Harris, R. J.
Of the nine Accipitridae vulture species found within Nepal the IUCN categorises White-rumped, Indian Vulture, Slender-billed and Red-headed Vultures as Critically Endangered and Egyptian Vulture as Endangered. Dramatic declines have occurred since the mid 1990s with the White-rumped Vulture, Indian Vulture and Slender-billed Vulture population declining by over 97%. The remaining species are listed as Near Threatened or Least Concern. Veterinary use of the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory dru...
Full Text Available Of the nine Accipitridae vulture species found within Nepal the IUCN categorises White-rumped, Indian Vulture, Slender-billed and Red-headed Vultures as Critically Endangered and Egyptian Vulture as Endangered. Dramatic declines have occurred since the mid 1990s with the White-rumped Vulture, Indian Vulture and Slender-billed Vulture population declining by over 97%. The remaining species are listed as Near Threatened or Least Concern. Veterinary use of the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID diclofenac has been proven to be a key threat in the region for Gyps vultures and appears likely that it may also affect other Accipitridae vultures. The drug is transferred to vultures via consumption of dead livestock carcass. Ingestion of the drug causes visceral gout and kidney failure, which leads to the birds death. Consumption of diclofenac and the majority of other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are fatal to individuals. Only one NSAID, meloxicam, has been tested and proven safe for vultures. There are other factors such as food shortage in local scale, habitat loss, climate change and pesticides/poisoning that play some role on population decline. Managing vulture conservation across Nepal can be problematic just as it is throughout the Indian subcontinent due to the variable level of protection afforded to vultures through legislation and enforcement in each political region particularly regarding NSAID regulation and use. However, great gains have been made on removing diclofenac from sale within the Indian subcontinent. Continuing and enhancing the holistic conservation approach between all stakeholders, government and non-government organisations, across the species range is required to conserve them for future generations. Indeed, it is likely that a number of species will become extinct if a greater conservation effort is not forthcoming in the very near future.
Full Text Available Abstract Background The family Accipitridae (hawks, eagles and Old World vultures represents a large radiation of predatory birds with an almost global distribution, although most species of this family occur in the Neotropics. Despite great morphological and ecological diversity, the evolutionary relationships in the family have been poorly explored at all taxonomic levels. Using sequences from four mitochondrial genes (12S, ATP8, ATP6, and ND6, we reconstructed the phylogeny of the Neotropical forest hawk genus Leucopternis and most of the allied genera of Neotropical buteonines. Our goals were to infer the evolutionary relationships among species of Leucopternis, estimate their relationships to other buteonine genera, evaluate the phylogenetic significance of the white and black plumage patterns common to most Leucopternis species, and assess general patterns of diversification of the group with respect to species' affiliations with Neotropical regions and habitats. Results Our molecular phylogeny for the genus Leucopternis and its allies disagrees sharply with traditional taxonomic arrangements for the group, and we present new hypotheses of relationships for a number of species. The mtDNA phylogenetic trees derived from analysis of the combined data posit a polyphyletic relationship among species of Leucopternis, Buteogallus and Buteo. Three highly supported clades containing Leucopternis species were recovered in our phylogenetic reconstructions. The first clade consisted of the sister pairs L. lacernulatus and Buteogallus meridionalis, and Buteogallus urubitinga and Harpyhaliaetus coronatus, in addition to L. schistaceus and L. plumbeus. The second clade included the sister pair Leucopternis albicollis and L. occidentalis as well as L. polionotus. The third lineage comprised the sister pair L. melanops and L. kuhli, in addition to L. semiplumbeus and Buteo buteo. According to our results, the white and black plumage patterns have evolved
Wiley, J.W.; Garrido, O.H.
We reevaluate the taxonomic status of the Cuban population of the Common Black-Hawk (Buteogallus anthracinus) based on our examination of additional specimens, nests, eggs, and voice data. Buteogallus a. gundlachii is smaller than mainland populations of anthracinus and differs from mainland birds in plumage coloration and pattern. The common (alarm) call of gundlachii is a series of three or four notes, differing from that of mainland anthracinus, whose call consists of 9-24 notes. In the Isla de Pinos, Cuba, we observed gundlachii eating two species of land crabs (71.4%), centipedes (7.1%), lizards (10.7%), mammals (7.1%), and a bird (3.6%). We consider Buteogallus gundlachii Cabanis 1854 (1855), the Cuban Black-Hawk, to be a full species, endemic to Cuba, Isla de Pinos, and many of the cays of the Cuban Archipelago. ?? 2005 The Raptor Research Foundation, Inc.
