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Journal ArticleDOI

Breeding behaviour and parental care in the Griffon Vulture Gyps fulvus on the island of Crete (Greece)

01 Jan 2007-Ethology Ecology & Evolution (Taylor & Francis Group)-Vol. 19, Iss: 1, pp 1-26
TL;DR: The main behavioural patterns examined were aerial displays, nest defence, copulation, nest building, brooding and food provisioning to the chicks, which showed similarities among this insular population and continental ones.
Abstract: A field study of the breeding behaviour of griffon vultures (Gyps fulvus) was conducted in Crete (Greece) during 1997–2000. The main behavioural patterns examined were aerial displays, nest defence, copulation, nest building, brooding and food provisioning to the chicks. The nesting territory consisted of a semicircle ca 5 m radius around the nest that was defended against conspecifics. Copulation attempts mainly occurred in the nesting ledge with a success rate of 77%. On average every pair accomplished 0.16 ± 0.34 copulations per day (range = 0–4) while 3.3% of the total attempts accounted for extra–pair copulations. Supplying material to the nest started 32 ± 9 days prior to egg laying (range = 17–44) at a rate of 5 ± 3.52 bouts/pair/day (range = 1–14).The mean number of items added to the eyrie was 2 ± 1.3/bout/pair (range = 1–8) with 63.5% of these being soft greenery.The mean frequency of relief at the nest relieves was 0.5 ± 0.64 bouts/pair/day (range = 0–2) while an incubation shift lasted on aver...
Citations
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Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: edited by D.H. Clayton and J. Moore, Oxford University Press, 1997.

231 citations

01 Jan 2010
TL;DR: Zuberogoitia et al. as discussed by the authors presented the results of a study with the Bonelli's Eagle Study and Conservation Group and the Bearded Vulture Study and Protection Group.
Abstract: I. Zuberogoitia, 1-Estudios Medioambientales Icarus S.L. Pintor Sorolla 6, 1° C., E26007 Logrono, Spain. E-mail zuberogoitia@icarus.es J.E. Martinez, Bonelli’s Eagle Study and Conservation Group. Plaza de Toledo, 10-5E, E-30009 Murcia, Spain A. Margalida, Bearded Vulture Study and Protection Group, Apdo. 43, E-25520 El Pont de Suert, Lleida, Spain I. Gomez & A. Azkona, Sociedad para el Estudio de las Aves Rapaces (SEAR). C/ Kart Marx, 15, 4° F., 48950 Erandio, Bizkaia, Spain J.A. Martinez, Juan de la Cierva 43, El Campello, E-03560 Alicante, Spain

45 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors studied the foraging behavior of Eurasian griffons Gyps fulvus on the island of Crete during 1997-2005 by direct observations in four colonies and by monitoring the movements of seven radio-equipped individuals.
Abstract: We studied the foraging behaviour of Eurasian griffons Gyps fulvus on the island of Crete during 1997–2005 by direct observations in four colonies and by monitoring the movements of seven radio-equipped individuals. The estimated foraging range of griffon colonies, based on direct observations, ranged from 206–851 km2 by using the Minimum Convex Polygon method, and 195–527 km2 by using the Adaptive Kernel method, with corresponding means of 472 and 380 km2, respectively. Meanwhile, radio-tracking showed that foraging vultures covered an area ranging from 390–1300 km2. The mean foraging radius was calculated at ca 15 km and the mean maximum one at 29.9 km. On windless days, griffons' mean cross-country speed was 5.1 m/second (maximum = 13.3 m/second), with a mean climbing rate of 0.6 m/second and a mean inter-thermal gliding speed of 18.8 m/second. Any livestock carrion located up to 9 km from a colony was exploited by its members with minimum competition from individuals of adjacent areas. In total, we re...

33 citations


Cites background from "Breeding behaviour and parental car..."

  • ...…the seasonally moving livestock, griffons forage in semi-mountainous areas (300-800 m a.s.l.) close to their breeding colonies during winter, but shift to mountainous and alpine areas (800-2,450 m a.s.l.) residing in communal roosts during summer (Xirouchakis & Mylonas 2004, Xirouchakis 2007)....

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  • ...During the period of December 1997- March 1998, when griffon colonies were occupied by vultures of variable breeding status (Xirouchakis 2007), we monitoredall studycolonies2-3 timespermonth (43 field days, in total)....

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  • ...One plausible explanation for this extreme pattern was that during thesemonths, intra-colony competition was probably relaxed as non-breeders had abandoned the colonies (Xirouchakis 2007), and the remaining birds could achieve a higher food intake per feeding bout....

