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An unusual new bulbul (Passeriformes: Pycnonotidae) from the limestone karst of Lao PDR

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Abstract

Based on distinctive morphological (plumage and skin) and vocal characters we describe a new species of bulbul from the limestone karst of central Lao PDR and place it in the genus Pycnonotus. The species is so far known from one locality in Savannakhet province and two probable earlier records from the Bolikhamxai-Khammouan provinces border area. Initial observations suggest it may represent an extreme example of habitat specificity within the Pycnonotidae and have a distribution limited to the central Indochina limestone belt of central Lao PDR and, perhaps, western central Vietnam. Further work is required to understand more clearly the distribution, ecology and behaviour of this species. However, its apparent preference for sparsely vegetated, deciduous habitats on rugged and uncultivable karst terrain may partly explain why this conspicuous species escaped detection for so long. Based on inferred distribution and apparent habitat preferences, a large proportion of the global population may occur within the Phou Hinpoun (Khammouan Limestone) and perhaps Hin Namno National Protected Areas. The relative impenetrability of the large, cohesive areas of karst present therein should further protect against the majority of processes that currently threaten Indochinese karst birds and their habitats. Populations on isolated outcrops are expected to be more at risk.

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... Descriptions of the forest over limestone and its composition in the different regions of the Philippines was reviewed from Fernando et al. (2008) and Restificar et al. (2006). The threats which include limestone quarrying, land use change, deforestation, hunting, illegal logging, and habitat degradation of forests over limestone were in reference to the Cave Management, Protection and Conservation Strategy and Action Plan (2019-2028) of BMB-DENR (2019), Woxvold et al. (2009), andClements et al. (2006). In addition, the guidelines for forest over limestone protection were consulted with the publications from Restificar et al. (2006) and Watson et al. (1997) guidelines for cave and karst protection. ...
... According to researchers from China and Japan, the hardened saliva contains sialic acid-also found in human milk-which is thought to play a role in developmental advantages for breastfed infants and possibly beneficial for human health (Oda et al. 1998;Thorburn 2015;Wang and Brand-Miller 2003). Other bird species such as the bald-headed bulbul Pycnonotus hualon (Woxvold et al. 2009), and the limestone leaf-warbler Phylloscopus calciatilis (Alström et al. 2010) have been discovered only recently in Laos and Vietnam. ...
... Many of which are large-scale events that endanger the very integrity or even survival of the karst itself (Hamilton-Smith 2001). In Southeast Asian karsts, threats include limestone quarrying, land-use change ( Figure 6), deforestation, hunting, illegal logging (Gillieson 2005;Lillo et al. 2019;Van Der Ploeg et al. 2011), and habitat degradation by process such as grazing of domesticated animals and wood collection for fuel (Clements et al. 2006;Woxvold et al. 2009). Environmental Impact Assessments (EIA) should be done to know the possible extent of ecosystem biodiversity loss from proposed projects that would alter natural habitats and what can be done for it to be ecologically feasible (Bullecer 2014). ...
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A comprehensive review of literature was carried out to determine the status of plant and animal diversity on forests over limestone in Southeast Asia (SEA), particularly in the Philippines. Angiosperm records are available in Peninsular Malaysia (1216 spp.); West Java and Seram Indonesia (101 and 149 spp., respectively); Laos (135 spp.); Thailand and Myanmar (1 sp.); and Limestone areas in Vietnam. Pteridophytes were recorded in Malaysia (32 spp.) while Bryophytes are recorded in Peninsular Malaysia (59 spp.). In the Philippines, there are plant records in: Masbate (61 spp.); Isabela (169 spp. Pteridophytes); Bohol (12 spp.), and Samar forests over limestone (29 spp. palms and 20 spp. orchids). A floral assessment in Samar Island Natural Park (SINP) includes species (212 spp.) that can possibly be found but are not limited to karsts. New Philippine endemic species are also recorded in Cebu, Palawan, and Panay Island. There are animal records in SEA including Vietnam (Bats-36, Bird-1, and Langurs-5 spp.); Malaysia (Sciuridae-1, Bats-28, Birds-129, Reptiles-17, and Invertebrates-74 spp.); Thailand (Murids-12, Reptiles-11, and Amphibian-1 sp.); and Myanmar (Reptiles-15 spp.). Records in the Philippines include: Mammals (Bicol-9, Mt. Irid-24, Mt. Aruyan-1, and Cebu-1 species), and; Birds (Cebu-1 sp.). A terrestrial faunal assessment in SINP includes species (182 spp.) that can possibly be found but are not limited to karsts. Forests over limestone are still largely understudied and the potential of discovering species is high. Further research is critical to establish science-based initiatives and policies that will protect and conserve limestone ecosystem biodiversity while allowing the utilization of its biological resources at a sustainable level.
... The Pycnonotus bulbuls (Aves : Pycnonotidae) are a diverse group of small passerines comprising 45 species, many of which live in sympatry and share common food resources (Fishpool and Tobias 2005;Woxvold et al. 2009). They are Asiatic birds, and they are understood to be distinct from their African counterparts based on molecular research (Moyle and Mark 2006;Pasquet et al. 2006). ...
... cafer), Kumar 2004; Bare-faced Bulbul (P. hualon), Woxvold et al. 2009) and what is generally the pattern for many tropical birds (Stutchbury and Morton 2001). We could not determine the sex of the recorded birds in this study because all six species are sexually monomorphic. ...
... Consequently, the two species that sing trilled songs can be readily distinguished from each other based on these differences. These trilled songs match the published description of the trilled song of another congener, the Bare-faced Bulbul (songs consisting of 3-15 elements, frequency range of 2-5 kHz; Woxvold et al. 2009). In contrast to these trilled songs, the remaining four species that we studied produce songs composed of various frequency modulated tones. ...
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Bulbuls (Passeriformes : Pycnonotidae) are a biodiverse group of birds that produce a variety of vocalisations, yet the vocal behaviour of most bulbuls has not been formally described or the subject of bioacoustical study. We present the first detailed descriptions of the song and singing behaviours of six species of bulbul in the genus Pycnonotus, based on recordings of birds in mixed-species flocks in the tropical forests of northern Thailand. All six species are frugivores that often forage together in the same fruiting tree. We compared nine fine structural features of the songs of these species to understand the vocal behaviour of each and the potential importance of vocalisations in species recognition in these mixed-species flocks. Our analyses reveal substantial differences in the structure of songs as well as marked differences in singing behaviour between species. Discriminant function analysis readily distinguishes the songs of the six species based on structural differences. Discriminant function analysis of species with the most similar plumage features (as assessed by human observers) readily distinguishes between phenotypically similar pairs of congeners. Our results provide evidence that vocalisations may be important in species recognition and as species-isolating mechanisms between closely related and sympatric Pycnonotus bulbuls. The species-typical features described here may be helpful to biologists and conservationists, particularly as several species of bulbul are of conservation concern.
... Because of high limestone weathering [1,2] erosion in these areas resulted in scattered, isolated limestone hills with steep flanks called karsts towers. Despite a high diversity of habitat specialists and endemic taxa3456789, these limestone karsts remain among the least studied ecosystems in Southeast Asia. Between 1985 and 2004 they contributed only to 1% of the global and regional biodiversity research output from terrestrial and freshwater ecosystems, while they cover around 10% of the land area in Southeast Asia [4]. ...
... Between 1985 and 2004 they contributed only to 1% of the global and regional biodiversity research output from terrestrial and freshwater ecosystems, while they cover around 10% of the land area in Southeast Asia [4]. However, in the Khammuan Province of Lao PDR, several new endemic vertebrate species were recently described: a bird, Pycnonotus hualon [3], a bat, Hipposideros scutinares [10], a gymnure, Hylomys megalotis [11], and a murid rodent, Saxatilomys paulinae [12]. Laonastes aenigmamus, recently described from this region by Jenkins et al. [13], is of special interest. ...
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L. aenigmamus is endemic to the limestone formations of the Khammuan Province (Lao PDR), and is strongly specialized ecologically. From the survey of 137 individuals collected from 38 localities, we studied the phylogeography of this species using one mitochondrial (Cyt b) and two nuclear genes (BFIBR and GHR). Cyt b analyses reveal a strong mtDNA phylogeographical structure: 8 major geographical clades differing by 5-14% sequence divergence were identified, most of them corresponding to distinct karst areas. Nuclear markers display congruent results but with a less genetic structuring. Together, the data strongly suggest an inland insular model for Laonastes population structure. With 8 to 16 evolutionary significant units in a small area (about 200×50 km) this represents an exceptional example of micro-endemism. Our results suggest that L. aenigmamus may represent a complex of species and/or sub-species. The common ancestor of all Laonastes may have been widely distributed within the limestone formations of the Khammuan Province at the end of Miocene/beginning of the Pliocene. Parallel events of karst fragmentation and population isolation would have occurred during the Pleistocene or/and the end of the Pliocene. The limited gene flow detected between populations from different karst blocks restrains the likelihood of survival of Laonastes. This work increases the necessity for a strict protection of this rare animal and its habitat and provides exclusive information, essential to the organization of its protection.
... Most of these discoveries concerned babblers (Timaliidae) from isolated montane areas in Vietnam (Eames et al. 1994, Eames et al. 1999a,b, Eames & Eames 2001, Eames 2002. A smaller wave of discoveries involving a diverse range of taxa took place in forested limestone karst in Lao PDR, Vietnam and adjacent areas of China (Zhou Fang & Jiang Aiwu 2008, Woxvold et al. 2009, Alström et al. 2010. Only one new species, Mekong Wagtail Motacilla samveasnae, was named from Cambodian specimens, but it also occurs in Lao PDR, Thailand and Vietnam in 'channel mosaic' habitat on the Mekong and its major tributaries (Duckworth et al. 2001, Le Trong Trai & Craik 2008. ...
... Their misidentification can be accounted for by the species's superficial similarity to other species, observer inexperience and the sheer unlikelihood of alternative options (cf. Woxvold et al. 2009). The discovery of O. chaktomuk indicates that new species of bird may still be found in familiar and unexpected locations. ...
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Based on distinctive morphological and vocal characters we describe a new species of lowland tailorbird Orthotomus from dense humid lowland scrub in the floodplain of the Mekong, Tonle Sap and Bassac rivers of Cambodia. Genetic data place it in the O. atrogularis-O. ruficeps-O. sepium clade. All data suggest that the new species is most closely related to O. atrogularis, from which genetic differences are apparently of a level usually associated with subspecies. However the two taxa behave as biological species, existing locally in sympatry and even exceptionally in syntopy, without apparent hybridisation. The species is known so far from a small area within which its habitat is declining in area and quality. However, although birds are found in a number of small habitat fragments (including within the city limits of Phnom Penh), most individuals probably occupy one large contiguous area of habitat in the Tonle Sap floodplain. We therefore recommend it is classified as Near Threatened on the IUCN Red List. The new species is abundant in suitable habitat within its small range. Further work is required to understand more clearly the distribution and ecology of this species and in particular its evolutionary relationship with O. atrogularis.
... This community is the major forest type of the PHP NBCA. (Woxvold et al., 2009) was also found. The birds of prey were Tyto alba, Accipiter badius and Cirus spilonotus, which were relatively common (appendix table 5). ...