Dilian G. Georgiev
Full Text Available The material of pellets and food remains (as bone and shell fragments, hair, and feathers was collected after the breeding season from below and within one nest of Golden Eagles on rocks at Sarnena Sredna Gora Mts., north-east of Stara Zagora town. Our study was carried out during a three year period (1999, 2000 and 2002. Total 65 specimens from minimum 10 species of preys were identified among the food remains from which the reptiles dominated. Mostly preyed by the Golden Eagles couple were the tortoises (Testudo sp. with 55.4% from all registered individual preys. The most common prey from mammals was the hedgehog (Erinaceus roumanicus with 13.8%. Interesting fact was and the relatively high percentage of the cats with 7.7% (possibly most of them domestic ones.
A new subspecies of Accipiter virgatus (Temminck) is described from Flores (Lesser Sunda Islands). In addition some notes are given on the distribution of A. virgatus in south-eastern Burma and adjacent parts of Thailand, supplementary to an earlier paper (Mees, 1981).
Pérez-Rodríguez, Antón; de la Puente, Javier; Onrubia, Alejandro; Pérez-Tris, Javier
Despite the ecological significance and appeal of birds of prey, many aspects of their biology remain poorly known, including the diversity of parasites infecting them in the wild. We studied the diversity and prevalence of haemosporidian parasites infecting the two species of kites of the genus Milvus, aiming to describe the phylogenetic relationships among them and with other haemosporidians, as well as their distribution in the two host species. Black kites, Milvus migrans, harboured a more diverse community of parasites, including three haplotypes of each of the three genera Plasmodium, Haemoproteus and Leucocytozoon, which also occurred at a higher prevalence than in red kites. In red kites, Milvus milvus only three haplotypes of Leucocytozoon were found. Kite parasites were not closely related to one another nor were they kite-specific: their diversity spanned various branches of the haemosporidian phylogenetic tree, and their closest relatives were found in other species (including various avian orders), although some Leucocytozoon and Haemoproteus haplotypes clustered within apparently raptor-specific parasite clades. Remarkably, Plasmodium spp. and Haemoproteus spp. infected adult black kites only, an observation which supports the hypothesis that they are transmitted at the African wintering grounds, while Leucocytozoon spp. is putatively transmitted only in Europe. Intercontinental migration of the black kite might explain the divergence of parasite diversity between these two sister species. PMID:23376529
Bergmann, F B; Amaral, H L C; Pinto, D P; Chivittz, C C; Tozetti, A M
The snail kite (Rostrhamus sociabilis) is widely distributed in the American continent. Its specialised diet consists mostly of the gastropod mollusk Pomacea sp and its foraging strategy probably varies depending on the season, prey availability, and climate factors, which can be reflected in its semi-nomad behaviour. This study was aimed at examining the hunting strategy of the snail kite, and its association with climate factors and habitat heterogeneity. Direct observations of birds between January 2010 and March 2011 in southernmost Brazil revealed that hunting was still the predominant foraging strategy (79% of records) to capture mollusks. Despite morphological specialisations to extract mollusks from the shells, the handling time (average = 92.4 s) was twice as much the time between prey search and capture (average = 55 s). The increase in the number of mollusks ingested apparently occurs when the resting time on perches or any other substrates near the hunting sites decreases between successive unsuccessful attempts. The correlation between the number of consumed preys and the climatic variables examined was low. Regarding habitat heterogeneity, our findings suggest that birds forage preferentially in marshes with low vegetation, which may increase the access to mollusks. The hunting efficiency of the snail kite was high (76 % successful attempts) compared to those of other birds of prey. PMID:23917551
Biología reproductiva del águila Geranoaetus melanoleucus (Aves: Accipitridae en Chile central Breeding biology of the black-chested eagle Geranoaetus melanoleucus (Aves: Accipitridae in central Chile
EDUARDO F. PAVEZ
