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Sample records for grassland bird populations

  1. Agricultural Set-aside Programs and Grassland Birds: Insights from Broad-scale Population Trends

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    S. Riffell

    2008-10-01

    Full Text Available The Conservation Reserve Program (CRP is a voluntary set-aside program in the United States designed to amelioratesoil erosion, control crop overproduction, enhance water quality, and provide wildlife habitat by replacing crops with other forms of land cover. Because CRP includes primarily grass habitats, it has great potential to benefitdeclining North American grassland bird populations. We looked at the change in national and state population trends of grassland birds and related changes to cover-specific CRP variables (previous research grouped all CRP practices. Changes in national trends after the initiation of the CRP were inconclusive, but we observed signficant bird-CRP relations at the state level. Most bird-CRP relations were positive, except for some species associated with habitats that CRP replaced. Practice- and configuration-specific CRP variables were related to grassland bird trends, rather than a generic measure of all CRP types combined. Considering all CRP land as a single, distinct habitat type may obscure actual relations between birds and set-aside characteristics. Understanding and predictingthe effects of set-aside programs (like CRP or agri-environment schemes on grassland birds is complex and difficult. Because available broad-scale datasets are less than adequate, studies should be conducted at a variety of spatial and temporal scales.

  2. Strategic Grassland Bird Conservation throughout the annual cycle: Linking policy alternatives, landowner decisions, and biological population outcomes

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    Drum, Ryan G.; Ribic, Christine; Koch, Katie; Lonsdorf, Eric V.; Grant, Edward C.; Ahlering, Marissa; Barnhill, Laurel; Dailey, Thomas; Lor, Socheata; Mueller, Connie; Pavlacky, D.C.; Rideout, Catherine; Sample, David W.

    2015-01-01

    Grassland bird habitat has declined substantially in the United States. Remaining grasslands are increasingly fragmented, mostly privately owned, and vary greatly in terms of habitat quality and protection status. A coordinated strategic response for grassland bird conservation is difficult, largely due to the scope and complexity of the problem, further compounded by biological, sociological, and economic uncertainties. We describe the results from a collaborative Structured Decision Making (SDM) workshop focused on linking social and economic drivers of landscape change to grassland bird population outcomes. We identified and evaluated alternative strategies for grassland bird conservation using a series of rapid prototype models. We modeled change in grassland and agriculture cover in hypothetical landscapes resulting from different landowner decisions in response to alternative socio-economic conservation policy decisions. Resulting changes in land cover at all three stages of the annual cycle (breeding, wintering, and migration) were used to estimate changes in grassland bird populations. Our results suggest that successful grassland bird conservation may depend upon linkages with ecosystem services on working agricultural lands and grassland-based marketing campaigns to engage the public. With further development, spatial models that link landowner decisions with biological outcomes can be essential tools for making conservation policy decisions. A coordinated non-traditional partnership will likely be necessary to clearly understand and systematically respond to the many conservation challenges facing grassland birds.

  3. Strategic Grassland Bird Conservation throughout the Annual Cycle: Linking Policy Alternatives, Landowner Decisions, and Biological Population Outcomes.

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    Ryan G Drum

    Full Text Available Grassland bird habitat has declined substantially in the United States. Remaining grasslands are increasingly fragmented, mostly privately owned, and vary greatly in terms of habitat quality and protection status. A coordinated strategic response for grassland bird conservation is difficult, largely due to the scope and complexity of the problem, further compounded by biological, sociological, and economic uncertainties. We describe the results from a collaborative Structured Decision Making (SDM workshop focused on linking social and economic drivers of landscape change to grassland bird population outcomes. We identified and evaluated alternative strategies for grassland bird conservation using a series of rapid prototype models. We modeled change in grassland and agriculture cover in hypothetical landscapes resulting from different landowner decisions in response to alternative socio-economic conservation policy decisions. Resulting changes in land cover at all three stages of the annual cycle (breeding, wintering, and migration were used to estimate changes in grassland bird populations. Our results suggest that successful grassland bird conservation may depend upon linkages with ecosystem services on working agricultural lands and grassland-based marketing campaigns to engage the public. With further development, spatial models that link landowner decisions with biological outcomes can be essential tools for making conservation policy decisions. A coordinated non-traditional partnership will likely be necessary to clearly understand and systematically respond to the many conservation challenges facing grassland birds.

