Tales from the Pantanal
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In the wetlands of Pantanal an endangered tropical bird relies on its nest predator for its perseverance. The tale of the hyacinth macaw (Andorhynchus hyacinthinus) involves the tree in which they build their nests (Manduvi trees Sterculia apetala) and the main seed disperser of the manduvi tree, which also happens to be the macaw's main nest predator, the toco tucan (Ramphastos toco).
Hyacinth macaws build their nests almost exclusively on the disputed manduvi trees. Taking into account macaw's threatened conservation status, Pizo et al. (2008) performed a study to investigate the natural history of its nesting tree species, specially concerning the main seed dispersers of the manduvi tree. The authors found that toco toucans are the main disperser of manduvi, responsible for more than 80% of the dispersal. At the same time, toco toucans are the main nest predator of hyacinth macaws. Most conservation actions focus only on manduvi trees and macaws; however, this study elegantly highlights how species interactions must be taken into account when performing conservation policies.
The macaw-toucan-manduvi system clearly represents a case of conflicting ecological pressures. Propose a model to study the dynamics of this system, with special focus on conservation actions that could improve population densities of the hyacinth macaw.
Conservation puzzle: Endangered hyacinth macaw depends on its nest predator for reproduction Marco Aurélio Pizo, Camila I. Donatti, Neiva Maria R.Guedes, and Mauro Galetti Biological Conservation (2008) https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0006320708000104