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Revista Brasileira de Ornitologia 26(3): 210–213. SHORT-COMMUNIC ARA TICLE TION September 2018 The A zure Jay Cyanocorax caeruleus (Aves: Corvidae) in Paraguay, with restriction of the type locality 1 2,3,8 4 5 6,7 Nazario Argentini , Paul Smith , Oscar Rodríguez , Hugo del Castillo & Sergio D. Ríos Capitán Ibañez 684. Campo Grande, Luque, Paraguay. Para La Tierra, Centro IDEAL, Mariscal Estigarribia 321 c/ Tte. Capurro, Pilar, Dpto. Ñeembucú, Paraguay. FAUNA Paraguay, Encarnación, Dpto. Itapúa, Paraguay. Desarrollo Turístico Paraguayo (DTP) SRL, Asunción, Paraguay. Asociación Guyra Paraguay, Parque Ecológico Capital Verde, Av. Carlos Bóveda CC 1719, Asunción, Paraguay. Departamento de Arqueología y Paleontología, Secretaría Nacional de Cultura, Asunción, Paraguay. Museo Nacional de Historia Natural del Paraguay, Sucursal 1 Campus, Central XI, San Lorenzo, Paraguay. Corresponding author: email@example.com Received on 15 January 2018. Accepted on 29 June 2018. ABSTRACT: Cyanocorax caeruleus (Vieillot, 1818) is based on the description by Azara of number 55 Urraca Celeste and has traditionally been ascribed the type locality “Paraguay”. However, Azara based his description on captive birds and a lack of reliable records from the country meant that it was recently eliminated from the official country avifaunal list. Here we provide a discussion of previous reports of the species in Paraguay to vindicate that decision. We also provide the first documented re cords of the species from Paraguay from the same general area that Azara described as its distribution, thereby reaffirming the accuracy of that work. We also suggest a restricted type locality of “Itapúa department, Paraguay at 27°S latitude” for the species which more accurately reflects these results. KEY-WORDS: Cyanocorax cyanomelas, distribution, occurrence, Purplish Jay, type locality. The Azure Jay Cyanocorax caeruleus (Vieillot, 1818), Historical reports is a “Near Threatened” Atlantic Forest endemic corvid with recent records from southeastern Brazil Vieillot (1818) described Pica caeruleus based on Azara's (Paraná, Rio Grande do Sul, Santa Catarina, and São (1802) number 55 Urraca Celeste (Volume 1, p. 259). Paulo states), extreme northeastern Uruguay (Cerro Azara's description of the bird clearly refers to this species, Largo) and northeastern Argentina. In Argentina it being distinguished adequately from the number 54 it is mainly found in the northeast of Misiones Urraca Morada or Purplish Jay Cyanocorax cyanomelas. province around San Antonio and San Pedro with a In his introduction to the family Azara stated that Azure possible subpopulation along the Arroyo Martires to Jay only occurs around 27 S latitude, corresponding to Concepción de la Sierra, and occurs marginally into the extreme south of modern day Paraguay including the Corrientes province. Published references to Formosa southern portions of Itapúa, Misiones and Ñeembucú and Chaco provinces are misidentifications (Anjos departments. Based on what is known of the ecological et al. 2009, M. Pearman, pers. comm.). Although requirements of the species it would seem that the Atlantic the type locality of the species is Paraguay (Vieillot Forest habitat of Itapúa department is most conducive to 1818), and the species is frequently listed in the the species, with the Humid Chaco, marshes and flooded Paraguayan avifauna (Goodwin 1986, Madge & grasslands of Ñeembucú unlikely to have ever harboured Burn 1994, Anjos et al. 2009), the lack of confirmed populations. The historical distribution of the species can records meant that it was recently downgraded to of thus at best be presumed to have been very restricted in “possible” occurrence in Paraguay (del Castillo 2013). Paraguay, but given the inaccuracies of geolocation at that However, del Castillo (2013) did not discuss the time this should be taken as approximate. Unfortunately, reasons for taking those measures. Here we elucidate in the species account of number 55 Urraca Celeste, the case for its removal from the list and document Azara describes a captive bird, and does not specifically the first