Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae infection.

    PubMed

    Galindo-Cardiel, I; Opriessnig, T; Molina, L; Juan-Salles, C

    2012-05-01

    Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae septicemia, associated with an increased mortality of captive psittacines in a mixed-species aviary, was diagnosed by histopathology, Gram staining, bacterial culture and sequencing, immunohistochemistry, and real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Over a period of 23 days with no premonitory signs, 2 rainbow lorikeets and an eclectus parrot died. Of these birds, one lorikeet and the eclectus were submitted for necropsy. The main pathologic findings were thrombosis (2/2), bacterial embolism/thromboembolism (2/2), necrotizing hepatitis (2/2), necrohemorrhagic myocarditis (1/2), fibrinohemorrhagic and heterophilic visceral coelomitis (1/2), submandibular necrosuppurative dermatitis with necrotizing vasculitis and bacterial and fungal thromboembolism (1/2), and locally extensive rhabdomyonecrosis with bacterial embolism (1/2). Intralesional bacteria were positive by Gram staining and immunohistochemistry in both cases. E. rhusiopathiae was isolated by routine bacterial culture from the liver of the lorikeet, which was also positive by real-time PCR. This report is one of the rare descriptions of erysipelas in psittacines, and to the authors' knowledge, it appears to be the first in the described species using immunohistochemistry and real-time PCR on avian paraffin-embedded tissues for the diagnosis.

  10. Antimicrobial Resistance of Campylobacter Species Isolated from Broilers in Live Bird Markets in Shanghai, China.

    PubMed

    Li, Beibei; Ma, Licai; Li, Yingli; Jia, Haiyan; Wei, Jianchao; Shao, Donghua; Liu, Ke; Shi, Yuanyuan; Qiu, Yafeng; Ma, Zhiyong

    2017-02-01

    This study was conducted to determine the prevalence of antimicrobial resistance in Campylobacter spp. isolates from broilers in live bird markets (LBMs). A total of 209 Campylobacter spp. isolates (84 Campylobacter jejuni; 125 Campylobacter coli) were recovered from 364 broiler cecum samples collected from five LBMs in Shanghai, China. Minimum inhibitory concentrations of 13 antimicrobials were determined using agar dilution method. More than 96% of the Campylobacter spp. isolates were resistant to quinolones and tetracyclines. A high prevalence of macrolide resistance (erythromycin, 84.0%; azithromycin, 80.8%) was observed in C. coli, but not in C. jejuni (erythromycin, 6.0%; azithromycin, 2.4%). C. coli also showed significantly higher resistance than C. jejuni to clindamycin, gentamicin, and kanamycin. In contrast, C. coli isolates had lower resistance to florfenicol than the C. jejuni isolates. The majority of the C. jejuni (88.1%) and C. coli (97.6%) isolates exhibited multidrug resistance (MDR) to three or more classes of antimicrobials. All of the 208 ciprofloxacin-resistant Campylobacter spp. isolates were positive for the C257T mutation of the gyrA gene. In addition, the tet(O) gene was identified in all of the 202 doxycycline-resistant Campylobacter spp. isolates. Furthermore, 75.7% and 20.4% of the 103 azithromycin-resistant Campylobacter spp. isolates were positive for the A2075G mutation of the 23S rRNA gene and the presence of the erm(B) gene, respectively. Moreover, the cat gene was found in 14.3% (8/56) and 76.8% (73/95) of the chloramphenicol-resistant C. jejuni and C. coli isolates, respectively. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report of the prevalence of antimicrobial resistance among Campylobacter spp. isolates originating from LBMs. The high prevalence of MDR Campylobacter spp. isolates in LBMs highlights the need to implement efficient intervention measures to control not only Campylobacter contamination in LBMs but also

  11. Multi-Season Regional Analysis of Multi-Species Occupancy: Implications for Bird Conservation in Agricultural Lands in East-Central Argentina

