• Abstract

    Understanding wildlife behavior, including accurate identification, processing, and interpretation of activities or cues, is important to behavioral biology and corresponding conservation strategies. We characterized the breeding activities of the critically endangered White-rumped Vulture Gyps bengalensis following a sequential pattern from courtship to fledging. We recorded 4,160 visual observations of 20 behaviors of eight pairs of White-rumped Vultures from September 2021–April 2022 and constructed Markov chain models to model three composite behaviors (i.e., breeding, foraging, and roosting). We found that vultures at four nests displayed >70% of the time in breeding behavior, and each nest produced offspring, indicating a potential correlation between breeding behavior and successful reproductive outcomes. Our model explained each composite behavior with high accuracy. Identifying behaviors White-rumped Vulture have practical applications for developing management plans for their conservation, including the timing of critical reproductive events. Our findings and approach can improve our understanding of White-rumped Vulture behavioral ecology and conservation and have applications for other species.

  • References

    1. Ali S, Ripley SD (1968) Compact handbook of the birds of India and Pakistan. Oxford: Oxford University press.
    2. Altmann J (1974) Observational study of behavior: sampling methods. Behavior 49:227-266.
    3. Anthony LL, Blumstein DT (2000) Integrating behaviour into wildlife conservation: the multiple ways that behaviour can reduce Ne. Biological Conservation 95:303-315 DOI: 10.1016/S0006-3207(00)00037-9.
    4. Arjmand S, Wegener G, Landau AM, Eskelund A (2022) Tips and traps for behavioral animal experimentation. Acta Neuropsychiatrica 1-39. DOI: 10.1017/ neu.2022.4.
    5. Atherton TJ, Kerbyson DJ (1999) Size invariant circle detection. Image Vision Computing 17:795–803 DOI: 10.1016/S0262-8856(98)00160-7.
    6. Baltrusaitis T, Robinson P, Morency LP (2016) OpenFace: An open source facial behavior analysis toolkit. 2016 IEEE Winter Conference on Applications of Computer Vision (WACV) DOI: 10.1109/wacv.2016.7477553.
    7. Bamford AJ, Monadjem A, Hardy IC (2009) Nesting habitat preference of the African White‐backed Vulture Gyps africanus and the effects of anthropogenic disturbance. Ibis 151:51-62 DOI: 10.1111/j.1474-919X.2008.00878.x.
    8. Baral N, Gautam R (2007) Population status and breeding success of White-rumped Vulture Gyps bengalensis in Rampur, Syanja and Tanahu, Nepal. The Peregrine Fund, Boise, Idaho, USA and Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, The Lodge, Bedfordshire, UK.
    9. Baral N, Gautam R, Tamang B (2005) Population status and breeding ecology of White Rumped Vulture Gyps bengalensis in Rampur Valley, Nepal. Forktail 21: 87−91.
    10. Baral N, Nagy C, Crain BJ, Gautam R (2013) Population viability analysis of Critically Endangered white-rumped vultures Gyps bengalensis. Endangered Species Research 21:65–76.
    11. Barash DP (1975) Evolutionary aspects of parental behavior: distraction behavior of the alpine accentor. The Wilson Bulletin 367-373.
    12. Bell AM, Hankison SJ, Laskowski KL (2009) The repeatability of behaviour: a meta-analysis. Animal behaviour 77:771-783. DOI: 10.1016/j.anbehav.2008.12.022
    13. BirdLife International (2021) Gyps bengalensis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2021:e.T22695194A204618615. DOI: 10.2305/IUCN.UK.2021-3.RLTS.T22695194A204618615.en
    14. Bjorklund DF, Kipp K (1996) Parental investment theory and gender differences in the evolution of inhibition mechanisms. Psychological bulletin 120:163.
    15. Boake CR (Ed.) (1994) Quantitative genetic studies of behavioral evolution. University of Chicago Press.