confirmed record of the species in Paraguay state where it was obtained from – it should also be to reinstate the species to the country list. remembered that in Azara's time Paraguayan territory Revista Brasileira de Ornitologia 26(3): 2018 Azure Jay in Paraguay and type locality Argentini et al. o o Foster at Sapucái (25 40'04''S; 56 57'20''W), Paraguarí department, but Hayes (1995) examined this specimen in the USNM and found it to be a C. cyanomelas. This specimen was also cited by von Ihering (1904) as his basis for including the species in the Paraguayan avifauna. Other specimens collected by Foster at the same locality during 1902 to 1904 and sent to the Natural History Museum, London, were identified as C. caeruleus by Chubb (1910), but Hayes (1995) confirmed t hat there are no Paraguayan specimens of Azure Jay in that museum. Grant (1911) then listed specimens from Humaitá o o (27 04'12''S; 58 30'08''W), Ñeembucú department (28 August 1909) and Curuzu Chica (= Antequera, o o 24 05'05''S; 57 11'50''W), San Pedro department (7 November 1909) describing it as “commonly observed north of Corrientes”. Again the habitat where these specimens were collected and the inference of abundance strongly indicates that they are C. cyanomelas as Hayes (1995) surmised. Bertoni (1914, 1939) listed the species in both editions of his Catálogos, but only in the second edition did he provide a locality of “southwest Paraguay”, in reference to the Pilcomayo region and thus surely derived from Kerr (1892, 1901). Bertoni never claimed the species from the Atlantic Forests of Alto Paraná department where he resided for several decades, despite this being Figure 1. Adult Azure Jay Cyanocorax caeruleus, Puerto geographically and ecologically closer to the known range Hohenau, 07 January 2018 (A). Photo author: N. Argentini. and requirements of the species. Other authors also listed Presumably the same individual in flight, Puerto Hohenau, 09 January 2018 (B). Photo author: S.D. Ríos. was larger, incorporating much of the now Argentine Misiones province. Berlepsch (1887) and Bertoni (1901) cited Azara as the basis for their inclusion of the species in the Paraguayan avifauna. In much of the early literature there was a clear confusion between this species and Purplish Jay C. cyanomelas. Salvadori (1895) notes specimens of “C. caeruleus” from the Río Apa, area of northern Concepción department and Kerr (1892) reported the species as “very common” along the Pilcomayo River in Presidente Hayes department, citing a now lost specimen collected at Fortín o o Page (24 47'S; 58 45'W) (10 September 1890). Similarly, Kerr (1901) described the species as “nearly as numerous as C. chrysops” at Villa Concepción (23 24'09''S; 57 26'29''W), Concepción department and flocks of “seven or eight” individuals on 15 and 21 January 1897 at Waikthlatingmayalwa (= Misión Inglesa, 23 26'60''S; 58 13'60''W), Presidente Hayes department. However, the palm savannas and gallery forests that typify the Humid Chaco region explored by Kerr are completely different to the habitat preferred by the Azure Jay, and C. cyanomelas is common there to this day. Figure 2. Puerto Hohenau, Itapúa department (27 08'S; 55 34'W), locality at which the species was observed in Oberholser (1902) reported an undated specimen Paraguay. of C. heckelii (= C. caeruleus) collected by William Revista Brasileira de Ornitologia 26(3): 2018 Azure Jay in Paraguay and type locality Argentini et al. the species for Paraguay (Laubmann 1940, Schmidt 1948, the Paraguay record. He stated that the species was de Schauensee 1970, Dunning 1982, Contreras et al. previously regular at that locality, but has declined over 1990) but none provided any new information to justify the last decade, with very few individuals now being the inclusion of C. caeruleus in the Paraguayan avifauna. observed and typically in association with Plush-crested The statement in Schade & Masi-Pallarés (1971) that the Jay. The causes of the decline are unknown. species is “very rare” was probably a reflection of the lack Given the noisy and conspicuous nature of this of information available rather than being based on actual species