Indexed on: 28 Apr '18Published on: 28 Apr '18Published in: Ecology
Colombia is the country with the highest bird diversity in the world. Despite active research in ornithology, compelling morphological information of most bird species is still sparse. However, morphological information is the baseline to understand how species respond to environmental variation and how ecosystems respond to species loss. As part of a national initiative, the Instituto Alexander von Humboldt in collaboration with twelve Colombian institutions and seven biological collections, measured up to 15 morphological traits of 9892 individuals corresponding to 606 species: 3492 from individuals captured in field and 6400 from museum specimens. Species measured are mainly distributed in high Andean forest, páramo, and wetland ecosystems. Overall, seven ornithological collections in Colombia and 18 páramo complexes throughout Colombia were visited from 2013 to 2015. The morphological traits involved measurements from bill (total and exposed culmen, bill width and depth), wing (length, area, wingspan and the distance between longest primary and longest secondary), tail (length and shape), tarsus (length), hallux (length and claw hallux) and weight. The number of measured specimens per species was variable, ranging from 1 to 321 individuals with a median of 4 individuals per species. Overall, this database gathered morphological information for more than 30% of Colombian bird diversity. No copyright, proprietary, or cost restrictions apply; the data should be cited appropriately when used. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.