Featured research (23)
Parasitic nasal mites have been surveyed in a range of vertebrate hosts, but only two species of Rhinonyssidae have been described from procellariiform seabirds. We here describe Rhinonyssus nenecoi sp. nov., from Cape petrels, Daption capense (Procellariidae), collected in Rio Grande do Sul State, southern Brazil. The new species is morphologically most similar to R. procellaricus and R. pluvialis differing mainly by a strongly sclerotised podosomal shield with four pairs of setae, covering more than half of the idiosoma; a podosomal shield with a V-shaped posteromedial projection; an irregularly-shaped sternal shield; and a ventral opisthosoma with 3-4 pairs of setae.
Information about population sizes, trends, and habitat use is key for species conservation and management. The Buff-breasted Sandpiper Calidris subruficollis (BBSA) is a long-distance migratory shorebird that breeds in the Arctic and migrates to south-eastern South America, wintering in the grasslands of southern Brazil, Uruguay, and Argentina. Most studies of Nearctic migratory species occur in the Northern Hemisphere, but monitoring these species at nonbreeding areas is crucial for conservation during this phase of the annual cycle. Our first objective was to estimate trends of BBSA at four key areas in southern Brazil during the non-breeding season. We surveyed for BBSA and measured vegetation height in most years from 2008/09 to 2019/20.We used hierarchical distance sampling models in which BBSA abundance and density were modelled as a function of vegetation height and corrected for detectability. Next, we used on-the-ground surveys combined with satellite imagery and habitat classification models to estimate BBSA population size in 2019/20 at two major non-breeding areas. We found that abundance and density were negatively affected by increasing vegetation height. Abundance fluctuated five- to eight-fold over the study period, with peaks in the middle of the study (2014/15). We estimated the BBSAwintering population size as 1,201 (95%credible interval [CI]: 637–1,946) birds in Torotama Island and 2,232 (95%CI: 1,199–3,584) in Lagoa do PeixeNational Park during the 2019/20 austral summer. Although no pronounced trend was detected, BBSA abundance fluctuated greatly from year to year. Our results demonstrate that only two of the four key areas hold high densities of BBSA and highlight the positive effect of short grass on BBSA numbers. Short-grass coastal habitats used by BBSA are strongly influenced by livestock grazing and climate, and are expected to shrink in size with future development and climatic changes.
Olive ridley sea turtles (Lepidochelys olivacea) can use a vast number of different habitats and food sources throughout their life cycle. This species is one such organism that changes both the environment and diet during different life stages. Based on stable isotope analysis (δ 13 C and δ 15 N) of the components of fresh eggs (yolk, albumen, and shell) and unhatched eggs (contents and shell), the habitat use of females nesting in the eastern Atlantic Ocean, Brazil, was elucidated. As the yolk is formed months before migration to the nesting areas, it was possible to infer that they originated from both high-and low-latitude feeding areas. For albumen and shell, both carbon and nitrogen isotopic values indicated either the neritic environment at the latitude of the breeding area, tissues of turtles catabolized due to fasting during breeding, or differences in tissue-specific metabolic routing. The contribution of potential prey such as jellyfish for yolk and demersal prey for both albumen and shell demonstrated the plasticity of habitat use of this population and the use of both pelagic and neritic waters. High individual variability further reinforces the need for preservation of the habitats utilized by olive ridley turtles in both neritic and oceanic environments over a vast area of the tropical ocean up within 20 degrees south and north of Equator.