    PubMed Central

    Goijman, Andrea Paula; Conroy, Michael. J.; Bernardos, Jaime Nicolás; Zaccagnini, María Elena

    2015-01-01

    Rapid expansion and intensification of agriculture create challenges for the conservation of biodiversity and associated ecosystem services. In Argentina, the total row crop planted area has increased in recent decades with the expansion of soybean cultivation, homogenizing the landscape. In 2003 we started the first long-term, large-scale bird monitoring program in agroecosystems of central Argentina, in portions of the Pampas and Espinal ecoregions. Using data from this program, we evaluated the effect of land use and cover extent on birds between 2003-2012, accounting for imperfect detection probabilities using a Bayesian hierarchical, multi-species and multi-season occupancy model. We tested predictions that species diversity is positively related to habitat heterogeneity, which in intensified agroecosystems is thought to be mediated by food availability; thus the extent of land use and cover is predicted to affect foraging guilds differently. We also infer about ecosystem services provisioning and inform management recommendations for conservation of birds. Overall our results support the predictions. Although many species within each guild responded differently to land use and native forest cover, we identified generalities for most trophic guilds. For example, granivorous gleaners, ground insectivores and omnivores responded negatively to high proportions of soybean, while insectivore gleaners and aerial foragers seemed more tolerant. Habitat heterogeneity would likely benefit most species in an intensified agroecosystem, and can be achieved with a diversity of crops, pastures, and natural areas within the landscape. Although most studied species are insectivores, potentially beneficial for pest control, some guilds such as ground insectivores are poorly represented, suggesting that agricultural intensification reduces ecological functions, which may be recovered through management. Continuation of the bird monitoring program will allow us to continue to

  12. Distribution and abundance of forest birds in low-altitude habitat on Hawai'i Island: Evidence for range expansion of native species

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Spiegel, C.S.; Hart, P.J.; Woodwort, B.L.; Tweed, E.J.; Leburn, J.J.

    2006-01-01

    The Hawaiian honeycreepers are thought to be limited primarily to middle- and high-altitude wet forests due to anthropogenic factors at lower altitudes, especially introduced mosquitotransmitted avian malaria. However, recent research has demonstrated that at least one native species, the Hawai'i 'Amakihi (Hemignathus virens virens), is common in areas of active malaria transmission. We examined the current distribution and abundance of native and exotic forest birds within approximately 640 km2 of low-altitude (0-326 m) habitat on south-eastern Hawai'i Island, using roadside variable circular plot (VCP) at 174 stations along eight survey transects. We also re-surveyed 90 stations near sea level that were last surveyed in 1994-1995. Overall, introduced species were more abundant than natives; 11 exotic species made up 87% of the total individuals detected. The most common exotic passerines were Japanese White-eye (Zosterops japonicus), House Finch (Carpodacus mexicanus) and Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis). Two native species, Hawai'i 'Amakihi and 'Apapane (Himatione sanguina), comprised 13% of the bird community at low altitudes. Hawai'i 'Amakihi were the most common and widespread native species, being found at 47% of stations at a density of 4.98 birds/ha (95% CI 3.52-7.03). Amakihi were significantly associated with 'ohi'a (Metrosideros polymorpha)-dominated forest. 'Apapane were more locally distributed, being found at only 10% of stations. Re-surveys of 1994-1995 transects demonstrated a significant increase in 'Amakihi abundance over the past decade. This work demonstrates a widespread recovery of Hawai'i 'Amakihi at low altitude in southeastern Hawai'i. The changing composition of the forest bird community at low-altitudes in Hawai'i has important implications for the dynamics of avian malaria in low-altitude Hawai'i, and for conservation of Hawai'i's lowland forests. ?? 2006 BirdLife International.

  13. Multi-Season Regional Analysis of Multi-Species Occupancy: Implications for Bird Conservation in Agricultural Lands in East-Central Argentina.