  4. Bird communities and biomass yields in potential bioenergy grasslands.

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    Peter J Blank

    Full Text Available Demand for bioenergy is increasing, but the ecological consequences of bioenergy crop production on working lands remain unresolved. Corn is currently a dominant bioenergy crop, but perennial grasslands could produce renewable bioenergy resources and enhance biodiversity. Grassland bird populations have declined in recent decades and may particularly benefit from perennial grasslands grown for bioenergy. We asked how breeding bird community assemblages, vegetation characteristics, and biomass yields varied among three types of potential bioenergy grassland fields (grass monocultures, grass-dominated fields, and forb-dominated fields, and assessed tradeoffs between grassland biomass production and bird habitat. We also compared the bird communities in grassland fields to nearby cornfields. Cornfields had few birds compared to perennial grassland fields. Ten bird Species of Greatest Conservation Need (SGCN were observed in perennial grassland fields. Bird species richness and total bird density increased with forb cover and were greater in forb-dominated fields than grass monocultures. SGCN density declined with increasing vertical vegetation density, indicating that tall, dense grassland fields managed for maximum biomass yield would be of lesser value to imperiled grassland bird species. The proportion of grassland habitat within 1 km of study sites was positively associated with bird species richness and the density of total birds and SGCNs, suggesting that grassland bioenergy fields may be more beneficial for grassland birds if they are established near other grassland parcels. Predicted total bird density peaked below maximum biomass yields and predicted SGCN density was negatively related to biomass yields. Our results indicate that perennial grassland fields could produce bioenergy feedstocks while providing bird habitat. Bioenergy grasslands promote agricultural multifunctionality and conservation of biodiversity in working landscapes.

  5. Effects of haying on breeding birds in CRP grasslands

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    Igl, Lawrence D.; Johnson, Douglas H.

    2016-01-01

    The Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) is a voluntary program that is available to agricultural producers to help protect environmentally sensitive or highly erodible land. Management disturbances of CRP grasslands generally are not allowed unless authorized to provide relief to livestock producers during severe drought or a similar natural disaster (i.e., emergency haying and grazing) or to improve the quality and performance of the CRP cover (i.e., managed haying and grazing). Although CRP grasslands may not be hayed or grazed during the primary bird-nesting season, these disturbances may have short-term (1 yr after disturbance) and long-term (≥2 yr after disturbance) effects on grassland bird populations. We assessed the effects of haying on 20 grassland bird species in 483 CRP grasslands in 9 counties of 4 states in the northern Great Plains, USA between 1993 and 2008. We compared breeding bird densities (as determined by total-area counts) in idle and hayed fields to evaluate changes 1, 2, 3, and 4 years after haying. Haying of CRP grasslands had either positive or negative effects on grassland birds, depending on the species, the county, and the number of years after the initial disturbance. Some species (e.g., horned lark [Eremophila alpestris], bobolink [Dolichonyx oryzivorus]) responded positively after haying, and others (e.g., song sparrow [Melospiza melodia]) responded negatively. The responses of some species changed direction as the fields recovered from haying. For example, densities for common yellowthroat (Geothlypis trichas), sedge wren (Cistothorus platensis), and clay-colored sparrow (Spizella pallida) declined the first year after haying but increased in the subsequent 3 years. Ten species showed treatment × county interactions, indicating that the effects of haying varied geographically. This long-term evaluation on the effects of haying on breeding birds provides important information on the strength and direction of changes in

  6. EU protected area network did not prevent a country wide population decline in a threatened grassland bird

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    João P. Silva

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Background Few studies have assessed the effectiveness of the Protected Area networks on the conservation status of target species. Here, we assess the effectiveness of the Portuguese Natura 2000 (the European Union network of protected areas in maintaining a species included in the Annex I of the Bird Directive, namely the population of a priority farmland bird, the little bustard Tetrax tetrax. Methods We measured the effectiveness of the Natura 2000 by comparing population trends across time (2003–2006 and 2016 in 51 areas, 21 of which within 12 Special Protection Areas (SPA that were mostly designated for farmland bird conservation and another 30 areas without EU protection. Results Overall, the national population is estimated to have declined 49% over the last 10–14 years. This loss was found to be proportionally larger outside SPA (64% decline compared to losses within SPA (25% decline. However, the absolute male density decline was significantly larger within SPA . Discussion In spite of holding higher population densities and having prevented habitat loss, we conclude that Natura 2000 was not effective in buffering against the overall bustard population decline. Results show that the mere designation of SPA in farmland is not enough to secure species populations and has to be combined with agricultural policies and investment to maintain not only habitat availability but also habitat quality.

