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There is no suitable vaccine against human visceral leishmaniasis (VL) and available drugs are toxic and/or present high cost. In this context, diagnostic tools should be improved for clinical management and epidemiological evaluation of disease. However, the variable sensitivity and/or specificity of the used antigens are limitations, showing the necessity to identify new molecules to be tested in a more sensitive and specific serology. In the present study, an immunoproteomics approach was performed in Leishmania infantum promastigotes and amastigotes employing sera samples from VL patients. Aiming to avoid undesired cross-reactivity in the serological assays, sera from Chagas disease patients and healthy subjects living in the endemic region of disease were also used in immunoblottings. The most reactive spots for VL samples were selected, and 29 and 21 proteins were identified in the promastigote and amastigote extracts, respectively. Two of them, endonuclease III and GTP-binding protein, were cloned, expressed, purified and tested in ELISA experiments against a large serological panel, and results showed high sensitivity and specificity values for the diagnosis of disease. In conclusion, the identified proteins could be considered in future studies as candidate antigens for the serodiagnosis of human VL.
Prenatal adversity shapes child neurodevelopment and risk for later mental health problems. The quality of the early care environment can buffer some of the negative effects of prenatal adversity on child development. Retrospective studies, in adult samples, highlight epigenetic modifications as sentinel markers of the quality of the early care environment; however, comparable data from pediatric cohorts are lacking. Participants were drawn from the Maternal Adversity Vulnerability and Neurodevelopment (MAVAN) study, a longitudinal cohort with measures of infant attachment, infant development, and child mental health. Children provided buccal epithelial samples (mean age = 6.99, SD = 1.33 years, n = 226), which were used for analyses of genome-wide DNA methylation and genetic variation. We used a series of linear models to describe the association between infant attachment and (a) measures of child outcome and (b) DNA methylation across the genome. Paired genetic data was used to determine the genetic contribution to DNA methylation at attachment-associated sites. Infant attachment style was associated with infant cognitive development (Mental Development Index) and behavior (Behavior Rating Scale) assessed with the Bayley Scales of Infant Development at 36 months. Infant attachment style moderated the effects of prenatal adversity on Behavior Rating Scale scores at 36 months. Infant attachment was also significantly associated with a principal component that accounted for 11.9% of the variation in genome-wide DNA methylation. These effects were most apparent when comparing children with a secure versus a disorganized attachment style and most pronounced in females. The availability of paired genetic data revealed that DNA methylation at approximately half of all infant attachment-associated sites was best explained by considering both infant attachment and child genetic variation. This study provides further evidence that infant attachment can buffer some of the negative effects of early adversity on measures of infant behavior. We also highlight the interplay between infant attachment and child genotype in shaping variation in DNA methylation. Such findings provide preliminary evidence for a molecular signature of infant attachment and may help inform attachment-focused early intervention programs.
Recent open-label trials show that psychedelics, such as ayahuasca, hold promise as fast-onset antidepressants in treatment-resistant depression.
To test the antidepressant effects of ayahuasca, we conducted a parallel-arm, double-blind randomized placebo-controlled trial in 29 patients with treatment-resistant depression. Patients received a single dose of either ayahuasca or placebo. We assessed changes in depression severity with the Montgomery-Åsberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS) and the Hamilton Depression Rating scale at baseline, and at 1 (D1), 2 (D2), and 7 (D7) days after dosing.
We observed significant antidepressant effects of ayahuasca when compared with placebo at all-time points. MADRS scores were significantly lower in the ayahuasca group compared with placebo at D1 and D2 (p = 0.04), and at D7 (p < 0.0001). Between-group effect sizes increased from D1 to D7 (D1: Cohen's d = 0.84; D2: Cohen's d = 0.84; D7: Cohen's d = 1.49). Response rates were high for both groups at D1 and D2, and significantly higher in the ayahuasca group at D7 (64% v. 27%; p = 0.04). Remission rate showed a trend toward significance at D7 (36% v. 7%, p = 0.054).
To our knowledge, this is the first controlled trial to test a psychedelic substance in treatment-resistant depression. Overall, this study brings new evidence supporting the safety and therapeutic value of ayahuasca, dosed within an appropriate setting, to help treat depression. This study is registered at http://clinicaltrials.gov (NCT02914769).
