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Insights into the feeding ecology of the Seychelles Black Parrot Coracopsis barklyi using two monitoring approaches

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Feeding ecology is an important factor for the survival of a species and knowledge of its parameters is a prerequisite for successful conservation work. In this study we describe the feeding ecology of the endemic Seychelles Black Parrot Coracopsis barklyi on Praslin, Seychelles, the only island on which this parrot is resident. We compared two methods to evaluate feeding choices: incidental observations and feeding walks on 25 transects in all habitat types. Black parrots fed on 46 different species, bringing the total number of known food plants to 53 species. They predominantly consumed endemic and native species (58% of observed feeding bouts), mainly their fruit pulp (in 68% of feeding bouts), followed by buds (15%) and seeds (37%) with occasional observations of leaves, bark and scale insects. The incidental method rendered many more observed bouts than the transect approach and the ratios of consumed species differed between methods but the transect results are regarded as more representative. The incidental method is not suitable for quantitative conclusions but complements the transect method, providing information about rarely occurring feeding events.
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Keywords: Coracopsis barklyi; Indian Ocean; Seychelles Black Parrot; feeding ecology; palm forest; parrots

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Seychelles Islands Foundation, Victoria, PO Box 853, Mahé, Seychelles 2: Conservation Biology, Workgroup on Endangered Species, Georg-August Universität Göttingen, Göttingen, Germany

Publication date: September 2, 2014

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