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The study on the home range and habitat utilization of the Lao endemic Kha nyou (Laonastes aenigmamus) was carried out from September, 2009 to January, 2011. Four Kha nyou were live trapped, weighted, measured and qeuipped with radio collars to study their home range size and habitat use in different seasons. The average home ranges size were 1.69 +-0.53 (n=4) and 1.45 ha (n=3) for the dry season and the wet season, respectively. No different was found (t-=0.54, df=5, p=0.61). Home range was high overlapped between all individuals in both the dry and the wet seasons. The home range overlapped ranged from 30.21 to 75.89% and 45.25 to 58.62% for the dry season and for the wet season, respectively.
... eben.goodale@outlook.com Guangxi Key Laboratory of Forest Ecology and Conservation, College of Forestry, Guangxi University, Nanning 530004, China bird species in the last 10 years (Zhou and Jiang 2008;Woxvold et al. 2009;Alström et al. 2010). Unfortunately, basic information about the breeding ecology of birds in these limestone areas is poorly known (Jiang et al. 2014), although this situation has been improved in the last 5 years. ...
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We present the first breeding records of Nonggang Babbler (Stachyris nonggangensis), a newly described bird species found in the limestone area of southwestern Guangxi, in southern China in 2008. The records presented here include information on behavior, nest, egg, incubation, and reproductive success rate. We discovered six nests (including three active nests) through systematic checking and radio tracking. Most Nonggang Babblers were found to begin foraging in pairs (male and female) from mid to late March. They build their nests in April. The nests were placed in cavities in a limestone cliff or on a massive rock located on the mountainside at altitudes ranging from 206–323 m. The nests were made of aerial roots, leaves, twigs, and soft grasses. Nonggang Babblers would lay 4–5 pure white eggs with an average fresh weight of 4.80 ± 0.11 g. Female Nonggang Babblers would spend 74.5 ± 5.0% of the day incubating their eggs, and the incubation period would last >18 days. We propose that Nonggang Babblers could prolong the incubation period and reduce foraging time to enhance the survival rate of fledglings. The high nest predation rate is an important limiting factor for the population growth of Nonggang Babblers.
... Sooty Babbler Stachyris herberti is similar to Nonggang Babbler and is also a restricted-range species in Vietnam (Eames et al. 1995, Robson 2005. Two recently described birds, Bare-faced Bulbul Pycnonotus hualon (Woxvold et al. 2009) and Limestone Leaf Warbler Phylloscopus calciatilis (Alström et al. 2010) were both found in the karst area of northern Vietnam and Lao PDR which is relatively close to south-west Guangxi. Although the Sino-Vietnamese border region is an important area for biodiversity research, only a few bird studies have ever been carried out there. ...
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The Nonggang Babbler Stachyris nonggangensisis a new species of Timaliidae which was discovered in the Sino-Vietnamese border region in 2008. The species was initially classified as “Near Threatened” on the IUCN Red List and was believed to occur only in Nonggang Nature Reserve, where the type specimen was collected and where c.200 individuals were recorded. These few observations, and suggestions of a declining population, prompted us to initiate an extensive survey over the whole potential distribution range of this species in China from June 2009 to May 2011, during both dry and wet seasons. We conducted the survey in Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region and Yunnan Province and selected 19 reserves and forest areas where similar habitat to that in the Nonggang Reserve is known to occur. We used transects combined with playback to survey for this species. Nonggang Babbler was recorded at four new sites in the Sino-Vietnamese border region: two areas of the Nonggang Reserve (Nonggang and Longhu), Bangliang Gibbon Nature Reserve and Chunxiu Nature Reserve. The estimated population size of Nonggang Babbler was about 1,300 individuals in the four sites. Nonggang Babbler is also assumed to occur in the Trung Khanh Gibbon Reserve of Vietnam which adjoins Bangliang Gibbon Reserve. The estimated population in Trung Khanh is c.200 individuals. In total we estimate that the global population size of Nonggang Babbler is c.1,500 individuals. The Nonggang Babbler is restricted to karst forests, and its activities, foraging and nesting strictly rely on this habitat. Habitat loss and fragmentation are the main threats.
... Despite the astonishing degree of floral endemism, karst formations and their surrounding limestone forests are often overlooked by vertebrate systematists and thus, only a few specialized vertebrates are known to exploit these unique microhabitats (i.e. Alström et al. 2010;Jenkins et al. 2004;Woxvold et al. 2009). Reptiles, however, are a growing exception. ...
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A new species of karst-adapted gekkonid lizard of the genus Cnemaspis Strauch is described from Gua Gunting and Gua Goyang in a karst region of Merapoh, Pahang, Peninsular Malaysia whose unique limestone formations are in immediate danger of being quarried. The new species differs from all other species of Cnemaspis based on its unique suite of morphological and color pattern characters. Its discovery underscores the unique biodiversity endemic to karst regions and adds to a growing list of karst-adapted reptiles from Peninsular Malaysia. We posit that new karst-adapted species endemic to limestone forests will continue to be discovered and these regions will harbor a significant percentage of Peninsular Malaysia's biodiversity and thusly should be conserved rather than quarried.
... Despite the astonishing degree of floral endemism in karst habitats and their surrounding limestone forests (Kiew 1998) karst formation are generally not considered to harbor high numbers of endemic, terrestrial vertebrates (i.e. Alström et al. 2010;Jenkins et al. 2004;Woxvold et al. 2009) and as such, remain understudied by vertebrate systematists (see Grismer et al. 2014a). In contrast to this notion, however, our recent herpetological surveys of karst regions in Peninsular Malaysia have revealed 13 endemic, karst-adapted species of geckos (eight species of Cnemaspis- Grismer et al. 2008aGrismer et al. ,b, 2009Wood et al. 2013 and five species of Cyrtodactylus- Grismer et al. 2012Grismer et al. , 2014a and a new species of limestone forest-adapted colubrid snake of the genus Dendrelaphis (Quah et al. in preparation). ...
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A newly discovered, diminutive, cave-dwelling, lowland species of the colubrid snake genus Lycodon Boie is described from a limestone cave along the Thai-Malaysian border in the state of Perlis, northwestern Peninsular Malaysia. Lycodon cavernicolus sp. nov. is most closely related to L. butleri Boulenger, an endemic, upland, forest-dwelling species from Peninsular Malaysia of the fasciatus group but is separated from L. butleri and all other species of the L. fasciatus group and the closely related L. ruhstrati group by having the combination of 245 (male) and 232 (female) ventral scales; 113 (male) and 92 (female) paired, subcaudal scales; a single precloacal plate; nine or 10 supralabials; 10 or 11 infralabials; a maximum total length of 508 mm (female); a relative tail length of 0.25–0.27; an immaculate venter in juveniles and dark brown, posterior, ventral scale margins in adults; and dorsal and caudal bands in juveniles white. The discovery of L. cavernicolus sp. nov. adds to a rapidly growing list of newly discovered reptiles from karst regions and limestone forests of Peninsular Malaysia, underscoring the fact that these areas should be studied before they are quarried as they harbor a significant portion of the Peninsular Malaysia’s herpetological diversity. Key words: new species, Lycodon, karst, limestone, cave, conservation, endemic biodiversity, Peninsular Malaysia
... The number of bird species reported or provisionally reported for Laos has been estimated at 481 (WCMC 1992), 487 (GROOMBRIDGE & JENKINS 2002) and 609 (DINERSTEIN & WIKRAMANAYAKE (1993), yet appears to be about 700 with 100 more likely to occur (DUCKWORTH et al. 1999, WICE 2013). It was only recently that an unmistakable new species was discovered and finally described in 2009, the bare-faced bulbul Pycnonotus hualon Woxvold et al., 2009. This species is apparently endemic to Laos et al. 1999, BirdLife International 2012). ...
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An introduction to the physical environment of Laos is provided, including vegetation, fauna, conservation and habitat types, intended to serve as general background information for entomological research in that country. An overview of the history of entomological – particularly coleopterological – surveys in Laos is provided, including information about collectors and the places in which their material is deposited. A detailed list of localities surveyed in the course of the seven Laos expeditions undertaken by the Basel Natural History Museum (2003–2012, all organised by Michel Brancucci), is provided, including associated data such as geographical coordinates, altitude and collecting dates. A comparison between existing sampling localities and the available habitats in Laos reveals the coleopterologically least-explored areas, such as the montane rain forests of both the Annamite range along the border to Vietnam, and the Luangprabang range west of the River Mekong, as well as the lowland habitats east and west of the southernmost section of the Mekong.
... Despite the astonishing degree of floral endemism in karst forests, vertebrate systematists have generally overlooked these areas and thus, only a few specialized vertebrates are known to exploit the unique microhabitats they compose (i.e. Jenkins et al. 2004;Alström et al. 2010;Woxvold et al. 2009). The growing exception to this lack of scientific inquiry is the recent increase in the discovery of highly specialized, endemic species of reptiles found in Peninsular Malaysia. ...
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A new species of Bent-toed Gecko Cyrtodactylus guakanthanensis sp. nov. of the C. sworderi complex is described from a limestone forest in Perak, Peninsular Malaysia whose karst formations at the type locality are within an active quarry. Cyrtodactylus guakanthanensis sp. nov. can be distinguished from all other Sundaland species by having the following suite of character states: adult SVL 77.7-82.2 mm; moderately sized, conical, weakly keeled, body tubercles; tubercles present on occiput, nape, and limbs, and extend posteriorly beyond base of tail; 37-44 ventral scales; no transversely enlarged, median, subcaudal scales; proximal subdigital lamellae transversely expanded; 19-21 subdigital lamellae on fourth toe; abrupt transition between posterior and ventral femoral scales; enlarged femoral scales; no femoral or precloacal pores; precloacal groove absent; wide, dark postorbital stripes from each eye extending posteriorly to the anterior margin of the shoulder region thence forming a transverse band across the anterior margin of the shoulder region; and body bearing five (rarely four) wide, bold, dark bands. Destruction of the karst microhabitat and surrounding limestone forest will extirpate this new species from the type locality and perhaps drive it to complete extinction given that it appears to be restricted to the particular microhabitat structure of the type locality and is not widely distributed throughout the karst formations. As with plants and invertebrates, limestone forests are proving to be significant areas of high herpetological endemism and should be afforded special conservation status rather than turned into cement.
... However, it is of particular interest that it was collected from a region of central Lao PDR, which is home to other recently discovered rare and endemic rodent taxa such as the Kha-nyou, Laonastes aenigmamus Jenkins et al. (2005) and the Lao limestone rat, Saxatilomys paulinae Musser et al. (2005). Furthermore, endemism is not restricted to rodents or even mammals: the area is also home to the endemic Lao langur, Trachypithecus laotum (Thomas 1921) and in birds to the recently discovered bare-faced bulbul, Pycnonotus hualon Woxvold et al. (2009). ...
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A new species of the flying squirrel genus Biswamoyopterus is described from Lao PDR. It is based on a single specimen collected from a local food market at Ban Thongnami, Pak Kading District, Bolikhamxai Province. The new taxon shows close affinities to Biswamoyopterus biswasi, which is only known from the holotype collected in 1981, 1250 km from the current locality, in Arunachal Pradesh, Northeast India. However, it differs substantially in pelage colour, most particularly on the ventral surfaces of the body, patagia, tail membrane, and tail. The single specimen was found in an area of central Lao PDR, which is characterised by its extensive limestone karst formations and which is home to other rare endemic rodents, including the Khanyou (Laonastes aenigmamus) nd the Lao limestone rat (Saxatilomyspaulinae).