As aves marinhas compõem 3,5% das aves existentes, com adaptações altamente especializadas para a vida nos oceanos. Aproximadamente um terço dessas espécies ocorre no Brasil, devido à vasta extensão de costa, com 7000 km ao longo de 40° de latitude, além de ilhas costeiras e oceânicas. Apesar de sua longa e peculiar história evolutiva, as aves marinhas estão entre os vertebrados com maior risco de extinção devido às atividades humanas. Nesta síntese, discutimos as principais ameaças e ações para a conservação das aves marinhas no Brasil visando à sensibilização e esclarecimento da sociedade, gestores ambientais e governo. Dentre as ameaças atuais, destacam-se a captura incidental em pescarias, a poluição marinha, a predação por espécies introduzidas, a degradação do habitat e a perturbação humana em colônias e áreas de descanso. Ameaças futuras compreendem atividades humanas emergentes, como a instalação de turbinas eólicas no mar. Para mitigar essas ameaças, diversas ações de conservação têm sido implementadas no âmbito de dois planos de ação nacional, incluindo um específico para os albatrozes e petréis, e outro geral, para as demais aves marinhas ameaçadas. Essas ações incluem o estabelecimento de medidas mitigadoras da captura na pesca, a erradicação de espécies invasoras, o monitoramento de colônias e campanhas de sensibilização. O cenário atual, em geral, é preocupante e necessita ações de órgãos governamentais, incluindo a alocação de recursos e equipes para fiscalização de atividades impactantes e atenção ao licenciamento de empreendimentos no mar. Da sociedade é esperada maior sensibilização quanto aos problemas de conservação das aves marinhas, além de cuidados durante atividades turísticas em áreas de descanso ou próximo às colônias, consumo consciente e descarte apropriado de resíduos. Seabirds make up 3.5% of the existing birds, with highly specialized adaptations for life in the oceans. In Brazil, with a vast stretch of coast along 40° latitude and 7000 km, in addition to coastal and oceanic islands, approximately one third of the seabird species occur. Despite its long and peculiar evolutionary history, this group is among the vertebrates with highest risk of extinction, due to human activities. In the current synthesis we present threats and actions for seabird conservation in Brazil aiming raise awareness in the society, environmental managers, and government on the topic. Among the current threats are incidental capture in fisheries, marine pollution, predation by introduced species, habitat degradation, and human disturbance in colonies and resting areas. Future threats comprise emerging human activities such as the installation of offshore wind turbines. To mitigate these threats, several conservation actions have been implemented under two national conservation action plans, including one specific to albatrosses and petrels and another general to other threatened seabird species. Conservation actions in Brazil include the establishment of measures to mitigate the capture in fisheries, the eradication of invasive species, monitoring of colonies and awareness campaigns. In general, the current scenario is worrying and requires actions from governmental agencies, such as to allocate resources and teams to inspect activities which are known to impact seabirds, such as fishing, as well as closely monitor the licensing of at sea activities. From the society, it is expected a greater awareness of the problems regarding seabird conservation, as well as care when performing tourist activities in resting areas or near colonies, in addition to conscious consumption and appropriate waste disposal.
Global-scope scientific journals have played an important role in upholding a colonial legacy of north-south inequities in ornithology, and they now have a key role to play in increasing equity in scientific publishing. We explore common barriers faced by ornithologists in the Neotropics (Latin America and the Caribbean) and suggest priority actions that Ornithological Applications, Ornithology, and other global-scope ornithological journals can take to increase equity in publication and research uptake. Among the most important problems, we identified (1) restrictive (and north-biased) criteria for assessing research “importance” and “novelty,” (2) the high publication costs of the Author Pay (Gold) Open Access model, (3) language hegemony, (4) under-representation of ornithologists from the Neotropics on editorial boards and as lead authors on invited articles, and (5) lack of attention to ethics of collaboration and citation. We recommend that Ornithological Applications, Ornithology, and other global-scope ornithological journals (1) adjust their criteria for publication with the aim to publish all scientifically robust and ethically rigorous ornithology research submitted by first authors based in the Neotropics, including negative results and articles on basic biology; (2) maintain or create options for free or low-cost publication; (3) offer the option of a submission and review process in Spanish (and possibly other languages in the future); (4) increase the representation of ornithologists based in the Neotropics (especially women and those belonging to other marginalized groups) in core editorial teams and on editorial boards; and (5) introduce structured reflexivity statements, in which authors declare how local scientists were involved in the research and how equity was promoted in the collaboration that resulted in the manuscript. For these changes to be broadly effective in the long term, ornithologists across the Global South, and Indigenous, Brown, and Black ornithologists globally, should play lead roles in designing, implementing, and assessing the effectiveness of journal policies and programs. Spanish and Portuguese translations are available in the supplementary material.