  7. EU protected area network did not prevent a country wide population decline in a threatened grassland bird.

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    Silva, João P; Correia, Ricardo; Alonso, Hany; Martins, Ricardo C; D'Amico, Marcello; Delgado, Ana; Sampaio, Hugo; Godinho, Carlos; Moreira, Francisco

    2018-01-01

    Few studies have assessed the effectiveness of the Protected Area networks on the conservation status of target species. Here, we assess the effectiveness of the Portuguese Natura 2000 (the European Union network of protected areas) in maintaining a species included in the Annex I of the Bird Directive, namely the population of a priority farmland bird, the little bustard Tetrax tetrax . We measured the effectiveness of the Natura 2000 by comparing population trends across time (2003-2006 and 2016) in 51 areas, 21 of which within 12 Special Protection Areas (SPA) that were mostly designated for farmland bird conservation and another 30 areas without EU protection. Overall, the national population is estimated to have declined 49% over the last 10-14 years. This loss was found to be proportionally larger outside SPA (64% decline) compared to losses within SPA (25% decline). However, the absolute male density decline was significantly larger within SPA . In spite of holding higher population densities and having prevented habitat loss, we conclude that Natura 2000 was not effective in buffering against the overall bustard population decline. Results show that the mere designation of SPA in farmland is not enough to secure species populations and has to be combined with agricultural policies and investment to maintain not only habitat availability but also habitat quality.

  8. Effects of temperature and precipitation on grassland bird nesting success as mediated by patch size.

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    Zuckerberg, Benjamin; Ribic, Christine A; McCauley, Lisa A

    2018-02-06

    Grassland birds are declining faster than any other bird guild across North America. Shrinking ranges and population declines are attributed to widespread habitat loss and increasingly fragmented landscapes of agriculture and other land uses that are misaligned with grassland bird conservation. Concurrent with habitat loss and degradation, temperate grasslands have been disproportionally affected by climate change relative to most other terrestrial biomes. Distributions of grassland birds often correlate with gradients in climate, but few researchers have explored the consequences of weather on the demography of grassland birds inhabiting a range of grassland fragments. To do so, we modeled the effects of temperature and precipitation on nesting success rates of 12 grassland bird species inhabiting a range of grassland patches across North America (21,000 nests from 81 individual studies). Higher amounts of precipitation in the preceding year were associated with higher nesting success, but wetter conditions during the active breeding season reduced nesting success. Extremely cold or hot conditions during the early breeding season were associated with lower rates of nesting success. The direct and indirect influence of temperature and precipitation on nesting success was moderated by grassland patch size. The positive effects of precipitation in the preceding year on nesting success were strongest in relatively small grassland patches and had little effect in large patches. Conversely, warm temperatures reduced nesting success in small grassland patches but increased nesting success in large patches. Mechanisms underlying these differences may be patch-size-induced variation in microclimates and predator activity. Although the exact cause is unclear, large grassland patches, the most common metric of grassland conservation, appears to moderate the effects of weather on grassland-bird demography and could be an effective component of climate-change adaptation.

  9. Are Agrofuels a conservation threat or opportunity for grassland birds in the United States?

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    Robertson, Bruce A.; Rice, Robert A.; Ribic, Christine; Babcock, Bruce A.; Landis, Douglas A.; Herkert, James R.; Fletcher, Robert J.; Fontaine, Joseph J; Doran, Patrick J.; Schemske, Douglas W.