Tropical signalgrass (TSG) is one of the most problematic weeds found on golf courses, sports fields, and sod farms in south Florida. The recent ban of monosodium methane-arsonate (MSMA), an organic arsenical herbicide, from urban areas in Florida has left turfgrass managers searching for effective management options. In an effort to avoid relying solely on POST chemical control, this research examined the effect of combining a cultural practice, verticutting, along with PRE and POST herbicides as an integrated weed management approach to controlling TSG in hybrid bermudagrass. Field experiments were conducted at multiple locations over 2 yr in south Florida to: (1) determine whether verticutting before herbicide applications increases TSG control and (2) identify herbicide programs that effectively control TSG. No interactions between verticutting and herbicide programs were detected, but verticutting consistently provided a slight reduction (8% averaged across herbicide treatments) in TSG cover. Treatments containing a PRE herbicide resulted in a significant reduction (20% to 50%) in TSG cover at 52 wk after initial treatment (WAIT), while some POST herbicide treatments reduced TSG cover to <20% at 52 WAIT. A study was conducted to determine which POST herbicide combinations were most efficacious in controlling TSG. Amicarbazone alone provided ≤35% TSG control at 8 and 12 WAIT, but synergistic responses were observed between amicarbazone and mesotrione, trifloxysulfuron, and thiencarbazone+foramsulfuron+halosulfuron. Two- and three-way combinations of amicarbazone with these POST herbicides resulted in >80% TSG control at 4, 8, and 12 WAIT, with some reaching 100% TSG control at 4 WAIT. Based on these data, verticutting may provide limited complementary control, but certain combinations of POST herbicides exhibited excellent (>95%) TSG control.
Ultrasound technology provides a oportunity to quickly and economically estimate carcass atributes on the live animal (Brethour, 2000). In general, this technology has been used to detect variation for fat depth and ribeye area (longissimus dorsi muscle) in performance tested yearling bulls at several countries. In the present study, real time ultrasonography was used to predict the ribeye area (RA) and the subcutaneous fat thickness (FT) in Nellore crossbred.
Field trials were conducted in 2013 and 2014 to investigate the tolerance of limpograss to increasing rates of hexazinone. Dose-response curves were generated using linear and quadratic regression models to determine the hexazinone estimated dose (ED) required to provide 10% (ED10) and 20% (ED20) of visual injury and herbage mass reduction. The ED10 and ED20 for visual estimates of injury were estimated to be 0.05 and 0.14 kg ai ha-1 at 60 d after treatment (DAT). Regarding forage herbage mass reduction, the ED10 and ED20 were estimated to be 0.07 and 0.19 kg ai ha-1 in 2013, whereas in 2014, the ED10 and ED20 were estimated to be 0.03 and 0.06 kg ai ha-1, respectively. The significant difference in herbage mass reduction between 2013 and 2014 was likely due to rainfall patterns, which possibly promoted hexazinone leaching in 2013 and consequently, less activity. Overall, hexazinone resulted in high degrees of limpograss injury across all response variables in both years; therefore, smutgrass control in limpograss pastures with hexazinone may not be a viable option. The presence or absence of smutgrass should be considered before limpograss establishment as there is no viable herbicide to selectively remove smutgrass from limpograss swards.
Information from a field perspective on temperature thresholds related to physical dormancy (PY) alleviation and seed resistance to high temperatures of fire is crucial to disentangle fire- and non-fire-related germination cues. We investigated seed germination and survival of four leguminous species from a frequently burned open Neotropical savanna in Central Brazil. Three field experiments were conducted according to seed location in/on the soil: (1) fire effects on exposed seeds; (2) fire effects on buried seeds; and (3) effects of temperature fluctuations on exposed seeds in gaps and shaded microsites in vegetation. After field treatments, seeds were tested for germination in the laboratory, together with the control (non-treated seeds). Fire effects on exposed seeds decreased viability in all species. However, germination of buried Mimosa leiocephala seeds was enhanced by fire in an increased fuel load treatment, in which we doubled the amount of above-ground biomass. Germination of two species (M. leiocephala and Harpalyce brasiliana) was enhanced with temperature fluctuation in gaps, but this condition also decreased seed viability. Our main conclusions are: (1) most seeds died when exposed directly to fire; (2) PY could be alleviated during hotter fires when seeds were buried in the soil; and (3) daily temperature fluctuations in gaps also broke PY of seeds on the soil surface, so many seeds could be recruited or die before being incorporated into the soil seed banks. Thus seed dormancy-break and germination of legumes from Cerrado open savannas seem to be driven by both fire and temperature fluctuations.
