Red-legged Seriemas (Cariama cristata) and Black-legged Seriemas (Chunga burmeisteri) are two exclusively South American species that inhabit open and sparsely forested areas. Seriemas have been recently included with the raptors based on ecological and evolutionary evidence. Viewing seriemas as raptors is nontraditional and might be controversial. Therefore, further information regarding the evolution, taxonomy, morphology, and ecology of these birds will clarify the validity of their consideration as raptors. Here we present a review of the published information on seriemas, and discuss future research for these newly adopted raptors. To conduct our review, we developed a systematic map and searched all databases available within Clarivate Analytics' Web of Science, performed a keyword search of Google Scholar, and included the corresponding bibliographies from the Birds of the World website. We reviewed 98 studies, and found that the Red-legged Seriema was the subject of more studies than the Black-legged Seriema. Overall, Brazil and Argentina were the site of most studies. The majority of studies examined physiology (48), followed by behavior (37), threats to the survival of these species (36), and demography (27), while smaller numbers of studies examined stressors (e.g., habitat changes, causes of mortality and injury such as predation, hunting, etc.) (20), and conservation actions (10). Patterns of study categorizations were similar for both species, and the distribution of studies across months was also fairly even for both species. This is the first study to systematically review and assess the published information on seriemas. Our results show the topics and locations on which past studies have focused, and highlight potentially fruitful avenues for future research. Although threats to seriemas have been identified, these have not been thoroughly assessed; thus, their extent and effects on seriema populations were difficult to ascertain. Future research should focus on testing existing hypotheses regarding seriema feeding, vocalization, social, and territorial behaviors, while documenting natural history. Researchers should build on past investigations while establishing programs to monitor the conservation status of seriemas across their ranges.
Scoping reviews, in which the literature on a given topic is systematically collated and summarized, aid literature searches and highlight knowledge gaps on a given topic, thus hastening scientific progress and informing conservation efforts. Because much research and conservation is targeted at the species level, ornithology and bird conservation would benefit from scoping reviews of individual species. We present and apply a framework for scoping reviews for three disparate raptor species: California Condor Gymnogyps californianus, Harpy Eagle Harpia harpyja and Gyrfalcon Falco rusticolus. We consulted expert panels to develop appropriate search strings and lists of essential literature, i.e. ‘benchmark articles’. We searched Web of Science, Scopus and Google Scholar. Searches for California Condor, Harpy Eagle and Gyrfalcon returned 268, 138 and 343 articles, respectively, that discuss, review or collect empirical data for the focal species. Our searches returned all benchmark articles identified by species experts, indicating that the searches captured the most important work on each species. We coded each study according to the topic addressed, country and month in which data were collected. We also coded threats, stresses and conservation actions addressed by studies, following definitions used by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) during Red List assessments. Literature summaries for each species include the number of studies addressing certain topics, monthly timing of research and global maps of research focus. Our coding scheme revealed important knowledge gaps for each species. Effects of conservation actions on wild individuals were less studied for California Condors. Harpy Eagles were less studied outside of Brazil and Panama, and Gyrfalcons were less studied outside of their breeding season. Scoping reviews of the world's bird species would help to identify critical knowledge gaps, thereby aiding the global effort to assuage the sixth mass extinction.
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