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Movement and behavior of scarlet macaws (Ara macao) during the post fledging dependence period

  1. Movement and behavior of scarlet macaws (Ara macao) during the post- fledging dependence period 1 Conservation Biology Program, University of Minnesota Mark Myers1 and Christopher Vaughan2 2 Department of Wildlife Ecology & Gaylord Nelson Institute of Environmental Studies, University of Wisconsin
  3. STUDY OBJECTIVE Describe the movements, behavior, and social development of scarlet macaws during the post-fledging dependence period.
  4. MOTIVATION 1) Post-fledgling dependence period is little-known, yet potentially sensitive in terms of population demography. 2) Management options to reduce poaching. • In situ – Artificial nestbox program – Guard active nest cavities – Community involvement and education • Ex situ – Remove eggs or nestlings from high-risk nests – Hand-rear and release young macaws
  5. • Transmitters housed in a brass cylinder mounted on metal band with locking nut closure • Estimated battery life: 52 weeks METHODS
  6. • Radiocollared and monitored 8 macaws from 4 broods over a 3-yr period
  7. • Macaws tracked 2-5 days per week for 6-11 weeks • Visual locations recorded when possible; if not positions were triangulated • Locations were pooled for sibling pairs due to lack of independence Radiotelemetry data collection • 3 locations recorded per tracking day; one during each of three periods
  8. Behavioral and Social Data Collection • Behavioral States – Resting – Manipulation – Interaction with parents – Interaction with sibling – Locomotion – Foraging • Social states – Alone – With sibling – With parents – With unrelated macaws • Instantaneous scan sample of focal individuals (Altmann 1974) • 15-min observation windows; data recorded every 60 sec • 308 observation windows during first 11 weeks post-fledging
  10. Phase I (2-36 days) • Social interaction only with parents and sibling Phase II (37-63 days) Movement patterns related to age • Daily movements limited (meters) • Limited range (100’s ha) • Extensive range (1000’s ha) • Integration into flocks of unrelated macaws • Daily movements between mangrove roost and feeding areas (kilometers)
  11. 0.0 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5 0.6 0.7 0.8 0.9 1.0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 Week Frequency Alone With parents With sibling With other macaws Social integration of scarlet macaws during the post-fledging dependence period
  12. 0.0 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5 0.6 0.7 0.8 0.9 1.0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 Week Frequency Locomotion Foraging Interaction w/ sibling Manipulation Interaction w/ parents Resting Behavioral development of scarlet macaws during the post-fledging dependence period
  13. • Cost of guarding 3-6 nestboxes concentrated in a small area for the duration of the nesting season is US $1500 • We recommend extending protection and monitoring into the early post-fledging period • Two of 8 fledglings fell to low perches during the initial 14 days post-fledging, and one was killed by a small carnivore. Need to extend protection into early post-fledging period DISCUSSION
  14. • Heavy utilization of rare coastal mangrove habitat immediately after fledging • Guacalillo Mangrove warrants inclusion on the list of “Wetlands of International Importance” under the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands. • Northernmost occurrence of the subspecies Ara macao macao Importance of coastal mangrove habitat
  15. • Documented extensive use of lands involved in cattle production • Promote artificial nest box and nest protection programs among macaw-friendly landowners • Encourage cattle husbandry practices that benefit macaws Cattle production and macaw conservation are not mutually exclusive
  16. Implications for in situ vs. ex situ management • Our results suggest that the post-fledging period is a sensitive time when young macaws gradually develop behaviors and social relationships required for successful life in the wild. • Conditions are difficult to reproduce in captive settings. • From the avian literature, environmental and social contexts of early learning influence developmental trajectory.
  17. • Disease • Introduce inappropriate or maladaptive behaviors Risks associated with macaw releases • Genetics: unknown origin of brood stock • Deficient predator avoidance
  18. Long-term conservation of the Central Pacific scarlet macaw population • Increase recruitment of naturally fledged birds into the population • Active management and protection of natural and artificial nest cavities • Collaboration with local landowners and communities
  19. Potential role for ex-situ management Reestablishing macaw populations where they have been locally eliminated
  20. Liberaciones de Ara macao en Costa Rica (1997-2017)? • 11 organizaciones +? • 16 sitios de liberación +? • Han liberadas ~700 lapas rojas desde 1997? Éxito? • Con cuales fines tienen los proyectos? • Futuro?
  21. Preguntas Antes de Crear Organización/Liberar Animales • Genética- se tomó en cuenta? • Enfermedades- Examinadas? • Hábitat- hay alimentos todo el año, sitios de anidación, sitios de pernoctar, etc? • Aprendió en cautiverio (fuentes de comida- donde/cuando/como, depredadores-cuales/defensa, anidación-como/cuando/donde, ser humano?, habilidades sociales, sitios de pernoctar, etc.) • Existe monitoreo para determinar grado de éxito y como mejorarlo?
  22. • Poseen las aves habilidades para la sobrevivencia y la convivencia social?
  23. Manejo ex situ Lapas Gallo Pinto???
  24. Manejo in-situ
  25. Taller de manejo in-situ Ara macao UCR-San Ramón (4 nov 2017)