SPEZIALE Karina Lilian
HOW DO ROADS AFFECT THE HABITAT USE OF AN ASSEMBLAGE OF SCAVENGING RAPTORS?
LAMBERTUCCI, S.A., SPEZIALE, K.L., ROGERS, T.E., MORALES, J.M
BIODIVERSITY AND CONSERVATION
Lugar: Netherlands; Año: 2009 vol. 18 p. 2063 - 2063
Scavengers may benefit from the availability of dead animals along roads thatresult from collisions with vehicles. However, roads are also considered risky places for many species. Animal habitat selection patterns usually balance energy intake with mortality risk. In this work we analyzed the foraging space use of an assemblage of diurnal scavenging raptors in relation to distance from roads in northwest Patagonia. We selected patches at different distances from roads, and placed a sheep carcass in each patch during the night (n = 18 carcasses in total). In general, carcasses near roads were detected by diurnal scavenging raptors much faster than those far from roads. Smaller raptors such as southern caracaras (Caracara plancus), chimango caracaras (Milvago chimango), and black vultures (Coragyps atratus), were commonly associated with roads both in terms of overall detections and scavenging activities. Southern and chimango caracaras proved to bevery good at detecting carcasses, were faster to land in order to feed from them, and were found in greater numbers near roads than far from them. Even though Andean condors (Vultur gryphus) and black-chested buzzard-eagles (Geranoaetus melanoleucus) flew all over the area, they chose to feed far from roads. Our work emphasizes that some scavengers have taken advantage of the novel food resources provided by roads whereas others are reluctant to feed near them. Within a scenario of an increasing number of roads, some species can extend their distributions favoring competition and biotic homogenization processes within original communities. We highlight the importance of taking into account large flying scavengers in land-use planning.