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Elevational movements of large frugivorous birds and temporal variation in abundance of fruits along an elevational gradient

Elevational movements of large frugivorous birds and temporal variation in abundance of fruits along an elevational gradient

Ornitologia Neotropical30: 433-445

Data on the abundance of large elevational migrant fruit-eating birds along with the abundance of the fruits they eat were systematically collected during 1998 at four different elevations on the Caribbean slope of the Tilaran mountain range in Costa Rica The birds were abundant at high elevations during their breeding season and abundant at lower elevations during their non-breeding season. Presence and abundance of birds in the highlands and lowlands partially overlapped with periods of high fruit abundance at those elevations. The data suggest that fruit abundance might be a proximate factor driving elevational movements of large frugivorous birds, but would not be the only one. Changes in precipitation do not seem to be the cue used to determine the initiation of migration either. However, in almost all species, some individuals stayed in the highlands, while others migrated to the lowlands after the breeding season, precluding the detection of potential correlations between these factors. Understanding the causes of this differential migration within species might be the key to understand the causes of elevational migration in the Neotropics.

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Accession: 012032619

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