    16. Chaudhary A, Subedi TR, Giri JB, Baral HS, Bidari B, Subedi H, Cuthbert RJ (2012) Population trends of Critically Endangered Gyps vultures in the lowlands of Nepal. Bird Conservation International 22:270–278.
    17. Cho WKT, Liu YY (2018) Sampling from complicated and unknown distributions: Monte Carlo and Markov Chain Monte Carlo methods for redistricting. Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications 506:170-178 DOI: 10.1016/j.physa.2018.03.096.
    18. Crall JD, Gravish N, Mountcastle AM, Combes SA (2015) BEEtag: a low-cost, image-based tracking system for the study of animal behavior and locomotion. PloS One 10:e0136487 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0136487.
    19. Dhakal H, Sharma HP, McClure CJ, Virani M, Rolek BW, Pradhan NM, Bhusal KP (2022) Vulture distribution and people perception of vultures in Pokhara Valley, Nepal. Ecology and Evolution12:e8528.
    20. Dingemanse NJ, Kazem AJ, Réale D, Wright J (2010) Behavioural reaction norms: animal personality meets individual plasticity. Trends in Ecology & Evolution 25:81-89 DOI: 10.1016/j.tree.2009.07.013.
    21. Donázar JA, Cortés-Avizanda A, Carrete M (2010) Dietary shifts in two vultures after the demise of supplementary feeding stations: consequences of the EU sanitary legislation. European Journal of Wildlife Research 56:613-621 DOI: 10.1007/s10344-009-0358-0.
    22. Evans KL. 2004. The potential for interactions between predation and habitat change to cause population declines of farmland birds. Ibis 146:1-13 DOI: 10.1111/j.1474-919X.2004.00231.x.
    23. Fagen RM, Young DY (1978) Temporal patterns of behaviors. Quantitative Ethology (Colgan, ed.). Wiley.
    24. Feare CJ, van der Woude J, Greenwell P, Edwards HA, Taylor JA, Larose CS, ... de Groene A (2017) Eradication of common mynas Acridotheres tristis from Denis Island, Seychelles. Pest Management Science 73:295-304. DOI: 10.1002/ps.4263.
    25. Fernandes AFA, Dórea JRR, Rosa GJDM (2020) Image analysis and computer vision applications in animal sciences: an overview. Frontiers in Veterinary Science 800. DOI: 10.3389/fvets.2020.551269.
    26. Gagniuc PA (2017) Markov chains: from theory to implementation and experimentation. John Wiley & Sons. 1-235.
    27. Gautam R, Baral N, Sharma HP (2022) Are white-rumped vultures (Gyps bengalensis) scavengers or predators at a vulture safe feeding site of Nepal?. Biodiversitas Journal of Biological Diversity 23:3808-3812.
    28. Gautam BP, Noda Y, Gautam R, Sharma HP, Sato K, Neupane SB (2020) Body Part Localization and Pose Tracking by Using Deepercut Algorithm for King Cobra's BBL (Biting Behavior Learning). In 2020 International Conference on Networking and Network Applications (NaNA). IEEE 422-429.
    29. Gautam R, Baral N (2013) Population trends and breeding success of three endangered vulture species in Pokhara Valley, Kaski, Nepal. Ibisbill Journal of Himalayan Ornithology Issue 2: 30 years in Bird Conservation. Bird Conservation Nepal.
    30. Gautam R, Baral N (2014) Monitoring the population status of White-rumped vulture Gyps bengalensis in Rampur, Syanja and Tanahu, Nepal.
    31. Geyer CJ (1992) Practical markov chain monte carlo. Statistical Science 473-483.
    32. Green RE, Newton I, Shultz S, Cunningham AA, Gilbert M, Pain DJ, Prakash V (2004) Diclofenac poisoning as a cause of vulture population declines across the Indian subcontinent. Journal of Applied Ecology 41:793-800.
    33. Grewal JK, Krzywinski M, Altman N (2019) Markov models-markov chains. Nature Methods 16:663-664 DOI: 10.1038/s41592-019-0476-x.
    34. Grimmett R, Inskipp C, Inskipp T, Baral, HS (2016) Helm Field Guides. Birds of Nepal. Revised edition. Christopher Helm London.
    35. Islam MA, Ahammed R, Aktar M (2018) Diurnal activity pattern of white-rumped vulture, Gyps bengalensis (Gmelin, 1788) in captivity during breeding season at Bangladesh National Zoo, Dhaka. Jahangirnagar University Journal of Biological Sciences 7:81-85.
