Satellite telemetry of Blue-throated Macaws in Barba Azul Nature Reserve (Beni, Bolivia) reveals likely breeding areas

Davenport, Lisa C., Boorsma, Tjalle, Carrara, Lucas, Antas, Paulo de Tarso Zuquim, Faria, Luciene, Brightsmith, Donald J., Herzog, Sebastian K., Soria-Auza, Rodrigo W., and Hennessey, A. Bennett (2021) Satellite telemetry of Blue-throated Macaws in Barba Azul Nature Reserve (Beni, Bolivia) reveals likely breeding areas. Diversity, 13 (11). 564.

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Abstract

The Blue-throated Macaw (Ara glaucogularis) is a Critically Endangered species endemic to the Llanos de Moxos ecosystem of Beni, Bolivia. To aid conservation of the northwestern population that utilizes the Barba Azul Nature Reserve during the non-breeding season, we set out to learn the sites where these birds breed using satellite telemetry. We describe preliminary tests conducted on captive birds (at Loro Parque Foundation, Tenerife, Spain) that resulted in choosing Geotrak Parrot Collars, a metal, battery-operated unit that provides data through the Argos satellite system. In September 2019, we tagged three birds in Barba Azul with Geotrak collars, and received migration data for two birds, until battery depletion in November and December 2019. Our two migrant birds were tracked leaving Barba Azul on the same date (27 September), but departed in divergent directions (approximately 90 degrees in separation). They settled in two sites approximately 50-100 km from Barba Azul. Some details of the work are restricted out of conservation concern as the species still faces poaching pressures. Knowing their likely breeding grounds, reserve managers conducted site visits to where the birds were tracked, resulting in the discovery of breeding birds, although no birds still carrying a transmitter were seen then. A single individual still carrying its collar was spotted 13 August 2021 at Barba Azul. The work suggests that the Blue-throated Macaws of Barba Azul use breeding sites that are scattered across the Llanos de Moxos region, although within the recognized boundaries of the northwestern subpopulation. We conclude that the use of satellite collars is a feasible option for research with the species and could provide further conservation insights.

Item ID: 72275
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1424-2818
Keywords: Psittacidae, Ara glaucogularis, migration, daily behavioral patterns, Llanos de Moxos
Copyright Information: Copyright: © 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (https:// creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)
Date Deposited: 09 Feb 2022 12:39
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