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https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28222237/extreme-genetic-structure-in-a-social-bird-species-despite-high-dispersal-capacity
#1
Francisco Morinha, José A Dávila, Estela Bastos, João A Cabral, Óscar Frías, José L González, Paulo Travassos, Diogo Carvalho, Borja Milá, Guillermo Blanco
Social barriers have been shown to reduce gene flow and contribute to genetic structure among populations in species with high cognitive capacity and complex societies, such as cetaceans, apes and humans. In birds, high dispersal capacity is thought to prevent population divergence unless major geographic or habitat barriers induce isolation patterns by dispersal, colonization or adaptation limitation. We report that Iberian populations of the red-billed chough, a social, gregarious corvid with high dispersal capacity, show a striking degree of genetic structure composed of at least 15 distinct genetic units...
February 21, 2017: Molecular Ecology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28220657/a-geographic-study-of-west-nile-virus-in-humans-dead-corvids-and-mosquitoes-in-ontario-using-spatial-scan-statistics-with-a-survival-time-application
#2
A L Thomas-Bachli, D L Pearl, O Berke, E J Parmley, I K Barker
Surveillance of West Nile virus (WNv) in Ontario has included passive reporting of human cases and testing of trapped mosquitoes and dead birds found by the public. The dead bird surveillance programme was limited to testing within a public health unit (PHU) until a small number of birds test positive. These dead corvid and mosquito surveillance programmes have not been compared for their ability to provide early warning in geographic areas where human cases occur each year. Spatial scan statistics were applied to time-to-event survival data based on first cases of WNv in found dead corvids, mosquitoes and humans...
February 20, 2017: Zoonoses and Public Health
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28151701/corvids-outperform-pigeons-and-primates-in-learning-a-basic-concept
#3
Anthony A Wright, John F Magnotti, Jeffrey S Katz, Kevin Leonard, Alizée Vernouillet, Debbie M Kelly
Corvids (birds of the family Corvidae) display intelligent behavior previously ascribed only to primates, but such feats are not directly comparable across species. To make direct species comparisons, we used a same/different task in the laboratory to assess abstract-concept learning in black-billed magpies ( Pica hudsonia). Concept learning was tested with novel pictures after training. Concept learning improved with training-set size, and test accuracy eventually matched training accuracy-full concept learning-with a 128-picture set; this magpie performance was equivalent to that of Clark's nutcrackers (a species of corvid) and monkeys (rhesus, capuchin) and better than that of pigeons...
February 1, 2017: Psychological Science
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28120800/proactive-prosociality-in-a-cooperatively-breeding-corvid-the-azure-winged-magpie-cyanopica-cyana
#4
Lisa Horn, Clara Scheer, Thomas Bugnyar, Jorg J M Massen
One of the contemporary hypotheses concerning the evolution of human altruism is the cooperative breeding hypothesis (CBH) which has recently been tested in non-human primates. Using a similar paradigm, we investigated prosociality in a cooperatively breeding corvid, the azure-winged magpie. We found that the magpies delivered food to their group members at high rates, and unlike other corvids, they did so without any cues provided by others. In two control conditions, the magpies stopped participating over time, indicating that they learned to discriminate prosocial tests from controls...
October 2016: Biology Letters
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28099075/occurrence-and-relevance-of-mycoplasma-sturni-in-free-ranging-corvids-in-germany
#5
Luisa Ziegler, Franca Möller Möller Palau-Ribes, Liane Schmidt, Michael Lierz
Several Mycoplasma spp. are well-known pathogens in poultry. In birds of prey, White Storks ( Ciconia ciconia ), and some waterfowl (Anatidae, Pelecanidae) species, mycoplasmas occur commonly and seem to be apathogenic or commensal and most likely belong to the physiologic microbial flora of the respiratory tract. In other bird species, such as Common Nightingales ( Luscinia megarhynchos ) and tits (Paridae), Mycoplasma spp. are absent in healthy birds. In corvids, the prevalence and role of Mycoplasma spp...
18, 2017: Journal of Wildlife Diseases
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/27974521/the-influence-of-wing-morphology-upon-the-dispersal-geographical-distributions-and-diversification-of-the-corvides-aves-passeriformes
#6
Jonathan D Kennedy, Michael K Borregaard, Knud A Jønsson, Petter Z Marki, Jon Fjeldså, Carsten Rahbek
New species are sometimes known to arise as a consequence of the dispersal and establishment of populations in new areas. It has nevertheless been difficult to demonstrate an empirical link between rates of dispersal and diversification, partly because dispersal abilities are challenging to quantify. Here, using wing morphology as a proxy for dispersal ability, we assess this relationship among the global radiation of corvoid birds. We found that species distributions are associated with wing shape. Widespread species (occurring on both islands and continents), and those that are migratory, exhibit wing morphologies better adapted to long-distance flight compared with sedentary continental or insular forms...
