Monday, 28 December 2009
Esta é a mais recente adição à avifauna madeirense. Trata-se do Galeirão, espécie que nidificou pela Madeira pela primeira vez em 2009 (a segunda foto é do único sobrevivente da primeira ninhada de Galeirões madeirenses). Deixo-vos aqui um artigo que escrevi sobre este acontecimento e que infelizmente não chegou a conhecer a luz do dia.
FIRST BREEDING RECORD OF COMMON COOT FULICA ATRA (AVES:RALLIDAE) ON MADEIRA ISLAND by Ricardo Rocha
The common coot, Fulica atra (Linnaeus, 1758), is a large rail species which can be found throughout aquatic freshwater ecosystems across the Paleartic, Indomalaya and Australasia regions. In Europe the species is widespread and common in most areas where there are suitable places, being mainly associated with shallow waters with muddy bottoms and abundant marginal vegetation where it feeds on vegetable matter and invertebrates (CRAMP, 1998).
In Portugal, breeding had only been confirmed in the mainland (EQUIPA ATLAS, 2008) and in Madeira Island the species had only been described as a seasonal migrant (ZINO et al., 1995; BISCOITO & ZINO, 2002; OLIVEIRA & MENEZES, 2004) with no records of breeding activity to be found in the literature.
Reproduction on the island was observed for the first time in 14 May 2009 when a couple of birds was observed with four nearly born, still with downy feathers in “Lagoa do Lugar de Baixo” (32°40'44.03"N, 17° 5'18.59"W). The chicks where black with red and blue heads and a yellow-brown collar, feature than discriminates this species from the nearly born of moorhen Gallinula chloropus (Linnaeus, 1758), a species which has recently been described to also breed in the lagoon (FAGUNDES & NUNES, 2003).
The chicks’ experienced heavy predation from Yellow-legged Gulls Larus michahellis (Naumann, 1840) and only three weeks after the chicks were first observed only one was still alive. In late June this surviving youngster still in its immature plumage with white face and throat stared to acquire the bright white facial shield typical of the species.
This record highlights the conservation value of “Lagoa do Lugar de Baixo”, the only saline water lagoon found in Madeira Island and currently the only place where both the common coot and the moorhen have been found to breed in Madeira Island.
BISCOITO, M. & F. ZINO:
2002. Aves no Arquipélago da Madeira. Biodiversidade Madeirense: Avaliação e Conservação, Vol. 3, Funchal. 112 pp.
1998. The complete birds of the Western Paleartic on CD-ROM. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
2008. Atlas das Aves Nidificantes em Portugal (1999-2005). Instituto da Conservação da Natureza e da Biodiversidade, Sociedade Portuguesa para o Estudo das Aves, Parque Natural da Madeira, Secretaria Regional do Ambiente e do Mar. Assírio & Alvim, Lisboa. 590 pp.
FAGUNDES, I. & J. NUNES:
2003. First records of breeding moorhen Gallinula chloropus (Aves: Rallidae) on the islands of Madeira and Porto Santo. Bocagiana, 211: 1-4.
OLIVEIRA, P. & D. MENEZES:
2004. Aves do Arquipélago da Madeira. Serviço do Parque Natural da Madeira, Funchal. 112 pp.
ZINO, F., M. J. BISCOITO & P. A. ZINO:
1995. Birds of the archipelago of Madeira and the Selvagens new records and Checklist. Boletim do Museu Municipal do Funchal, 47 (262): 63-100.