Common Myna in Antananarivo, Madagascar; plastic bag as material for a Common myna's nest

Analysis of wetland uses by Common mynas (Acridotheres tristis) in the urban environment of Antananarivo, Madagascar

Lalatiana Odile Randriamiharisoa, Hajanirina Rakotomanana

Abstract


The importance of wetlands as habitat and breeding grounds for waterfowls is recognized and has been extensively studied, but their role in regulating and maintaining ecosystems is less well documented. The use of wetlands by invasive species such as Common myna (Acridotheres tristis), considered as one of the 100 worst invasive species in the world, is largely unknown. Therefore, the Common mynas could have an influence on the occupation of native water bird species. The objectives of this study were to assess Common myna's (1) population size, (2) spatial occupation and (3) characteristics of foraging and roosting sites. Three urban wetlands in Antananarivo were studied:  the Tsarasaotra Park, a private site classified as a Ramsar site, the Tsimbazaza Zoological and Botanical Park in the city center, and an area near the Ikopa River, close to the SOCOBIS biscuit factory. In total, 6196 Common mynas were counted with an estimated 7.9 individuals per hectare around the roosting sites.  Vigilance and foraging behaviors were less observed when individuals were at a higher stratum, with communication and resting being the most observed behaviors at this level. Only 5.6% of wetlands are used during the day as foraging areas and 1.4% as roosting sites at night, where Common mynas cohabitate with herons and egrets. Finally, the environmental variables collected revealed that Common mynas favor wetlands with tall, wide trees, located far from human disturbance.

 

Résumé

L’importance des zones humides en tant qu’habitat et site de reproduction pour les oiseaux d’eau est reconnue et a été abondamment étudiée. Cependant, le rôle des oiseaux d’eau dans la régulation et le maintien d’écosystème est moins bien documenté. Particulièrement l’utilisation des zones humides par des espèces envahissantes telles que le Martin triste (Acridotheres tristis), une des 100 pires espèces envahissantes dans le monde, reste peu étudiée. Le Martin triste pourrait avoir une influence et un impact par son occupation et son comportement envahissant sur les oiseaux d’eau autochtones. Afin d'évaluer la taille de la population du Martin triste, son utilisation et occupation spatiale, ainsi que les caractéristiques écologiques de ses zones d’alimentation et de dortoir, trois zones humides du milieu urbain d’Antananarivo ont été étudiées. Il s’agit du Parc de Tsarasaotra, un site privé classé RAMSAR, le Parc Zoologique et Botanique de Tsimbazaza dans le centre-ville, et une zone située à proximité de la rivière Ikopa, près de l’usine de fabrication de biscuits SOCOBIS. Un nombre de 6196 observations de Martins tristes ont été réalisées et l'abondance des populations a été estimée à 7.9 individus par hectare autour des dortoirs. Les observations ont aussi révélé que le Martin triste réduit certains comportements tels que la vigilance et l’alimentation lorsqu’il est à une hauteur plus élevée et privilégie alors des comportements de communication et de repos. Il utilise 5,6% des zones humides pendant la journée en tant que site de nourrissage et 1,4% pendant la nuit comme dortoir, où il cohabite avec des hérons et des aigrettes. Les variables environnementales récoltées sur les sites ont révélé que le Martin triste privilégie les zones humides situées loin des perturbations humaines et présentant de grands arbres à diamètre important.


Keywords


Acridotheres tristis, Common mynas, wetland, use, roost, Antananarivo

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