December 14, 2016: Proceedings. Biological Sciences
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/27922802/urban-breeding-corvids-as-disseminators-of-ticks-and-emerging-tick-borne-pathogens
#7
Attila D Sándor, Zsuzsa Kalmár, Ioana Matei, Angela Monica Ionică, Ioan-Daniel Mărcuţan
Crows (Corvidae) are common city dwellers worldwide and are increasingly important subjects of epidemiology studies. Although their importance as hosts and transmitters of a number of zoonotic parasites and pathogens is well known, there are no studies on their importance as tick hosts. After mosquitoes, ticks are the most important vectors of zoonotic pathogens, especially for those causing emerging zoonotic diseases. Pathogenic bacteria, especially Borrelia spp., Rickettsia spp., and Anaplasma spp., vectored by ticks, are the cause for most vector-borne diseases in Europe...
February 2017: Vector Borne and Zoonotic Diseases
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/27920957/eurasian-jays-do-not-copy-the-choices-of-conspecifics-but-they-do-show-evidence-of-stimulus-enhancement
#8
Rachael Miller, Corina J Logan, Katherine Lister, Nicola S Clayton
Corvids (birds in the crow family) are hypothesised to have a general cognitive tool-kit because they show a wide range of transferrable skills across social, physical and temporal tasks, despite differences in socioecology. However, it is unknown whether relatively asocial corvids differ from social corvids in their use of social information in the context of copying the choices of others, because only one such test has been conducted in a relatively asocial corvid. We investigated whether relatively asocial Eurasian jays (Garrulus glandarius) use social information (i...
2016: PeerJ
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/27890937/seasonal-changes-in-neophobia-and-its-consistency-in-rooks-the-effect-of-novelty-type-and-dominance-position
#9
Alison L Greggor, Jolle W Jolles, Alex Thornton, Nicola S Clayton
Neophobia, or the fear of novelty, may offer benefits to animals by limiting their exposure to unknown danger, but can also impose costs by preventing the exploration of potential resources. The costs and benefits of neophobia may vary throughout the year if predation pressure, resource distribution or conspecific competition changes seasonally. Despite such variation, neophobia levels are often assumed to be temporally and individually stable. Whether or not neophobia expression changes seasonally and fluctuates equally for all individuals is crucial to understanding the drivers, consequences and plasticity of novelty avoidance...
November 2016: Animal Behaviour
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/27871752/public-acceptance-of-management-methods-under-different-human-wildlife-conflict-scenarios
#10
Vasilios Liordos, Vasileios J Kontsiotis, Marina Georgari, Kerasia Baltzi, Ioanna Baltzi
Wildlife management seeks to minimise public controversy for successful application of wildlife control methods. Human dimensions research in wildlife seeks a better understanding of public preferences for effective human-wildlife conflict resolution. In face to face interviews, 630 adults in Greece were asked to rate on a 5-point Likert-like scale their acceptance of 3 management methods, i.e., do nothing, non-lethal control, and lethal control, in the context of 5 human-wildlife conflict scenarios: 1) corvids damage crops; 2) starlings damage crops; 3) starlings foul urban structures; 4) coypus damage crops; and 5) coypus transfer disease...
February 1, 2017: Science of the Total Environment
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/27864088/modality-invariant-audio-visual-association-coding-in-crow-endbrain-neurons
#11
Felix W Moll, Andreas Nieder
Single neuron activity in the corvid nidopallium caudolaterale (NCL), the supposed avian functional analog of the prefrontal cortex, represents associations of auditory with visual stimuli. This is of high adaptive value for songbirds that need to rely on audio-visual associations to communicate, find a mate or escape predators. However, it remains unclear whether NCL neurons can represent cross-modal associations in a modality invariant, abstract fashion. To dissociate between modality-dependent and modality-invariant NCL activity, we trained two crows to match auditory sample cues with visual test stimuli, and vice versa, across a temporal memory delay...
January 2017: Neurobiology of Learning and Memory
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/27826273/clark-s-nutcrackers-nucifraga-columbiana-flexibly-adapt-caching-behavior-to-a-cooperative-context
#12
Dawson Clary, Debbie M Kelly
Corvids recognize when their caches are at risk of being stolen by others and have developed strategies to protect these caches from pilferage. For instance, Clark's nutcrackers will suppress the number of caches they make if being observed by a potential thief. However, cache protection has most often been studied using competitive contexts, so it is unclear whether corvids can adjust their caching in beneficial ways to accommodate non-competitive situations. Therefore, we examined whether Clark's nutcrackers, a non-social corvid, would flexibly adapt their caching behaviors to a cooperative context...
2016: Frontiers in Psychology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/27811974/graded-mirror-self-recognition-by-clark-s-nutcrackers
#13
Dawson Clary, Debbie M Kelly
The traditional 'mark test' has shown some large-brained species are capable of mirror self-recognition. During this test a mark is inconspicuously placed on an animal's body where it can only be seen with the aid of a mirror. If the animal increases the number of actions directed to the mark region when presented with a mirror, the animal is presumed to have recognized the mirror image as its reflection. However, the pass/fail nature of the mark test presupposes self-recognition exists in entirety or not at all...
