COMPARISON OF DIURNAL BIRDS OF PREY COMMUNITY BETWEEN NATURAL AND ANTHROPIZED ENVIRONMENTS IN HIGHLAND GRASSLANDS OF RIO GRANDE DO SUL, BRAZIL

Jonas Claudiomar Kilpp, Martin Sander, Gabriela Elisa Dal Pizzol, Erli Schneider Costa

Abstract


The highland grasslands, characteristic of the mountain region of the state of Rio Grande do Sul, have been used historically for several commercial purposes, including extensive livestock, forestry, and agriculture. The biodiversity has a high endemism, but there is a lack of studies on various animal and plant groups. Birds of prey are a great group to assess environmental quality, as they are top predators. This study aimed to test if the diurnal birds of prey community is changing due to the replacement of native grasslands by other human economic activities. We surveyed birds of prey at 12 sampling points from August 2018 to June 2019, including protected grasslands and livestock grasslands, agricultural, and forestry areas. We obtained 1,582 records of birds of prey of 17 species, and the highest richness and number of records, were obtained in the protected grasslands (17 spp.; 393 records) and livestock grasslands (15 spp.; 434 records), followed by agriculture (13 spp.; 418 records) and forestry areas (9 spp.; 337 records). There was a significant difference in the richness of birds of prey in the protected grasslands, livestock grasslands and agriculture areas over the forestry areas. In the number of records, there was a significant difference between livestock grasslands and agriculture areas over forestry areas. This study showed that the conversion of native grassland areas, mainly by forestry, affects the composition of the diurnal birds of prey community, especially the rarest and most endangered species.


Keywords


Conservation; Forestry; Land use change; Open landscapes; Raptor assemblage.

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References


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