... Three additional taxa that were recently named in adjacent areas support our statement that the southeastern sub-himalayan Mountains are a global hotspot of new bird descriptions. The additional taxa described from Southeast Asia but not yet reported from the area of interest are Garrulax konkakinhensis (eames and eames 2001), Motacilla samveasnae (Duckworth et al. 2001), and Pycnonotus hualon (Woxvold et al. 2009). ...
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Species distribution and species diversity pattern have vexed ornithologists in Southeast Asia and the Himalayas. The species diversity debate continues, because the baseline data for such analysis are still very incomplete, especially in some parts of Asia. We conclude, from currently available data sets such as museum specimens, that the ornithological affinities of northern Kachin State are rather with the eastern sub-Himalayas and western Yunnan, and we cannot (yet) confirm a spatially narrow turnover zone between South and Southeast Asia. Nevertheless, the local endemism of bird species (i.e., sub-Himalayan slopes of northern Kachin State) is high and there is a strongly marked elevational turnover from south to north. Recent surveys in Assam, Arunachal Pradesh (northeast India), Yunnan (southwest China), and Kachin State (northern Myanmar) have revealed taxa not previously known, including three from Arunachal Pradesh and Kachin State since 1997. The descriptions are based on museum work in combination with genetic analysis and extensive field studies (e.g., Jabouilleia naungmungensis and Tesia olivea chiangmaiensis). Additionally, several taxa have been revised on the basis of new insights from surveys of the region (e.g., Cyornis banyumasC. magnirostris) or phylogenetic analysis (e.g., Phylloscopus). We present data on these new species and discuss distributional areas in the context of species richness gradients. © 2011 by The American Ornithologists' Union. All rights reserved.
... However, because it seems fairly to highly localized when outside large karst landscapes, it can be overlooked by even quite lengthy surveys of a general area (most NPAs are of 1,000-2,000 km² and on any given survey only a small portion could be covered). While karst itself attracted specific survey because of its various specialist birds (Thewlis et al. 1998;Alström et al. 2009;Woxvold et al. 2009) as well as these monkeys, precipitous non-calcareous terrain was rarely a survey target: in most areas it is not extensive, and in general it has relatively low conservation potential and priority. ...
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Hybridization in the wild between broadly sympatric species has been reported for 13 species of African primates. Three guenons, believed to be Sykes's monkey Cercopithecus mitis × vervet monkey Chlorocebus pygerythrus hybrids, are reported here; two at Diani on the south coast of Kenya and one at Ngong Forest Sanctuary, Nairobi. These are the first records of hybridization between these broadly sympatric species, as well as between these genera. Most of the phenotypic characters of these hybrids are intermediate between the parent species. This paper (1) describes these hybrids and the environments in which they live; (2) briefly reviews hybridization among Africa's primates; (3) describes scent-marking behavior by one of the hybrids; (4) briefly reviews scent-marking among Africa's monkeys; (5) discusses the environmental circumstances that may weaken genetic barriers and facilitate hybridization; and (6) suggests topics for research on the ecology, behavior, and evolutionary significance of these three hybrids.
... However, because it seems fairly to highly localized when outside large karst landscapes, it can be overlooked by even quite lengthy surveys of a general area (most NPAs are of 1,000-2,000 km² and on any given survey only a small portion could be covered). While karst itself attracted specific survey because of its various specialist birds (Thewlis et al. 1998;Alström et al. 2009;Woxvold et al. 2009) as well as these monkeys, precipitous non-calcareous terrain was rarely a survey target: in most areas it is not extensive, and in general it has relatively low conservation potential and priority. ...
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The natural distribution of rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta) extends from South to East Asia, with substantial morphological variation among populations from different geographic locations. In the following report we compare morphometric measurements from rhesus macaques from Bangladesh to measurements from free-ranging rhesus in Nepal and captive rhesus populations originating in China and India. Our data indicate that Bangladeshi rhesus are morphologically similar to populations in South Asia, particularly India, and distinct from rhesus macaques originating in China. Our results also indicate that relative to the South Asian population samples, the rhesus macaques originating from China are distinct morphometrically.
... However, because it seems fairly to highly localized when outside large karst landscapes, it can be overlooked by even quite lengthy surveys of a general area (most NPAs are of 1,000-2,000 km² and on any given survey only a small portion could be covered). While karst itself attracted specific survey because of its various specialist birds (Thewlis et al. 1998;Alström et al. 2009;Woxvold et al. 2009) as well as these monkeys, precipitous non-calcareous terrain was rarely a survey target: in most areas it is not extensive, and in general it has relatively low conservation potential and priority. ...
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Tourism is a common component of management practices directed toward endangered species and habitats, but few studies have explored the potential stressors that may occur to nonhumans as objects of tourism. We examined the impact that tourists have on provisioned, habituated Tibetan macaques (Macaca thibetana). Data were collected during August 2005 at the Valley of the Wild Monkeys (VWM), Mt. Huangshan, China. From a tourist viewing platform, we measured tourist densities, behaviors (for example, foot, hand, and mouth noises; mimicking monkeys; throwing objects or food), and decibel levels. Frequencies of monkey threats in the provisioning area of their range were recorded. The tourists' collective behaviors correlated with monkey threats (Pearson's correlations; r=0.391, p=0.014), as did decibel levels on the viewing platform (r=0.334, p=0.038). No relationship between tourist density and monkey threats, or between particular tourist behaviors and monkey threats, was significant. Based on these results, we recommend park staff be trained on how to discourage noise often associated with tourists and regulate prohibited tourist behaviors, such as feeding the monkeys. Enforcement of park rules will decrease chances that tourist-monkey interactions at VWM will escalate into situations where injuries occur, as has happened at some other macaque tourism sites. Finally, we suggest the development of tourist education materials.
... This community is the major forest type of the PHP NBCA. (Woxvold et al., 2009) was also found. The birds of prey were Tyto alba, Accipiter badius and Cirus spilonotus, which were relatively common (appendix table 5). ...
Thesis
Thananh Khopathoom 2011: Home Range and Habitat Utilization of Kha Nyou (Laonastes aenigmamus Jenkins, Kilpatrick, Robinson & Timmins, 2005) in Phou Hin Poun National Biodiversity Conservation Area, Central Lao PDR. Master of Science (Forest Biological Science), Major Field: Forest Biological Science, Department of Forest Biology. Thesis Advisor: Associate Professor Naris Bhumpakphan, Ph.D. 100 pages. The study on the home range and habitat utilization of the Lao endemic Kha nyou (Laonastes aenigmamus) was carried out from September, 2009 to January, 2011. Four Kha nyou were live-trapped, weighted, measured and equipped with radio collars to study their home range size and habitat use in different seasons. The average home ranges size were 1.69 ± 0.53 (n=4) and 1.49 ± 0.45 ha (n=3) for the dry season and the wet season respectively. No different was found (t=-0.54, df=5, p=0.61). Home range was high overlapped between all individuals in both the dry and the wet seasons. The home range overlapped ranged from 30.21 to 75.89% and 45.25 to 58.62% for the dry season and for the wet season respectively. Average distance of daily movement among sexes: 2 males and 1 female in the dry season were respectively 1,687.88 ± 261.56 and 1,431.00 ± 105.42 m (t=2.41, df=10, p=0.03), while in the wet season were respectly 1,589.63 ± 183.36 and 1,528.33 ± 370.40 m (t=0.37, df=7, p=0.72). The habitats of Kha nyou were limestone boulder, sinkhole where appeared complex crevice system and covered above mainly with deciduous and evergreen trees. The proportions of habitat used were 75.84% LDF and 24.16% SEF for the dry season and 71.09% LDF and 28.91% SEF for the wet season. Kha nyou shared habitat with sympatric terrestrial rodents such as limestone rat Saxatilomys paulinae and long-tailed giant rat Leopoldamys sabanus. Kha nyou fed on a variety of plant species. The main threat to Kha nyou was from illegal hunting. The knowledge gained from this research is helpful for informing future conservation and management plans for the Kha nyou.
... Some nature reserves in this area are listed as Important Bird Areas (BirdLife International 2009). Three new bird species have been discovered in limestone forests of the region in recent years (Zhou & Jiang 2008, Woxvold et al. 2009, Alström et al. 2010. However, the overall extent and size of forested areas have been declining due to human disturbance (Wu 2009). ...
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From 2004 to 2012, we conducted a long-term series of surveys of birds in 16 areas in the largely limestone area of south-west Guangxi, south China. A total of 304 bird species (192 resident, 44 summer visitors, 62 winter visitors and 6 passage migrants) were recorded, including seven globally threatened birds and 40 Chinese National Key Protected Animals. Fourteen species and seven subspecies were recorded for the first time in the area. The fauna of south-west Guangxi is similar to that of south Yunnan and Indochina. We suggest that Nonggang Babbler Stachyris nonggangensis and Oriental Pied Hornbill Anthracoceros albirostris are the priority flagship bird species for the region. Nonggang National Nature Reserve is the most important site in south-west Guangxi for the conservation of endemic birds in limestone areas, while Quyang Lake is very important for wintering waterbirds. Further surveys and studies are necessary for bird conservation in south-west Guangxi.
... Now too, the quarrying of limestone forests and the destruction of the unique karst outcroppings that they surround have become lightning rods for conservation activists. The high degree of floral and invertebrate endemism in these limestone ecosystems has been well documented (Alström et al. 2010;Clements et al. 2006;Jenkins et al. 2004;Kiew 1998;Woxvold et al. 2009;Zhaoran et al. 2008) but until recently no endemic vertebrates had ever been recorded (see Grismer et al. 2014c for a discussion). Our work over the last 13 years has begun to document the high degree of reptile endemism and microendemism associated with karst ecosystems in Peninsular Malaysia. ...
Article
A new species of limestone cave-adapted gecko of the Cyrtodactylus pulchellus complex, C. hidupselamanya sp. nov., is described from an isolated karst formation at Felda Chiku 7, Kelantan, Peninsular Malaysia. This formation is scheduled to be completely quarried for its mineral content. From what we know about the life history of C. hidupselamanya sp. nov., this will result in its extinction. A new limestone forest-adapted species, C. lenggongensis sp. nov., from the Lenggong Valley, Perak was previously considered to be conspecific with C. bintangrendah but a re-evaluation of morphological, color pattern, molecular, and habitat preference indicates that it too is a unique lineage worthy of specific recognition. Fortunately C. lenggongensis sp. nov. is not facing extinction because its habitat is protected by the UNESCO Archaeological Heritage of the Lenggong Valley due to the archaeological significance of that region. Both new species can be distinguished from all other species of Cyrtodactylus based on molecular evidence from the mitochondrial gene ND2 and its flanking tRNAs as well as having unique combinations of morphological and color pattern characteristics. Using a time-calibrated BEAST analysis we inferred that the evolution of a limestone habitat preference and its apparently attendant morphological and color pattern adaptations evolved independently at least four times in the C. pulchellus complex between 26.1 and 0.78 mya.
... It is probable that M. annamiticus is more widespread than currently thought, especially in the Annamite Mountain range, which is a 'hotspot' for endemic, rare species. In recent years, many new species of mammals 10,14 , birds 15,16 and amphibians 17,20 have been discovered in this region. We suggest that further surveys should be conducted in this and nearby areas, such as in Nakai-Namtheun and Hin Nam No NBCAs. ...
