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Marques P.A.M.,Unidade Investigacao em Eco Etologia | Marques P.A.M.,University of Lisbon | Magalhaes D.M.,Unidade Investigacao em Eco Etologia | Magalhaes D.M.,University of Lisbon | And 3 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2014

The preservation of historical and contemporary data safeguards our scientific legacy. Bioacoustic recordings can have historical as well as scientific value and should be assessed for their conservation requirements. Unpreserved bioacoustics recordings are generally not referenced and are frequently at high risk of loss by material degradation and/or by misplacement. In this study we investigated the preservation status of sets of natural sound recordings made in Portugal from 1983 until 2010 inclusive. We evaluated the recordings on the basis of their rate of loss, the degree to which unpreserved recordings could be preserved, and their risk of loss. Recordists of animal sounds were surveyed (by questionnaire or interview) to identify sets of recordings and to collect information on their quality and state of preservation. Of the 78 recordists identified, we found that 32% of the recordings have an unclear status and that only 9% of the recordings are lost. Of the c. 6 terabytes of unpreserved sound recordings discovered, an estimated 49% were recoverable. Moreover, 95% of the recoverable sets of recordings were at high risk of loss by their being misplaced. These risks can be minimized if recordists are persuaded to deposit their material in an institution committed to long-term curation of such data (e.g. sound archives). Overall, the study identified a considerable body of unpreserved animal sound recordings that could contribute to our scientific heritage and knowledge of the biodiversity found in Portugal. It highlights the need to implement effective policies to promote the deposit of recordings for preservation and to reverse the present scenario so that scientific material can be preserved for future generations. © 2014 Marques et al.

Marques P.A.M.,Unidade Investigacao em Eco Etologia | Marques P.A.M.,University of Lisbon | Leonard M.L.,Dalhousie University | Horn A.G.,Dalhousie University | And 2 more authors.
Ethology | Year: 2011

Young animals in a broad range of taxa solicit care from their parents with begging displays, which are used at least partly for competition among brood or litter mates. The effect of other begging offspring on an individual's own begging display varies across studies, however, increasing its intensity in some, but not changing, or even decreasing it, in others. One possible reason for this discrepancy is that the potential pay-off for more intense begging depends not only on how intensely an individual's brood or littermates are begging, but also on how long that individual has been without food. Surprisingly, however, no studies have focused on how begging responses vary when both factors are varied simultaneously. We therefore examined how nestling tree swallows, Tachycineta bicolor, respond to nestmates in relation to both their own hunger levels and the begging intensity of nestmates. During a period of food deprivation, we played focal nestlings parental contact calls either alone (control) or with the begging calls of a nestling deprived of food for 30-50 (low intensity) or 100-110 min (high intensity). Nestlings called for longer in response to the low-intensity playback, but, surprisingly, not in the high-intensity playback, in which they instead delayed the onset of their calling. All these responses to nestmates were independent of how long the responding nestling had been deprived of food. Thus, even in the seemingly intensely competitive environment of a passerine brood, offspring do not necessarily respond to nestmates with escalation. This may be because de-escalation is the best competitive option in some circumstances, or because begging has other functions besides advertisement of individual need and competition over food allocation. Certainly, the results illustrate the need for studies of how nestmate interactions vary across a broad range of contexts. © 2010 Blackwell Verlag GmbH.

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