    PubMed

    Goijman, Andrea Paula; Conroy, Michael J; Bernardos, Jaime Nicolás; Zaccagnini, María Elena

    2015-01-01

    Rapid expansion and intensification of agriculture create challenges for the conservation of biodiversity and associated ecosystem services. In Argentina, the total row crop planted area has increased in recent decades with the expansion of soybean cultivation, homogenizing the landscape. In 2003 we started the first long-term, large-scale bird monitoring program in agroecosystems of central Argentina, in portions of the Pampas and Espinal ecoregions. Using data from this program, we evaluated the effect of land use and cover extent on birds between 2003-2012, accounting for imperfect detection probabilities using a Bayesian hierarchical, multi-species and multi-season occupancy model. We tested predictions that species diversity is positively related to habitat heterogeneity, which in intensified agroecosystems is thought to be mediated by food availability; thus the extent of land use and cover is predicted to affect foraging guilds differently. We also infer about ecosystem services provisioning and inform management recommendations for conservation of birds. Overall our results support the predictions. Although many species within each guild responded differently to land use and native forest cover, we identified generalities for most trophic guilds. For example, granivorous gleaners, ground insectivores and omnivores responded negatively to high proportions of soybean, while insectivore gleaners and aerial foragers seemed more tolerant. Habitat heterogeneity would likely benefit most species in an intensified agroecosystem, and can be achieved with a diversity of crops, pastures, and natural areas within the landscape. Although most studied species are insectivores, potentially beneficial for pest control, some guilds such as ground insectivores are poorly represented, suggesting that agricultural intensification reduces ecological functions, which may be recovered through management. Continuation of the bird monitoring program will allow us to continue to

  14. Two new mite species of the subfamily Harpirhynchinae Dubinin, 1957 (Acariformes: Harpirhynchidae), parasites of the passerine birds (Aves: Passeriformes) in Australia and South Asia.

    PubMed

    Bochkov, Andre V; Klompen, Hans

    2015-09-01

    Two new mite species of the subfamily Harpirhynchinae Dubinin, 1957 (Acariformes: Harpirhynchidae) are described from passerine birds (Aves: Passeriformes): Harpirhynchoides artamus n. sp. from Artamus fuscus Vieillot (Artamidae) from an unknown locality in South Asia and Neharpyrhynchus domrowi n. sp. from three host species of the family Meliphagidae, Acanthorhynchus tenuirostris (Latham) (type-host) from Australia (New South Walles), Ptiloprora perstriata (De Vis) and Myzomela rosenbergii Schlegel from Papua New Guinea.

  15. On two nematodes from Brazilian birds and description of a new species (Acuarioidea, Schistorophinae) parasitizing Laterallus viridis (Müller, 1776) (Gruiformes, Rallidae).

    PubMed

    Pinto, R M; Vicente, J J; Muniz-Pereira, L C; Noronha, D

    1999-01-01

    The present paper reports acuarioid nematodes recovered from avian hosts. A new species of the genus Schistorophus Railliet, 1916 is proposed based mainly on findings referring to ptilina, spicules and vagina. Ancyracanthopsis coronata (Molin, 1860) Chabaud & Petter, 1959 is referred again in Brazil since its proposition in 1860, from specimens recovered from a Brazilian bird. A revised key to the species of the genus Schistorophus is also presented.

  16. Biochemical characterization of lysozymes present in egg white of selected species of anatid birds.

    PubMed

    D'Surney, S J; deKloet, S R

    1985-01-01

    The isolation of lysozyme from the egg white of several representative species of waterfowl is described. The purified lysozymes were analyzed in order to determine the type and molecular weight of each enzyme. All enzymes found in duck egg whites were found to be of the c-type. In contrast all true geese, the Mute Swan as well as the Northern Blackneck Screamer contain lysozyme g in their egg white.

