Red-crested Cardinal Paroaria coronata
Version: 1.0 — Published July 10, 2015
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Demography and Populations
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BirdLife International (2015) lists the generational age of Red-crested Cardinals at 3.8 years, although no detailed information has been found regarding the true life span of the species. Although Pendleton (1996, cited in Lindholm 2003) notes in captive cardinals that breeding maturity is reached after 9 months, while it takes a year for juvenile plumage to change from orange-brown to the adult’s red, after which they disperse from their parent’s care. Additionally there are few data as to causes of mortality in adults in the wild, though chicks were found infested with parasites that had sublethal to lethal effects. Segura and Reboreda (2011) found botflies parasitizing nestlings aged 1 to 6 days where they feed off red blood cells for 5-8 days, then pupate in the nest material. Adult Red-crested Cardinals have been found to be a host for numerous parasites. Internal parasitic worms were found in 45% of birds in one study, where the species found were Aproctella carinii, Dispharynx nasuta, Capillaria sp., Diplotriaena sp., Tanaisia oviaspera, Tanaisia valida, Tanaisia sp., Prosthogonimus ovatus, Orthoskrjabinia sp., and Mediorhynchus sp. (Mascarenhas et al. 2009). Nasal mites were found in 55% of the birds sampled, where the species found were Ptilonyssus sairae and Sternostoma pirangae (Mascarenhas et al. 2011). Additional parasites found were chewing lice (Myrsidea coronatae) found on the legs of six birds from a sample of eight (Sychra et al. 2009). The population size in the wild is unknown, although the cardinals are described as being fairly common throughout (BirdLife International 2015). A population study on a forest in the north Buenos Aires province observed 905±205 individuals with a mean of 0.34 individuals/100 m of transect and a mean density of 0.29 individuals/ha. Abundance was greater where there were larger tree canopies as concealment for nest sites, and where lower distances between forest patches facilitated better movement for the cardinals between feeding and breeding sites (Segura et al. 2014). Parker et al. (1996) categorize the Paroaria coronata as fairly common relative to other Neotropical birds with a center of abundance in the lower tropical zone.