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Conservation of long-distance migratory shorebirds is complex because these species use habitats spread across continents and hemispheres, making identification of critical habitats and potential bottlenecks in the annual cycle especially difficult. The population of Black-tailed Godwits that breeds in Western Europe, Limosa limosa limosa, has declined precipitously over the past few decades. Despite significant efforts to identify the root causes of this decline, much remains unclear. To better understand the migratory timing, use of stopover and nonbreeding sites, and the potential impact of breeding success on these parameters, we attached 15 Argos satellite transmitters and 10 geolocation tracking devices to...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Ardea
Extreme weather events have the potential to alter both short- and long-term population dynamics as well as community- and ecosystem-level function. Such events are rare and stochastic, making it difficult to fully document how organisms respond to them and predict the repercussions of similar events in the future. To improve our understanding of the mechanisms by which short-term events can incur long-term consequences, we documented the behavioural responses and fitness consequences for a long-distance migratory bird, the continental black-tailed godwit Limosa limosa limosa, resulting from a spring snowstorm and three-week period of record low temperatures. The event caused measurable responses at three spatial...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Journal of Animal Ecology
Effects of color bands on adult birds have been investigated in many studies, but much less is known about the effects of bands on birds banded at hatch. We captured Semipalmated Sandpiper (Calidris pusilla) chicks at hatch on the Alaskan North Slope and attached 0–3 bands to them. The chicks were resighted and reweighed during the subsequent two weeks. The number of chicks banded varied from 18 to 21 among treatments; 6–9 were resighted, and 6–7 were reweighed, per treatment. The proportion resighted varied from 0.33 to 0.45. The estimated resighting probability, given that we encountered a brood, was 82%. We tested for effects of the bands on survival and mass gain by analyzing whether the proportion of chicks...
The Numeniini is a tribe of 13 wader species (Scolopacidae, Charadriiformes) of which seven are Near Threatened or globally threatened, including two Critically Endangered. To help inform conservation management and policy responses, we present the results of an expert assessment of the threats that members of this taxonomic group face across migratory flyways. Most threats are increasing in intensity, particularly in non-breeding areas, where habitat loss resulting from residential and commercial development, aquaculture, mining, transport, disturbance, problematic invasive species, pollution and climate change were regarded as having the greatest detrimental impact. Fewer threats (mining, disturbance, problematic...
Seasonal declines in breeding performance are widespread in wild animals, resulting from temporal changes in environmental conditions or from individual variation. Seasonal declines might drive selection for early breeding, with implications for other stages of the annual cycle. Alternatively, selection on the phenology of nonbreeding stages could constrain timing of the breeding season and lead to seasonal changes in reproductive performance. We studied 25 taxa of migratory shorebirds (including five subspecies) at 16 arctic sites in Russia, Alaska, and Canada. We investigated seasonal changes in four reproductive traits, and developed a novel Bayesian risk‐partitioning model of daily nest survival to examine seasonal...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Journal of Avian Biology
Background Geolocators are useful for tracking movements of long-distance migrants, but potential negative effects on birds have not been well studied. We tested for effects of geolocators (0.8–2.0 g total, representing 0.1–3.9 % of mean body mass) on 16 species of migratory shorebirds, including five species with 2–4 subspecies each for a total of 23 study taxa. Study species spanned a range of body sizes (26–1091 g) and eight genera, and were tagged at 23 breeding and eight nonbreeding sites. We compared breeding performance and return rates of birds with geolocators to control groups while controlling for potential confounding variables. Results We detected negative effects of tags for three small-bodied species....
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Movement Ecology
Many Arctic shorebird populations are declining, and quantifying adult survival and the effects of anthropogenic factors is a crucial step toward a better understanding of population dynamics. We used a recently developed, spatially explicit Cormack–Jolly–Seber model in a Bayesian framework to obtain broad-scale estimates of true annual survival rates for 6 species of shorebirds at 9 breeding sites across the North American Arctic in 2010–2014. We tested for effects of environmental and ecological variables, study site, nest fate, and sex on annual survival rates of each species in the spatially explicit framework, which allowed us to distinguish between effects of variables on site fidelity versus true survival....
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: The Auk