... These species are known to be narrowly distributed and strongly associated with vegetation on limestone karst landscapes (Gwee et al. 2021, Jiang et al. 2020, Robson 2020. Specialist birds in karst environments remain ecologically poorly known given the difficulty of surveying karst landscapes, and several major bird discoveries in South-East Asia recently occurred in these landscapes, such as the Bare-faced Bulbul Nok hualon in Laos (Woxvold et al. 2009) and the Limestone Leaf Warbler Phylloscopus calciatilis in Vietnam and Laos (Alström et al. 2009). ...
... This is why it is a very important area for biodiversity conservation. At the same time, the limestone mountains are heavily threatened from many factors, including the expansion of agricultural land along the plains between the valleys and along the waterways, the expansion of the community, construction of transport routes, drought conditions with water shortages during the dry season, forest fires and human activities within the area such as poaching, collecting forest products, logging and construction in the area (Woxvold et al. 2009;Lillo et al. 2019). ...
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Pla-ard M, Hoonheang W, Kaewdee B, Panganta T, Charaspet K, Khoiesri N, Paansri P, Kanka P, Chanachai Y, Thongbanthum J, Bangthong P, Sukmasuang R. 2021. Abundance, diversity and daily activity of terrestrial mammal and bird species in disturbed and undisturbed limestone habitats using camera trapping, Central Thailand. Biodiversitas 22: 3620-3631. This study on the abundance, diversity and daily activity of terrestrial mammal and bird species was conducted in the limestone mountainous area of Central Thailand, located on the east of Dong Phaya Yen-Khao Yai forest complex. Camera traps were placed in both habitats disturbed by limestone mining and undisturbed habitat areas. From the study, a total of 38 species of mammals and birds from 27 families in 13 orders were recorded, including 15 species of mammals from 6 orders, 12 families and 23 species of birds from 14 families in 7 orders. Fifteen species of mammals were recorded in the undisturbed area and 11 were recorded in the disturbed area, with the Malayan Pangolin, Small Indian Civet and Grey-bellied Squirrel found in the undisturbed area. However, the number of bird species in the limestone mining area was larger than in the undisturbed area. It was also found that there was no difference in the overall abundance and diversity of mammalian species between disturbed and undisturbed areas, which is not in accordance with the hypothesis. But in the case of wild birds, the relative abundance of wild birds was found to differ significantly between areas. A high number was found in the areas with mining activities, although there was no difference in the diversity index of the two areas. However, it was found that when the combined data was analyzed, there was a significant difference in the daily activity of both mammals and wild birds in both areas. Many rare wildlife species were recorded during this study, for example, the Malayan Pangolin, Serow, Northern Pig-tailed Macaque, Rufous Limestone-babbler, Golden Jackal, Leopard Cat, Large-toothed Ferret Badger, Small Asian Mongoose, Common Palm Civet, Small Indian Civet, Malayan Porcupine. The key measure proposed is to preserve some natural habitats within the areas with mining activities, as wildlife remains in the area.
... This is why it is a very important area for biodiversity conservation. At the same time, the limestone mountains are heavily threatened from many factors, including the expansion of agricultural land along the plains between the valleys and along the waterways, the expansion of the community, construction of transport routes, drought conditions with water shortages during the dry season, forest fires and human activities within the area such as poaching, collecting forest products, logging and construction in the area (Woxvold et al. 2009;Lillo et al. 2019). ...
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Hakim L, Widyorini R, Nugroho WD, Prayitno TA. 2021. Radial variability of fibrovascular bundle properties of salacca (Salacca zalacca) fronds cultivated on Turi Agrotourism in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. Biodiversitas 22: 3594-3603. Fibrovascular bundles have properties variability not only based on species and varieties but also parts of species. This study, therefore, aims to characterize the FVB fundamental properties (anatomical, chemical, physical and mechanical) of Salacca zalacca (Gaertn.) Voss fronds, based on radial direction. The salacca fronds were divided into three parts, outer, middle as well as inner positions. Then the FVB's anatomical and physical properties were observed by light microscope and gravimetry analysis, respectively. Meanwhile, the variability of chemical and mechanical properties was investigated based on the ASTM standard. According to the results, the outer position has a higher variability of diameter, density, cellulose, lignin, and mechanical properties than the inner position, but has a lower hemicellulose value than the middle and inner position. Furthermore, the relationships between the anatomical, physical, chemical, and mechanical properties were discovered to form a pattern where increasing the mechanical properties is influenced by density and ratio vascular tissue area to total transverse area. Based on the results, the fibrovascular bundle of S. zalacca frond was concluded to possess anatomical, physical, chemical, and mechanical properties variability on the radial direction. There was a correlation between anatomical properties and mechanical properties.
... Many more species have been documented in the country this century (e.g. Duckworth et al. 2001, 2002, Evans 2001, Duckworth & Tizard 2003, Duckworth 2006, 2009, Eve 2007, Duckworth & Evans 2007, Woxvold et al. 2009, Alström et al. 2010, Coudrat & Nanthavong 2016). ...
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Hunting of wildlife for subsistence and both local and domestic trade is widespread across Laos. Market surveys with a focus on wild birds were conducted from February 2015 to February 2016. A total of 1,020 individual birds were detected in the trade in local markets. 718 individuals were identified to 13 orders, 30 families and 84 species, while 302 individuals could not be identified to the species-level. Blackcrested Bulbul Pycnonotus melanicterus (183 individuals), Red Junglefowl Gallus gallus (85 individuals) and Eastern Spotted Dove Spilopelia chinensis (81 individuals) were found to be the most abundant species sold in markets. The highest species richness and abundances were found at Ban Kok and Ban Chout Song markets. Species richness and abundance of birds traded were highest during the dry season. The most expensive and the cheapest species per individual were Common Hill Myna Gracula religiosa (US$61.30) and Black-headed Bulbul Pycnonotus atriceps (US$0.25−1.23) respectively. Observations of bird populations in surrounding areas are needed to relate their population trends with hunting effort for further conservation actions.
... Their nests -made of their saliva -are usually harvested and sold at a very expensive price (USD 2000-3000/kg) or made into a bird's nest soup, which costs around USD 30 (Thorburn 2015). In addition, Napothera crispifrons is known to be restricted to karst forests in mainland Asia, while Pycnonotus hualon and Phylloscopus calciatilis were recently discovered from karst areas in Southeast Asia (Clements et al. 2006;Woxvold et al. 2009;Alström et al. 2010). In the Philippines, karst forests are important habitats for some highly threatened species of birds. ...
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Little is known on the effects of degradation and disturbance on bird assemblage in lowland karst forests in the Philippines. In this study, we determined diversity patterns and distribution of birds along the vertical strata in two karst forest fragments adjacent to and one reforestation area within an active limestone quarry area in Bulacan province, Luzon island. Surveys were conducted using mist nets set in the understory (0-3 m) and sub-canopy (4-10 m) from November 2013 to October 2016. A total of 617 individuals belonging to 63 species and 13 feeding guilds were recorded from a mist-netting effort of 654,264.8 mist-net hours (m2•h); of these, 32 are Philippine endemics and six are threatened species. We recorded the highest number of species in the reforestation area, most of which are generalist and disturbance-tolerant species. Results from permutational multivariate analysis of variance (PERMANOVA) and non-metric multidimensional scaling (NMDS) indicate differences in bird assemblage between the three habitat types and between the two vertical strata within habitat types. Meanwhile, similarity percentage analyses and Mann-Whitney U tests showed that species and guilds that contributed to the observed dissimilarity in the two strata have higher capture rates in the understory. These observations provide insights into the effect of disturbance and habitat alteration in the vertical movement of birds, as evidenced by the shift of some arboreal species to the understory layer in more disturbed habitats. Understanding the behavior and habitat use of birds will, thus, help in identifying appropriate conservation measures to ensure proper resource partitioning among the different bird assemblages in fragmented habitats.
... South-east Asia has revealed several spectacular new species to science over the last three decades, mostly from the annamitic chain of Lao RDP and Vietnam, including a forest Bovidae (Saola, Pseudoryx nghetinhensis, Vu et al. 1993), the first representative of Caudata for Laos RDP (Laotriton laoensis, Stuart and Papenfuss 2002), a member of the Diatomyidae (Laonastes aenigmaeus, Jenkins et al. 2005), a lineage of rodents that was presumed to be extinct for the last 11 Myrs, and the Bare-faced Bulbul (Pycnonotus hualon, Woxvold et al. 2009), a highly distinct passerine for which a new genus was recently described (Fuchs et al. 2018). ...
Article
Background: The Cambodian Tailorbird (Orthotomus chaktomuk) was one of the most recent major ornithological discoveries in South-east Asia as it originated from lowland seasonally flooded scrub within the densely inhabited floodplain around the Tonle Sap, Mekong and Bassac rivers (Cambodia). The Cambodian Tailorbird is sister to the Dark-necked Tailorbird (O. atrogularis) with very limited genetics and biometric differentiation. Between 2004 and 2012, evidences of a new population of Ashy Tailorbird (O. ruficeps) in SE Cambodia/Vietnam accumulated but no museum specimens were ever reported. The Ashy Tailorbird currently consists of eight subspecies among which the closest geographical populations, O. r. cineraceus (SE Burma to Malay Peninsula, Sumatra, Bangka and Belitung) and O. r. borneoensis (Borneo), are allopatric. Subspecific identification of the Cambodian Ashy Tailorbirds individuals was not possible because of the limited differences in plumage among subspecies. Methods: We inspected the Orthotomus ruficeps specimens housed at the Museum National d'Histoire Naturelle (Paris) and discovered five specimens of O. ruficeps collected by Louis Rodolphe Germain in 'Cochinchina' (corresponding to southern Vietnam) during the nineteenth century. We sequenced one mitochondrial locus and gathered biometric data from these specimens and compared them with other Orthotomus lineages. Results: The Ashy Tailord population from SE Cambodia and Vietnam is distinct from the two geographically close subspecies O. r. borneoensis (1.7%) and O. r. cineraceus (1.3%). O. chaktomuk is nested within O. atrogularis in the mitochondrial gene tree. The SE Cambodia/Vietnam population of O. ruficeps is distinct from the two other subspecies in bill shape. Conclusion: Our study described the biometric and molecular distinctiveness of a recently re-discovered population of Ashy Tailord in SE Cambodia and Vietnam and suggests that this population constitutes an independent evolutionary lineage that we describe here as a new subspecies. The newly described Cambodian Tailorbird is nested within the Dark-necked Tailorbird and the genetic divergence is much lower than initially described (0.4-0.7% vs 1.1-1.4%).
... eben.goodale@outlook.com Guangxi Key Laboratory of Forest Ecology and Conservation, College of Forestry, Guangxi University, Nanning 530004, China bird species in the last 10 years (Zhou and Jiang 2008;Woxvold et al. 2009;Alström et al. 2010). Unfortunately, basic information about the breeding ecology of birds in these limestone areas is poorly known (Jiang et al. 2014), although this situation has been improved in the last 5 years. ...