  17. Proactive conservation management of an island-endemic bird species in the face of global change

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Morrison, S.A.; Sillett, T. Scott; Ghalambor, Cameron K.; Fitzpatrick, J.W.; Graber, D.M.; Bakker, V.J.; Bowman, R.; Collins, C.T.; Collins, P.W.; Delaney, K.S.; Doak, D.F.; Koenig, Walter D.; Laughrin, L.; Lieberman, A.A.; Marzluff, J.M.; Reynolds, M.D.; Scott, J.M.; Stallcup, J.A.; Vickers, W.; Boyce, W.M.

    2011-01-01

    Biodiversity conservation in an era of global change and scarce funding benefits from approaches that simultaneously solve multiple problems. Here, we discuss conservation management of the island scrub-jay (Aphelocoma insularis), the only island-endemic passerine species in the continental United States, which is currently restricted to 250-square-kilometer Santa Cruz Island, California. Although the species is not listed as threatened by state or federal agencies, its viability is nonetheless threatened on multiple fronts. We discuss management actions that could reduce extinction risk, including vaccination, captive propagation, biosecurity measures, and establishing a second free-living population on a neighboring island. Establishing a second population on Santa Rosa Island may have the added benefit of accelerating the restoration and enhancing the resilience of that island's currently highly degraded ecosystem. The proactive management framework for island scrub-jays presented here illustrates how strategies for species protection, ecosystem restoration, and adaptation to and mitigation of climate change can converge into an integrated solution. ?? 2011 by American Institute of Biological Sciences. All rights reserved.

  18. A revision and key to the genera of Afrotropical Mantispidae (Neuropterida, Neuroptera), with the description of a new genus

    PubMed Central

    Snyman, Louwtjie P.; Ohl, Michael; Mansell, Mervyn W.; Scholtz, Clarke H.

    2012-01-01

    Abstract The Afrotropical Mantispidae genera have previously been neglected and are poorly known. The genera are revised and redescribed. A new genus Afromantispa Snyman and Ohl is described with Afromantispa tenella comb. n.as type species. Perlamantispa (Handschin, 1960) is synonymised with Sagittalata Handschin, 1959. The new combinations within the genus include Sagittalata austroafrica comb. n., Sagittalata bequaerti comb. n., Sagittalata dorsalis comb. n., Sagittalata girardi comb. n., Sagittalata nubila comb. n., Sagittalata perla comb. n., Sagittalata pusilla comb. n., Sagittalata similata comb. n., Sagittalata royi comb. n., Sagittalata tincta comb. n. and Sagittalata vassei comb. n. An illustrated key to the genera Afromantispa gen. n., Sagittalata Handschin, 1959, Mantispa Illiger, 1798, Cercomantispa Handschin, 1959, Rectinerva Handschin, 1959, Nampista Navás, 1914, and Pseudoclimaciella Handschin, 1960 is provided. The wing venation of Mantispidae is redescribed. Similarities between the genera are discussed. Subsequent studies will focus on revising the taxonomic status of species, which are not dealt with in this study. PMID:22573953

  19. Availability of food resources, distribution of invasive species, and conservation of a Hawaiian bird along a gradient of elevation

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Banko, P.C.; Oboyski, P.T.; Slotterback, J.W.; Dougill, Steve J.; Goltz, Dan M.; Johnson, L.; Laut, M.E.; Murray, T.C.

