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Acoustic behavior and ecology of the Resplendent Quetzal Pharomachrus mocinno, a flagship tropical bird species

Abstract : The Resplendent Quetzal Pharomachrus mocinno is a tropical bird considered in a high risk of danger. Degradation of its habitat caused by human activities is the principal menace. The Resplendent Quetzal is important as seed disperser and is the centre of the past and present Mayan culture. The available studies about the species have covered aspects of the natural history and biology. Nevertheless, the description of the acoustic behaviour and ecology, a prerequisite for the conservation of the species, was not available. The general aim of this PhD thesis was to investigate the acoustic behaviour and ecology of P. mocinno in the cloud forest of Guatemala. A detailed analysis of P. mocinno vocalizations, including propagation experiments of these vocalizations in its habitat, led to identify two vocalizations intended for long range, and two for short range communication. Quantification of acoustic parameters in territorial vocalizations of the two subspecies of the Resplendent Quetzal, P. m. mocinno (north part of Central America and Chiapas) and P. m. costaricensis (south part of Central America), revealed clear differences between the subspecies, that could support a species separation hypothesis. . The observation of the species in the dense canopy is difficult and manipulation of individuals is controversial due to its high cultural importance. Then, an automatic acoustic system was developed as a method to study the species in a non-invasive way. The system proved to be efficient and returned results that revealed acoustic patterns linked to environmental variables. Finally, the acoustic community of other bird species P. mocinno belongs to was analysed so that interspecific competition interactions could be assessed. The research here developed should help in future conservation decisions about the Resplendent Quetzal and its habitat, the cloud forest. This research also illustrates that ecoacoustics can be a valuable strategy to tackle ecology and conservation questions in tropical areas.
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Submitted on : Monday, February 25, 2019 - 5:35:08 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, September 22, 2020 - 4:12:56 AM
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  • HAL Id : tel-02048769, version 1


Pablo Rafael Bolanos Sittler. Acoustic behavior and ecology of the Resplendent Quetzal Pharomachrus mocinno, a flagship tropical bird species. Biodiversity and Ecology. Museum national d'histoire naturelle - MNHN PARIS, 2019. English. ⟨NNT : 2019MNHN0001⟩. ⟨tel-02048769⟩



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