Yellow-billed Babbler Turdoides affinis

Kulbushansingh Suryawanshi
Version: 2.0 — Published September 17, 2020

Priorities for Future Research

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Priorities for Future Research

Two groups conducted systematic studies on the behavioral and foraging ecology of the Yellow-billed Babbler in south India (1, 2). However, there has hardly been any systematic work on this species since. The Yellow-billed Babbler could be a good model species for evolutionary ecology studies on cooperative breeding and brood parasitism. Lack of information on the population dynamics of this species is limiting in building an understanding of the impacts of land-use and climatic changes that are expected in the coming decades.

Some of the important research priorities for this species include:

(1) There are newer reports of Yellow-billed Babblers from the Central Indian states of Chathisgarh and Madhya Pradesh. This needs to be investigated to assess if it is expanding in its distribution in these areas. Yellow-billed Babbler is a weak flyer, so it is interesting to examine if these are new populations, or if these are relic populations that had gone undetected earlier.

(2) To build an understanding of the impacts of brood parasitism on Yellow-billed Babblers. There are more than four species of cuckoos that are common and overlap the distribution; the cumulative impact of all these species is likely to be an important factor shaping the evolutionary trajectory of the Yellow-billed Babbler and needs to be investigated.

(3) To build an understanding of the cooperative breeding system of the Yellow-billed Babbler. The role of helpers in the breeding ecology of this species has not been explored well. Ideas such as the role of extra-pair mating/paternity and conspecific brood parasitism need to be explored.

(4) To build an understanding of the population dynamics of the Yellow-billed Babblers. Basic information on recruitment and adult survival is not available. These are important aspects necessary for conservation planning of the species.

(5) To understand the impacts of changing land use - rapid urbanization and changing agricultural practices - and changing climate on the distribution and population of the Yellow-billed Babblers.

Recommended Citation

Suryawanshi, K. (2020). Yellow-billed Babbler (Turdoides affinis), version 2.0. In Birds of the World (S. M. Billerman and B. K. Keeney, Editors). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/bow.yebbab1.02