and the landowner›s unfamiliarity with the reports. species, it would seem sufficient to raise questions about a Two more contemporary reports, albeit lacking permanent population at this locality. However, it should documentation and exact localities, are by Contreras et al. be noted that this record is from the same area described (1989) from Lago Ypoá, Paraguarí department without by Azara as the historical species range, and searches for details and two birds seen west of Ciudad del Este, the species in the surrounding area may provide further Canindeyú department during August 1977 (Ridgely data about the status of the species in Paraguay. & Tudor 1989). Del Castillo et al. (2004, 2005) treated the species as pending documentation on the basis of the Restriction of type locality Ridgely sight record, but it was subsequently retracted by the observer (del Castillo 2013). At this point there According to Article 76.1 (ICZN 1999) “the type locality existed no documented report of the species in Paraguay, of a nominal species-group taxon is the geographical no details to support the correct identification of any of (and, where relevant, stratigraphical) place of capture, the published claims (except that of Azara) and no records collection or observation of the name-bearing type”. from the area which Azara (1802) had stated that the In summary it acts to fix a scientific name to a defined species was restricted to. This led to del Castillo (2013) geographical population so that it can be retained in downgrading the species from “pending documentation” the event of future taxonomic changes. Typically this to “of possible occurrence”, in accordance with Hayes accompanies the type specimen, but in the case of this (1995). species the “type” is Azara's (1802) description. The formal s cientific description of Vieillot (1818) New record was derived entirely from Azara's (1802) description, and the type locality of “Paraguay” was allocated by proxy The first confirmed Paraguayan recor d of C. caeruleus is of it being the country in which Azara resided. In fact, an individual photographed by N.A. at Puerto Hohenau, Azara provided more detailed information about the o o Itapúa department (27 08'S; 55 34'W) on 05 January distribution of the species in Paraguay in the introduction 2018 around 7:00 h and it was subsequently observed by to the family, stating that the species occurred “around all the authors on 09 January 2018 at the same locality 27 S latitude”. around 8:20 h. The bir d was in the company of a small In the time of Azara Paraguayan territory was flock of P lush-crested Jay Cyanocorax chrysops, being considerably greater, including much of what is today initially shy and less vocal than its group mates. Only Misiones and Formosa provinces in Argentina, the land upon squeaking did it become agitated, at that point being ceded to Argentina as part of the reparations separating from the rest of the flock and calling loudly for the loss of the Triple Alliance War (1864–1870). so that recordings of the call could be made by O.R. Consequently, it is no longer clear whether the type (Rodriguez 2018 as XC 399021 and XC 399022). The locality of “Paraguay” provided by Vieillot even refers bird was still present on 31 March 2018 when it was seen to Paraguay at all as currently understood. We consider by Sofía, Matthew and Rob Clay. that restriction of the type locality is desirable under The presence of a single bird rather than a flock ICZN Article 76A.2 (ICZN 1999). Article 76A.1.4. and the location of the observation on the banks of the states that “as a last resort, and without prejudice to Paraná River opposite Misiones, Argentina, are perhaps other clarification, localities within the known range of suggestive of a vagrant individual rather than a permanent the taxon or from which specimens referred to the taxon population, and the owners of the property where the bird had been taken” can be assigned as type locality. Given was observed, who have resided at the property for three this new and reliable distributional data, we recommend decades, said that the bird had arrived some 6 months that the type locality of this