The ecological role of Accipitridae vultures in terrestrial landscapes of Azerbaijan
T. Karimov, A. Matsyura
Scavengers can provide ecosystem services to people by removal of dead animals that could become sources of disease. From such point of view, it seems appropriate to evaluate these benefits in Azerbaijan in quantitative terms. To this end, in 2013, an extensive monitoring was organized in the Turyanchay Reserve, which covers six regions and neighboring territories (the total population here is 640 thousand people). A high level of animal mortality in the Turyanchay Reserve is supported by the concentration of 24 species of wild mammals and 700 thousand domestic animals in the surrounding environment. The difficult terrain area is another factor leading to the death of animals. Animals grazing on hillsides often break down and die. The bodies of domestic and wild animals killed by wolves also often remain lying on this territory. In addition, vehicles traveling along the Agdash-Gabala highway cause the death of many domestic and wild animals. During the two months of the study (from June to July), 62 dead animals were found. Ten kinds of diseases were identified in 38 undecomposed bodies of these animals. Scavengers eat animal bodies in one-three days (without bones), preventing them from becoming a source of infection. The role of necrophages in minimizing of epizootic cases and improving sanitary conditions is important for ecosystems, because the blood of most animals is a carrier of diseases and most of the parasites present in it are common to both humans and animals. Scavengers can be used by veterinary organizations as indicators to simplify the identification of animal bodies and the subsequent disposal of their remains.
Keywords: ecosystems; scavenger birds; animal corpses; disease; indicators; Azerbaijan
Beasley, J. C., Olson, Z. H., De Vault TL. (2015). Ecological role of vertebrate scavengers. In: Benbow M E, Tomberlin JK, Tarone AM. (Eds.). Carrion ecology, evolution and their applications (pp. 107–127). Boca Raton, Fl: CRC Press.
Borisov, B. A., Moroz, B. V. (2003). Clinic, diagnosis and toxoplasmosis. Moscow, Russia, Kolos (In Russian).
Cross, M. L., Buddle, B. M., Aldwell, F. E. (2007). The potential of oral vaccines for disease control in wildlife species. Vet J. 174, 472-480.
Frolich, K. (2002). A review of mutual transmission of important infectious diseases between livestock and wildlife in Europe. Annals the New York Academy of Sciences, 969(1), 4-13.
Grass, J. E., Gould, L. H., Mahon, B. E. (2013). Epidemiology of food borne disease outbreaks caused by Clostridium perfringens, United States, 1998-2010. Foodborne Pathog. Dis, 10, 131–136. Grilli, M. G., Bildstein, K. L., Lambertucci, A. L. (2019). Nature's clean-up crew: Quantifying ecosystem services offered by a migratory avian scavenger on a continental scale. Ecosystem Services 39 (October):100990. DOI: 10.1016/j.ecoser.2019.100990 Inger, R., Per, E., Cox, D. T., Gaston, K. J. (2016). Key role in ecosystem functioning of scavengers reliant on a single common species. Scientific Reports, 6, 29641.
Karimov, A. M. (2001). Diagnosis of liver echinococcosis. Synopsis of thesis. Dushanbe, Tadjikstan, 2001, 26 (In Russian). Karimov, T. A. (2011). About the roles of scavengers as nature’s orderlies. Materials of the conference on veterinary medicine and food security, problems and perspectives. Materials of international conference. Nakhchivan. 23-24 October: 58-61 (in Azerbaijani). Margalida A, Donázar JA, Carrete M, Sánchez‐Zapata JA. 2010. Sanitary versus environmental policies: Fitting together two pieces of the puzzle of European vulture conservation. Journal of Applied Ecology, 47, 931–935. Markandya, A., Taylor, T., longo, A., Murty, M. N., Murty, S, et al. (2008). Counting the cost of vulture decline an appraisal of the human health and other benefits of vultures in India. Ecological Economics, 67, 194–204. Morales, R. Z., Pérez‐Garćia, J. M., Moleón, M., Botella, F., Carrete, M, et al. (2015). Supplanting ecosystem services provided by scavengers raises greenhouse gas emissions. Scientific Reports, 5, 7811. Mundy, P., Butchart, D., Ledger, J., Piper, S. (1992). The vultures of Africa. London, UK: Academic Press.
Peisley, R. K., Saunders, M. E., Robinson, W. A., Luck, G. W. (2017). The role of avian scavengers in the breakdown of corpses in pastoral landscapes. J. Emu, 117(1), 68-77. DOI: 10.1080/01584197. 2016.1271990
Roggenbuck, M., Bærholm, I., Blom, N., Bælum, J., Bertelsen, M. (2014). The microbiome of New World vultures. Nature Communications, 5(1), 5498. DOI: 10.1038/ncomms6498 Schlacher, T. A., Weston, M. A., Schoeman, D. S., Olds, A. D., Huijbers, C. M, et al. (2015). Golden opportunities: A horizon scan to expand sandy beach ecology. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science, 157, 1–6. Van Immerseel, F., De. Buck, J., Pasmans, F., Huyghebaert, G., Haesebrouck, F, et al. (2004). Clostridium perfringens in poultry: an emerging threat for animal and public health. Avian Pathol, 33, 537–549. Wilson, E. E., Wolkovich, E. (2011). Scavenging: How carnivores and carrion structure communities. Trends in Ecology and Evolution, 26, 129–135.
Zharov, A. V., Ivanov, I. V., Strelnikov, A. P. (2000). Autopsy and pathological diagnosis of animal diseases. Moscow (In Russian).