Young Eudocimus albus, can be used as an adequate estimate. Eudocimus albus usually lives for about 16 years in the wild and 20 years in captivity; the oldest known captive individual lived 31 years. (Hancock, et al., 1992; Hill, 2001; Ricklefs, 2000)have approximately a 50% mortality rate. In general, colonies suffer from high mortality rates due to predation and lack of food. Although information on actual lifespan of is limited, data on its North American relative,
The range for (Hancock, et al., 1992)is varied and extensive, because of nomadic movements between nesting and foraging sites. Shifts occur between the interior wetlands of northern South America to coastal locations. More specifically, birds forage between the higher and lower llanos of South America. Nesting then takes place in northwestern Colombia and along the Atlantic coast and into Brazil where it nests along the northeastern coast.
Felidae) and birds of prey (order Falconiformes). Their best defense is the fact the stays together in large groups. That way, males can use their larger size to defend their young and their female mates. The large grouping is also useful because the birds produce warning calls to warn the others of danger. (Hancock, et al., 1992; "Scarlet Ibis", 2001)faces the greatest risk of predation by large cats (family
lives among many other wading birds. While it can live harmoniously with other species, it also defends its individual space very aggressively. Other birds often steal the eggs of , thus it must be protective of its territory. Because of its large colonial sizes (which can have anywhere from 20 to 600 nests, and sometimes even up to 2000 nests), contributes significantly to the energy flow of organisms in the environment in which it lives. In one wetland, it has been noted to be responsible for 10% of the energy flow through the community.
This species forages for food with many other types of wading birds, such as storks and spoonbills and specifically has been seen living with Brazilian wading ducks. One reason that the species may be mutualistic in sharing feeding areas is that if it allows for a great number of birds to feed communally at its site, then it has a better chance to hide from predators among all the other birds. Also, many wading birds together stir up the shallow water and disturb the prey so that they are easier to find and catch. (Hancock, et al., 1992)
The importance of the (Frederick, et al., 1990)dates back to the 16th century when Indian tribes would use the bright feathers for adornment and also eat the meat of the bird. meat and eggs are still used as food by humans and the feathers continue to be used as decorative objects by people both inside and outside of the Indian community.
The foraging technique that (Hancock, et al., 1992)uses sends it into many different environments to find its meals. Unfortunately, their foraging can lead the birds to beaches, gardens, yards, playing fields, golf courses, and even agricultural fields where it can disrupt the residential lives and activities of people. While no major economic downfalls or disturbances have been reported as a result of , many consider the large number of birds in these public areas to sometimes be a nuisance.
Many environmental and human threats exist for (Frederick, et al., 1990). Overhunting, the harvesting of eggs and the selling of young as pets in open-markets are just three of the things affecting population sizes of . Other crucial aspects threatening the species revolve around habitat loss. Nesting ground destruction and loss of foraging and feeding grounds are serious problems, along with heavy pollution in these now limited areas. Disturbance of breeding and foraging areas because of recreational activities, such as boating, is also a complication for colonies of . There are laws and regulations that have been issued to protect habitats and also gaurd the animal from hunting. However, in many areas, law enforcement is weak. In order to sustain the populations of , pollution must be controlled in their breeding and feeding areas and people living in rural areas should be education about the bird. They are protected by the US Migratory Bird Treaty Act and are listed as Appendix II by CITES.
Alaine Camfield (editor), Animal Diversity Web.
Katherine Phelps (author), University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, Phil Myers (editor), Museum of Zoology, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor.
living in the southern part of the New World. In other words, Central and South America.
uses sound to communicate
young are born in a relatively underdeveloped state; they are unable to feed or care for themselves or locomote independently for a period of time after birth/hatching. In birds, naked and helpless after hatching.
having body symmetry such that the animal can be divided in one plane into two mirror-image halves. Animals with bilateral symmetry have dorsal and ventral sides, as well as anterior and posterior ends. Synapomorphy of the Bilateria.
areas with salty water, usually in coastal marshes and estuaries.
an animal that mainly eats meat
uses smells or other chemicals to communicate
the nearshore aquatic habitats near a coast, or shoreline.
used loosely to describe any group of organisms living together or in close proximity to each other - for example nesting shorebirds that live in large colonies. More specifically refers to a group of organisms in which members act as specialized subunits (a continuous, modular society) - as in clonal organisms.
animals that use metabolically generated heat to regulate body temperature independently of ambient temperature. Endothermy is a synapomorphy of the Mammalia, although it may have arisen in a (now extinct) synapsid ancestor; the fossil record does not distinguish these possibilities. Convergent in birds.
A substance that provides both nutrients and energy to a living thing.
An animal that eats mainly insects or spiders.
offspring are produced in more than one group (litters, clutches, etc.) and across multiple seasons (or other periods hospitable to reproduction). Iteroparous animals must, by definition, survive over multiple seasons (or periodic condition changes).
marshes are wetland areas often dominated by grasses and reeds.
having the capacity to move from one place to another.
generally wanders from place to place, usually within a well-defined range.
reproduction in which eggs are released by the female; development of offspring occurs outside the mother's body.
having more than one female as a mate at one time
breeding is confined to a particular season
reproduction that includes combining the genetic contribution of two individuals, a male and a female
associates with others of its species; forms social groups.
a wetland area that may be permanently or intermittently covered in water, often dominated by woody vegetation.
uses touch to communicate
Living on the ground.
defends an area within the home range, occupied by a single animals or group of animals of the same species and held through overt defense, display, or advertisement
the region of the earth that surrounds the equator, from 23.5 degrees north to 23.5 degrees south.
uses sight to communicate
Microsoft Corporation. 2001. Ibis. Microsoft Encarta Encyclopedia.
Utah's Hogle Zoo. 2001. "Scarlet Ibis" (On-line). Accessed March 29, 2004 at http://www.xmission.com/~hoglezoo/animals/view.php?id=100.
Frederick, P., L. Morales, A. Spaans, C. Luthin. 1990. The Scarlet Ibis: Status, Conservation, and Recent Research. IWRB Special Publication, No. 11.
Hancock, J., J. Kushlan, M. Kahl. 1992. Storks, Ibises and Spoonbills of the World. San Diego, CA: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich.
Hill, K. 2001. "Smithsonian Marine Station" (On-line). Accessed March 24, 2004 at http://www.sms.si.edu/IRLSpec/Eudoc_albus.htm.
Olmos, F., R. Silva. 2001. Breeding Biology and Nest Site Characterisitcs of the Scarlet Ibis in Southeastern Brazil. Waterbirds, 24(1): 58-67.
Ricklefs, R. 2000. Intrinsic aging-related mortality in birds. Journal of Avian Biology, 31: 103-111.