Full Text Available Durante dos años (julio 1987enero 1989 se estudió la biología reproductiva del águila (Geranoaetus melanoleucus en San Carlos de Apoquindo, en Chile central. El inicio del período reproductivo se evidenció por un aumento del número de vuelos en pareja. Los cortejos incluyeron vuelos sincronizados de la pareja, capturas, transporte de material al nido y cópulas. Los traspasos de presas ocurrieron durante todo el año, aunque fuera del período reproductivo fueron escasos y forzados por la hembra. Se localizaron 4,7 nidos pareja-1, lo que está en el límite superior documentado para grandes águilas. Fuera del período reproductivo las águilas visitaron ocasionalmente los nidos. Antes de la postura el macho visitó el nido con mayor frecuencia y por menos tiempo que la hembra. En las tres parejas estudiadas se observó visitas a nidos alternativos, con aporte de material y presas. Se promedió 2,3 huevos postura-1 (DE = 0,5, n = 6, incubando macho y hembra, y eclosionando el 100 %. A los 25 días de edad comenzaron a emerger las plumas de vuelo de los pollos, a los 35 días comían solos las presas aportadas al nido y a los 59 días abandonaron el nido. Durante la crianza la hembra permaneció más tiempo en el nido que el macho, con una tendencia de los adultos a disminuir el tiempo de permanencia en el nido. El 79 % de los pollos sobrevivió a la crianza, lo que se puede considerar un éxito reproductivo elevado, y que se explicaría por la elevada disponibilidad de presas en el sitio de estudio, particularmente de conejos. Los pollos permanecieron en el territorio paterno 10 meses, lo que coincidió con la siguiente postura de huevos, disminuyendo gradualmente su presencia en el área y aumentando la intolerancia de los adultos hacia sus hijos. Los resultados presentados se corresponden con el patrón descrito en la literatura para otras águilasThe breeding biology of the black-chested eagle (Geranoaetus melanoleucus was studied during a 2-year period (July 1987January 1989 in San Carlos de Apoquindo, central Chile. The beginning of the reproductive period was evident by the increased number of couple-flights. Courting behavior included synchronized flights, cooperative capture of prey and transport of nest material, as well as copulation. Prey exchanges between adults occurred throughout the year, although outside the breeding season they were uncommon and forced by the female. There were 4.7 nests/couple, a value that is in the upper limit of what has been reported for large eagles. During the non-breeding season, nests were only occasionally visited by the eagles. Before laying, males visited the nest more frequently than females, but for shorter periods of time. Visits to alternative nests carrying prey and nest material were observed in all three couples. The average clutch size was 2.3 eggs (SD = 0.5, n = 6, with both males and females incubating, and hatching success was 100 %. Twenty five days after hatching, flight feathers started to appear in the wings and tail of chicks; after 35 days, chicks started eating by themselves prey items brought to the nest, and after 59 days they left the nest. While tending, females spent more time in the nest than males, although with a tendency of adults to diminish the time spent in the nest over time. Seventy nine percent of the chicks survived, which can be considered a high reproductive success, explained by the high availability of prey in the study site, mainly European rabbits. The chicks remained in the adult's territory for 10 months and gradually started to reduce their presence in the area. This was coincident with the occurrence of the next laying period and an increased adult intolerance. These data concur with the pattern described in the literature for other eagles
Pseudolynchia canariensis (Diptera: Hippoboscidae em Buteogallus aequinoctialis (Ciconiiformes: Accipitridae no estado do Rio de Janeiro, Brasil Pseudolynchia canariensis (Diptera:Hippoboscidae on Buteogallus aequinoctialis (Ciconiiformes: Accipitridae in the State of Rio de Janeiro, Brasil
Full Text Available Registro de Pseudolynchia canariensis em dois gaviões caranguejeiros de vida livre atendidos no Hospital Veterinário da Fundação RioZoo. Os dezenoves exemplares coletados foram identificados no Laboratório de Diptera da Fundação Instituto Oswaldo Cruz. O encontro de P. canariensis fora do hospedeiro natural (Columba livia, representa uma contribuição aos estudos da família Hippoboscidae, visto que não há registros sobre aves nativas do continente americano parasitadas por P. canariensis.The record of Pseudolynchia canariensis on two Rufous Crab-Hawk in situ taken care of the Hospital Veterinarian of the RioZoo Foundation. The nineteen collected specimens had been identified in the Laboratory of Diptera, Fundação Instituto Oswaldo Cruz. The findings of P canariensis out natural hosty (Columba livia it represents a contribution to the studies of the family Hippoboscidae considering that it does not have records about native birds of the american continent parasitized by P canariensis.
