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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Bird damage problems in Latin America


In 1968 and 1969, biologists of the Denver Wildlife Research Center made field surveys in six Latin American countries to obtain information on bird damage problems in agriculture, under an agreement with the Agency for International Development. Species of icterids, fringillids, psittids, columbids, and anatids caused most of the damage. Grain sorghum, corn, and rice were damaged most heavily. Other crops such as soybeans, wheat, cacao, and mangoes were also damaged, but seldom seriously. Resident post-breeding populations of birds in Latin America cause some damage to crops in summer, the tropical wet season; however, migrants from the United States and Canada greatly swell these problem populations in winter, the tropical dry season, when smaller acreages of mostly irrigated crops are available. Problems also intensify in October when the largest numbers of migrants descend upon ripening crops and, again, in April when many crops are being planted. Bird damage problems in Latin America are similar to those in the United States, involving many of the same types of crops and genera of birds. Therefore, research conducted in one area should be beneficial for the other, and cooperative work is recommended.

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