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Seasonal changes of foraging habitats and prey species in the Japanese Crested Ibis Nipponia nippon reintroduced on Sado Island, Japan

  • CHIHIRO ENDO (a1) and HISASHI NAGATA (a1)

Summary

Seasonal foraging habitats, prey species and foraging frequency of Japanese Crested Ibis Nipponia nippon in farmland were studied one year after its reintroduction on Sado Island, Japan. Paddies were the main foraging habitat in spring, early summer, autumn and winter. In late summer, ibises often used levees around paddies, grasslands, uncropped paddies and abandoned paddies. Small invertebrates were important prey components in terms of frequency (70–90%) throughout the year. Ibises took Misgurnus loaches (less than 20% of prey captured) throughout the year; the capture rate of loaches in ditches was especially high in winter. Ibises depended on terrestrial invertebrates, including earthworms, particularly in late summer. No clear correlations between the rate of capture for each prey species and the proportion of habitat use in each season were detected. However, abandoned and uncropped paddies provided suitable habitats for the ibis because human disturbance was relatively low and the rate of capture for each prey type was relatively high throughout the year. Management of grass height in grasslands and on levees around the paddies will be effective in ensuring the availability of foraging habitats in late summer. Seasonal changes in the availability of foraging habitats in farmland ecosystems should be considered when designing effective management strategies for the establishment of Japanese Crested Ibis populations.

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Copyright

Corresponding author

*Author for correspondence; e-mail: chihiro.endo.zzz@gmail.com

References

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