    2002-01-01

    Aim: We evaluated how an elevation gradient affects: (1) the availability of food required by a specialist seed-eater, Loxioides bailleui Oustalet (Drepanidinae), or pallia, and hence the distribution of this endangered Hawaiian bird, and (2) the distribution of alien threats to Loxioides populations, their primary foods, and their dry-forest habitat, and hence strategies for their conservation. Location: We worked throughout the subalpine forest that encircles Mauna Kea Volcano, Hawai'i Island, but we focused our studies mainly on the western slope between 2000 and 3000 m elevation, where the gradient of elevation was greatest and palila were most abundant. Methods: We determined phenology and productivity patterns of the endemic dry-forest tree species, Sophora chrysophylla (Salisb.) Seem. (Fabaceae), or ma??mane, which provides Loxioides with most of their food, and another common endemic tree, Myoporum sandwicense A. Gray (Myoporaceae), or naio, which provides some resources, along a 786-m elevation gradient at monthly intervals for 10 years (Sophora only). We also determined the availability each month of moth larvae (Lepidoptera) for that were important in the diet of nestling and adult palila. In addition, we documented the incidence of parasitism on moth larvae by several wasp (Hymenoptera) and fly (Diptera) species, and we determined the distribution of predatory wasps and ants (Hymenoptera), which potentially threaten insect prey of birds. Percentage cover of alien grass species that pose fire threats in palila habitat and other weeds were assessed during one survey. Small mammal abundance and distribution were determined by trapping during three (rodent) or five (carnivore) surveys. Results: Sophora flower and seed (pod) availability varied predictably along the elevation gradient, with about 4 months separating peaks in reproduction at high and low elevations. This, together with highly variable production of flowers and pods within elevation strata

  20. Effects of sea-level rise and anthropogenic development on priority bird species habitats in coastal Georgia, USA.

    PubMed

    Brittain, Ross A; Craft, Christopher B

    2012-02-01

    We modeled changes in area of five habitats, tidal-freshwater forest, salt marsh, maritime shrub-scrub (shrub), maritime broadleaf forest (oak) and maritime narrowleaf (pine) forest, in coastal Georgia, USA, to evaluate how simultaneous habitat loss due to predicted changes in sea level rise (SLR) and urban development will affect priority bird species of the south Atlantic coastal plain by 2100. Development rates, based on regional growth plans, were modeled at 1% and 2.5% annual urban growth, while SLR rates, based on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's A1B mean and maximum scenarios, were modeled at 52 cm and 82 cm, respectively. SLR most greatly affected the shrub habitat with predicted losses of 35-43%. Salt marsh and tidal forest also were predicted to lose considerable area to SLR (20-45 and 23-35%, respectively), whereas oak and pine forests had lesser impact from SLR, 18-22% and 11-15%, respectively. Urban development resulted in losses of considerable pine (48-49%) and oak (53-55%) habitat with lesser loss of shrub habitat (21-24%). Under maximum SLR and urban growth, shrub habitat may lose up to 59-64% compared to as much as 62-65% pine forest and 74-75% oak forest. Conservation efforts should focus on protection of shrub habitat because of its small area relative to other terrestrial habitats and use by Painted Buntings (Passerina ciris), a Partners In Flight (PIF) extremely high priority species. Tidal forests also deserve protection because they are a likely refuge for forest species, such as Northern Parula and Acadian Flycatcher, with the decline of oak and pine forests due to urban development.

  1. Effects of Sea-Level Rise and Anthropogenic Development on Priority Bird Species Habitats in Coastal Georgia, USA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brittain, Ross A.; Craft, Christopher B.

    2012-02-01

    We modeled changes in area of five habitats, tidal-freshwater forest, salt marsh, maritime shrub-scrub (shrub), maritime broadleaf forest (oak) and maritime narrowleaf (pine) forest, in coastal Georgia, USA, to evaluate how simultaneous habitat loss due to predicted changes in sea level rise (SLR) and urban development will affect priority bird species of the south Atlantic coastal plain by 2100. Development rates, based on regional growth plans, were modeled at 1% and 2.5% annual urban growth, while SLR rates, based on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's A1B mean and maximum scenarios, were modeled at 52 cm and 82 cm, respectively. SLR most greatly affected the shrub habitat with predicted losses of 35-43%. Salt marsh and tidal forest also were predicted to lose considerable area to SLR (20-45 and 23-35%, respectively), whereas oak and pine forests had lesser impact from SLR, 18-22% and 11-15%, respectively. Urban development resulted in losses of considerable pine (48-49%) and oak (53-55%) habitat with lesser loss of shrub habitat (21-24%). Under maximum SLR and urban growth, shrub habitat may lose up to 59-64% compared to as much as 62-65% pine forest and 74-75% oak forest. Conservation efforts should focus on protection of shrub habitat because of its small area relative to other terrestrial habitats and use by Painted Buntings ( Passerina ciris), a Partners In Flight (PIF) extremely high priority species. Tidal forests also deserve protection because they are a likely refuge for forest species, such as Northern Parula and Acadian Flycatcher, with the decline of oak and pine forests due to urban development.

