Access

You are not currently logged in.

Access your personal account or get JSTOR access through your library or other institution:

login

Log in to your personal account or through your institution.

If you need an accessible version of this item please contact JSTOR User Support

Cooperative Breeding in the Frugivorous Toucan Barbet (Semnornis ramphastinus)

Carla Restrepo and Marta Lucy Mondragón
The Auk
Vol. 115, No. 1 (Jan., 1998), pp. 4-15
DOI: 10.2307/4089106
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4089106
Page Count: 12
  • Read Online (Free)
  • Download ($15.00)
  • Subscribe ($19.50)
  • Cite this Item
If you need an accessible version of this item please contact JSTOR User Support
Cooperative Breeding in the Frugivorous Toucan Barbet (Semnornis ramphastinus)
Preview not available

Abstract

Cooperative breeding is rare in frugivorous birds, presumably because traits associated with frugivory do not favor permanent group living and helping behavior. We studied the Toucan Barbet (Semnornis ramphastinus) in southwestern Colombia to understand the possible benefits of group living and helping behavior in one of the few frugivorous birds exhibiting such behavior. Toucan Barbets lived in permanent groups, defended a territory year-round, roosted and nested in tree cavities built by themselves, and fed mostly on fruits. Toucan Barbet groups were composed of a breeding pair and their offspring; groups were significantly smaller during the breeding (x̄ = 2.7 individuals) than during the nonbreeding season (x̄ = 3.1 individuals). Sixty-two percent of pairs had helpers, which incubated eggs, brooded and fed nestlings, and defended nestlings against predators and cavity usurpers (mainly the Plate-billed Mountain-Toucan [Andigena laminirostris]). Pairs with helpers produced more fledglings (x̄ = 1.3) than pairs without helpers (x̄ = 0.5). We suggest that the increase in reproductive success of pairs with helpers explains why cooperative breeding is favored in this species. Furthermore, we suggest that frugivory by itself does not impede the evolution of delayed dispersal and helping behavior.

Page Thumbnails

  • Thumbnail: Page 
4
    4
  • Thumbnail: Page 
5
    5
  • Thumbnail: Page 
6
    6
  • Thumbnail: Page 
7
    7
  • Thumbnail: Page 
8
    8
  • Thumbnail: Page 
9
    9
  • Thumbnail: Page 
10
    10
  • Thumbnail: Page 
11
    11
  • Thumbnail: Page 
12
    12
  • Thumbnail: Page 
13
    13
  • Thumbnail: Page 
14
    14
  • Thumbnail: Page 
15
    15