    2012-01-01

    In the United States, government-mandated growth in the production of crops dedicated to biofuel (agrofuels) is predicted to increase the demands on existing agricultural lands, potentially threatening the persistence of populations of grassland birds they support. We review recently published literature and datasets to (1) examine the ability of alternative agrofuel crops and their management regimes to provide habitat for grassland birds, (2) determine how crop placement in agricultural landscapes and agrofuel-related land-use change will affect grassland birds, and (3) identify critical research and policy-development needs associated with agrofuel production. We find that native perennial plants proposed as feedstock for agrofuel (switchgrass, Panicum virgatum, and mixed grass—forb prairie) have considerable potential to provide new habitat to a wide range of grassland birds, including rare and threatened species. However, industrialization of agrofuel production that maximizes biomass, homogenizes vegetation structure, and results in the cultivation of small fields within largely forested landscapes is likely to reduce species richness and/or abundance of grassland-dependent birds. Realizing the potential benefits of agrofuel production for grassland birds' conservation will require the development of new policies that encourage agricultural practices specifically targeting the needs of grassland specialists. The broad array of grower-incentive programs in existence may deliver new agrofuel policies effectively but will require coordination at a spatial scale broader than currently practiced, preferably within an adaptive-management framework.

  10. Habitat fragmentation effects on birds in grasslands and wetlands: A critique of our knowledge

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    Johnson, D.H.

    2001-01-01

    Habitat fragmentation exacerbates the problem of habitat loss for grassland and wetland birds. Remaining patches of grasslands and wetlands may be too small, too isolated, and too influenced by edge effects to maintain viable populations of some breeding birds. Knowledge of the effects of fragmentation on bird populations is critically important for decisions about reserve design, grassland and wetland management, and implementation of cropland set-aside programs that benefit wildlife. In my review of research that has been conducted on habitat fragmentation, I found at least five common problems in the methodology used. The results of many studies are compromised by these problems: passive sampling (sampling larger areas in larger patches), confounding effects of habitat heterogeneity, consequences of inappropriate pooling of data from different species, artifacts associated with artificial nest data, and definition of actual habitat patches. As expected, some large-bodied birds with large territorial requirements, such as the northern harrier (Circus cyaneus), appear area sensitive. In addition, some small species of grassland birds favor patches of habitat far in excess of their territory size, including the Savannah (Passerculus sandwichensis), grasshopper (Ammodramus savannarum) and Henslow's (A. henslowii) sparrows, and the bobolink (Dolichonyx oryzivorus). Other species may be area sensitive as well, but the data are ambiguous. Area sensitivity among wetland birds remains unknown since virtually no studies have been based on solid methodologies. We need further research on grassland bird response to habitat that distinguishes supportable conclusions from those that may be artifactual.

  11. Effects of management practices on grassland birds: Grasshopper Sparrow

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    Dechant, Jill A.; Sondreal, Marriah L.; Johnson, Douglas H.; Igl, Lawrence D.; Goldade, Christopher M.; Nenneman, Melvin P.; Euliss, Betty R.

    1998-01-01

    of cowbird parasitism, host responses to parasitism, and factors that influence parasitism, such as nest concealment and host density. The impact of management depends, in part, upon a species' nesting phenology and biology. The section on breeding-season phenology and site fidelity includes details on spring arrival and fall departure for migratory populations in the Great Plains, peak breeding periods, the tendency to renest after nest failure or success, and the propensity to return to a previous breeding site. The duration and timing of breeding varies among regions and years. Species' response to management summarizes the current knowledge and major findings in the literature on the effects of different management practices on the species. The section on management recommendations complements the previous section and summarizes specific recommendations for habitat management provided in the literature. If management recommendations differ in different portions of the species' breeding range, recommendations are given separately by region. The literature cited contains references to published and unpublished literature on the management effects and habitat requirements of the species. This section is not meant to be a complete bibliography; for a searchable, annotated bibliography of published and unpublished papers dealing with habitat needs of grassland birds and their responses to habitat management, use the Grassland and Wetland Birds Bibliography on the home page of this resource.

  12. Looking beyond rare species as umbrella species: Northern Bobwhites (Colinus virginianus) and conservation of grassland and shrubland birds

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    Crosby, Andrew D.; Elmore, R.D.; Leslie,, David M.; Will, Rodney E.

