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Lloyd P.,University of Cape Town | Lloyd P.,Biodiversity Assessment and Management Pty Ltd | Frauenknecht B.D.,University of Cape Town | du Plessis M.A.,University of Cape Town | Martin T.E.,U.S. Geological Survey
Journal of Ornithology | Year: 2017

We studied the breeding biology of the south temperate Cape Penduline Tit (Anthoscopus minutus) in order to compare its life history traits with those of related north temperate members of the family Remizidae, namely the Eurasian Penduline Tit (Remiz pendulinus) and the Verdin (Auriparus flaviceps). We used this comparison to test key predictions of three hypotheses thought to explain latitudinal variation in life histories among bird species—the seasonality and food limitation hypothesis, nest predation hypothesis and adult mortality hypothesis. Contrary to the general pattern of smaller clutch size and lower adult mortality among south-temperate birds living in less seasonal environments, the Cape Penduline Tit has a clutch size larger than that of the Verdin and similar to that of the Eurasian Penduline Tit, and higher adult mortality than both of the other two species. The most notable difference between the Cape Penduline Tit and the two other species is in parental behavioural strategy, with the former exhibiting bi-parental care at all stages of nesting together with facultative cooperative breeding, whereas the Eurasian Penduline Tit has uni-parental care and the Verdin has a combination of female-only incubation but bi-parental nestling care. Consequently, in comparison to the other two species, the Cape Penduline Tit exhibits greater nest attentiveness during incubation, a similar per-nestling feeding rate and greater post-fledging survival. Its relatively large clutch size, high parental investment and associated high adult mortality in a less seasonal environment are consistent with key predictions of the adult mortality hypothesis but not with key predictions of the seasonality and food limitation hypothesis in explaining life history variation among Remizidae species. These results add to a growing body of evidence of the importance of age-specific mortality in shaping life history evolution. © 2016, Dt. Ornithologen-Gesellschaft e.V.


Ball A.D.,University of Bath | Ball A.D.,University of Sheffield | van Dijk R.E.,University of Bath | van Dijk R.E.,University of Sheffield | And 10 more authors.
Ibis | Year: 2017

In most passerine birds, individuals attempt to maximize their fitness by providing parental care while also mating outside their pair bond. A sex-specific trade-off between these two behaviours is predicted to occur, as the fitness benefits of extra-pair mating differ between the sexes. We use nest observations and parentage analysis to reveal a negative association between male care and the incidence of extra-pair paternity across three species of penduline tit (Remizidae). This provides evidence of a trade-off between these two behaviours, possibly due to the devaluing of paternal care by extra-pair offspring. © 2017 The Authors. Ibis published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of British Ornithologists’ Union.


Lloyd P.,University of Cape Town | Lloyd P.,Biodiversity Assessment and Management Pty Ltd | Abadi F.,South African National Biodiversity Institute | Abadi F.,University of Witwatersrand | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Avian Biology | Year: 2014

Life history theory predicts an inverse relationship between annual adult survival and fecundity. Globally, clutch size shows a latitudinal gradient among birds, with south temperate species laying smaller clutches than north temperate species, but larger clutches than tropical species. Tropical birds often have higher adult survival than north temperate birds associated with their smaller clutches. However, the prediction that tropical birds should also have higher adult survival than south temperate birds because of smaller clutch sizes remains largely untested. We measured clutch size and apparent annual breeding adult survival for 17 south temperate African species to test two main predictions. First, we found strong support for a predicted inverse relationship between adult survival and clutch size among the south temperate species, consistent with life-history theory. Second, we compared our clutch size and survival estimates with published estimates for congeneric tropical African species to test the prediction of larger clutch size and lower adult survival among south temperate than related tropical species. We found that south-temperate species laid larger clutches, as predicted, but had higher, rather than lower, apparent adult survival than related tropical species. The latter result may be an artefact of different approaches to measuring survival, but the results suggest that adult survival is generally high in the south temperate region and raises questions about the importance of the cost of reproduction to adult survival. © 2014 The Authors.


Searle J.B.,Environmental Planning and Conservation Section | Prince J.B.,Environmental Planning and Conservation Section | Stewart D.,Threatened Species Unit | Lloyd P.,Biodiversity Assessment and Management Pty Ltd.
Emu | Year: 2016

Monitoring of breeding success is important for the effective management of beach-nesting shorebirds, which are vulnerable to impacts of human recreational disturbance and predation by introduced or superabundant native predators. We examined the breeding success of a recently established nesting colony of Little Tern (Sternula albifrons sinensis) on a coastal sandspit in south-east Queensland that is exposed to increasing human recreational use but limited management. Nesting success averaged 36% (15-51%) over 3 years, with sand burial and tidal flooding responsible for most clutch mortality. Annual chick survival from hatching to fledging averaged 41% (26-67%), and annual productivity averaged 0.66 fledglings per pair (0.31-1.24). Annual productivity was lower than at intensively managed Little Tern nesting colonies in New South Wales and Victoria; however, with minimum annual productivity required to maintain a stable population estimated at ∼0.50 fledglings per pair, the population is expected to be increasing. © BirdLife Australia 2016.


Lloyd P.,Biodiversity Assessment and Management Pty Ltd | Sanders M.,Biodiversity Assessment and Management Pty Ltd | Reis T.,Biodiversity Assessment and Management Pty Ltd | Abbott A.,Biodiversity Assessment and Management Pty Ltd
Australian Mammalogy | Year: 2013

Through a targeted trapping survey we provide important new records and habitat descriptions for the Carpentarian pseudantechinus (Pseudantechinus mimulus) on mainland Australia, including the first records from landscapes dominated by rocks other than sandstone. We hypothesise that continued invasion by an introduced pasture grass may constitute an emerging threatening process to this rare species. © 2013 Australian Mammal Society.

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