ROOSTING BEHAVIOR OF THE BROWN-THROATED PARAKEET(ARATINGA PERTINAX) AND ROOST LOCATIONS ON FOURSOUTHERN CARIBBEAN ISLANDS

Brown-throated Parakeet (Aratinga pertinax) Science Article 1

abstract

The four subspecies of the Brown-throated Parakeet (Aratinga pertinax) endemic to the southernCaribbean islands of Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao, and Margarita form nocturnal roosts of several dozento several hundred birds on their respective islands. The locations of the roosts were stable during our onetotwo-week visits to each of the islands early in 2001. On Bonaire, overall numbers of parakeets at roostswere lower later in 2001, but most of the same roosting sites were still being used. On Aruba, one roostingsite reportedly has been used for at least eight years. The Aruban roosting sites are shared by BrownthroatedParakeets with large numbers of native columbids. We suggest that protection of roosting sites beincluded in the conservation and habitat management plans of these islands. Because of the island’s relativelylow, sparse vegetation, Aruba’s native psittacine and columbid populations may be especially vulnerableto the destruction of their few, traditional nocturnal roosting sites, necessitating immediate and longtermprotection of these areas from anthropogenic disturbance.

Kyle E. Harms & Jessica R. Eberhard, ORNITOLOGIA NEOTROPICAL 14: 79-89, 2003

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