November 4, 2016: Scientific Reports
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/27789089/can-hedgerow-management-mitigate-the-impacts-of-predation-on-songbird-nest-survival
#14
Jenny C Dunn, Derek Gruar, Chris Stoate, John Szczur, Will J Peach
Nest predators can have significant impacts on songbird reproductive success. These impacts may be amplified by habitat simplification and here we test whether sympathetic management of farmland hedgerows can reduce nest depredation, especially by corvids. We test whether songbirds select nest sites according to structural features of hedgerows (including nest visibility and accessibility), and whether these features influence nest predation risk. Songbirds selected nesting sites affording higher vegetation cover above the nest, increased visibility on the nest-side of the hedgerow and reduced visibility on the far side of the hedge...
December 15, 2016: Journal of Environmental Management
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/27781155/the-influence-of-flight-style-on-the-aerodynamic-properties-of-avian-wings-as-fixed-lifting-surfaces
#15
John J Lees, Grigorios Dimitriadis, Robert L Nudds
The diversity of wing morphologies in birds reflects their variety of flight styles and the associated aerodynamic and inertial requirements. Although the aerodynamics underlying wing morphology can be informed by aeronautical research, important differences exist between planes and birds. In particular, birds operate at lower, transitional Reynolds numbers than do most aircraft. To date, few quantitative studies have investigated the aerodynamic performance of avian wings as fixed lifting surfaces and none have focused upon the differences between wings from different flight style groups...
2016: PeerJ
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/27718536/encoding-of-global-visual-motion-in-the-nidopallium-caudolaterale-of-behaving-crows
#16
Lysann Wagener, Andreas Nieder
Songbirds possess acute vision. How higher brain centres represent basic and parameterised visual stimuli to process sensory signals according to their behavioural importance has not been studied in a systematic way. We therefore examined how carrion crows (Corvus corone) and their nidopallial visual neurons process global visual motion information in dynamic random-dot displays during a delayed match-to-sample (DMS) task. The behavioural data show that moderately fast motion speeds (16° of visual angle/s) result in superior direction discrimination performance...
January 2017: European Journal of Neuroscience
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/27709603/does-the-colonization-of-new-biogeographic-regions-influence-the-diversification-and-accumulation-of-clade-richness-among-the-corvides-aves-passeriformes
#17
Jonathan D Kennedy, Michael K Borregaard, Knud A Jønsson, Ben Holt, Jon Fjeldså, Carsten Rahbek
Regional variation in clade richness can be vast, reflecting differences in the dynamics of historical dispersal and diversification among lineages. Although it has been proposed that dispersal into new biogeographic regions may facilitate diversification, to date there has been limited assessment of the importance of this process in the generation, and maintenance, of broad-scale biodiversity gradients. To address this issue, we analytically derive biogeographic regions for a global radiation of passerine birds (the Corvides, c...
January 2017: Evolution; International Journal of Organic Evolution
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/27672510/regional-drivers-of-clutch-loss-reveal-important-trade-offs-for-beach-nesting-birds
#18
Brooke Maslo, Thomas A Schlacher, Michael A Weston, Chantal M Huijbers, Chris Anderson, Ben L Gilby, Andrew D Olds, Rod M Connolly, David S Schoeman
Coastal birds are critical ecosystem constituents on sandy shores, yet are threatened by depressed reproductive success resulting from direct and indirect anthropogenic and natural pressures. Few studies examine clutch fate across the wide range of environments experienced by birds; instead, most focus at the small site scale. We examine survival of model shorebird clutches as an index of true clutch survival at a regional scale (∼200 km), encompassing a variety of geomorphologies, predator communities, and human use regimes in southeast Queensland, Australia...
2016: PeerJ
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/27639565/transfer-of-physical-understanding-in-a-non-tool-using-parrot
#19
Jayden O van Horik, Nathan J Emery
Physical cognition has generally been assessed in tool-using species that possess a relatively large brain size, such as corvids and apes. Parrots, like corvids and apes, also have large relative brain sizes, yet although parrots rarely use tools in the wild, growing evidence suggests comparable performances on physical cognition tasks. It is, however, unclear whether success on such tasks is facilitated by previous experience and training procedures. We therefore investigated physical comprehension of object relationships in two non-tool-using species of captive neotropical parrots on a new means-end paradigm, the Trap-Gaps task, using unfamiliar materials and modified training procedures that precluded procedural cues...
November 2016: Animal Cognition
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/27629645/discovery-of-species-wide-tool-use-in-the-hawaiian-crow
#20
Christian Rutz, Barbara C Klump, Lisa Komarczyk, Rosanna Leighton, Joshua Kramer, Saskia Wischnewski, Shoko Sugasawa, Michael B Morrissey, Richard James, James J H St Clair, Richard A Switzer, Bryce M Masuda
Only a handful of bird species are known to use foraging tools in the wild. Amongst them, the New Caledonian crow (Corvus moneduloides) stands out with its sophisticated tool-making skills. Despite considerable speculation, the evolutionary origins of this species' remarkable tool behaviour remain largely unknown, not least because no naturally tool-using congeners have yet been identified that would enable informative comparisons. Here we show that another tropical corvid, the 'Alalā (C. hawaiiensis; Hawaiian crow), is a highly dexterous tool user...
15, 2016: Nature
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