    2015-01-01

    Changes in land use and land cover throughout the eastern half of North America have caused substantial declines in populations of birds that rely on grassland and shrubland vegetation types, including socially and economically important game birds such as the Northern Bobwhite (Colinus virginianus; hereafter bobwhites). As much attention is focused on habitat management and restoration for bobwhites, they may act as an umbrella species for other bird species with similar habitat requirements. We quantified the relationship of bobwhites to the overall bird community and evaluated the potential for bobwhites to act as an umbrella species for grassland and shrubland birds. We monitored bobwhite presence and bird community composition within 31 sample units on selected private lands in the south-central United States from 2009 to 2011. Bobwhites were strongly associated with other grassland and shrubland birds and were a significant positive predictor for 9 species. Seven of these, including Bell's Vireo (Vireo bell), Dicksissel (Spiza americana), and Grasshopper Sparrow (Ammodramus savannarum), are listed as species of conservation concern. Species richness and occupancy probability of grassland and shrubland birds were higher relative to the overall bird community in sample units occupied by bobwhites. Our results show that bobwhites can act as an umbrella species for grassland and shrubland birds, although the specific species in any given situation will depend on region and management objectives. These results suggest that efficiency in conservation funding can be increased by using public interest in popular game species to leverage resources to meet multiple conservation objectives.

  13. Breeding Biology of Grassland Birds in Western New York: Conservation and Management Implications

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    Christopher J. Norment

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available Declining grassland breeding bird populations have led to increased efforts to assess habitat quality, typically by estimating density or relative abundance. Because some grassland habitats may function as ecological traps, a more appropriate metric for determining quality may be breeding success. Between 1994 and 2003 we gathered data on the nest fates of Eastern Meadowlarks (Sturnella magna, Bobolinks (Dolichonyx oryzivorous, and Savannah Sparrows (Passerculus sandwichensis in a series of fallow fields and pastures/hayfields in western New York State. We calculated daily survival probabilities using the Mayfield method, and used the logistic-exposure method to model effects of predictor variables on nest success. Nest survival probabilities were 0.464 for Eastern Meadowlarks (n = 26, 0.483 for Bobolinks (n = 91, and 0.585 for Savannah Sparrows (n = 152. Fledge dates for first clutches ranged between 14 June and 23 July. Only one obligate grassland bird nest was parasitized by Brown-headed Cowbirds (Molothrus ater, for an overall brood parasitism rate of 0.004. Logistic-exposure models indicated that daily nest survival probabilities were higher in pastures/hayfields than in fallow fields. Our results, and those from other studies in the Northeast, suggest that properly managed cool season grassland habitats in the region may not act as ecological traps, and that obligate grassland birds in the region may have greater nest survival probabilities, and lower rates of Brown-headed Cowbird parasitism, than in many parts of the Midwest.

  14. Habitat associations of migrating and overwintering grassland birds in Southern Texas

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    Igl, Lawrence D.; Ballard, Bart M.

    1999-01-01

    We report on the habitat associations of 21 species of grassland birds overwintering in or migrating through southern Texas, during 1991-1992 and 1992-1993. Ninety percent of our grassland bird observations were made during winter and spring, and only 10% occurred during fall. Grassland species made up a high proportion of the total bird densities in grassland and shrub-grassland habitats, but much lower proportions in the habitats with more woody vegetation. Fewer grassland species were observed in grassland and woodland than in brushland, parkland, and shrub-grassland habitats. Grassland birds generally were found in higher densities in habitats that had woody canopy coverage of < 30%; densities of grassland birds were highest in shrub-grassland habitat and lowest in woodland habitat. Species that are grassland specialists on their breeding grounds tended to be more habitat specific during the nonbreeding season compared to shrub-grassland specialists, which were more general in their nonbreeding-habitat usage. Nonetheless, our data demonstrate that grassland birds occur in a variety of habitats during the nonbreeding season and seem to occupy a broader range of habitats than previously described.

  15. Direct effects of cattle on grassland birds in Canada.

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    Bleho, Barbara I; Koper, Nicola; Machtans, Craig S

    2014-06-01

    Effects of grazing on grassland birds are generally thought to be indirect, through alteration of vegetation structure; however, livestock can also affect nest survival directly through trampling and other disturbances (e.g., livestock-induced abandonment). We extracted data on nest fates from 18 grazing studies conducted in Canada. We used these data to assess rates of nest destruction by cattle among 9 ecoregions and between seasonal and rotational grazing systems. Overall, few nests were destroyed by cattle (average 1.5% of 9132 nests). Nest destruction was positively correlated with grazing pressure (i.e., stocking rate or grazing intensity), but nest survival was higher in more heavily grazed areas for some species. Because rates of destruction of grassland bird nests by cattle are low in Canada, management efforts to reduce such destruction may not be of ecological or economic value in Canada. © 2014 Society for Conservation Biology.