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Background: The breeding information of most birds in Asian tropical areas, especially in limestone forests, is still poorly known. The Streaked Wren-Babbler (Napothera brevicaudata) is an uncommon tropical limestone bird with a small range. We studied its nest-site selection and breeding ecology, in order to understand the adaptations of birds to the conditions of tropical limestone forest in southern China. Methods: We used methods of systematical searching and parent-following to locate the nests of the Streaked Wren-Babbler. We measured characteristics of nest sites and rock cavities. Data loggers and video cameras were used to monitor the breeding behavior. Results: All the observed nests of the Streaked Wren-Babbler were placed in natural shallow cavities or deep holes in large boulders or limestone cliffs. The great majority (96.6%) of Streaked Wren-Babbler nests had three eggs with an average fresh weight of 3.46 ± 0.43 g (n = 36, range 2.52-4.20 g). Most (80.4%) females laid their first eggs between March and April (n = 46). The average incubation and nestling period of the Streaked Wren-Babbler was 10.2 ± 0.4 days (n = 5, range 10-11 days) and 10.5 ± 0.8 days (n = 6, range 9-11 days), respectively. Most (87.9%) nests had at least one nestling fledge between 2011 and 2013 (n = 33). Conclusions: Our study suggests that several features of the breeding ecology of the Streaked Wren-Babbler, including building nests in rocky cavities, commencing breeding earlier than most species, and reducing foraging times during the incubation period, are well-adapted to the unique habitat of tropical limestone forest.
... These forests are particularly important from the point of view of conservation, because habitat loss, human disturbance and illegal hunting are considered to be major threats in this area (Collar et al. 2001;Goodale et al. 2015). The three newest bird species discovered in Asia, the Nonggang Babbler (Stachyris nonggangensis), the Limestone Leaf-warbler (Phylloscopus calciatilis) and the Bare-faced Bulbul (Pycnonotus hualon), have a distribution range restricted to limestone areas (Zhou & Jiang 2008;Woxvold et al. 2009;Alström et al. 2010). Additionally, life history strategies of bird species inhabiting limestone areas are probably different when compared to other habitats, e.g. ...
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The ecology and life history of bird species inhabiting limestone forests, which are under major conservation threats, is currently poorly known. To cover this gap of knowledge, in this study we report for the first time on several aspects of the breeding ecology of the Blue-rumped Pitta (Pitta soror) and the Fairy Pitta (P. nympha) inhabiting two typical limestone forests of south China. The mean density of Fairy Pittas in our study locations was 3.13 ± 2.82 and 1.05 ± 2.09 individuals/km². The Blue-rumped Pitta was common in Nonggang and showed a mean density of 4.67 ± 2.44 individuals/km², yet was absent in the other. We found nine nests between February 2009 and June 2015, including five of the Blue-rumped Pitta and four of the Fairy Pitta. Blue-rumped Pittas laid 4.8 ± 0.4 eggs with a mean fresh mass of 8.10 ± 0.40 g. Fairy Pittas had a clutch size of 5.2 ± 0.45 eggs with a mean fresh mass of 6.03 ± 0.22 g. Blue-rumped and Fairy Pitta parents fed their nestlings 4.0 ± 1.2 times and 3.9 ± 1.5 times per hour, respectively. Earthworms were the most common food item delivered to nestlings by Blue-rumped (93.6%) and Fairy Pitta (91.2%) parents. Blue-rumped Pittas bred successfully in 40% of nests (two of five), whilst in the case of Fairy Pittas nest success reached 75% (three of four). The two Pittas had larger clutch sizes than in southern populations of the same species and also than most other bird species inhabiting limestone forests. This would imply that Pittas show differences in life history traits within limestone ecosystems.
... In addition to the high level of floral endemism there are also high levels of invertebrate endemism associated with karst formations (e.g., Holloway, 1986; Vermeulen & Whitten, 1999). Although these areas harbor a high degree of endemism for invertebrates and plant species they are generally not considered to hold large numbers of endemic terrestrial vertebrates (i.e., Jenkins et al., 2005; Alström et al., 2010; Woxvold, Duckworth & Timmins, 2009), because most vertebrates have high dispersal capabilities. There are only a few mammals and birds that are thought to be restricted to karst formations (e.g., Latinne et al., 2011; Clements et al., 2006). ...
Article
Three new species of Rock Geckos Cnemaspis lineogularis sp. nov., C. phangngaensis sp. nov., and C. thachanaensis sp. nov. of the chanthaburiensis and siamensis groups are described from the Thai portion of the Thai-Malay Peninsula. These new species are distinguished from all other species in their two respective groups based on a unique combination of morphological characteristics, which is further supported by mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) from the NADH dehydrogenase subunit 2 gene (ND2). Cnemaspis lineogularis sp. nov. is differentiated from all other species in the chanthaburiensis group by having a smaller maximum SVL 38 mm, 13 paravertebral tubercles, enlarged femoral scales, no caudal bands, and a 19.5–23.0% pairwise sequence divergence (ND2). Cnemaspis phangngaensis sp. nov. is differentiated from all other species in the siamensis group by having the unique combination of 10 infralabial scales, four continuous pore-bearing precloacal scales, paravertebral tubercles linearly arranged, lacking tubercles on the lower flanks, having ventrolateral caudal tubercles anteriorly present, caudal tubercles restricted to a single paraveterbral row on each side, a single median row of keeled subcaudals, and a 8.8–25.2% pairwise sequence divergence (ND2). Cnemaspis thachanaensis sp. nov. is distinguished from all other species in the siamensis group by having 10 or 11 supralabial scales 9–11 infralabial scales, paravertebral tubercles linearly arranged, ventrolateral caudal tubercles anteriorly, caudal tubercles restricted to a single paravertebral row on each side, a single median row of keeled subcaudal scales, lacking a single enlarged subcaudal scale row, lacking postcloaclal tubercles in males, the presence of an enlarged submetatarsal scale at the base if the 1st toe, and a 13.4–28.8% pairwise sequence divergence (ND2). The new phylogenetic analyses place C. punctatonuchalis and C. vandeventeri in the siamensis group with C. punctatonuchalis as the sister species to C. huaseesom and C. vandeventeri as the sister species to C. siamensis , corroborating previous hypotheses based on morphology. The discovery of three new karst-dwelling endemics brings the total number of nominal Thai Cnemaspis species to 15 and underscores the need for continued field research in poorly known areas of the Thai-Malay Peninsula, especially those that are threatened and often overlooked as biodiversity hot spots.
... However, because it seems fairly to highly localized when outside large karst landscapes, it can be overlooked by even quite lengthy surveys of a general area (most NPAs are of 1,000-2,000 km² and on any given survey only a small portion could be covered). While karst itself attracted specific survey because of its various specialist birds (Thewlis et al. 1998;Alström et al. 2009;Woxvold et al. 2009) as well as these monkeys, precipitous non-calcareous terrain was rarely a survey target: in most areas it is not extensive, and in general it has relatively low conservation potential and priority. ...
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A monkey population allied to François' leaf monkey Trachypithecus francoisi discovered in 1920 constitutes the taxon laotum, endemic to Lao PDR. The next seven decades provided very little additional information about it. Wildlife surveys in the 1990s found a large population of T. (f.) laotum in Phou Hinpoun (= Khammouan Limestone) National Protected Area (NPA) and north into southern Nam Kading NPA, and a large population in and around Hin Namno NPA of T. (f.) ebenus, known outside Lao PDR only from adjoining Vietnam. Detailed here are confirmed records of smaller and more localized populations of leaf monkeys of the T. francoisi group (sensu Groves 2001, 2005, p.175) from two other areas (Nakai–Nam Theun NPA and a region outside the protected area system, Muang (= District of) Vilabouli, in Savannakhet province), highly plausible reports from one more site, and records of T. (f.) ebenus from southern Phou Hinpoun NPA. Animals from Nakai–Nam Theun NPA and Muang Vilabouli differ in pelage from reported forms, and further information is required to resolve their taxonomy in relation to the named forms hatinhensis and ebenus. All Lao records of the Trachypithecus francoisi group leaf monkeys are within the latitudi-nal band of 16°58'N (probably 16°49'N) to 18°17'N, but reports from local people suggest the possibility of occurrence north of this latitude, and perhaps (parallel with the complex's distribution in Vietnam) north to the Chinese border. Populations in large karst landscapes remain healthy but cannot be assumed to remain so, and those in smaller karst and non-calcareous ranges are highly vulnerable to hunting-induced local extinction. Many uncertainties remain concerning the species-complex in Lao PDR: its overall distribution, the number of forms present, their distribution, and their taxonomy. Undescribed forms may yet be found, most likely to the north of the known range, where threats are much higher, adding to the urgency for surveys in this region.
... However, because it seems fairly to highly localized when outside large karst landscapes, it can be overlooked by even quite lengthy surveys of a general area (most NPAs are of 1,000-2,000 km² and on any given survey only a small portion could be covered). While karst itself attracted specific survey because of its various specialist birds (Thewlis et al. 1998;Alström et al. 2009;Woxvold et al. 2009) as well as these monkeys, precipitous non-calcareous terrain was rarely a survey target: in most areas it is not extensive, and in general it has relatively low conservation potential and priority. ...
Article
Full-text available
A monkey population allied to François' leaf monkey Trachypithecus francoisi discovered in 1920 constitutes the taxon laotum, endemic to Lao PDR. The next seven decades provided very little additional information about it. Wildlife surveys in the 1990s found a large population of T. (f.) laotum in Phou Hinpoun (= Khammouan Limestone) National Protected Area (NPA) and north into southern Nam Kading NPA, and a large population in and around Hin Namno NPA of T. (f.) ebenus, known outside Lao PDR only from adjoining Vietnam. Detailed here are confirmed records of smaller and more localized populations of leaf monkeys of the T. francoisi group (sensu Groves 2001, 2005, p.175) from two other areas (Nakai–Nam Theun NPA and a region outside the protected area system, Muang (= District of) Vilabouli, in Savannakhet province), highly plausible reports from one more site, and records of T. (f.) ebenus from southern Phou Hinpoun NPA. Animals from Nakai–Nam Theun NPA and Muang Vilabouli differ in pelage from reported forms, and further information is required to resolve their taxonomy in relation to the named forms hatinhensis and ebenus. All Lao records of the Trachypithecus francoisi group leaf monkeys are within the latitudi-nal band of 16°58'N (probably 16°49'N) to 18°17'N, but reports from local people suggest the possibility of occurrence north of this latitude, and perhaps (parallel with the complex's distribution in Vietnam) north to the Chinese border. Populations in large karst landscapes remain healthy but cannot be assumed to remain so, and those in smaller karst and non-calcareous ranges are highly vulnerable to hunting-induced local extinction. Many uncertainties remain concerning the species-complex in Lao PDR: its overall distribution, the number of forms present, their distribution, and their taxonomy. Undescribed forms may yet be found, most likely to the north of the known range, where threats are much higher, adding to the urgency for surveys in this region.
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The breeding biology and nest-site selection of Yellow-browed Bulbul Iole indica, an endemic to the Western Ghats and Sri Lanka biodiversity hotspot, was studied in the Silent Valley National Park, Kerala, from 2002 to 2005. Breeding occurred in the dry season from mid-November to the end of April with peak egg-laying in January and February. Nests were open cups placed 0.5-6.2 m from the ground in plants 0.6-8.0 m tall. Birds laid clutches of 2-3 eggs and broods hatched synchronously. Overall nesting period lasted for about a month with 3-7 days for nest construction, 11-13 days for incubation and 12-13 days for nestling period. Mayfield nest success was 17.21%. Predation was the main known cause of nest failure, and mortality was higher during the egg stage compared to nestling stage. Yellow-browed Bulbuls used large number of plants (32 species) as nest substrates. Successful nests were characterised by high nest concealment compared to that of the unsuccessful nests. However, information on the abundance and behaviour of predators and experimental manipulations are required for a comprehensive understanding of nest-site selection process.