Mayr, Sylvia L; Maier, Kristina; Müller, Jana; Enderlein, Dirk; Gruber, Achim D; Lierz, Michael
Sarcocystis is a large genus of protozoan parasites with complex heteroxenous life cycles. For many species, either the intermediate or the definitive host is still unknown. In this study, 116 Accipiter hawks (Eurasian sparrowhawks and northern goshawks) were investigated for the presence of Sarcocystis spp. in their intestinal tract or their faeces. To gain a wide distribution, samples were collected throughout Germany within 2 years. It was possible to detect Sarcocystis-like oocysts in 65 samples. Sequencing of the ITS region or species-specific PCR identified 33 samples as Sarcocystis turdusi/Sarcocystis sp. ex A. nisus (18), Sarcocystis calchasi (6), Sarcocystis columbae (3), Sarcocystis cornixi (3) and Sarcocystis sp. ex Phalacrocorax carbo (3). Besides the known infestation with S. columbae, S. sp. ex A. nisus and S. calchasi the Accipiter hawks were thereby confirmed as definitive host of S. turdusi, S. cornixi and S. sp. ex Phalacrocorax carbo for the first time. PMID:27083188
Full Text Available Breeding behaviour of Eurasian marsh harriers Circus aeruginosus pairs nesting in marshes, water reservoir and fish pond of SE Poland were compared. Harriers nesting on the marshes were most efficient during aerial prey transfers, which could suggest that the habitat was taken by experienced, better quality birds when set against the ones occupying nests on the ponds and reservoir. Additional evidence that higher quality birds nested on marshes is that egg laying was earlier there. Marsh Harriers performed U-shape undulation, in the nestling period and these appeared more intense for marsh nesters as well.
James, Anthony H.
This study analizes the geographic variation in Buteo buteo from the mid-Atlantic and Mediterranean islands, based on an external morphological analysis of 143 museum specimens. I review the taxonomic status of these populations. Dimensions and plumage characters show the subspecies B. b. rothschild
D.S. Shekhawat; C. Bhatnagar; V.K. Koli; Agarwal, S
Vultures belong to the important scavenger group of birds. The population of which is fast declining. They have gained lot of attention of bird watchers during past few years. Present reporting in the first record of Cinereous Vulture Aegypius monachus from Ubeshwar, a pilgrim place near Udaipur City in south Rajasthan.
Swetha Stotrabhashyam; Bharath Reddy; Venugopal Satla; Imran Siddiqui
The Long-billed Vulture Gyps indicus is, Critically Endangered with few known breeding sites in peninsular India. We present a previously undocumented Long-billed Vulture breeding site in Bejjur Reserve Forest, Adilabad District, northern Telangana.
Rouffaer, Lieze Oscar; Haesebrouck, Freddy; Martel, An
The presence of extended-spectrum β-lactamase- and Klebsiella pneumoniae carbapenemase-producing Enterobacteriaceae was investigated in feces and in choanal and cloacal swabs of birds in rescue centers. Ceftiofur-resistant Escherichia coli and Citrobacter freundii were isolated from feces of birds of prey (12% positive) and a group of gulls. The genes blaCTX-M-1, blaCTX-M-15, and blaCTX-M-32 coded for resistance. PMID:25075542
Desarrollo morfológico y conductual de pollos del aguilucho chico Buteo albigula (Aves: Accipitridae) en el noroeste de la Patagonia argentina Morphologic and behavioral development of white-throated hawk Buteo albigula (Aves: Accipitridae) nestlings in northwestern Argentine Patagonia
VALERIA OJEDA; MARIANO GELAIN; LORENZO SYMPSON; ANA TREJO
El desarrollo morfológico y conductual del aguilucho chico (Buteo albigula) en el nido fue estudiado en cercanías de San Carlos de Bariloche, al noroeste de la Patagonia argentina. El estudio se basó en el seguimiento de dos pollos producidos en diferentes nidos en la temporada reproductiva 2001-2002, y se lo complementó con datos tomados ad libitum en otros nidos, esa misma y anteriores temporadas. Los pollos permanecieron en el nido por aproximadamente seis semanas. Durante su desarrollo mo...
