The relationship between plants used to sustain finches (Fringillidae) and uses for human medicine in Southeast Spain

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Abstract

We analyzed plants that are traditionally used by wild bird hunters and breeders to capture and promote captive breeding of Fringillidae (finches or songbirds) in the province of Alicante, Spain. The majority of plants used in songbird breeding have medicinal properties in traditional human medicine (48 different uses); thus, another main goal was to show their relationships with human medical uses. We compiled a list of 97 plant species from 31 botanical families that are used to attract finches and identified 11 different use categories for these plants in finch keeping. The most common uses were for trapping birds and as a source of food for birds in captivity. Cannabis sativa has the greatest cultural importance index (CI = 1.158), and Phalaris canariensis (annual canary grass or alpist) was the most common species used to attract Fringillidae and was used by all informants (n=158). Most of the 97 species are wild plants and mainly belong to the families Compositae, Gramineae, Cruciferae, and Rosaceae and also have medicinal properties for humans. In the study area, the intensification of agriculture and abandonment of traditional management practices have caused the population of many songbirds to decline, as well as the loss of popular ethnographic knowledge. © 2012 Antonio Belda et al.

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Belda, A., Peiró, V., & Seva, E. (2012). The relationship between plants used to sustain finches (Fringillidae) and uses for human medicine in Southeast Spain. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 2012. https://doi.org/10.1155/2012/360913

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