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The recently described Bare-faced Bulbul Pycnonotus hualon from Lao PDR has a very distinct morphology and habitat (karsts). Mitochondrial and nuclear data from the type material demonstrated that P. hualon is sister to members of the genus Spizixos. To highlight its unique morphology and phylogenetic distinctiveness, we describe a new monotypic genus for the Bare-faced Bulbul. The Bare-faced Bulbul Pycnonotus hualon Woxvold, Duckworth & Timmins, 2009, was first collected from the small limestone karst outcrop of Pha Lom (16°58′13″N, 105°48′48″E), north-east Savannakhet Province, Lao PDR, in late 2008, following a 1995 sighting of strange bald-looking bulbuls about 185 km away, above the Hinboun plain at the northern end of the Khammouan limestone massif (18°04′N, 104°31′E). As of 2017, the species remains known only from the karst landforms of Lao PDR between the Pha Lom and above the Hinboun plain. This discovery forms part of a sustained pulse of discoveries of new bird and mammal species in and around the Annamite Mountains of Lao PDR and Vietnam, mostly associated with two distinct habitat types, karst limestone and wet evergreen forest. Several of the newly discovered species are phylogenetically highly distinct. These include a forest bovid (Saola Pseudoryx nghetinhensis Vu, Pham, Nguyen, Do, Arctander & MacKinnon, 1993; Vu et al. 1993); the first representative of Caudata for Lao PDR (Lao Warty Newt Laotriton laoensis (Stuart & Papenfuss, 2002); Stuart & Papenfuss 2002); and a living member of the Diatomyidae (Kha-nyou Laonastes aenigmamus Jenkins, Kilpatrick, Robinson & Timmins, 2005; Jenkins et al. 2005), a lineage of rodent formerly presumed to have been extinct for the past 11 million years (Dawson et al. 2006). Here we investigated the phylogenetic relationships of the Bare-faced Bulbul (Fig. 1). This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
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The Indo-Malayan bioregion has provided some of the most spectacular discoveries of new vertebrate species (e.g. saola, khanyou, bare-faced bulbul) over the last 25 years. Yet, very little is known about the processes that led to the current biodiversity in this region. We reconstructed the phylogeographic history of a group of closely related passerines, the Alophoixus bulbuls. These birds are continuously distributed in Indo-Malaya around the Thailand lowlands such that their distribution resembles a ring. Our analyses revealed a single colonization event of the mainland from Sundaland with sequential divergence of taxa from South West to North East characterized by significant gene flow between parapatric taxa, and reduced or ancient gene flow involving the two taxa at the extremities of the ring. We detected evidence of population expansion in two subspecies, including one that was involved in the closing of the ring. Hence, our analyses indicate that the diversification pattern of Alophoixus bulbuls fits a ring species model driven by geographic isolation. To our knowledge, the Alophoixus bulbuls represent the first case of a putative broken ring species complex in Indo-Malaya. We also discuss the implications of our results on our understanding of the biogeography in Indo-Malaya. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
Article
The distribution and ecology of Assamese macaque Macaca assamensis remains little studied in South-east Asia. This review collates historical and recent records to clarify its range and habitat use in Lao PDR. Contrary to many standard sources limiting Assamese macaque's range to the north and center of the country, it occurs well into the southern part. In the country's three physiographic units, it is widespread in the northern highlands and the Annamite range, but seems absent from the Mekong plain. Most records are from hill evergreen forest above 500 m, consistent with standard literature, but the species occurs down to plains level (200 m) on karsts (at least in areas south of 16°58'N). The few records from below 500 m off karst are all in rugged terrain, but even so non-karst rugged land below 500 m seems to be only rarely used. Ecological overlap with northern pig-tailed macaque M. leonina and with Rhesus macaque M. mulatta is very limited in Lao PDR. In the long-term, hunting and forest encroachment may threaten Assamese macaque in Lao PDR, but it is much less imminently at risk in the country than are most gibbon and colobine species.
Article
Limestone karst habitats are threatened globally by quarrying for production of concrete and cement. A significant area of limestone karst shared among the provinces of Saraburi, Lopburi and Nakhon Ratchasima in Thailand encompasses the entire global range of a threatened bird taxon, the Rufous Limestone Babbler Gypsophila calcicola. We estimate that 10% of the suitable habitat for this species had already been lost to quarrying by 2020, and the extension of already proposed concessions could increase this to one-quarter, with the total area impacted by proposed future quarrying as great as 273 km ² , or one and a half times greater than the entire area thought to support the species, within a few years. Only 2.66 km ² (1.4% of the species’ range) has received formal habitat protection as national park. We propose further surveys of the babbler be incorporated as part of a wider biotic survey of the Saraburi Group Limestones, leading to the development of an integrated management and zoning plan that takes account of the distributional knowledge of other threatened endemic taxa of this region.
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The breeding biology and nest-site selection of Yellow-browed Bulbul Iole indica, an endemic to the Western Ghats and Sri Lanka biodiversity hotspot, was studied in the Silent Valley National Park, Kerala, from 2002 to 2005. Breeding occurred in the dry season from mid-November to the end of April with peak egg-laying in January and February. Nests were open cups placed 0.5-6.2 m from the ground in plants 0.6-8.0 m tall. Birds laid clutches of 2-3 eggs and broods hatched synchronously. Overall nesting period lasted for about a month with 3-7 days for nest construction, 11-13 days for incubation and 12-13 days for nestling period. Mayfield nest success was 17.21%. Predation was the main known cause of nest failure, and mortality was higher during the egg stage compared to nestling stage. Yellow-browed Bulbuls used large number of plants (32 species) as nest substrates. Successful nests were characterised by high nest concealment compared to that of the unsuccessful nests. However, information on the abundance and behaviour of predators and experimental manipulations are required for a comprehensive understanding of nest-site selection process.
Article
The breeding biology of the endemic Grey-headed Bulbul Pycnonotus priocephalus was studied from 2003 to 2005 in Silent Valley National Park, Western Ghats, India. Nests were located during three field seasons from the arrival (December) to the dispersal of the birds (June) and collected data on various breeding parameters, availability of fruits and weather conditions. All nests were found in mid-elevation evergreen forests ranging from 900 to 1,400 m elevation. Breeding occurred in the drier months (January-May), which coincides with high fruit availability. Nest building lasted 3-8 days. Majority of the nests (72%; n = 39) were built on two plant species (Ochlandra travancorica and saplings of Syzygium sp.) and the mean nest height was 1.52 plus or minus 0.80 m (n = 52). Nests were randomly oriented around the nesting plants with a mean vector of orientation equaling 160.450. The clutch size averaged 1.53 plus or minus 0.50 eggs (range = 1-2; n = 47). Incubation and nestling periods were 13 plus or minus 0.87 (n = 9) and 12 plus or minus 0.50 (n = 9) days, respectively. Overall nest success was 10.79%. Nest success rates varied among incubation and nestling periods. Grey-headed Bulbul exhibit life-history traits associated with low productivity such as short breeding season, low clutch size, fewer broods per year and high predation rates indicating that deterioration of breeding habitats might seriously hamper the long-term survival of the species.
Article
Población en aumento del invasor bulbul orfeo Pycnonotus jocosus en Valencia, España El bulbul orfeo Pycnonotus jocosus es un paseriforme de talla mediana que se ha clasificado como invasor debido a su impacto en los ecosistemas invadidos. En marzo de 2003, esta especie fue vista por primera vez en una urbanización llamada La Cañada, en la provincia de Valencia, al este de España. Hicimos un seguimiento de su población en una zona suburbana cercana a La Cañada utilizando puntos de conteo realizados todas las primaveras entre 2015 y 2020. Desde 2015, la población del bulbul orfeo ha mostrado una tendencia creciente significativa en el área muestreada y se estima que, en 2020, llegó a los (2.428 < 2.878 < 3.412) individuos. Además, también aumentó su frecuencia de aparición, y se supone que sigue una distribución continua en el área de muestreo. La especie no se ha quedado restringida y se ha expandido hasta 20 km desde La Cañada en 17 años. Se prevé que la población de bulbul orfeo continuará aumentando y expandiéndose, con consecuencias aún desconocidas.
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The main concerns in this report are biodiversity and cultural property associated with limestone in East Asia. These areas of interest are rarely paired, but do have common features: both are largely untraded goods, although some elements are highly valued by some but not by others. The World Bank finds that their loss or damage in the course of economic development is a significant issue, and that limestone areas are very important sites for both biodiversity and cultural property. Other limestone- related issues are dealt with relatively briefly insofar as they are relevant to the purpose of the report. In this way, the report is a first step to redress the balance in favor of concern for limestone biodiversity and cultural property, which are under-represented in the literature on limestone. Although such topics karst formation, karst features, hydrology, and geological features are discussed only very briefly, no lack of their importance is implied. This report deals primarily with limestone areas in East Asia, which in World Bank parlance comprises its client countries of Mongolia, China, the Republic of Korea, Thailand, the Lao People's Democratic Republic (Lao PDR), Vietnam, Cambodia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Indonesia, and Papua New Guinea. Many of the conclusions and recommendations are nonetheless applicable to tropical and subtropical karst areas worldwide. Fifteen environmental assessments of World Bank and International Finance Corporation (IFC) projects from the last 10 years involving major infrastructure and cement factory investments were reviewed. None of the assessments mentions the unique aspects of limestone biodiversity, adequately addresses biodiversity issues, or proposes measures to mitigate and monitor the impact on local biodiversity. However, one report mentions the aesthetic and wilderness values of the limestone areas that would be affected by the project. There was no indication that cultural remains or values related to limestone were assessed.
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The analysis of DNA fragments of two mitochondrial genes (12S and 16S) from 27 species of bulbuls (Pycnonotidae), belonging to eight African and Asiatic genera, demonstrates the polyphyly of the genus Criniger Temminck, 1820, with two clades: one with the African species, the other with the Asiatic species. We propose to maintain Criniger for the African species and use Alophoixus Oates, 1889 for the Asiatic ones. This study also brings the first elements on the monophyly of African bulbuls, with the exception of Pycnonotus species which are of probable recent diversification in Africa.
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Since 2004, we have surveyed birds in the southwest Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region of China. Many times during February, July, and October 2005 and January 2006, we observed, in Nonggang Natural Reserve of Guangxi, a species in the family Timaliidae that has never been recorded before in China or Southeast Asia. Nonggang Natural Reserve is located in the Sino-Vietnamese border region at 22 degrees 13'-22 degrees 34'N, 106 degrees 42'-107 degrees 05'E, 18 km southeast of the Vietnamese border. On 21 January 2006, we captured two individuals. Subsequent investigation showed that the specimens belonged to a previously undescribed species, which we designate Stachyris nonggangensis, the Nonggang Babbler.
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We conclude that the reasons hitherto given for non-recognition of the generic name Ixos in the family Pycnonotidae were erroneous. The broad genus employed by the proponents of that view is now considered too broad, and we concur with Sibley & Monroe (1990) that several generic names must be used, including Ixos. No genus can be constructed except around the name of its type species, and no other species within such a genus may be the type species of a generic name that is older. The arrangement offered by Sibley & Monroe (1990) was flawed because this rule was not observed. We therefore offer a complete revision. We believe it to be desirable to recognise several more genera than those recognised by Sibley & Monroe (1990), at least until we have the molecular evidence available to make firmer judgements.
