Ophiophagy in Brazilian birds: a contribution from a collaborative platform of citizen science

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Citizen science is the interaction of the non-academic community in scientific studies, often extended to collaborative platforms. We analyzed 168 photographs shared in a Brazilian citizen science platform to understand the feeding interactions between birds and snakes in Brazil, comparing our findings to published data. We searched for patterns in bird taxa and behaviour correlated with ophiophagy, snake groups most vulnerable to predation, and biases resulting from citizen science data. Records were made mostly in south-eastern and southern Brazil. Both birds and snakes recorded are primarily diurnal, terrestrial, and use open habitats. Predators represent especially birds of prey, but nine other families were observed, and most of the identified snakes belong to Dipsadidae and Colubridae. Venomous snakes were observed, suggesting that birds must deploy strategies to avoid injuries. Finally, we added a new vertebrate item to the diet of the white-faced ibis (Plegadis chihi). Data biases of citizen science platforms, which in this work include differences in the number of records between different geographic regions and periods of day, must be considered. However, this kind of data can be a powerful tool for understanding life history patterns and natural history of birds and other animals.
Souza E, Lima-Santos J, Entiauspe-Neto OM., Santos MM, Moura PR, Hingst-Zaher E. Ophiophagy in Brazilian birds: a contribution from a collaborative platform of citizen science. Ornithol. res.. 2022 Jan; 30:15-24. doi:10.1007/s43388-022-00082-5.
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