  2. High urban breeding densities do not disrupt genetic monogamy in a bird species.

    PubMed

    Rodriguez-Martínez, Sol; Carrete, Martina; Roques, Séverine; Rebolo-Ifrán, Natalia; Tella, José L

    2014-01-01

    Urbanization causes widespread endangerment of biodiversity worldwide. However, some species successfully colonize cities reaching higher densities than in their rural habitats. In these cases, although urban city dwellers may apparently be taking advantage of these new environments, they also face new ecological conditions that may induce behavioural changes. For example, the frequency of alternative reproductive behaviours such as extra-pair paternity and intraspecific brood parasitism might increase with breeding densities. Here, using a panel of 17 microsatellites, we tested whether increments in breeding densities such as those associated with urban invasion processes alter genetic monogamy in the burrowing owl Athene cunicularia. Our results show low rates of extra-pair paternity (1.47%), but relatively high levels of intraspecific brood parasitism (8.82%). However, we were not able to detect differences in the frequency at which either alternative reproductive behaviour occurs along a strong breeding density gradient. Further research is needed to properly ascertain the role of other social and ecological factors in the frequency at which this species presents alternative reproductive strategies. Meanwhile, our results suggest that genetic monogamy is maintained despite the increment in conspecific density associated with a recent urban invasion process.

  3. High Urban Breeding Densities Do Not Disrupt Genetic Monogamy in a Bird Species

    PubMed Central

    Rodriguez-Martínez, Sol; Carrete, Martina; Roques, Séverine; Rebolo-Ifrán, Natalia; Tella, José L.

    2014-01-01

    Urbanization causes widespread endangerment of biodiversity worldwide. However, some species successfully colonize cities reaching higher densities than in their rural habitats. In these cases, although urban city dwellers may apparently be taking advantage of these new environments, they also face new ecological conditions that may induce behavioural changes. For example, the frequency of alternative reproductive behaviours such as extra-pair paternity and intraspecific brood parasitism might increase with breeding densities. Here, using a panel of 17 microsatellites, we tested whether increments in breeding densities such as those associated with urban invasion processes alter genetic monogamy in the burrowing owl Athene cunicularia. Our results show low rates of extra-pair paternity (1.47%), but relatively high levels of intraspecific brood parasitism (8.82%). However, we were not able to detect differences in the frequency at which either alternative reproductive behaviour occurs along a strong breeding density gradient. Further research is needed to properly ascertain the role of other social and ecological factors in the frequency at which this species presents alternative reproductive strategies. Meanwhile, our results suggest that genetic monogamy is maintained despite the increment in conspecific density associated with a recent urban invasion process. PMID:24614308

  4. Four cases of fatal toxoplasmosis in three species of endemic New Zealand birds.

    PubMed

    Howe, Laryssa; Hunter, Stuart; Burrows, Elizabeth; Roe, Wendi

    2014-03-01

    Four cases of fatal toxoplasmosis in three endemic New Zealand avian species are reported. Between 2009 and 2012, two kereru (Hemiphaga novaeseelandiae), one North Island brown kiwi (Apteryx mantelli), and one North Island kaka (Nestor meridionalis) were submitted for necropsy examination. On gross postmortem, the kiwi had marked hepatosplenomegaly while the kaka and two kereru had swollen, slightly firm, deep-red lungs. Histologically there was extensive hepatocellular necrosis in the liver of the kiwi while the kaka and kereru showed severe fibrinous bronchointerstitial pneumonia. In the kiwi, protozoal organisms were present within both hepatocytes and Kupffer cells of the liver and within the epithelial cells and macrophages of the interstitium of the lungs in the kaka and two kereru. The diagnosis of toxoplasmosis was confirmed with immunohistochemistry and PCR of paraffin-embedded formalin-fixed tissue of the liver, lungs, or both. Genotyping of up to seven markers revealed that an atypical Type II isolate of Toxoplasma gondii was present in at least three of the cases. This study provides evidence that T. gondii can cause mortality in these endemic species and suggests further research is needed to determine the full extent of morbidity and mortality caused by this parasite in New Zealand's unique avifauna.