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Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors developed a study to analyse the foraging movements of Eurasian griffon vultures (Gyps fulvus) in northern Spain and found that birds randomly moved long distances whilst searching for food, or if vulture re-sightings were restricted to a few feeding sites within a limited area.
Abstract: The outbreak of bovine spongiform encephalopathy provoked restrictive European sanitary legislation that forced farmers to remove livestock carcasses from the wild. This had serious repercussions for the scavenger raptor guild. Against this background, we developed a study to analyse the foraging movements of Eurasian griffon vultures (Gyps fulvus) in northern Spain. We ringed 241 griffon vultures with alphanumeric plastic rings in Biscay between 2000 and 2011 and set experimental feeding stations in 24 sites over an area of 10,614 km2; recording re-sightings of the ringed vultures between 2005 and 2012. Using these re-sighting records, we tested whether birds randomly moved long distances whilst searching for food, or if vulture re-sightings were restricted to a few feeding sites within a limited area. We summarised 329 field-work days, with an average of 2.06 ringed vultures re-sighted per day, accounting for 1,017 re-sightings. Adult vultures were detected in three separate foraging nuclei within the study area. Movements out of the main foraging nuclei were statistically less frequent than would be expected if adult vultures accessed all resources at a similar rate. Once established at breeding areas, subadult vultures behaved in the same way as adults. Our results suggest that vultures’ home ranges are largely restricted to zones close to breeding areas. This has important consequences from a conservation point of view, suggesting that management decisions should take into consideration spatial scale effects.

33 citations


Cites background from "Breeding behaviour and parental car..."

  • ...they exhibit mate-guarding behaviour) and to avoid competition for nesting sites and predation (Xirouchakis and Mylonas 2007; Margalida and Bertran 2010)....

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  • ...…building and laying periods, vultures usually remain within nesting areas for extended periods, in order to prevent extra pair copulation (i.e. they exhibit mate-guarding behaviour) and to avoid competition for nesting sites and predation (Xirouchakis and Mylonas 2007; Margalida and Bertran 2010)....

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Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, a comprehensive review of current knowledge of vulture social behavior and the evolutionary and ecological roots of their social systems is provided, including aspects as diverse as vulture breeding and mating systems, foraging techniques, social hierarchies, territorial and gathering behavior, and interspecific interactions.
Abstract: Vultures are one of the most threatened bird groups globally. Although many of the threats faced by vultures have been identified, the impact of human activities on the social life of vultures has received little attention. In this paper, we emphasize the need to integrate vulture sociality into conservation practice. First, we summarize current knowledge on vulture social behavior, and the evolutionary and ecological roots of their breeding systems. We describe the existence of contrasting gradients in social foraging strategies and hierarchical social structures among colonial and territorial breeders associated with species (and population) reliance on carrion differing in size and predictability. We also highlight the potential role of vulture gatherings in maintaining population-level social structures and for mate-finding given high mate-selectivity. Next, based on this social framework, we discuss the impact of human activities on social foraging, territory structures, resource partitioning processes, and mating dynamics. However, little is known about how disruptions of social habits may have contributed to vulture population declines and/or may impede their recovery. Lastly, we provide directions for future research on vulture socio-ecology that may improve current conservation efforts. We encourage researchers and wildlife managers to pay more attention to natural carrion diversity underlying vulture social system diversity, especially when implementing supplementary feeding programs, and to consider the complex mating and settlement dynamics in reintroduction programs. Overall, we stress that understanding the complex social life of vultures is critical to harmonize their conservation with anthropogenic activities.LAY SUMMARYAlthough many of the threats faced by vultures have been identified, the impact of human activities on the social life of vultures has received little attention.We provide a comprehensive review of current knowledge of vulture social behavior and the evolutionary and ecological roots of their social systems.Within this social framework, we discuss aspects as diverse as vulture breeding and mating systems, foraging techniques, social hierarchies, territorial and gathering behavior, and interspecific interactions.Overall, we stress that advancing our socio-ecological understanding of the rich social life of vultures is critical to harmonize their conservation in this rapidly changing world.