  16. Conservation reserve program: benefit for grassland birds in the northern plains

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    Reynolds, R.E.; Shaffer, T.L.; Sauer, J.R.; Peterjohn, B.G.

    1994-01-01

    During the past few decades numbers of some species of upland-nesting birds in North America have declined. Duck species such as mallard (Anas platyrhynchos), northern pintail (A. acuta) and blue-winged teal (A. discors) have declined since the early 1970s and have remained low since 1985 (Caithamer et al. 1993). Some grassland-dependent nonwaterfowl species also have declined since 1966, as indicated by the North American Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) (Robbins et al. 1986). For prairie-nesting ducks, population declines can be attributed mostly to low recruitment, partially as a result of low nest success. Klett et al. (1988) concluded that nest success (probability of ≥1 egg of clutch hatches) in much of the U.S. Prairie Pothole Region was inadequate to maintain populations of the five most common upland-nesting duck species studied, and that predators were the most important cause of nest failure. Over the years, as grassland areas have been converted to cropland, ducks have concentrated their nesting in the remaining areas of available habitat, where predators such as red fox (Vulpes vulpes), striped skunk (Mephitis mephitis) and badger (Taxidea taxus) forage (Cowardin et al. 1983). The reasons for declining populations of grassland nonwaterfowl birds are not clear but the loss of suitable grassland-nesting habitat probably is an important factor. Currently, approximately 95 percent of the land in North Dakota is used for agricultural purposes, of which over 60 percent is used for annual crop production (Haugse 1990). Of the grassland that remains, 95 percent is used for livestock production. This probably had a severe impact on grassland bird species that seek idle grass cover for nesting. The 1985 and 1990 U.S. Farm Bills include provisions under the Food Security Act to fund a cropland-idling program called the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP). Over 36 million acres have been enrolled nationwide in the CRP since 1985 (Osborn 1993), and up to 25 percent of

  17. Assessing strategies to reconcile agriculture and bird conservation in the temperate grasslands of South America.

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    Dotta, G; Phalan, B; Silva, T W; Green, R; Balmford, A

    2016-06-01

    Globally, agriculture is the greatest source of threat to biodiversity, through both ongoing conversion of natural habitat and intensification of existing farmland. Land sparing and land sharing have been suggested as alternative approaches to reconcile this threat with the need for land to produce food. To examine which approach holds most promise for grassland species, we examined how bird population densities changed with farm yield (production per unit area) in the Campos of Brazil and Uruguay. We obtained information on biodiversity and crop yields from 24 sites that differed in agricultural yield. Density-yield functions were fitted for 121 bird species to describe the response of population densities to increasing farm yield, measured in terms of both food energy and profit. We categorized individual species according to how their population changed across the yield gradient as being positively or negatively affected by farming and according to whether the species' total population size was greater under land-sparing, land-sharing, or an intermediate strategy. Irrespective of the yield, most species were negatively affected by farming. Increasing yields reduced densities of approximately 80% of bird species. We estimated land sparing would result in larger populations than other sorts of strategies for 67% to 70% of negatively affected species, given current production levels, including three threatened species. This suggests that increasing yields in some areas while reducing grazing to low levels elsewhere may be the best option for bird conservation in these grasslands. Implementing such an approach would require conservation and production policies to be explicitly linked to support yield increases in farmed areas and concurrently guarantee that larger areas of lightly grazed natural grasslands are set aside for conservation. © 2015 Society for Conservation Biology.

  18. Effects of wind turbines on upland nesting birds in Conservation Reserve Program grasslands

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    Leddy, K.L.; Higgins, K.F.; Naugle, D.E.

    1999-01-01

    Grassland passerines were surveyed during summer 1995 on the Buffalo Ridge Wind Resource Area in southwestern Minnesota to determine the relative influence of wind turbines on overall densities of upland nesting birds in Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) grasslands. Birds were surveyed along 40 m fixed width transects that were placed along wind turbine strings within three CRP fields and in three CRP fields without turbines. Conservation Reserve Program grasslands without turbines and areas located 180 m from turbines supported higher densities (261.0-312.5 males/100 ha) of grassland birds than areas within 80 m of turbines (58.2-128.0 males/100 ha). Human disturbance, turbine noise, and physical movements of turbines during operation may have disturbed nesting birds. We recommend that wind turbines be placed within cropland habitats that support lower densities of grassland passerines than those found in CRP grasslands.

