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Defensive strategies are unique features of animals with aid of which they guard themselves against predators or any other potential risks. Birds among the animal kingdom display the most varied forms of antipredatory or defense approaches such as antipredatory adaptations namely, camouflage, acoustic communication, distraction displays, vigilance, communal defense, defensive regurgitation, aggression and escape behaviour. Ground nesting birds of Charadriidae family dwell in open areas which makes them and their young ones reasonably prone to predation. Therefore, Charadriids particularly, plovers and lapwings have evolved remarkable defensive antipredatory adaptations. In the present review, the diverse protective strategies of Charadriids such as camouflage, distraction displays, aggressive (mobbing) responses and flight or escape behaviour have been discussed. The article aims to elucidate the antipredatory behaviours observed in birds of Charadriidae family and highlight the various facets of defense which contribute to the survival and breeding success in these birds and animals associated with them. Finally, the significance of exhaustive studies to explore the detailed antipredatory mechanisms in plovers and lapwings has also been underscored so that one can fully understand the role of defense strategies in improving the survival rates as well as fitness costs of these birds.
Proceedings of the Zoological Society – Springer Journals
Published: Dec 1, 2022
Keywords: Charadriids; Defense; Camouflage; Distraction displays; Aggression; Mobbing; Alarm calls; Escape behavior; Flight initiation; Survival
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