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Amazon Insect-eating Birds (1 Viewer)

Xenospiza

Distracted
DuĊĦan Brinkhuizen (bird guide in Ecuador) noted on Dutch Birding last year that some formerly common antbirds were really hard to find nowadays. It is sad to see that this is backed up by science.
Most people with more experience than me in the tropics say that ant swarms also seem to be decreasing.
 

jurek

Well-known member
It is said that army ants are large predators, because the ant colony collectively weighs as much as a medium-sized carnivorous mammal. Then perhaps, they are vulnerable to habitat fragmentation just as mammal carnivores?
 

THE_FERN

Well-known member
On the face of it it's a bit odd. Evidence suggests that, pangolins aside, mammal insectivores are less sensitive to extinction. However, if I'm remembering the paper Fred linked properly (bird palaeo forum), insectivorous birds in Caribbean are more extinction prone than frugivores.
 

King Edward

Well-known member
It is said that army ants are large predators, because the ant colony collectively weighs as much as a medium-sized carnivorous mammal. Then perhaps, they are vulnerable to habitat fragmentation just as mammal carnivores?
This is definitely true. There has been research conducted on hilltop islands created by flooding during the building of the Panama Canal. The habitat started as intact forest, but many species including army ants died out as the area was too small to sustain the population. This then led to ecological knock on effects e.g. leafcutter ants proliferated in the absence of predators, resulting in extensive defoliation of the trees.
 

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