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Arjun Amar

Arjun Amar


I am an avian conservation biologist, with a focus on raptor conservation. My PhD, from Aberdeen University, examined the causes of the hen harrier decline on Orkney, revealing that a shortage of prey caused by over grazing was the most likely cause of this population's decline. I have worked for the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust, Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, US- Fish & Wildlife Service on the Pacific Island of Rota, and as a Senior Conservation Scientist for the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds. I am presently a Senior Lecturer at the Percy FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology of the University of Cape Town.

Percy FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology
University of Cape Town  
Rondebosch 7701,    South Africa
Phone: +27-21-6503304 Fax: +27-21-6503295
Email: arjun.amar@uct.ac.za

   Research Interests

See publications list.

Species of Interest: 
  • Gypaetus barbatus
  • Accipiter melanoleucus
  • Red Kite
  • Eurasian Sparrowhawk
  • Hen Harrier
  • Montagu's Harrier
  • White-tailed Sea Eagle
  • Augur Buzzard


Kruger, S. and A. Amar. 2017. Insights into post-fledging dispersal of Bearded Vultures Gypaetus barbatus in southern Africa from GPS satellite telemetry. Bird Study, DOI: 10.1080/00063657.2017.1295019       pdf

Tate, G., P. Sumasgutner, A. Koeslag, and A. Amar. 2017. Pair complementarity influences reproductive output in the polymorphic Black Sparrowhawk Accipiter melanoleucus. Journal of Avian Biology 48:387-398       pdf

van Eeden, R., D.P. Whitfield, A. Botha, and A. Amar. 2017. Ranging behaviour and habitat preferences of the Martial Eagle: implications for the conservation of a declining apex predator. PLoS ONE 12(3):e0173956.       pdf

van Velden, J.L., A. Koeslag, O. Curtis, T. Gous, and A. Amar. 2017. Negative effect of mite (Knemidokoptes) infection on reproductive output in an African raptor. Auk 134(2):498-508.       pdf

Sumasgutner, P., J. Millán, O. Curtis, A. Koelsag and A. Amar. 2016. Is multiple nest building an adequate strategy to cope with inter-species nest usurpation? BMC Evolutionary Biology 16:97 DOI 10.1186/s12862-016-0671-7       pdf

Murgatroyd, M., L.G. Underhill, W. Bouten, and A. Amar. 2016. Ranging behaviour of Verreaux's Eagles during the pre-breeding period determined through the use of high temporal resolution tracking. PLoS ONE 11(10):e0163378       pdf

Murgatroyd, M., L.G. Underhill, L. Rodrigues, and A. Amar. 2016. The influence of agricultural transformation on the breeding performance of a top predator: Verreaux's Eagles in contrasting land use areas. Condor 118:238-252.       pdf

Leighton, G.R.M., P.S. Hugo, A. Roulin, and A. Amar. 2016. Just Google it: assessing the use of Google Images to describe geographical variation in visible traits of organisms. Methods in Ecology and Evolution DOI: 10.1111/2041-210X.12562       pdf

Sumasgutner, P., G.J. Tate, A. Koeslag, and A. Amar. 2016. Seasonal patterns in space use of Black Sparrowhawks Accipiter melanoleucus in an urban environment. Bird Study doi/10.1080/00063657.2016.1214814       pdf

Sumasgutner, P., G.J. Tate, A. Koeslag, and A. Amar. 2016. Family morph patters: factors determining survival and recruitment in a long-lived polymorphic raptor. Journal of Animal Ecology doi: 10.1111/1365-2656.12518       pdf

Suri, J., P. Sumasgutner, E. Hellard, A. Koeslag, and A. Amar. 2016. Stability in prey abundance may buffer Black Sparrowhawks Accipiter melanoleucus from health impacts of urbanization. Ibis 159:38-54.       pdf

Tate, G.J., J.M. Bishop, and A. Amar. 2016. Differential foraging success across a light level spectrum explains the maintenance and spatial structure of colour morphs in a polymorphic bird. Ecology Letters doi: 10.1111/ele.12606       pdf

Atkins, A., S.M. Redpath, R.M. Little, and A. Amar. 2016. Experimentally manipulation the landscape of fear to manage problem animals. The Journal of Wildlife Management DOI: 10.1002/jwmg.21227.       pdf

