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Competitive Interactions within and between Species in a Guild of Avian Scavengers

Michael P. Wallace and Stanley A. Temple
The Auk
Vol. 104, No. 2 (Apr., 1987), pp. 290-295
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4087035
Page Count: 6
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Competitive Interactions within and between Species in a Guild of Avian Scavengers
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Abstract

We observed Andean Condors (Vultur gryphus), King Vultures (Sarcoramphus papa), Black Vultures (Coragyps atratus), Turkey Vultures (Cathartes aura), and Crested Caracaras (Polyborus plancus) interacting at 217 animal carcasses at two sites in northern Peru. At 53 carcasses for which we knew order of arrival, Turkey Vultures usually arrived first, Black Vultures second, and condors third. On the basis of our observations of 8,066 aggressive encounters between birds, we constructed dominance hierarchies by calculating the proportion of encounters won by an individual of one species, sex, or age during encounters with an individual of another species, sex, or age. Within each species there was a positive relationship between a bird's dominance and its age. In condors, males dominated females of the same age. Interspecific dominance was correlated positively with body mass. There are convergent similarities between the organizations of guilds of Old and New World vultures.

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