Crepuscular hunting of swiftlets (Family: Apodidae) by Besra (Family: Accipitridae) in the urban areas of the Andaman Islands, India

Main Article Content

Amruta Dhamorikar
https://orcid.org/0000-0002-0213-3195
Dhanusha Kawalkar
https://orcid.org/0000-0002-6478-7522
Prathamesh Gurjarpadhye
Shirish Manchi
https://orcid.org/0000-0002-7540-2616

Abstract

We report the crepuscular hunting behavior by the Besra Accipiter virgatus, on the Glossy Swiftlets Collocalia esculenta affinis and the Edible-nest Swiftlets Aerodramus fuciphagus inexpectatus in urban areas the Andaman & Nicobar Islands.  Unlike other raptors in the islands, the Besra hunts at twilight often in the absence of moonlight or/and artificial light.  Glossy and Edible-nest Swiftlets have been ranched in human habitations and their nests harvested for livelihood support of local communities under an ex situ conservation program.  Using the focal animal sampling method, we recorded the hunting behavior of the Besra (the predator) on the swiftlets (the prey) for 40h (120 min/day for 20 days) at the ex situ swiftlet colony established in a house in the Middle Andamans.  The Besra made 84 hunting attempts, with the highest success rate (15.4%) between 17.00–18.00 h.  The catch rate was a mean of 4±11 (SD) per day.  The maximum time that was used for attempt to kill the prey was two hours.  Depredation of the Edible-nest Swiftlet by the Besra could affect ex situ conservation efforts, which can also lead to economic losses and retaliation against the raptor.  Restricting perch sites for the raptor around ranching houses might reduce predation risks for the swiftlets.

Article Details

How to Cite
[1]
Dhamorikar, A., Kawalkar, D., Gurjarpadhye, P. and Manchi, S. 2020. Crepuscular hunting of swiftlets (Family: Apodidae) by Besra (Family: Accipitridae) in the urban areas of the Andaman Islands, India. Journal of Threatened Taxa. 12, 17 (Dec. 2020), 17323–17329. DOI:https://doi.org/10.11609/jott.5397.12.17.17323-17329.
Section
Communications

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