Plants’ ability to rebuild their tiller population is affected by weather changes and management strategies. The hypothesis of the present study was that frequency and severity of defoliation alter Mulato grass (Brachiaria ruziziensis × Brachiaria brizantha cv. Marandu) sward development, and the proportion of aerial and basal tillers, interfering with sward stability. The objective was to evaluate aerial, basal and total tiller population density and changes in tillering dynamics. Treatments corresponded to strategies of rotational grazing characterized by combinations between two pre-grazing (95% and maximum canopy light interception during regrowth; LI95% and LIMax) and two post-grazing conditions (15 and 20 cm stubble height). The experimental period comprised four seasons of the year: summer 2008 (February–March 2008); autumn–early spring (April to mid-November 2008); late spring (mid-November–December 2008); and summer 2009 (January–March 2009). Density of aerial tillers decreased from summer 2008 to late spring. Tiller death decreased from summer 2008 to autumn–early spring. Aerial and total tiller death increased from late spring to summer 2009, mainly for the LI95% treatment. No differences were observed in the tiller population stability index of aerial tillers for LI treatments or post-grazing heights. The balance between tiller appearance and death for basal tillers remained relatively stable from summer 2008 to late spring. For aerial tillers the balance decreased to negative values from summer 2008 to autumn–early spring for both LI treatments. For total tiller population, the balance decreased to negative values from summer 2008 to autumn–early spring. Results indicated a strong seasonal effect on Mulato grass tillering and growth. Tillering dynamics were affected primarily by grazing frequency, which changed the relative importance of basal and aerial tillers. The results suggested that basal tillering was the predominant perennation pathway.
Upside-down jellyfish (genus Cassiopea) can be found in tropical coastal waters worldwide. Until now reports of the genus from Brazilian waters have been scant. We report here medusae and scyphistomae collected from Cabo Frio, Rio de Janeiro state. Although we could not unambiguously identify the material using morphological criteria, genetic sequence data (COI) indicate that the Brazilian jellyfishes are genetically similar to those from Bermuda, Hawaii and Florida, which are related to specimens from the Red Sea (Cassiopea andromeda). We hypothesize that the presence of C. andromeda in Brazil is due to an invasion event, as the scyphistomae were found growing over the known invasive ascidian Styela plicata. Estimation of divergence time between Brazil (Cabo Frio) and Florida/Bermuda populations is that it occurred at the beginning of ship movement to South America.
After 22 yr of the low-level liquid scintillation counting 14C laboratory at the Center for Nuclear Energy in Agriculture (CENA) at São Paulo University (USP), Piracicaba, Brazil, and several collaborative projects with Brazilian and international researchers from distinct scientific areas, the first 14C accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) laboratory in Latin America was installed at the Physics Institute of the Universidade Federal Fluminense (UFF), Niterói, Brazil. A 250kV single stage accelerator produced by National Electrostatics Corporation began its operation in 2012. In this work, we compare measurements performed at the AMS Radiocarbon Laboratory at UFF (LAC-UFF) with those performed at CENA and the University of Georgia (UGAMS), Georgia, USA. All the results obtained from distinct inorganic and organic samples were in very good agreement.
We previously reported that patients with early-stage bipolar disorder,
but not healthy comparison controls, had body mass index (BMI)-related
volume reductions in limbic brain areas, suggesting that the structural
brain changes characteristic of bipolar disorder were more pronounced
with increased weight.
To determine whether the most consistently reported neurochemical
abnormality in bipolar disorder, increased glutamate/glutamine (Glx), was
also more prominent with higher BMI.
We used single-voxel proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy to measure
hippocampal Glx in 51 patients with first-episode mania (mean BMI = 24.1)
and 28 healthy controls (mean BMI = 23.3).
In patients, but not healthy controls, linear regression demonstrated
that higher BMI predicted greater Glx. Factorial ANCOVA showed a
significant BMI×diagnosis interaction, confirming a distinct effect of
weight on Glx in patients.
Together with our volumetric studies, these results suggest that higher
BMI is associated with more pronounced structural and neurochemical
limbic brain changes in bipolar disorder, even in early-stage patients
with low obesity rates.
