metabarcoding has emerged as an alternative for obtaining highly resolved data on diet
composition. In this study we use a combination of both techniques to characterize the breadth
and composition of the reintroduced macaws’ diet.
direct field observations and metabarcoding of feces as techniques to assess diet composition.
Individuals fed on a variety of plant species (n = 49) belonging to a broad phylogenetic spectrum
(28 families). Dietary richness estimated by direct observation and metabarcoding was similar,
species not recorded by the other method.
for observational data, the rate of species-detection per sampling day was higher for
obtain the most accurate account of the total diversity of the diet of a species. The ability of the
reintroduced macaws to successfully exploit local food resources throughout the year indicates a
good level of adjustment to the release site, an important step towards the creation of a stable,
self-sustaining population of -and- in Northern Argentina.
Keywords: Ara chloropterus, Conservation, Diet, Frugivory, Metabarcoding, -and-green
Macaw, Reintroduction, Trophic ecology