    36. Jamieson IG, Ryan CJ (2000) Increased egg infertility associated with translocating inbred takahe (Porphyrio hochstetteri) to island refuges in New Zealand. Biological Conservation 94:107-114.bDOI: 10.1080/03949370.2018.1561523.
    37. Jiang W, Wang K, Lv Y, Guo J, Ni Z, Ni Y (2020) Time series based behavior pattern quantification analysis and prediction—A study on animal behavior. Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and Its Applications. 540:122884 DOI:10.1016/j.physa.2019.122884.
    38. Kappeler PM (2021) Behavioural Biology: Content and History. In Animal Behaviour 3-14. Springer, Cham DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-82879-0_1.
    39. Knopff KH, Knopff AA, Warren MB, Boyce MS (2009) Evaluating global positioning system telemetry techniques for estimating cougar predation parameters. Journal of Wildlife Managment 73:586-597 DOI: 10.2193/2008-294.
    40. Koralewski, TE, Westbrook JK, Grant WE, Wang HH (2019) Coupling general physical environmental process models with specific question-driven ecological simulation models. Ecological modelling 405:102-105. DOI:10.1016/j.ecolmodel.2019.02.004.
    41. la Torre-Torres D, Oscar V, Aguilasocho-Montoya D, Álvarez-García J, Simonetti B (2020) Using Markov-switching models with Markov chain Monte Carlo inference methods in agricultural commodities trading. Soft Computing 24:13823-13836. DOI: 10.1007/s00500-019-04629-5.
    42. Loveridge R, Ryan GE, Sum P, Grey-Read O, Mahood SP, Mould A, Harrison S, Crouthers R, Ko S, Clements T, Eames JC, Pruvot M (2019) Poisoning causing the decline in Southeast Asia's largest vulture population. Bird Conservation International 29:41-54.
    43. Noldus LPJ, Spink AJ, Tegelenbosch RA (2002) Computerised video tracking, movement analysis and behaviour recognition in insects. Computers and Electronics in Agriculture 35:201–227. DOI: 10.1016/s0168-1699(02)00019-4.
    44. Oaks JL, Giltbert M, Virani MZ, Watson RT, Meteyer CU, Rldeout BA, Shivaprasad HL, Arshad S, Chaudhry MJI, Arshad M, Mahmood S, All A, Khan AA (2004) Diclofenac residues as the cause of population decline of vultures in Pakistan. Nature 427:630-633.
    45. Pimm SL, Alibhai S, Bergl R, Dehgan A, Giri C, Jewell Z, … Loarie S (2015) Emerging technologies to conserve biodiversity. Trends in Ecology & Evolution 30:685– 696 DOI: 10.1016/j.tree.2015.08.008.
    46. Prakash V (1999) Status of vultures in Keoladeo National Park, Bharatpur, Rajasthan, with special reference to population crash in Gyps species. Journal of Bombay Natural History Society 96:365-378.
    47. Simmons KEL (1955) The nature of the predator-reactions of waders towards humans; with special reference to the role of the aggressive, escape, and brooding drives. Behavior 130-173. https://www.jstor.org/stable/4532827
    48. Shultz S, Baral HS, Charman S, Cunningham AA, Das D, Ghalsasi GR, Goudar MS, Green RE, Jones A, Nighot P, Pain DJ, Parkash V (2004) Diclofenac poisoning is widespread in declining vulture populations across the Indian subcontinent. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B (Suppl.) 271:458-S460. DOI: 10.1098/rsbl.2004.0223.
    49. Taha A, Zayed HH, Khalifa ME, El-sayed M (2014) Exploring behavior analysis in video surveillance applications. International Journal of Computer Applications 93:22-32.

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Copyright (c) 2023 Malque Publishing

How to cite

Gautam, R., Gautam, B., Noda, Y., Belant, J. L., & Sharma, H. P. (2023). Analyzing White-rumped Vulture breeding behavior using Markovian modeling. Journal of Animal Behaviour and Biometeorology, 11(3), 2023024. https://doi.org/10.31893/jabb.23024
  • Article viewed - 227
  • PDF downloaded - 197
  • Supplementary Material downloaded - 10