25 citations

References
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Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Seven major types of sampling for observational studies of social behavior have been found in the literature and the major strengths and weaknesses of each method are pointed out.
Abstract: Seven major types of sampling for observational studies of social behavior have been found in the literature. These methods differ considerably in their suitability for providing unbiased data of various kinds. Below is a summary of the major recommended uses of each technique: In this paper, I have tried to point out the major strengths and weaknesses of each sampling method. Some methods are intrinsically biased with respect to many variables, others to fewer. In choosing a sampling method the main question is whether the procedure results in a biased sample of the variables under study. A method can produce a biased sample directly, as a result of intrinsic bias with respect to a study variable, or secondarily due to some degree of dependence (correlation) between the study variable and a directly-biased variable. In order to choose a sampling technique, the observer needs to consider carefully the characteristics of behavior and social interactions that are relevant to the study population and the research questions at hand. In most studies one will not have adequate empirical knowledge of the dependencies between relevant variables. Under the circumstances, the observer should avoid intrinsic biases to whatever extent possible, in particular those that direcly affect the variables under study. Finally, it will often be possible to use more than one sampling method in a study. Such samples can be taken successively or, under favorable conditions, even concurrently. For example, we have found it possible to take Instantaneous Samples of the identities and distances of nearest neighbors of a focal individual at five or ten minute intervals during Focal-Animal (behavior) Samples on that individual. Often during Focal-Animal Sampling one can also record All Occurrences of Some Behaviors, for the whole social group, for categories of conspicuous behavior, such as predation, intergroup contact, drinking, and so on. The extent to which concurrent multiple sampling is feasible will depend very much on the behavior categories and rate of occurrence, the observational conditions, etc. Where feasible, such multiple sampling can greatly aid in the efficient use of research time.

12,470 citations

Book
01 Jan 1986
TL;DR: This concise review of methodology includes a comprehensive annotated bibliography and is intended, above all, as a practical guide-book.
Abstract: Measuring Behaviour is a guide to the principles and methods of quantitative studies of behaviour, with an emphasis on techniques of direct observation, recording and analysis. Numerous textbooks describe and analyse human and animal behaviour, but none provides a comprehensive review of the principles and techniques of its measurement. Those undertaking this task for the first time are often bemused by the apparent difficulty of the job facing them - how will they accurately and systematically record all that is happening? The purpose of this book is to provide this basic knowledge in a succinct and easily understood form. This concise review of methodology includes a comprehensive annotated bibliography. Written with ,brevity and clarity, Measuring Behaviour is intended, above all, as a practical guide-book.

3,555 citations

Book
01 Jan 1991
TL;DR: This paper examined the evolution of variation in egg and neonate size, of viviparity and other forms of bearing, and of differences in the duration of incubation, gestation, and lactation.
Abstract: Synthesizing studies of parental care in a wide variety of animals, this book is the first attempt to provide general answers to the following important questions: Why does the extent of parental care vary so widely between species? Why do only females care for eggs and young in some animals, only males in others, and both parents in a few? To what extent is parental care adjusted to variation in its benefits to offspring and its costs to parents? How do parents divide their resources between their sons and daughters? In this book separate chapters examine the evolution of variation in egg and neonate size, of viviparity and other forms of bearing, and of differences in the duration of incubation, gestation, and lactation. The book reviews theoretical and empirical predictions concerning the evolution of parental care and examines the extent to which these are supported by empirical evidence. The author examines the distribution of parental care among offspring, reviews the empirical evidence that parents invest to different extents in their sons and daughters, and discusses the degree to which parents manipulate the sex ratio of their progeny in relation to the availability of resources.

3,341 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Relationship between the sexes dispersion breeding density winter density problems concerning nest-sites breeding strategies breeding rates behaviour in the breeding season fidelity to breeding areas movements mortality human persecution DDT and other organo-chlorines other pollutants and pesticides conservation management breeding from captive birds scientific names of raptors.
Abstract: Relationship between the sexes dispersion breeding density winter density problems concerning nest-sites breeding strategies breeding rates behaviour in the breeding season fidelity to breeding areas movements mortality human persecution DDT and other organo-chlorines other pollutants and pesticides conservation management breeding from captive birds scientific names of raptors.

2,115 citations


"Breeding behaviour and parental car..." refers background in this paper

  • ...…of cliff nesting species, such as griffons, competition for nest sites may prevail since suitable rock formations (i.e. cavities, ledges) might be scarce, thus birds have to guard their nests to avoid intra- or interspecific takeovers (newton 1979, collias & collias 1984, FernáDez & Donázar 1991)....

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  • ...The most accepted functional justifications for this plant delivery behaviour have been the advertisement of nest occupancy (advertisement hypothesis, newton 1979) or the repellence of ectoparasites (nest protection hypothesis, clarK & mason 1���, clarK 1991)....

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  • ...Its function is probably to reinforce the pair bond (newton 1979), this being the only occasion, except copulation, when vultures are observed in physical contact....

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  • ...Considering that the incubation changeover is related to the frequency of successful foraging (houston 1976, newton 1979), all these variations may reflect food availability in the vicinity of the colonies and the distance of the nests from the feeding areas....

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  • ...The aerial displays of griffon vultures were not as impressive as those reported for large raptors where birds lock their feet and fall earthwards (newton 1979, simmons & menDelssohn 1993)....

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