Registro recente de harpia, Harpia harpyja (Linnaeus (Aves, Accipitridae, na Mata Atlântica da Reserva Natural Vale do Rio Doce, Linhares, Espírito Santo e implicações para a conservação regional da espécie Recent record of harpy eagle, Harpia harpyja (Linnaeus (Aves, Accipitridae, in Atlantic forest of Vale do Rio Doce Natural Reserve, Linhares, Espírito Santo, Brazil and implications for the regional conservation of the species
Ana C. Srbek-Araujo
Full Text Available A presente comunicação reporta o registro de um macho adulto de harpia, Harpia harpyja (Linnaeus, 1758, na Reserva Natural da Vale do Rio Doce (RNVRD, região norte do Espírito Santo, em agosto de 2005. A análise deste e de registros históricos da espécie nesta reserva indica a presença de uma população residente na região compreendida pela RNVRD e pela Reserva Biológica de Sooretama. Estas duas reservas, contíguas entre si, compreendem cerca de 46250 ha de Floresta Atlântica de baixada (Mata de Tabuleiro, na sua maior parte bem conservada. Além da grande extensão de floresta, a rica e densa fauna de mamíferos presente nestas reservas contribuem para a permanência das harpias na região.The present communication reports an observation occurred in August 2005 of the harpy eagle, Harpia harpyja (Linnaeus, 1758, in the Vale do Rio Doce Natural Reserve (VRDNR, located in northern Espírito Santo state, southeastern Brazil. The analysis of this and past records of the species in this reserve indicates the presence of a resident population in the region encompassed by the VRDNR and the Sooretama Biological Reserve. These two reserves total circa 46,250 ha of lowland Atlantic forest (Tabuleiros forest, which are mostly well preserved. Besides the great extension of forests, the rich and abundant mammal fauna present in these two reserves contribute to the regional permanence of the harpy eagle.
Negro, Juan José; Grande, Juan Manuel; Tella, José Luis; Garrido Fernández, J.; Hornero-Méndez, Dámaso; Donázar, José A.; Sánchez-Zapata, José A.; Benítez, J. R.; Barcell, M.
The rare Egyptian vulture (Neophron percnopterus) stands out among the Old World vultures (Family Accipitridae) because of its brightly ornamented head1, which is coloured yellow by carotenoid pigments, and its practice of feeding on faeces. Here we show that Egyptian vultures obtain these pigments from the excrement of ungulates. To our knowledge, this is the first demonstration that faeces can be used as a source of carotenoids by a vertebrate.
Mahmood, Muhammad Tariq; McLenachan, Patricia A.; Gillian C Gibb; Penny, David
We report three new avian mitochondrial genomes, two from widely separated groups of owls and a falcon relative (the Secretarybird). We then report additional progress in resolving Neoavian relationships in that the two groups of owls do come together (it is not just long-branch attraction), and the Secretarybird is the deepest divergence on the Accipitridae lineage. This is now agreed between mitochondrial and nuclear sequences. There is no evidence for the monophyly of the combined three gr...
Sheena, P; Manjula, K T; Subair, K T; Janardanan, K P
The life cycle of the cyathocotylid fluke, Mesostephanus indicum Mehra, 1947 infecting the pariah kite, Milvus migrans govinda (Accipitridae), is elucidated. The species, reported by Mehra (Proc Nat Acad Sci India 17:1-52, 1947) from Buteo rufinus rufinus (Accipitridae), was transferred to the genus Prohemistomum by Dubois (Rev Suiss de Zool 58:639-691, 1951). However, it is retained in the genus Mesostephanus because of the presence of vaginal sphincter and caudal appendage, which are the characters of the genus. Its first intermediate host is the gastropod snail, Bellamya bengalensis (Viviparidae), which released the furcocercous cercariae. The prohemistomulum-type metacercariae encysted in the muscle tissues of the freshwater fish Rasbora daniconius and Puntius sophore (Cyprinidae), Mystus malabaricus (Bagridae), Heteropneustes fossilis (Heteropneustidae), Aplocheilus lineatus (Cyprinodontidae), Etroplus maculatus and E. suratensis (Cichlidae), and Pseudosphromenus cupanus (Belontidae). Recovery of M. indicum from M. m. govinda forms a new host record, and this is the first report of the life cycle of the genus from India. PMID:17514481
Igl, Lawrence D.; Chepulis, Brian J.; McLean, Kyle E.