Both synthesis and photocatalytic potential of an innovative catalyst-powder type composite material based on the Zn or/and ZnO dispersed in a matrix of amorphous-carbon have been investigated. Zn/ZnO/amorphous-carbon nanostructured-matrix composite was prepared by partial pyrolysis method based on the Pechini method. The amorphous character of composite was characterized X-ray diffraction, while chemical bond investigated by infrared spectroscopy. The photocatalytic activity directed to the degradation of the phenol red dye of small fraction of commercial ZnO, Zn/C and Zn/ZnO/C composites were evaluated as a function of the degradation reaction of the phenol red dye, in the alkaline medium pH = 9. A mass concentration of 1:10,000 was selected being considered 30 and 150 min of reaction A comparison between photocatalytic activity showed that the degradation rate of phenol red dye is more efficient at both ZnO/Zn/C and Zn/C amorphous composites when compared to the pristine ZnO. The efficiency obeys the following order C/Zn ≥ C/ZnO/Zn > commercial ZnO with conversion equal to 70% for C/Zn and C/ZnO/Zn, while for the ZnO is around 55%. The kinetic of degradation is discussed.
The aim of this study was to analyze the economic viability of producing dairy goat kids fed liquid diets in alternative of goat milk and slaughtered at two different ages. Forty-eight male newborn Saanen and Alpine kids were selected and allocated to four groups using a completely randomized factorial design: goat milk (GM), cow milk (CM), commercial milk replacer (CMR) and fermented cow colostrum (FC). Each group was then divided into two groups: slaughter at 60 and 90 days of age. The animals received Tifton hay and concentrate ad libitum. The values of total costs of liquid and solid feed plus labor, income and average gross margin were calculated. The data were then analyzed using the Monte Carlo techniques with the @Risk 5.5 software, with 1000 iterations of the variables being studied through the model. The kids fed GM and CMR generated negative profitability values when slaughtered at 60 days (US$ −16.4 and US$ −2.17, respectively) and also at 90 days (US$ −30.8 and US$ −0.18, respectively). The risk analysis showed that there is a 98% probability that profitability would be negative when GM is used. In this regard, CM and FC presented low risk when the kids were slaughtered at 60 days (8.5% and 21.2%, respectively) and an even lower risk when animals were slaughtered at 90 days (5.2% and 3.8%, respectively). The kids fed CM and slaughtered at 90 days presented the highest average gross income (US$ 67.88) and also average gross margin (US$ 18.43/animal). For the 60-day rearing regime to be economically viable, the CMR cost should not exceed 11.47% of the animal-selling price. This implies that the replacer cannot cost more than US$ 0.39 and 0.43/kg for the 60- and 90-day feeding regimes, respectively. The sensitivity analysis showed that the variables with the greatest impact on the final model’s results were animal selling price, liquid diet cost, final weight at slaughter and labor. In conclusion, the production of male dairy goat kids can be economically viable when the kids diet consists mainly of either cow milk or fermented colostrum, especially when kids are slaughtered at 90 days of age.
Biochar and vinasse are by-products of biofuel production that can be used as soil amendments. However, their addition to the soil might affect PRE herbicide activity. Although studies have shown that biochar has a high herbicide adsorption capacity, there is little information available about biochar effect on weed control especially under field conditions. Therefore, the objective of this study was to determine the influence of biochar and vinasse application on atrazine and pendimethalin availability and herbicide activity under in vitro and field conditions. In vitro atrazine and pendimethalin herbicidal activities were not influenced by vinasse addition, but biochar application reduced atrazine and pendimethalin injury for all evaluated species. A sorption experiment confirmed high affinity of biochar for atrazine and pendimethalin. Linear regression analysis showed that the slope for atrazine and pendimethalin adsorption was 16 and 4 times higher in soil with biochar than in soil alone. Under field conditions, biochar at 0.5 kg m−2 reduced atrazine and pendimethalin weed control 75% and 60%, respectively. These results suggested that the use of biochar as a soil amendment in cropping system could decrease PRE herbicide efficacy. Therefore, mitigating practices such as the use of higher rates or reliance on POST herbicides and cultivation might be necessary to ensure proper weed control.