  19. Grassland birds wintering at U.S. Navy facilities in southern Texas

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    Woodin, Marc C.; Skoruppa, Mary Kay; Bryan, Pearce D.; Ruddy, Amanda J.; Hickman, Graham C.

    2010-01-01

    Grassland birds have undergone widespread decline throughout North America during the past several decades. Causes of this decline include habitat loss and fragmentation because of conversion of grasslands to cropland, afforestation in the East, brush and shrub invasion in the Southwest and western United States, and planting of exotic grass species to enhance forage production. A large number of exotic plant species, including grasses, have been introduced in North America, but most research on the effects of these invasions on birds has been limited to breeding birds, primarily those in northern latitudes. Research on the effects of exotic grasses on birds in winter has been extremely limited.This is the first study in southern Texas to examine and compare winter bird responses to native and exotic grasslands. This study was conducted during a period of six years (2003–2009) on United States Navy facilities in southern Texas including Naval Air Station–Corpus Christi, Naval Air Station–Kingsville, Naval Auxiliary Landing Field Waldron, Naval Auxiliary Landing Field Orange Grove, and Escondido Ranch, all of which contained examples of native grasslands, exotic grasslands, or both. Data from native and exotic grasslands were collected and compared for bird abundance and diversity; ground cover, vegetation density, and floristic diversity; bird and vegetation relationships; diversity of insects and arachnids; and seed abundance and diversity. Effects of management treatments in exotic grasslands were evaluated by comparing numbers and diversity of birds and small mammals in mowed, burned, and control areas.To determine bird abundance and bird species richness, birds were surveyed monthly (December–February) during the winters of 2003–2008 in transects (100 meter × 20 meter) located in native and exotic grasslands distributed at all five U.S. Navy facilities. To compare vegetation in native and exotic grasslands, vegetation characteristics were measured

  20. The future demographic niche of a declining grassland bird fails to shift poleward in response to climate change

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    McCauley, Lisa A.; Ribic, Christine; Pomara, Lars Y.; Zuckerberg, Benjamin

    2017-01-01

    ContextTemperate grasslands and their dependent species are exposed to high variability in weather and climate due to the lack of natural buffers such as forests. Grassland birds are particularly vulnerable to this variability, yet have failed to shift poleward in response to recent climate change like other bird species in North America. However, there have been few studies examining the effect of weather on grassland bird demography and consequent influence of climate change on population persistence and distributional shifts.ObjectivesThe goal of this study was to estimate the vulnerability of Henslow’s Sparrow (Ammodramus henslowii), an obligate grassland bird that has been declining throughout much of its range, to past and future climatic variability.MethodsWe conducted a demographic meta-analysis from published studies and quantified the relationship between nest success rates and variability in breeding season climate. We projected the climate-demography relationships spatially, throughout the breeding range, and temporally, from 1981 to 2050. These projections were used to evaluate population dynamics by implementing a spatially explicit population model.ResultsWe uncovered a climate-demography linkage for Henslow’s Sparrow with summer precipitation, and to a lesser degree, temperature positively affecting nest success. We found that future climatic conditions—primarily changes in precipitation—will likely contribute to reduced population persistence and a southwestward range contraction.ConclusionsFuture distributional shifts in response to climate change may not always be poleward and assessing projected changes in precipitation is critical for grassland bird conservation and climate change adaptation.