  5. New species of haemosporidian parasites (Haemosporida) from African rainforest birds, with remarks on their classification.

    PubMed

    Valkiūnas, Gediminas; Iezhova, Tatjana A; Loiseau, Claire; Chasar, Anthony; Smith, Thomas B; Sehgal, Ravinder N M

    2008-10-01

    Plasmodium (Novyella) megaglobularis n. sp. was recorded in the olive sunbird Cyanomitra olivacea, and Plasmodium (Novyella) globularis n. sp. and Haemoproteus (Parahaemoproteus) vacuolatus n. sp. were found in the yellow-whiskered greenbul Andropadus latirostris in rainforests of Ghana and Cameroon. These parasites are described based on the morphology of their blood stages and a segment of the mitochondrial cytochrome b gene, which can be used for molecular identification and diagnosis of these species. Illustrations of blood stages of new species are given, and phylogenetic analysis identifies deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) lineages closely related to these parasites. Traditional taxonomy of avian pigment-forming haemosporidians of the families Plasmodiidae and Haemoproteidae is discussed based on the recent molecular phylogenies of these parasites. We conclude that further work to increase the number of precise linkages between haemosporidian DNA sequences and their corresponding morphospecies is needed before revising the current classification of haemosporidians. This study emphasises the value of both the polymerase chain reaction and microscopy in the identification of avian haemosporidian parasites.

  6. Phylogeography of the Vermilion Flycatcher species complex: Multiple speciation events, shifts in migratory behavior, and an apparent extinction of a Galápagos-endemic bird species.

    PubMed

    Carmi, Ore; Witt, Christopher C; Jaramillo, Alvaro; Dumbacher, John P

    2016-09-01

    full species corresponding to the two currently recognized subspecies, nanus and dubius. The population of dubius is presumed to be extinct, and thus would represent the first documented extinction of a Galápagos-endemic bird species. Two strongly supported mitochondrial clades divide Galápagos subspecies nanus in a geographic pattern that conflicts with previous hypotheses that were based on plumage color. Several populations of nanus have recently become extinct or are in serious decline. Urgent conservation measures should seek to preserve the deep mitochondrial DNA diversity within nanus, and further work should explore whether additional forms should be recognized within nanus. Ancestral states analysis based on our phylogeny revealed that the most recent common ancestor of extant Vermilion Flycatcher populations was migratory, and that migratory behavior was lost more often than gained within Pyrocephalus and close relatives, as has been shown to be the case within Tyrannidae as a whole.

  7. Bird brood parasitism.

    PubMed

    Stevens, Martin

    2013-10-21

    For many animals, the effort to rear their young is considerable. In birds, this often includes building nests, incubating eggs, feeding the chicks, and protecting them from predators. Perhaps for this reason, about 1% of birds (around 100 species) save themselves the effort and cheat instead. They are obligate brood parasites, laying their eggs in the nests of other species and leaving the hosts or foster parents to rear the foreign chicks for them. Some birds also cheat on individuals of the same species (intraspecific brood parasitism). Intraspecific brood parasitism has been reported in around 200 species, but is likely to be higher, as it can often only be detected by genetic analyses.

  8. Experimental infection of nontarget species of rodents and birds with Brucella abortus strain RB51 vaccine

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Januszewski, M.C.; Olsen, S.C.; McLean, R.G.; Clark, L.; Rhyan, Jack C.

