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Appropriate ecological indicators of climate change can be used to measure concurrent changes in ecological systems, inform management decisions, and potentially to project the consequences of climate change. However, many of the available indicators for North American birds do not account for imperfect observation. We propose to use correlated-detection occupancy models to develop indicators from the North American Breeding Bird Survey data. The indicators will be used to test hypotheses regarding changes in range and distribution of breeding birds. The results will support the Northeast Climate Science Center’s Science Agenda, including the science priority: researching ecological vulnerability and species response...
Approximately 298 acres of seasonal shallow water wetland habitat will be established or enhanced for water birds and waterfowl by constructing and repairing low level dikes and installing 6 water control structures. In addition, permanent water wetlands will be constructed enhance the wetland complex.
Full life-cycle vulnerability assessments are identifying the effects of climate change on nongame migratory birds that are of conservation concern and breed in the upper Midwest and Great Lakes region. Full life-cycle analyses are critical, as current efforts likely underestimate the vulnerability of migratory land birds due to a focus on assessing only one component of the annual cycle. The approach provides a framework for integrating exposure to climate changes, sensitivity to these changes, and the potential for adaptation in both winter and summer seasons, and accounts for carry-over effects from one season to another. The results of this work will inform regional management by highlighting both local and...
The Prairie Pothole Region (PPR) of the north-central U.S. and south-central Canada contains millions of small prairie wetlands that provide critical habitat to many migrating and breeding waterbirds. Due to their small size and the relatively dry climate of the region, these wetlands are considered at high risk for negative climate change effects as temperatures increase. To estimate the potential impacts of climate change on breeding waterbirds, we predicted current and future distributions of species common in the PPR using species distribution models (SDMs). We created regional-scale SDMs for the U.S. PPR using Breeding Bird Survey occurrence records for 1971–2011 and wetland, upland, and climate variables....
The central Platte River Valley represents a key mid-latitude stopover This dataset supports a contemporary analysis of nocturnal roost selection for sandhill cranes staging along the Platte River during 2003-2007. We explored variation in selection for previously established characteristics of roost sites, including river channel width, vegetation height along the river bank, and distance to nearest disturbance feature. This analysis also included novel environmental factors (yearly estimates of corn near roost sites, nightly temperature, wind speed, and river discharge) and how they may interact with the more established characteristics.
Whooping cranes (Grus americana) of the Aransas-Wood Buffalo population migrate twice each year through the Great Plains in North America. Recovery activities for this endangered species include providing adequate places to stop and rest during migration, which are generally referred to as stopover sites. To assist in recovery efforts, initial estimates of stopover site use intensity are presented, which provide opportunity to identify areas across the migration range used more intensively by whooping cranes. We used location data acquired from 58 unique individuals fitted with platform transmitting terminals that collected global position system locations. Radio-tagged birds provided 2,158 stopover sites over 10...
Restore and enhance wetland habitat for spring through fall habitat for trumpeter swans and other wetland dependent avian species.
We produced a time series of maps of habitat structure within wetlands of the Central Valley of California. The structure of open water and tall emergent vegetation, such as Typha spp. and Schoenoplectus spp., is critical for migratory birds. Through field observation and digitization of high resolution imagery we identified the locations of tall emergent vegetation, water, and other land cover. Using a random forest classification, we classified multispectral Landsat 8 imagery 2013-2017. We used images from the fall when most wetlands are flooded and the summer to separate trees and tall emergent vegetation. The final maps show the distribution and extent of tall emergent vegetation within wetlands. Final time...
The USGS Western Ecological Research Center (WERC) comprises a dispersed science community collocated with DOI agencies, academic institutions, or proximal to critical ecosystems. WERC scientists conduct peer-reviewed research using innovative tools to provide natural resource managers with the knowledge to address challenges to ecosystem function and service in Pacific West landscapes. Four Scientific Themes define the research of WERC scientists: Species and Landscape Response to Human Activity Renewable energy development, urbanization, water abatement, prescribed fires, barriers to movement, and invasive species are among key factors that impact Pacific western US natural resources. To identify potential impacts...
