http://revistas.ucr.ac.cr/index.php/rbtRevista de Biología Tropical ISSN Impreso: 0034-7744 ISSN electrónico: 2215-2075

Wild birds as pets in the central region of Cuba: Elements for a mitigation strategy

Yarelys Ferrer-Sánchez, Fernando Abasolo-Pacheco, Alexis H. Plasencia-Vázquez, Idael Ruiz



DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15517/rbt.v65i3.26765

Abstract


The island of Cuba has the greatest diversity of birds in the Caribbean, and at the same time, a large number of endangered species. Illegal trade is one of major threats in Neotropical islands, because birds are captured for domestic and international illegal market. This study was undertaken with the aim to characterize the domestic market, in which captive wild birds are used as pets in the central region of Cuba. For this, a census and random survey to identify, and describe wild bird richness and abundance in 10 localities of urban and rural environments, was undertaken from August to November 2014, and from June to October 2015. Our results detected that at least 24 species and 973 individuals from six orders and 11 families were captive. The best represented order was Passeriformes (13 species), followed by Accipitriformes (four species). The best-represented families were Thraupidae (3.3 ± 0.33) and Cardinalidae (2.6 ± 0.45). Besides, the localities of Patria (17), Morón (13) and Bolivia (13) in the urban area had the highest richness. The richness of residents (5.80 ± 0.68) was higher than the endemics (1.70 ± 0.30) and migrants (2.70 ± 0.52), while the richness of endemics (2.5 ± 0.29) and residents (7.75 ± 0.63) was higher in urban areas. There were more captive species with Least Concern category (6.20 ± 1.02), but the Endangered category predominated in rural areas (12.5 %). The most common species were Passerina cyanea, Melopyrrha nigra, Tiaris olivaceus and Passerina ciris. A total of 46% of the species were classified with a tendency to decrease, 33.3 % to increase and 20.8 % to stability. The abundance of species with a tendency to decrease (63.4 ± 22.13) was higher than those that tend to stability (14.8 ± 9.9). The actual traffic will lead to species extinction, mainly parrots and raptors, threatening several ecological services. Illegal trade should be addressed as an environmental, economic and social problem. Strategy for controlling this unsustainable trade was proposed.

 


Keywords


domestic trade, pets, endemic and threatened species, conservation strategy, Neotropical islands, birds.

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