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The Sooty Babbler Stachyris herberti, previously known from five specimens collected in Laos in 1920, was rediscovered in central Vietnam in July 1994. Fieldwork in Phong Nha Cultural and Historical Reserve located a population inhabiting lowland evergreen forest on limestone. The species was recorded on a number of occasions over several days and one female specimen was collected. The species appears to have highly specific ecological requirements and current human disturbance may have implications for its conservation at this site. A revision of its taxonomic position suggests its retention within the genus Stachyris.
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During biodiversity surveys in Khammouan Province, Lao Peoples Democratic Republic, specimens of an unknown species of hystricognathous rodent were discovered in local markets being sold for food; local hunters explaining that these rock rats were trapped in the nearby limestone karst. These specimens are described here on the basis of their unique combination of external and craniodental features as members of a new family, genus and species, using comparative morphological and molecular data. Phylogenetic analyses of morphological data and of 12S rRNA and cytochrome b are presented on selected taxa from all suborders of Rodentia. The results of the molecular and morphological analyses are compared and provide the basis for a discussion of relationships of the new taxon within the Rodentia and Hystricognatha.
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The taxonomic treatment of Asian taxa of bulbuls (Pycnonotidae) is discussed with explanations of some historical changes. Attention is drawn to competing hypotheses as to treatment and recommen-dations are made for their further evaluation. The type locality of Ixos plumigerus Lafresnaye, 1840, is restricted.
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The overexploitation of the world's biomes for natural products calls for the prioritization of biologically important ecosystems for conservation. Here we show that limestone karsts are “arks” of biodiversity and often contain high levels of endemism. Humans have exploited karsts for a variety of products and services, but unsustainable practices have caused population declines and extinctions among site-endemic taxa. Limestone quarrying is the primary threat to karst biodiversity in Southeast Asia, where quarrying rates exceed those in other tropical regions. Several socioeconomic, political, and scientific issues undermine the stewardship of these karsts. Mitigation of these problems will involve (a) better land-use planning to prevent karst resources from being exhausted in developing regions, (b) comprehensive assessments of a karst's economic and biological value before development, (c) improved legislation and enforcement to protect karst biodiversity, and (d) increased research and activities to promote public awareness of the importance of karsts and the threats facing them.
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Rainfed lowland rice ecosystems in the Mekong region receive high annual rainfall, but the rice plants often encounter drought throughout the growing season because coarse-textured soils have large water losses due to deep percolation. Field water availability during the growing season, and the length of growing period (LGP) are measures used to provide the geographical dimensions of soil hydrological patterns for various rice growth environments. The FAO approach to zoning LGP is not regarded as sufficiently reliable for rainfed lowland rice environments where there is often standing water with high deep percolation losses in light-textured soils, because it does not take into account the effect of soil characteristics on deep percolation in determining the availability of water for rice cultivation. In this study, we evaluated the effect of soil texture on LGP using a soil water balance model for calculating the amount of water held in storage for the growth of rainfed lowland rice, and then mapped the LGP in Savannakhet province, Laos. The LGP was very sensitive to low soil clay content as variation in the downward water loss was large when clay content was low. The LGP map revealed that the LGP decreases with declining clay content from the eastern to western parts of the province.
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Molecular phylogenies of island organisms provide useful systems for testing hypotheses of convergent or parallel evolution, since selectively neutral molecular characters are likely to be independent of phenotype, and the existence of similar environments on multiple isolated islands provides numerous opportunities for populations to evolve independently under the same constraints. Here we construct a phylogenetic hypothesis for Hypsipetes bulbuls of the western Indian Ocean, and use this to test hypotheses of colonization pattern and phenotypic change among islands of the region. Mitochondrial sequence data were collected from all extant taxa of the region, combined with sequence data from relevant lineages in Asia. Data are consistent with a single Hypsipetes colonization of the western Indian Ocean from Asia within the last 2.6 Myr. The expansion of Hypsipetes appears to have occurred rapidly, with descendants found across the breadth of its western Indian Ocean range. The data suggest that a more recent expansion of Hypsipetes madagascariensis from Madagascar led to the colonization of Aldabra and a secondary colonization of the Comoros. Groupings of western Indian Ocean Hypsipetes according to phenotypic similarities do not correspond to mtDNA lineages, suggesting that these similarities have evolved by convergence or parallelism. The direction of phenotypic change cannot be inferred with confidence, since the primary expansion occurred rapidly relative to the rate of mtDNA substitution, and the colonization sequence remains uncertain. However, evidence from biogeography and comparison of independent colonization events are consistent with the persistence of a small grey continental bulbul in India and Madagascar, and multiple independent origins of large size and green plumage in insular island populations of the Comoros, Mascarenes and Seychelles. © 2005 The Linnean Society of London, Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 2005, 85, 271–287.
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The bird fauna of Madagascar includes a high proportion of endemic species, particularly among passerine birds (Aves: Passeriformes). The endemic genera of Malagasy songbirds are not allied obviously with any African or Asiatic taxa, and their affinities have been debated since the birds first were described. We used mitochondrial sequence data to estimate the relationships of 13 species of endemic Malagasy songbirds, 17 additional songbird species, and one species of suboscine passerine. In our optimal trees, nine of the 13 Malagasy species form a clade. although these birds currently are classified in three different families. In all optimal trees, the sister to this endemic clade is a group of Old World warblers including both African and Malagasy birds. The endemic Malagasy songbird clade rivals other island radiations, including the vangas of Madagascar and the finches of the Galapagos, in ecological diversity.
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This paper deals with acoustic communication in the Red-vented Bulbul Pycnonotus cafer. This species emits a high variety of vocal signals that can be classified on the basis of their acoustical features and context of production. Individuals sang throughout the year and most songs were discrete and stereotyped. The songs were composed of strophes (phrases) with minor structural variations of elements that were preceded and followed by a temporal gap (3 to 12 s). Most strophes were composed of 2 to 6 elements that were often dissimilar in structure and ranging from 0.98 to 4.5 kHz. The biological function of the song appeared to be to maintain pair bonds and to synchronize breeding activities. Different types of context-specific calls were identified. Individuals produced Type-I alarm calls (fast and wide-band, 1.03 to 6.36 kHz) under low predation pressure andType-II calls (narrow frequency range, 1.37 to 3.39 kHz) under high predation pressure. Roosting calls were fast and wide-band signals phonetically similar to Type-I alarm calls. Three types of begging/contact calls were recorded in nestlings/fledglings. Greeting calls and flight calls were composed of complex phrases, like song, but were short and used for proximate functions.
Article
Laos is an important country for bird conservation. Bird surveys between 1992 and 1996, the first since 1949, covered 20 main areas, with incidental records from many others. This paper reviews the status of all Lao species reported to be of elevated conservation concern (key species) in any of the following categories: Globally Threatened or Globally Near-Threatened (sensu Collar and Andrew 1988 and Collar et al. 1994), and At Risk or Rare in Thailand (sensu Round 1988 and Treesucon and Round 1990). Several additional species are covered which have clearly undergone a National Historical Decline in Laos. A comprehensive review of other Lao species was not possible, and some species which are in truth of conservation concern have doubtless been overlooked. Historical and modern records were reviewed and population trends identified where possible. Current global status listings (Collar et al. 1994) were supported, except that consideration should be given to changing Red-collared Woodpecker Picus rabieri and Sooty Babbler Stachyris herberti from Threatened to Near-Threatened. If the Lao situation is representative of the species throughout their range, then consideration should also be given to placing Ratchet-tailed Treepie Temnurus temnurus and River Lapwing Vanellus duvaucelii as Near-Threatened. Twenty-seven Globally Threatened species are known from Laos, of which there are recent records of 22. There are recent unconfirmed records of two more. Forty-seven Globally Near-Threatened species are known from Laos, of which there are recent records of 39; there are unconfirmed records of one further species. Five Globally Threatened and five Near-Threatened species were recorded for the first time in Laos in recent years, suggesting that further species of elevated conservation concern remain to be found. All species reviewed were placed in one of the four categories: At Risk in Laos, Potentially At Risk in Laos, Little Known and Not At Risk in Laos. These are assessed in the light of foreseeable threats; some species may move into a higher category of threat in due course. Forty-four species are thought to be At Risk in Laos; there are no recent records of four of these. Twenty-five species are thought to be Potentially At Risk in Laos; there are no recent records of two of these. Thirty-four species considered by this review are thought to be Not At Risk in Laos at the current time, whilst there is insufficient information to make an assessment (termed Little Known) for another 32 species. Laos retains a much higher proportion of forest cover than do most neighbours, including substantial lengths of almost pristine riverine forest in the Nam Theun and Xe Kong basins, extensive level lowland forest (especially at Xe Pian National Biodiversity Conservation Area and Dong Khanthung Proposed Protected Area in the South) and considerable amounts of slope forest at all altitudes. At least 27 forest species seem to occur in globally significant numbers. This is probably because the surveyed forests were large in relation to hunting and degradation pressures on the populations of most species. Logging of virgin areas, hydropower schemes and clearance of forest for cultivation will soon reverse this situation unless controls are established. At least 35 of the species under consideration have declined over the past 50 years by a magnitude exceeding that of their habitat loss, so that they are now absent from large areas of suitable habitat. Twenty-four of them are associated with slow-flowing rivers and other wetlands. These areas are preferentially settled and exploited by people and their birds are thus under elevated threat from hunting, habitat clearance and disturbance. Other factors may explain the declines of several birds (Pied Kingfisher Ceryle rudis and Plain Martin Riparia paludicola) in these habitats. Most other decreasing species inhabit open deciduous forest or scrub, which also experience heavy human use. Hornbills, however, occupy dense forest but also have declined, perhaps because their conspicuousness, flocking behaviour and low reproductive rate all magnify the effects of hunting. Further species have doubtless declined, but historical data are too patchy to demonstrate this. The major threats to birds in Laos include logging, accelerated forest clearance and fragmentation on a large scale (for subsistence and commercial purposes), intensification of wetland use and widespread unrestricted hunting. A new force with the potential to be exceedingly damaging is a proposed programme of over 50 hydropower developments. These will inundate and fragment large areas of intact habitat, force farmers to clear fresh land elsewhere and open up access to some of the nation's most remote and pristine wildlife habitats. Conservation measures will revolve around implementing management within the recently established protected areas, resisting commercial exploitation within them, and expanding the network to cover currently under-represented habitats. For a few species, measures beyond the reserves system are imperative: these include species requiring large rivers (e.g. Great Thick-knee Esacus recurvirostris, terns and River Lapwing) and wide-ranging large waterbirds (e.g. storks, ibises and cranes). Further status surveys for all species are needed throughout Laos and are particularly urgent for large waterbirds and everywhere in North Laos. In a global context, Laos has highly important populations of: Siamese Fireback Lophura diardi, Crested Argus Rheinardia ocellata, Green Peafowl Pavo muticus, White-winged Duck Cairina scutulata, Red-collared Woodpecker, Red-vented Barbet Megalaima lagrandieri, Brown Hornbill Anorrhinus tickellii, Rufous-necked Hornbill Aceros nipalensis, Blyth's Kingfisher Alcedo hercules, Coral-billed Ground-cuckoo Carpococcyx renauldii, Masked Finfoot Hdiopais personata, Grey-headed Lapwing Vanellus cinereus, Lesser Fish-eagle Ichthyophaga humilis, White-rumped Vulture Gyps bengalensis, Long-billed Vulture Gyps indicus, Red-headed Vulture Sarcogyps calvus, Rufous-winged Buzzard Butastur liventer, White-shouldered Ibis Pseudibis davisoni, Giant Ibis P. gigantea, Greater Adjutant* Leptoptilos dubius, Blue-rumped Pitta Pitta soror, Bar-bellied Pitta P. elliotii, White-winged Magpie Urocissa whiteheadi, Yellow-breasted Magpie Cissa hypoleuca, Ratchet-tailed Treepie, Green Cochoa Cochoa viridis, Jerdon's Bushchat Saxicola jerdoni, Beautiful Nuthatch Sitta formosa, Black-hooded Laughingthrush Garrulax milleti, Grey Laughingthrush G. maesi, White-cheeked Laughingthrush G. vassali, Red-tailed Laughingthrush G. milnei, Sooty Babbler, Grey-faced Tit-babbler Macronous kelleyi, Spectacled Fulvetta Alcippe ruficapilla, Rufous-throated Fulvetta A. rufogularis, Mountain Fulvetta A. peracensis and Short-tailed Parrotbill Paradoxornis davidianus. These are species either on the brink of global extinction; Globally Threatened or Near-Threatened but occurring commonly at many sites in Laos; for which recent Lao records are more substantial than those from anywhere else in a species's range; or have limited geographical range of which Laos is a substantial part. A revised set of key species for future use in Laos is given in Appendix 2.