Garcia-Heras, M.-S., B. Arroyo, F. Mougeot, A. Amar, and R.E. Simmons. 2016. Does timing of breeding matter less where the grass is greener? Seasonal declines in breeding performance differ between regions in an endangered endemic raptor. Nature Conservation 15:23-45.       pdf

Reid, T., S. Kruger, D.P. Whitfield, and A. Amar. 2015. Using spatial analyses of Bearded Vulture movements in southern Africa to inform wind turbine placement. Journal of Applied Ecology doi: 10.1111/1365-2664.12468.       pdf

Reid, T., S. Kruger, D.P. Whitfield, and A. Amar. 2015. Using spatial analyses of bearded vulture movements in southern Africa in to inform wind turbine placement. Journal of Applied Ecology 52(4):881-892.       pdf

Kruger, S.C., R.E. Simmons, and A. Amar. 2015. Anthropogenic activities influence the abandonment of Bearded Vulture (Gypaetus barbatus) territories in southern Africa. Condor 117(1):94-107.       pdf

Katzenberger, J., G. Tate, A. Koeslag, and A. Amar. 2015. Black Sparrowhawk brooding behaviour in relation to chick age and weather variation in the recently colonised Cape Peninsula, South Africa. Journal of Ornithology 156(4):903-913.       pdf

Arroyo, B., F. Leckie, A. Amar, A. McCluskie, and S. Redpath. 2014. Ranging behaviour of Hen Harriers breeding in Special Protection Areas in Scotland. Bird Study 61(1):48-55       pdf

Martin, R.O., L. Sebele, A. Koeslag, O. Curtis, F. Abadi, and A. Amar. 2014. Phenological shifts assist colonisation of a novel environment in a range-expanding raptor. Oikos 123:1457-1468.       pdf

Martin, R.O., A. Koeslag, O. Curtis, and A. Amar. 2014. Fidelity at the frontier: divorce and dispersal in a newly colonized raptor population. Animal Behaviour 93:59-68.       pdf

Kruger, S., T. Reid, and A. Amar. 2014. Differential range use between age classes of southern African Bearded Vultures Gypaetus barbatus. PLoS ONE 9(12): e114920.       pdf

Kruger, S.C., D.G. Allan, A.R. Jenkins, and A. Amar. 2014. Trends in territory occupancy, distribution and density of the Bearded Vulture Gypaetus barbatus meridionalis in southern Africa. Bird Conservation International 24:162-177.       pdf

Lei, B., A. Amar, A. Koeslag, T.A. Gous, and G.J. Tate. 2013. Differential Haemoparasite intensity between Black Sparrowhawk (Accipiter melanoleucous) morphs suggests and adaptive function for polymorphism. PLoS ONE 8(12): e81607.       pdf

Amar, A., A. Koeslag, and O. Curtis. 2012. Plumage polymorphism in a newly colonized Black Sparrowhawk population: classification, temporal stability and inheritance patterns. Journal of Zoology. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-7998.2012.00963.x       pdf

Tate, G., and A. Amar. 2012. Possessed: Black Sparrowhawk and Egyptian Geese vie for nest sites. Africa -- Birds & Birding 17:12-13.

Amar, A., I.R. Court, M. Davison. S. Downing, T. Grimshaw, and T. Pickford. 2011. Linking nest histories, remotely sensed land use data and wildlife crime records to explore the impact of grouse moor management on Peregrine Falcon populations. Biological Conservation doi: 10.1016/j.biocon.2011.10.014.       pdf

Amar, A., Davies, J., Meek, E., Williams, J., Knight, A. & Redpath, S. 2011. Long term impact of changes in sheep Ovis aries densities on the breeding output of the Hen Harrier Circus cyaneus. Journal of Applied Ecology 48:220-227.       pdf

Amar, A., S. Redpath, I. Sim, and G. Buchanan. 2010. Spatial and temporal associations between recovering populations of Common Raven Corvus corax and British upland wader populations. Journal of Applied Ecology 47:253-262.       pdf

Redpath, S., A. Amar, A Smith, D. Thompson, and S. Thirgood. 2010. People and nature in conflict: can we reconcile raptor conservation and game management? In J. Baxter and C.A. Galbraith (eds.), Species management: challenges and solutions for the 21st Century. The Stationery Office, Edinburgh, Scotland.       pdf