species be restricted previous and had been there ever since (A. Brouwer, pers. to “Itapúa department, Paraguay at 27 S latitude”, comm.). The Paraná River is particularly narrow at this thereby maintaining the link with Azara›s original text, point (approximately 1.1 km wide) and E. Krauczuk (in incorporating the only confirmed data about the species litt.) notes that a small population of Azure Jay is present in Paraguay and negating the need for declaration of a at Gobernador Roca, Misiones province, Argentina neotype or more radical changes. o o (27 11'S; 55 28'W), approximately 15 km distant from We highlight also the existence of syntypes in the Revista Brasileira de Ornitologia 26(3): 2018 Azure Jay in Paraguay and type locality Argentini et al. Paraguarí (Paraguay). Informes Científicos del Instituto de Ciencias National Museum of Natural History, Leiden (RMNH Básicas 6: 35–53. 100787, 100788) (Dekker & Quaiser 2006) and in the Contreras J.R., González-Romero N. & Berry L.M. 1990. Lista Museum d›Histoire Naturelle de Paris (CG 2011-572, preliminar de la avifauna de la República del Paraguay. Cuadernos 2011-573) (Voisin & Voisin 2016) but consider that Técnicos Félix de Azara 2: 1–42. choosing a lectotype from these specimens unnecessarily Chubb C. 1910. On the birds of Paraguay-part IV. Ibis 52: 571–647. de Schauensee R.M. 1970. A guide to the birds of South America. breaks the historical link with Azara and note that none of Philadelphia: Academy of Natural Sciences. these specimens is accompanied with precise locality data. Dekker R.W.R.J & Quaisser C. 2006. Type specimens of birds in the Voisin & Voisin (2016) suggest that Vieillot may have National Museum of Natural History, Leiden-part 3. Passerines: examined the specimens included in their work justifying Pachycephalidae – Corvidae (Peters's sequence). Nationaal Natuurhistorisch Museum Technical Bulletin 9: 1–77. this with the statement that “Vieillot referred to the del Castillo H. 2013. Actualización de la lista comentada de las aves work of Azara (1809), cited a part of Azara's description del Paraguay. Paraquaria Natural 1: 6–9. and added a plumage description by himself ”. However del Castillo H. & Clay R.P. 2004. Lista comentada de las aves de this is a misunderstanding, as the original Azara (1802) Paraguay. Asunción: Guyra Paraguay. del Castillo H., Clay R.P. & Egea J. 2005. Atlas de las aves de Paraguay. description contains all of the information subsequently Asunción: Guyra Paraguay. repeated by Vieillot (1818) and in fact uses identical Dunning J.S. 1982. South American land birds: a photographic aid to adjectives to describe the plumage. identification. Pennsylvania: Harrowood Books. Goodwin D. 1986. Crows of the world. London: British Museum of ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS Natural History. Grant C.H.B. 1911. List of birds collected in Argentina, Paraguay, Bolivia and southern Brazil with field notes. Ibis 53: 80–137. We are extremely grateful to Jean Beckers and Annemie Hayes F.E. 1995. Status, distribution and biogeography of the birds of Brouwers who own the property where the bird Paraguay. New York: American Birding Association. was documented and the Club de Observadores de la ICZN (International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature). 1999. International code of zoological nomenclature. London: The Naturaleza (CON) for bringing it to our attention. International Trust for Zoological Nomenclature. Mark Pearman and Ernesto Krauczuk provided valuable Kerr J.G. 1892. On the avifauna of the lower Pilcomayo. Ibis 34: and detailed information about the distribution of the 120–152. species in Argentina. Juan Pablo Culasso assisted with Kerr J.G. 1901. On the birds observed during a second zoological the processing of the recordings. The authors would a lso expedition to the Gran Chaco. Ibis 43: 215–236. Laubmann A. 1940. Die vögel von Paraguay, v. 2. 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Ornithology Research – Springer Journals
Published: Sep 1, 2018
Keywords: Cyanocorax cyanomelas; distribution; occurrence; Purplish Jay; type locality
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