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Revista de biología marina y oceanografía

On-line version ISSN 0718-1957


TOBAR, Claudio N et al. Interannual variation in the winter diet of Chilean flamingo Phoenicopterus chilensis found in the marine wetland of Bahía Caulín, Chiloé, southern Chile. Rev. biol. mar. oceanogr. [online]. 2017, vol.52, n.3, pp.523-528. ISSN 0718-1957.

The Chilean flamingo (Phoenicopterus chilensis) is an endemic aquatic bird of South America. In Chile, it is found in both highland lagoons as well as in marine wetlands. Nevertheless, dietary studies in marine environments are scarce. This work characterized the interannual variation in the winter diet of flamingos found in the marine wetland of Bahía Caulín, southern Chile. To this end, we determined the size of prey items consumed between June and September of the 2011, 2014 and 2015. A total of 157 feces were analyzed (77 feces in 2011 and 80 feces between 2014 and 2015). The diet of Chilean flamingo during 2011 was carnivorous and was formed by only three preys, the foraminifera Ammonia beccarii, the copepod Harpacticus sp. as well as polychaetes. During 2014-2015 its diet was omnivorous, and consisted of 15 categories of prey items, among which the consumption of algae and plant fibers was stressed. Regarding the sizes of prey consumed by flamingo, the diameter of the foraminifera oscillated between 100 and 900 µm with predominance of organisms between 400 and 600 µm. The width of Harpacticus sp. consumed ranged from 160 to 260 µm with a predominance of organisms between 200 and 220 µm. The width of consumed Parawaldeckia kidderi ranged between 140 and 800 µm with predominance for organisms between 140 and 400 µm. The width of Monocorophium insidiosum consumed oscillated between 80 and 500 µm with predominance for organisms between 80 and 400 µm. The Chilean flamingo would be a partially selective predator whose selection of prey would be given by the morphostructural restrictions of the peak of this bird.

Keywords : Carnivores; Chilean flamingo; marine wetland; omnivores.

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