Smart, J., A. Amar, I.M.W. Sim, B. Etheridge, D. Cameron, G. Christie, and J.D. Wilson. 2010. Illegal killing slows population recovery of a re-introduced raptor of high conservation concern - the Red Kite Milvus milvus. Biological Conservation 143:1278-1286.       pdf

Arroyo, B., A. Amar, F. Leckie, G. Buchanan, J. Wilson, and S. Redpath. 2009. Hunting habitat selection by Hen Harriers on moorland: implications for conservation and conflict resolution. Biological Conservation 142:586-596.       pdf

Evans, R.J., J.D. Wilson, A. Amar, A., A. Douse, A. Maclennan, N. Ratcliffe, and D.P. Whitfield. 2009. Growth and demography of a re-introduced population of White-tailed Eagles Haliaeetus albicilla. Ibis 151:244-254.       pdf

Thompson, P., A. Amar, D.G. Hoccom, J. Knott, and J.D. Wilson. 2009. Resolving the conflict between driven-grouse shooting and conservation of Hen Harriers. Journal of Applied Ecology 46:950-954.       pdf

Amar, A., B.E. Arroyo, E. Meek, S. Redpath, and H. Riley. 2008. Influence of habitat on occupancy and breeding performance of Hen Harriers in a declining population. Ibis 150:400-404.       pdf

Amar, A., S. Thirgood, S. Redpath, and J. Pearce-Higgins. 2008. The impact of raptors on the abundance of upland passerines and waders? Oikos 117: 1143-1152.       pdf

Gibbons, D.W., A. Amar, G.O.A. Anderson, M. Bolton, R.B. Bradbury, M.A. Eaton, A.D. Evans, M.C. Grant, R.D. Gregory, G.M. Hilton, G.J.M. Hirons, J. Hughes, J. Johnstone, P. Newberry, W.J. Peach, N. Ratcliffe, K.W. Smith, R.W. Summers, P. Walton, and J.D. Wilson. 2007. The predation of wild birds in the UK: a review of its conservation impact and management. Royal Society for the Protection of Birds Report 23:1-55.       pdf

Redpath, S., F. Leckie, B. Arroyo, A. Amar, and S. Thirgood. 2006. Compensating for the costs of polygyny in Hen Harriers Circus cyaneus. Behavioural Ecology and Sociobiology 60:386-391.       pdf

Amar, A., N. Picozzi, E.R. Meek, X. Lambin, and S.M. Redpath. 2005. Decline of the Orkney Hen Harrier Circus cyaneus population: do changes to demographic parameters and mating system fit a declining food hypothesis? Bird Study 52:18-24.       pdf

Amar, A., and S. Redpath. 2005. Habitat use by Hen Harriers Circus cyaneus on Orkney: implications of land use change on this declining population. Ibis 147:37-47.       pdf

Amar, A., B.E. Arroyo, S.M. Redpath, and S. Thirgood. 2004. Habitat predicts losses of Red Grouse to individual Hen Harriers. Journal of Applied Ecology 41:305-314.       pdf

Amar, A., S. Redpath, X. Lambin, and E. Meek. 2003. Could the Hen Harrier decline on Orkney be due to a shortage of food? Pp. 377-391 in D.B. Thompson, S.M. Redpath, A. Fielding, M. Marquiss, and C.A. Galbraith (eds.), Birds of prey in a changing environment. The Stationery Office, Edinburgh, Scotland.       pdf

Amar, A.M., S. Redpath, and S. Thirgood. 2003. Evidence for food limitation in the declining Hen Harrier population on the Orkney Island, Scotland. Biological Conservation 111:374-388.       pdf

Amar, A., and S. Redpath. 2002. Determining the cause of the Hen Harrier decline on the Orkney Islands: an experimental test of two hypotheses. Animal Conservation 5:21-28.       pdf

Redpath, S., A. Amar, M. Madders, F. Leckie, and S. Thirgood. 2002. Hen Harrier foraging success in relation to land use in Scotland. Animal Conservation 5:113-118.       pdf

Amar, A., and S. Burthe. 2001. Observations of predation of Hen Harrier nestlings by Hooded Crows in Orkney. Scottish Birds 22:65-66.       pdf

Amar, A., B.E. Arroyo, and V. Bretagnolle. 2000. Post-fledging dependency and dispersal in hacked and wild Montagu’s Harriers Circus pygargus. Ibis 142:21-28.       pdf

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