Present-day vultures are generally classified into two distinct groups: Old World vultures and new World vultures. The two groups share morphological and behavioral characters (e.g. scavenger diet, energy-efficient soaring, mostly featherless head), but historically the two groups were considered phylogenetically distant with long and independent histories (Rich 198., Wink 1995, Zhang et al. 2012). Old World vultures occur in the family Accipitridae and are closely related to hawks and eagles. New World Vultures occur in the family Cathartidae but their taxonomic placement has been controversial. New World vultures were previously allied with storks (Ciconiidae) but were usually placed within the order Falconiformes. Recent phylogenomic analyses using DNA sequencing suggest that new World vultures show no affinity with storks and support placement of New World vultures with other landbirds (in the order Accipitriformes, near Accipitridae) rather than with waterbirds (Hackett et al. 2008). Old World vultures presently are confined to Europe, Asia, and Africa, and New World vultures presently occur in North and South America.
Longmire, J L; Lewis, A K; Brown, N C; Buckingham, J M; Clark, L M; Jones, M D; Meincke, L J; Meyne, J; Ratliff, R L; Ray, F A
An abundant tandem repeat has been cloned from genomic DNA of the merlin (Falco columbarius). The cloned sequence is 174 bp in length, and maps by in situ hybridization to the centromeric regions of several of the large chromosomes within the merlin karyotype. Complementary sequences have been identified within a variety of falcon species; these sequences are either absent or in very low copy number in the family Accipitridae. The cloned merlin repeat reveals highly polymorphic restriction patterns in the peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus). These polymorphisms, which have been shown to be stably inherited within a family of captive peregrines, can be used to differentiate the Greenland and Argentina populations of this endangered raptor species.
Rajiv S. Kalsi
Full Text Available Birds were surveyed in the Yamuna Nagar District, Haryana, India and the threat categories of the species observed were determined with the IUCN Red List. A total of 185 species belonging to 46 families were observed. Families Accipitridae, Passeridae, Corvidae and Scolopacidae dominated the list. There were 13 species with various IUCN Red List categories. One Critically Endangered species, the Red-headed Vulture Sarcogyps calvus, and two Endangered species Black-bellied Tern Sterna acuticauda and Egyptian Vulture Neophron percnopterus were observed. A prerequisite for all the measures focussed on management and conservation of species is that the status and population trends of the target species must be known, and future work should be in this direction.
Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Old World vultures are likely polyphyletic, representing two subfamilies, the Aegypiinae and Gypaetinae, and some genera of the latter may be of independent origin. Evidence concerning the origin, as well as the timing of the divergence of each subfamily and even genera of the Gypaetinae has been elusive. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Compared with the Old World, the New World has an unexpectedly diverse and rich fossil component of Old World vultures. Here we describe a new accipitriform bird, Anchigyps voorhiesi gen. et sp. nov., from the Ash Hollow Formation (Upper Clarendonian, Late Miocene of Nebraska. It represents a form close in morphology to the Old World vultures. Characteristics of its wing bones suggest it was less specialized for soaring than modern vultures. It was likely an opportunistic predator or scavenger having a grasping foot and a mandible morphologically similar to modern carrion-feeding birds. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: The new fossil reported here is intermediate in morphology between the bulk of accipitrids and the Old World gypaetine vultures, representing a basal lineage of Accipitridae trending towards the vulturine habit, and of its Late Miocene age suggests the divergence of true gypaetine vultures, may have occurred during or slightly before the Miocene.