Smutgrass, a native of tropical Asia, is a perennial weed that affects many improved perennial grass pastures in Florida and throughout the southeastern United States. The two varieties of smutgrass predominant in Florida are small smutgrass and giant smutgrass. Three field experiments were conducted from 2008 to 2012 to evaluate the effect of integrated long-term management strategies using both cultural and herbicide inputs for giant smutgrass control in bahiagrass pastures. Burning did not have a significant impact on long-term control. In 2011, no differences were observed when hexazinone was integrated with tillage or hexazinone was combined with supplemental nitrogen compared with sequential or single applications of hexazinone. However, cultural treatments that preceded hexazinone application compared with those that received two sequential applications of hexazinone had lower smutgrass control 36 mo after treatment. Data indicate that a sequential application of hexazinone may be better than implementing tillage. Sequential hexazinone applications, when applied at 0.56 kg ai ha−1 or greater, resulted in similar or increased control as compared with single applications. Collectively, these data suggest that sequential applications of hexazinone may be most effective for smutgrass management, and cultural techniques, including tillage, should be followed by hexazinone application the following year.
Vinasse and biochar are by-products of biofuel production that can be used as sources of nutrients to crops or soil amendments to improve soil quality. Despite the recent interest in biochar and vinasse effects on soil properties, little is known about their effect on weed communities. We hypothesized that the addition of biochar and vinasse to the soil could affect weed seed germination and growth, and that different weed species would show different responses to these soil amendments. Therefore, the objectives of this study were to determine the effects of vinasse and biochar on the germination and growth of Palmer amaranth, sicklepod, and southern crabgrass. The study was conducted under laboratory and growth chamber conditions. Treatments consisted of four levels of vinasse (0, 10, 20, and 40 L m−2) and biochar (0, 0.5, 2.5, and 12.5 kg m−2) applied to a sandy loam soil. Biochar at 0.5 and 2.5 kg m−2 increased germination of Palmer amaranth but had no effect on sicklepod and southern crabgrass. Vinasse reduced germination of all species. However, sicklepod germination was less affected by vinasse at 10 and 20 L m−2 than the other two species. Vinasse at 40 L m−2 decreased Palmer amaranth, southern crabgrass and sicklepod germination 57, 26 and 87%, respectively. Biochar had no consistent effect on the vegetative growth of the species studied. Vinasse at 10 L m−2 stimulated growth of sicklepod and southern crabgrass compared to the nontreated control. Our results suggested that vinasse used as a soil amendment could affect weed community structure by decreasing germination of susceptible species, but plants and weed species that can get established in vinasse amended soils might show higher growth rates.
Epigenetic studies suggest that diseases that develop in adulthood are related to certain conditions to which the individual is exposed during the initial stages of life. Experimental evidence has demonstrated that offspring born to mothers maintained on high-Na diets during pregnancy have higher mean arterial pressure (MAP) in adulthood. Although these studies have demonstrated the importance of prenatal phases to hypertension development, no evidence regarding the role of high Na intake during postnatal phases in the development of this pathology has been reported. Therefore, in the present study, the effects of Na overload during childhood on induced water and Na intakes and on cardiovascular parameters in adulthood were evaluated. Experiments were carried out in two groups of 21-d-old rats: experimental group, maintained on hypertonic saline (0·3 m-NaCl) solution and food for 60 d, and control group, maintained on tap water and food. Later, both groups were given water and food for 15 d (recovery period). After the recovery period, chronic cannulation of the right femoral artery was performed in unanaesthetised rats to record baseline MAP and heart rate (HR). The experimental group was found to have increased basal MAP (98·6 (sem 2·6) v. 118·3 (sem 2·7) mmHg, P< 0·05) and HR (365·4 (sem 12·2) v. 398·2 (sem 7·5) beats per min, P< 0·05). There was a decrease in the baroreflex index in the experimental group when compared with that in the control group. A water and Na intake test was performed using furosemide. Na depletion was found to induce an increase in Na intake in both the control and experimental groups (12·1 (sem 0·6) ml and 7·8 (sem 1·1), respectively, P< 0·05); however, this increase was of lower magnitude in the experimental group. These results demonstrate that postnatal Na overload alters behavioural and cardiovascular regulation in adulthood.
