The Black-faced Spoonbill (Platalea minor) is a critically endangered species. Over 50% of individuals winter regularly in Chiku Wetland on the southwestern coast of Taiwan. This study investigated the stomach contents of the Black-faced Spoonbills killed by avian botulism between December 2002 and January 2003 to identify diet of this species at the wintering site. Fourteen fish species belonging to eight families and one species of prawn were retrieved from 43 stomachs. The Shannon-Weiner index for the diet was 1.90. Estimated mean total dry weight of contents per stomach containing animal items was 23.3 g (0.1-111.7 g). Dogtooth-toxic Goby (Yongeichthys caninus) was the most abundant diet species comprising 39% of the total diet items but contributed only 2% of the estimated total dry weight. Large-scale Mullet (Liza macrolepis), comprising only 17% of the total diet items but contributed 54% of the estimated total dry weight, was the most important diet species. Our results suggest that conservation of the Large-scale Mullet in the habitats is important to this endangered wader.
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Vol. 29 • No. 2