    2001-01-01

    The Brucella abortus vaccine strain RB51 (SRB51) is being considered for use in the management of bnucellosis in wild bison (Bison bison) and elk (Cervus elaphus) populations in the Greater Yellowstone Area (USA). Evaluation of the vaccines safety in non-target species was considered necessary prior to field use. Between June 1998 and December 1999, ground squirrels (Spermophilus richardsonii, n = 21), deer mice (Peromyscus maniculatus, n = 14), prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster, n = 21), and ravens (Corvus corax, n = 13) were orally inoculated with SRB51 or physiologic saline. Oral and rectal swabs and blood samples were collected for bacteriologic evaluation. Rodents were necropsied at 8 to 10 wk and 12 to 21 wk post inoculation (PI), and ravens at 7 and 11 wk PI. Spleen, liver and reproductive tissues were collected for bacteriologic and histopathologic evaluation. No differences in clinical signs, appetite, weight loss or gain, or activity were observed between saline- and SRB51-inoculated animals in all four species. Oral and rectal swabs from all species were negative throughout the study. In tissues obtained from SRB51-inoculated animals, the organism was isolated from six of seven (86%) ground squirrels, one of six (17%) deer mice, none of seven voles, and one of five (20%) ravens necropsied at 8, 8, 10, and 7 wk PI, respectively. Tissues from four of seven (57%) SRB51-inoculated ground squirrels were culture positive for the organism 12 wk PI; SRB51 was not recovered from deer mice, voles. or ravens necropsied 12, 21, or 11 wk, respectively, PI. SRB51 was not recovered from saline-inoculated ground squirrels, deer mice, or voles at any time but was recovered from one saline-inoculated raven at necropsy, 7 wk PI, likely attributable to contact with SRB51-inoculated ravens in an adjacent aviary room. Spleen was time primary tissue site of colonization in ground squirrels, followed by the liver and reproductive organs. The results indicate oral exposure to

  9. Incubation stage and polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) congener patterns in an altricial and precocial bird species

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Custer, Christine M.; Custer, Thomas W.; Thyen, Stefan; Becker, Peter H.

    2014-01-01

    The composition of polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) congeners was compared between non-incubated and embryonated eggs of tree swallows (Tachycineta bicolor) and little terns (Sterna albifrons) to determine if measurable changes in PCB congeners occurred during the embryonic period. There was no indication of changes in PCB congener patterns over the incubation period in tree swallows in 1999 and 2000 at a site with very high PCB exposure or a site with more modest PCB exposure. Additionally, congeners known to be either quickly metabolized or conserved based on experimental studies did not generally respond as predicted. Similarly, PCB congener patterns in eggs of little terns from Bottsand, Schleswig-Holstein, Germany, did not differ between non-incubated and embryonated eggs. The results from both species suggest that the stage of incubation is not an important consideration when evaluating PCB congener patterns; comparisons and assessments can be made with eggs collected at all stages of incubation.

  10. Using Next-Generation Sequencing to Contrast the Diet and Explore Pest-Reduction Services of Sympatric Bird Species in Macadamia Orchards in Australia

    PubMed Central

    Crisol-Martínez, Eduardo; Moreno-Moyano, Laura T.; Wormington, Kevin R.; Brown, Philip H.; Stanley, Dragana

    2016-01-01

    Worldwide, avian communities inhabiting agro-ecosystems are threatened as a consequence of agricultural intensification. Unravelling their ecological role is essential to focus conservation efforts. Dietary analysis can elucidate bird-insect interactions and expose avian pest-reduction services, thus supporting avian conservation. In this study, we used next-generation sequencing to analyse the dietary arthropod contents of 11 sympatric bird species foraging in macadamia orchards in eastern Australia. Across all species and based on arthropod DNA sequence similarities ≥98% with records in the Barcode of Life Database, 257 operational taxonomy units were assigned to 8 orders, 40 families, 90 genera and 89 species. These taxa included 15 insect pests, 5 of which were macadamia pests. Among