While habitat selection and population estimates are well documented for spring migrating birds in the central Platte River system, little information or monitoring efforts on the North Platte River exist, particularly for the multiple priority bird species known to be present. Most conservation partners deliver habitat programs in the region with limited information and a lack of a landscape prioritization tools. In order for conservation delivery to be more effective and efficient in utilizing limited funds, a decision support tool is critical so that priority species habitat needs are being addressed through appropriate restoration/management strategies in the correct geography at multiple scales. We propose...
Spruce-fir forests and associated bird species are recognized as some of the most vulnerable ecosystems and species to the impacts of climate change. This work capitalized on a rich suite of long-term data from these ecosystems to document recent trends in these forests and their associated bird species and developed tools for predicting their future abundance under climate change. Findings from this work indicate declining trends in the abundance of spruce-fir obligate birds, including Bicknell’s Thrush, across the Lake States and New England. In contrast, montane spruce-fir forests in the White and Green Mountains of New England exhibited patterns of increasing abundance, potentially due to their recovery from...
This project has three objectives: (1) evaluate the abilitiy of dual acoustic-ultrasonic recorders to capture nocturnal calls of birds and bats at wind power sites; (2) relate nocturnal calls to results of facility searches at operational wind farms: (3) evaluate whether call activitiy varies in relation to landscape features.
The habitats and food resources required to support breeding and migrant birds dependent on North American prairie wetlands are threatened by impending climate change. The North American Prairie Pothole Region (PPR) hosts nearly 120 species of wetland-dependent birds representing 21 families. Strategic management requires knowledge of avian habitat requirements and assessment of species most vulnerable to future threats. We applied bioclimatic species distribution models (SDMs) to project range changes of 29 wetland-dependent bird species using ensemble modeling techniques, a large number of General Circulation Models (GCMs), and hydrological climate covariates. For the U.S. PPR, mean projected range change, expressed...
The whooping crane (Grus americana) is a listed endangered species in North America, protected under federal legislation in the United States and Canada. The only self-sustaining and wild population of Whooping Cranes nests at and near Wood Buffalo National Park near the provincial border of Northwest Territories and Alberta, Canada. Birds from this population migrate through the Great Plains of North America and winter along the Gulf Coast of Texas at Aransas National Wildlife Refuge and surrounding lands. These data represent migration corridors and precision estimates for this population that can be used for conservation planning activities, including targeting conservation, mitigation, and recovery actions and...
Abstract (from Recent changes in global climate have dramatically altered worldwide temperatures and the corresponding timing of seasonal climate conditions. Recognizing the degree to which species respond to changing climates is therefore an area of increasing conservation concern as species that are unable to respond face increased risk of extinction. Here we examine spatial and temporal heterogeneity in the rate of climate change across western North America and discuss the potential for conditions to arise that may limit the ability of western migratory birds to adapt to changing climates. Based on 52 years of climate data, we show that changes in...

map background search result map search result map Mud Lake Trumpeter Swan Nest Site Enhancement Project Wetland Construction and Enhancements, Lincoln County Modeling Effects of Climate Change on Spruce-Fir Forest Ecosystems and Associated Priority Bird Populations Sandhill Cranes and Waterfowl of the North Platte River Valley: Evaluation of Habitat Selection to Guide Conservation Delivery Avian Indicators of Climate Change Based on the North American Breeding Bird Survey Sandhill crane roosts use, channel characteristics, and environmental variables along the Platte River, Nebraska, 2003-2007 Map of whooping crane migration corridor Wetland Habitat Structure Maps for the Central Valley of California 2013-2017 Sandhill crane roosts use, channel characteristics, and environmental variables along the Platte River, Nebraska, 2003-2007 Sandhill Cranes and Waterfowl of the North Platte River Valley: Evaluation of Habitat Selection to Guide Conservation Delivery Modeling Effects of Climate Change on Spruce-Fir Forest Ecosystems and Associated Priority Bird Populations Wetland Habitat Structure Maps for the Central Valley of California 2013-2017 Map of whooping crane migration corridor Avian Indicators of Climate Change Based on the North American Breeding Bird Survey