Naidoo, Vinny; Wolter, Kerri
Vulture (Accipitridae) poisonings are a concern in South Africa, with hundreds of birds dying annually. Although some of these poisonings are accidental, there has been an increase in the number of intentional baiting of poached rhinoceros (Rhinocerotidae) and elephant (Elephantidae) carcasses to kill vultures that alert officials to poaching sites by circling overhead. The primary chemicals implicated are the organophosphorous and carbamate compounds. Although most poisoning events can be identified by dead vultures surrounding the scavenged carcass, weak birds are occasionally found and brought to rehabilitation centers for treatment. The treating veterinarian needs to make an informed decision on the cause of illness or poisoning prior to treatment. We established the reference interval for serum and plasma cholinesterase activity in the Cape Griffon Vulture ( Gyps coprotheres ) as 591.58-1,528.26 U/L, providing a clinical assay for determining potential exposure to cholinesterase-depressing pesticides. Both manual and automated samplers were used with the butyrylthiocholine method. Species reference intervals for both serum and plasma cholinesterase showed good correlation and manual and automated measurements yielded similar results.
Naidoo, Vinny; Wolter, Kerri
Vulture (Accipitridae) poisonings are a concern in South Africa, with hundreds of birds dying annually. Although some of these poisonings are accidental, there has been an increase in the number of intentional baiting of poached rhinoceros (Rhinocerotidae) and elephant (Elephantidae) carcasses to kill vultures that alert officials to poaching sites by circling overhead. The primary chemicals implicated are the organophosphorous and carbamate compounds. Although most poisoning events can be identified by dead vultures surrounding the scavenged carcass, weak birds are occasionally found and brought to rehabilitation centers for treatment. The treating veterinarian needs to make an informed decision on the cause of illness or poisoning prior to treatment. We established the reference interval for serum and plasma cholinesterase activity in the Cape Griffon Vulture ( Gyps coprotheres ) as 591.58-1,528.26 U/L, providing a clinical assay for determining potential exposure to cholinesterase-depressing pesticides. Both manual and automated samplers were used with the butyrylthiocholine method. Species reference intervals for both serum and plasma cholinesterase showed good correlation and manual and automated measurements yielded similar results. PMID:26981685
Williams, Vivienne L; Cunningham, Anthony B; Kemp, Alan C; Bruyns, Robin K
Few regional or continent-wide assessments of bird use for traditional medicine have been attempted anywhere in the world. Africa has the highest known diversity of bird species used for this purpose. This study assesses the vulnerability of 354 bird species used for traditional medicine in 25 African countries, from 205 genera, 70 families, and 25 orders. The orders most represented were Passeriformes (107 species), Falconiformes (45 species), and Coraciiformes (24 species), and the families Accipitridae (37 species), Ardeidae (15 species), and Bucerotidae (12 species). The Barn owl (Tyto alba) was the most widely sold species (seven countries). The similarity of avifaunal orders traded is high (analogous to "morphospecies", and using Sørensen's index), which suggests opportunities for a common understanding of cultural factors driving demand. The highest similarity was between bird orders sold in markets of Benin vs. Burkina Faso (90%), but even bird orders sold in two geographically separated countries (Benin vs. South Africa and Nigeria vs. South Africa) were 87% and 81% similar, respectively. Rabinowitz's "7 forms of rarity" model, used to group species according to commonness or rarity, indicated that 24% of traded bird species are very common, locally abundant in several habitats, and occur over a large geographical area, but 10% are rare, occur in low numbers in specific habitats, and over a small geographical area. The order with the highest proportion of rare species was the Musophagiformes. An analysis of species mass (as a proxy for size) indicated that large and/or conspicuous species tend to be targeted by harvesters for the traditional medicine trade. Furthermore, based on cluster analyses for species groups of similar risk, vultures, hornbills, and other large avifauna, such as bustards, are most threatened by selective harvesting and should be prioritised for conservation action. PMID:25162700
Colleen T O'Rourke
Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Different strategies to search and detect prey may place specific demands on sensory modalities. We studied visual field configuration, degree of eye movement, and orbit orientation in three diurnal raptors belonging to the Accipitridae and Falconidae families. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We used an ophthalmoscopic reflex technique and an integrated 3D digitizer system. We found inter-specific variation in visual field configuration and degree of eye movement, but not in orbit orientation. Red-tailed Hawks have relatively small binocular areas (∼33° and wide blind areas (∼82°, but intermediate degree of eye movement (∼5°, which underscores the importance of lateral vision rather than binocular vision to scan for distant prey in open areas. Cooper's Hawks' have relatively wide binocular fields (∼36°, small blind areas (∼60°, and high degree of eye movement (∼8°, which may increase visual coverage and enhance prey detection in closed habitats. Additionally, we found that Cooper's Hawks can visually inspect the items held in the tip of the bill, which may facilitate food handling. American Kestrels have intermediate-sized binocular and lateral areas that may be used in prey detection at different distances through stereopsis and motion parallax; whereas the low degree eye movement (∼1° may help stabilize the image when hovering above prey before an attack. CONCLUSIONS: We conclude that: (a there are between-species differences in visual field configuration in these diurnal raptors; (b these differences are consistent with prey searching strategies and degree of visual obstruction in the environment (e.g., open and closed habitats; (c variations in the degree of eye movement between species appear associated with foraging strategies; and (d the size of the binocular and blind areas in hawks can vary substantially due to eye movements. Inter-specific variation in visual fields and eye movements can influence
Vivienne L Williams
Full Text Available Few regional or continent-wide assessments of bird use for traditional medicine have been attempted anywhere in the world. Africa has the highest known diversity of bird species used for this purpose. This study assesses the vulnerability of 354 bird species used for traditional medicine in 25 African countries, from 205 genera, 70 families, and 25 orders. The orders most represented were Passeriformes (107 species, Falconiformes (45 species, and Coraciiformes (24 species, and the families Accipitridae (37 species, Ardeidae (15 species, and Bucerotidae (12 species. The Barn owl (Tyto alba was the most widely sold species (seven countries. The similarity of avifaunal orders traded is high (analogous to "morphospecies", and using Sørensen's index, which suggests opportunities for a common understanding of cultural factors driving demand. The highest similarity was between bird orders sold in markets of Benin vs. Burkina Faso (90%, but even bird orders sold in two geographically separated countries (Benin vs. South Africa and Nigeria vs. South Africa were 87% and 81% similar, respectively. Rabinowitz's "7 forms of rarity" model, used to group species according to commonness or rarity, indicated that 24% of traded bird species are very common, locally abundant in several habitats, and occur over a large geographical area, but 10% are rare, occur in low numbers in specific habitats, and over a small geographical area. The order with the highest proportion of rare species was the Musophagiformes. An analysis of species mass (as a proxy for size indicated that large and/or conspicuous species tend to be targeted by harvesters for the traditional medicine trade. Furthermore, based on cluster analyses for species groups of similar risk, vultures, hornbills, and other large avifauna, such as bustards, are most threatened by selective harvesting and should be prioritised for conservation action.
Full Text Available Bone composition and bone mineral density (BMD of long bones of two raptor and one owl species were assessed. Right humerus and tibiotarsus of 40 common buzzards, 13 white-tailed sea eagles and 9 barn owls were analyzed. Statistical analysis was performed for influence of species, age, gender and nutritional status. The BMD ranged from 1.8 g/cm3 (common buzzards to 2.0 g/cm3 (white-tailed sea eagles. Dry matter was 87.0% (buzzards to 89.5% (sea eagles. Percentage of bone ash was lower in sea eagles than in buzzards and owls. Content of crude fat was lower than 2% of the dry matter in all bones. In humeri lower calcium values (220 g/kg fat free dry matter were detected in sea eagles than in barn owls (246 g/kg, in tibiotarsi no species differences were observed. Phosphorus levels were lowest in sea eagles (humeri 104 g/kg fat free dry matter, tibiotarsi 102 g/kg and highest in barn owls. Calcium-phosphorus ratio was about 2:1 in all species. Magnesium content was lower in sea eagles (humeri 2590 mg/kg fat free dry matter, tibiotarsi 2510 mg/kg than in buzzards and owls. Bones of barn owls contained more copper (humeri 8.7 mg/kg fat free dry matter, tibiotarsi 12.7 mg/kg than in the Accipitridae. Zinc content was highest in sea eagles (humeri 278 mg/kg fat free dry matter, tibiotarsi 273 mg/kg and lowest in barn owls (humeri 185 mg/kg, tibiotarsi 199 mg/kg. The present study shows that bone characteristics can be considered as species specific in raptors.