Article
Oriental Skylark Alauda gulgula was first found in Laos only in 1997 but was presumably overlooked historically. It has since been recorded from many sites on the Vientiane plain, four sites elsewhere on the Mekong plain, one mid-altitude grassy plateau and one mid-altitude airport. All sites are on level land. All known breeding areas have extensive rather sparse short- to mid-height grass during the mid-and late dry season, when (in contrast to sympatric passerines) the species breeds. Year-round observations at ten non-forest sites on the Vientiane plain found breeding at only two sites, both supporting extensive non-intensified (single-crop) paddy rice close to permanent waterbodies; birds did not breed at two sites with dry-season irrigated rice, at two sites with single-crop rice but far from water, or at two sites with extensive Mekong channel bed exposed in the dry season. Elsewhere in Laos there are no records from extensive secondary hill dry grassland or natural grassland within deciduous dipterocarp forest. If the species is, across Laos, mainly using habitats as on the Vientiane plain, it faces severe national threats from ongoing agricultural intensification.
Book
The volume is broadly split into two main sections. The firsts consists of seven introductory chapters: biodiversity and priority setting; identifying endemic bird areas; global analyses; the prioritization of endemic brid areas; the conservation relevance of endemic bird areas; endemic bird areas as targets for conservation action; and regional introductions. The second, and larger part of the text looks at the endemic bird areas in detail. The section is split into six subsections, by region: North and Central America; Africa, Europe and the Middle East; continental Asia; SE Asian Islands, New Guinea and Australia; and the Pacific Islands. Within each regional subsection the endemic areas are detailed, providing information on : general characteristics; restricted-range species; threats and conservation; and location maps.
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The following critiques express the opinions of the individual evaluators regarding the strengths, weaknesses, and value of the books they review. As such, the appraisals are subjective assessments and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the editors or any official policy of the American Ornithologists' Union.
Article
activity at a fruiting Macaranga aetheadenia tree. This was followed next morning by another brief view in the same tree, and then by good extended views of a perched bird in the afternoon of the same day. A single bird was seen on two further occasions, on 3 and 16 September. The sightings occurred during an influx of several bulbul species (notably Black-and-white Bulbul P. melanoleucus and Black-headed Bulbul P. atriceps, with smaller numbers of other species including Grey-bellied Bulbul P. cyaniventris) which coincided with widespread fruiting of several tree species, upon which many of the bulbuls appeared to be feeding. When fruiting activity declined the numbers of bulbuls in the area fell sharply (pers. obs. and T. Mitchell pers. comm.). Clear views were obtained of a single bird on five separate occasions. However, when the first bird was first seen it was with an unidentified bulbul which looked very similar during the brief flight views gained, and which may have been of the same type. Three subsequent sightings, all of a single bird, were made over a period of three days within a short distance of the tree in which the initial sighting was made, and were thought to involve the same individual. The fifth sighting was nearly two weeks later and approximately 1 km downstream of the previous sightings. No more than a single individual may have been involved in all sightings. Description The following description is derived from notes made in the field during the extended close observation on the afternoon of 2 September, with details of the tail (which was obscured by vegetation on that occasion) added from a subsequent, more distant observation. The extended view involved a bird perched in the lower
Article
During 2004-2005, I observed six bird species previously unrecorded in Laos. They were observed with 10×42 binoculars and none was collected or photographed, hence descriptive details of identification are given here. Currently, no officially constituted body or individual maintains a list of bird taxa recorded in Laos. Hence, these species are judged to be first records for the country after the exhaustive collation of previous published and unpublished records by Duckworth et al. (1999), supplemented by more recent sources. It is possible that the species have been observed recently in Laos, but that this information has not been circulated widely, or that unpublished pre-1950 specimens exist; not all historical collections have yet been written up (see, e.g., Robinson and Kloss 1931). Of an increasing number of 'grey literature' sources, some contain evidently mistaken bird identifications. Duckworth et al. (1999) wrote that 'species lists which present a number of unlikely records without comment suggest that the observer may not have been aware of the records' significance, and thus was unfamiliar with the avifauna in general. The cautious course is taken of excluding the whole of such lists from this review'. Unfortunately, some such lists are now firmly in the public domain and mention at least some of the species reported below. As well as a large computer database, presumably using much the same information as discussed by Duckworth (2000), problem sources include two surveys of national protected areas by an international conservation non- governmental organisation for a large conservation and
Article
Lloyd, P., Craig, A.J.F.K., Hulley, P.E., Essop, M.F., Bloomer, P. & Crowe, T.M. 1997. Ecology and genetics of hybrid zones in the southern African Pycnonotus bulbul species complex. Ostrich 68 (2–4): 90–96.The closely related Blackeyed Bulbul Pycnonotus barbatus, Cape Bulbul P. capensis and Redeyed Bulbul P. nigricans have parapatric to locally sympatric distributions within southern Africa. Extensive hybridization along narrow transition zones between each of the three species pairs is described in a region of the Eastern Cape province, South Africa. The transition zones coincide with ecotones between different vegetation types, which in turn follow escarpments or mountain ranges. The lack of population density depressions within the hybrid zones, together with the variability of the hybrids, suggests the hybrids are viable. Sharp step clines in various phenotypic characters are described across the P. barbatus/P. nigricans hybrid zone. A mtDNA analysis found evidence of possible introgression between P. barbatus and P. capensis. All eight P. barbatus x P. nigricans hybrids analysed possessed P. barbatus mtDNA, suggesting the existence of either positive assortative mating or strong directional selection, but our data are unable to distinguish which. Our results do not support the dynamic-equilibrium model, but are compatible with the bounded-hybrid-superiority model. We conclude that the maintenance of the parapatric distributions of the different taxa is due mainly to differences in environmentally-associated fitness between parental phenotypes or among parental and hybrid phenotypes along an ecotone, with the narrowness of the hybrid zones maintained by the steepness of the environmental gradients crossing them.
Article
Lloyd, P., Hulley, P.E. & Craig, A.J.F.K. 1996. Comparisons of the vocalizations and social behaviour of southern African Pycnonotus bulbuls. Ostrich 67: 118–125.Vocalizations and associated behaviour of three Pycnonotus species are described, based on field observations and tape recordings from which sonagrams were produced. These species, which are locally sym-patric and hybridize, have similar vocalizations and displays; differences are most apparent in their contact calls and songs. Quantitative analysis of the songs showed that P. barbatus and P. capensis are easily distinguished, whereas the song characteristics of P. nigricans overlap those of both the other species. Playback experiments with territorial male P. barbatus in an area of allopatry showed similar responses to songs of conspecifics and of P. nigricans, but almost no response to the song of P. capensis.
Article
The Pycnonotidae (bulbuls and greenbuls) comprise approximately 130 species and are widely distributed across Africa and Asia, mainly in evergreen thickets and forest. Recent molecular findings suggest a basal split between the African and the Asian species, although the three African Pycnonotus species are part of the Asian radiation and represent a relative recent immigration to Africa. In this study we investigate the phylogenetic relationships within the African clade, which with the exclusion of Pycnonotus contains approximately 50 species, of which the majority are placed in three large genera Andropadus, Phyllastrephus and Chlorocichla. We use three nuclear markers (myoglobin intron 2, ODC introns 6 and 7 along with intervening exon 7, and β-fibrinogen intron 5), together encompassing 2072 aligned positions, to infer the relationships within the African clade. The resulting tree is generally well supported and indicates that none of the three largest currently recognized genera are monophyletic. For instance, the species included in Andropadus represent three different clades that are not each other's closest relatives. The montane species currently placed in that genus form a strongly supported clade, which is sister to Ixonotus, Thescelocichla, Baeopogon and Chlorocichla, although within this clade the genus Chlorocichla is polyphyletic. The remaining Andropadus species fall into two groups, one of these with A. importunus and A. gracilirostris, which along with Calyptocichla serina form a basal branch in the African greenbul radiation. In support of some previous studies the Leaf-love (Pyrrhurus scandens) is placed within Phyllastrephus. We also propose a new classification that reflects the phylogenetic relationships among African greenbuls.
Article
Acoustic signals play an important role in the lives of birds. Almost all avian species produce vocal signals in a variety of contexts either in the form of calls or songs or both. In the present study different types of vocal signals of the tropical avian species Pycnonotus cafer were characterized on the basis of their physical characteristics and context of production. This species used six types of vocal signals: contact signals, roosting signals, alarm signals, twittering signals, distress signals and begging signals. Two types of alarm signals are produced based on predation pressure. These signals are dissimilar in all physical characteristics except for dominant frequency. Although alarm signal type I and roosting signals are phonetically similar, they have completely different sonogram characteristics.
Article
The living Laotian rodent Laonastes aenigmamus, first described in early 2005, has been interpreted as the sole member of the new family Laonastidae on the basis of its distinctive morphology and apparent phylogenetic isolation from other living rodents. Here we show that Laonastes is actually a surviving member of the otherwise extinct rodent family Diatomyidae, known from early Oligocene to late Miocene sites in Pakistan, India, Thailand, China, and Japan. Laonastes is a particularly striking example of the "Lazarus effect" in Recent mammals, whereby a taxon that was formerly thought to be extinct is rediscovered in the extant biota, in this case after a temporal gap of roughly 11 million years.
Article
Bulbuls (Aves: Pycnonotidae) are a fairly speciose (ca. 130 sp.) bird family restricted to the Old World. Family limits and taxonomy have been revised substantially over the past decade, but a comprehensive molecular phylogeny for the family has not been undertaken. Using nuclear and mitochondrial DNA sequences, we reconstructed a well-supported phylogenetic hypothesis for the bulbuls. Three basal lineages were identified: a large African clade, a large Asian clade that also included African Pycnonotus species, and the monotypic African genus Calyptocichla. The African clade was sister to the other two lineages, but this placement did not have high branch support. The genus Pycnonotus was not monophyletic because three species (eutilotus, melanoleucos, and atriceps) were highly diverged from the other species and sister to all other Asian taxa. Additional taxon sampling is needed to further resolve relationships and taxonomy within the large and variable Hypsipetes complex.
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