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Breeding biology and conservation of the Marsh Seedeater Sporophila palustris

  • JEFERSON VIZENTIN-BUGONI (a1), JUAN I. ARETA (a2), ALEJANDRO G. DI GIACOMO (a3), ADRIAN S. DI GIACOMO (a4), FERNANDO JACOBS (a5), MARCO A. AFONSO COIMBRA (a6) and RAFAEL A. DIAS (a7) (a8)...

Summary

The Marsh Seedeater Sporophila palustris is one of the most endangered and least known of the capuchino seedeaters. Breeding populations are patchy, occurring in north-east Argentina, southern Brazil, and Uruguay. We present data on the breeding biology of the species, and describe nests and eggs, behaviour (including courtship, nesting, incubation and parental care), breeding sites and food items. Marsh Seedeaters breed in well-preserved grasslands with wet soils and tall vegetation. In general, these habitats are used for extensive livestock ranching. Main threats are overgrazing, widespread use of fire, conversion of grasslands to pastures of exotic grasses and rice fields, afforestation, and illegal trapping. Most breeding sites are located in Important Bird Areas, but only one in Brazil and one in Argentina are protected. We propose a series of actions to promote the conservation of Marsh Seedeaters and other endangered birds that coexist in grassland habitats.

El Capuchino Pecho Blanco Sporophila palustris es uno de los capuchinos menos conocidos y uno de los más amenazados. Sus poblaciones reproductivas son locales, fragmentadas y ocurren en el nordeste de Argentina, sudeste de Brasil y en Uruguay. Presentamos datos reproductivos describiendo nidos y huevos, comportamiento (incluyendo cortejo, nidificación, incubación y cuidado parental), sitios de anidación y datos sobre alimentación. El Capuchino Pecho Blanco nidifica en pastizales altos y húmedos en buen estado de conservación. Estos hábitats en general se han convertido en áreas ganaderas. Las principales amenazas son sobrepastoreo, uso generalizado del fuego, drenaje de humedales, reemplazo total del hábitat por pasturas y forestaciones y captura ilegal. La mayoría de los sitios se localizan en AICAs, pero sólo uno en Brasil y otro en Argentina se encuentran protegidos. Finalmente, proponemos una serie de medidas que contribuyen a la preservación del Capuchino Pecho Blanco y de otras aves amenazadas que conviven con este.

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*Author for correspondence; e-mail: jbugoni@yahoo.com.br

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Breeding biology and conservation of the Marsh Seedeater Sporophila palustris

  • JEFERSON VIZENTIN-BUGONI (a1), JUAN I. ARETA (a2), ALEJANDRO G. DI GIACOMO (a3), ADRIAN S. DI GIACOMO (a4), FERNANDO JACOBS (a5), MARCO A. AFONSO COIMBRA (a6) and RAFAEL A. DIAS (a7) (a8)...

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