The silvopastoral system (SPS) has been suggested to ensure sustainability in animal production systems in tropical ecosystems. The objective of this study was to evaluate pasture characteristics, herbage intake, grazing activity and milk yield of Holstein×Zebu cows managed in two grazing systems (treatments): SPS dominated by a graminaceous forage (Brachiaria decumbens) intercropped with different leguminous herbaceous forages (Stylosanthes spp., Pueraria phaseoloides and Calopogonium mucunoides) and legume trees (Acacia mangium, Gliricidia sepium and Leucaena leucocephala), and open pasture (OP) of B. decumbens intercropped only with Stylosanthes spp. Pastures were managed according to the rules for organic cattle production. The study was carried out by following a switch back format with 12 cows, 6 for each treatment, over 3 experimental years. Herbage mass was similar (P>0.05) for both treatments, supporting an average stocking rate of 1.23 AU/ha. Daily dry matter intake did not vary (P>0.05) between treatments (average of 11.3±1.02 kg/cow per day, corresponding to 2.23±0.2% BW). Milk yield was higher (P<0.05; 10.4±0.06 kg/cow per day) in the SPS than in the OP (9.5±0.06 kg/cow per day) during the 1st year, but did not significantly differ (P>0.05) in subsequent years. The highest (P<0.05) values for herbage mass and milk yield were observed during the 3rd year. In the SPS, with moderate shade (19% shade relative to a full-sun condition), the grass CP was higher (P<0.05) than in the OP, although the NDF content and digestibility coefficient were not modified. The animals spent more time (P<0.05) idling in the SPS than in OP. The higher legume proportion in the SPS was associated with the higher CP level in B. decumbens relative to the OP, which could explain the better (P<0.05) performance of the cows in silvopastoral areas during the 1st year. However, during the 2nd and 3rd years, similarities in the legume percentages of both systems resulted in similar (P>0.05) milk yields. Low persistence of Stylosanthes guianensis was observed over the experimental period, indicating that the persistence of forage legumes under grazing could be improved using adapted cultivars that have higher annual seed production. The SPS and a diversified botanical composition of the pasture using legume species mixed with grasses are recommended for organic milk production.
The global population of jaguars Panthera onca has decreased significantly since the beginning of the 20th century. Given the scarcity of demographic and biological information, estimating population parameters is critical for the design of conservation measures. The jaguar's elusive behaviour makes it impossible to estimate and monitor populations by direct observation. We propose a non-invasive genetic sampling approach and demonstrate its potential for large-scale monitoring. Sex identification was optimized for faecal samples of jaguars and other felids. We also optimized a set of 11 microsatellite markers for reliable identification of individuals. We estimated the effectiveness of faecal sample genotyping in two distinct Brazilian biomes: the Pantanal and the semi-arid Caatinga. Almost 90% of the samples that were molecularly identified as jaguar (n = 90) were successfully genotyped and were assigned to 30 individuals. Genetic diversity was generally high but was significantly lower in the Caatinga population. We show that non-invasive genetic sampling can be a reliable tool to study population parameters and to monitor the genetic status of jaguar populations in different habitats. It may also be useful for future surveys of jaguars that address ecological, behavioural and conservation issues, and could provide a baseline for non-invasive genetic studies of other wild felid populations.
Lear’s Macaw Anodorhynchus leari is currently listed as “Endangered” by IUCN. Although it only breeds on cliffs at two protected sites in Bahia State, Brazil, there is no accurate information on population parameters such as the number of breeding pairs and their breeding performance. Between 2009 and 2010, we sought to quantify, for the first time, breeding population size and the main breeding parameters for the species in the two known breeding sites, by quantifying the number of active nests and monitoring 75 breeding attempts. Overall, 80% of the breeding attempts were successful with 1.33 (± 0.86 SD) fledglings/breeding attempt (productivity) and 1.67 (± 0.60 SD) fledglings/successful nest (brood size). Breeding success and productivity were higher in 2010, while brood size did not vary between years and breeding sites. By adding 73 estimated nests to the 41 nests monitored, 228 individuals were estimated to be reproductively active in 2010, representing c.20% of the population (1,125 individuals). Given that the species is confined to a single population, further population increases could provoke overcrowding and negative density-dependent effects if it does not expand geographically. Therefore, long-term population monitoring focusing on the fraction of the population that is actually breeding and its breeding performance, rather than solely on the whole population size, is important for a better understanding of the population dynamics and conservation of this species.