  1. Impacts of tree rows on grassland birds and potential nest predators: a removal experiment.

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    Ellison, Kevin S; Ribic, Christine A; Sample, David W; Fawcett, Megan J; Dadisman, John D

    2013-01-01

    Globally, grasslands and the wildlife that inhabit them are widely imperiled. Encroachment by shrubs and trees has widely impacted grasslands in the past 150 years. In North America, most grassland birds avoid nesting near woody vegetation. Because woody vegetation fragments grasslands and potential nest predator diversity and abundance is often greater along wooded edge and grassland transitions, we measured the impacts of removing rows of trees and shrubs that intersected grasslands on potential nest predators and the three most abundant grassland bird species (Henslow's sparrow [Ammodramus henslowii], Eastern meadowlark [Sturnella magna], and bobolink [Dolichonyx oryzivorus]) at sites in Wisconsin, U.S.A. We monitored 3 control and 3 treatment sites, for 1 yr prior to and 3 yr after tree row removal at the treatment sites. Grassland bird densities increased (2-4 times for bobolink and Henslow's sparrow) and nesting densities increased (all 3 species) in the removal areas compared to control areas. After removals, Henslow's sparrows nested within ≤50 m of the treatment area, where they did not occur when tree rows were present. Most dramatically, activity by woodland-associated predators nearly ceased (nine-fold decrease for raccoon [Procyon lotor]) at the removals and grassland predators increased (up to 27 times activity for thirteen-lined ground squirrel [Ictidomys tridecemlineatus]). Nest success did not increase, likely reflecting the increase in grassland predators. However, more nests were attempted by all 3 species (175 versus 116) and the number of successful nests for bobolinks and Henslow's sparrows increased. Because of gains in habitat, increased use by birds, greater production of young, and the effective removal of woodland-associated predators, tree row removal, where appropriate based on the predator community, can be a beneficial management action for conserving grassland birds and improving fragmented and degraded grassland ecosystems.

  2. Impacts of tree rows on grassland birds and potential nest predators: a removal experiment.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kevin S Ellison

    Full Text Available Globally, grasslands and the wildlife that inhabit them are widely imperiled. Encroachment by shrubs and trees has widely impacted grasslands in the past 150 years. In North America, most grassland birds avoid nesting near woody vegetation. Because woody vegetation fragments grasslands and potential nest predator diversity and abundance is often greater along wooded edge and grassland transitions, we measured the impacts of removing rows of trees and shrubs that intersected grasslands on potential nest predators and the three most abundant grassland bird species (Henslow's sparrow [Ammodramus henslowii], Eastern meadowlark [Sturnella magna], and bobolink [Dolichonyx oryzivorus] at sites in Wisconsin, U.S.A. We monitored 3 control and 3 treatment sites, for 1 yr prior to and 3 yr after tree row removal at the treatment sites. Grassland bird densities increased (2-4 times for bobolink and Henslow's sparrow and nesting densities increased (all 3 species in the removal areas compared to control areas. After removals, Henslow's sparrows nested within ≤50 m of the treatment area, where they did not occur when tree rows were present. Most dramatically, activity by woodland-associated predators nearly ceased (nine-fold decrease for raccoon [Procyon lotor] at the removals and grassland predators increased (up to 27 times activity for thirteen-lined ground squirrel [Ictidomys tridecemlineatus]. Nest success did not increase, likely reflecting the increase in grassland predators. However, more nests were attempted by all 3 species (175 versus 116 and the number of successful nests for bobolinks and Henslow's sparrows increased. Because of gains in habitat, increased use by birds, greater production of young, and the effective removal of woodland-associated predators, tree row removal, where appropriate based on the predator community, can be a beneficial management action for conserving grassland birds and improving fragmented and degraded grassland

  3. Effects of wind-energy facilities on grassland bird distributions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shaffer, Jill A.; Buhl, Deb

    2016-01-01

    The contribution of renewable energy to meet worldwide demand continues to grow. Wind energy is one of the fastest growing renewable sectors, but new wind facilities are often placed in prime wildlife habitat. Long-term studies that incorporate a rigorous statistical design to evaluate the effects of wind facilities on wildlife are rare. We conducted a before-after-control-impact (BACI) assessment to determine if wind facilities placed in native mixed-grass prairies displaced breeding grassland birds. During 2003–2012, we monitored changes in bird density in 3 study areas in North Dakota and South Dakota (U.S.A.). We examined whether displacement or attraction occurred 1 year after construction (immediate effect) and the average displacement or attraction 2–5 years after construction (delayed effect). We tested for these effects overall and within distance bands of 100, 200, 300, and >300 m from turbines. We observed displacement for 7 of 9 species. One species was unaffected by wind facilities and one species exhibited attraction. Displacement and attraction generally occurred within 100 m and often extended up to 300 m. In a few instances, displacement extended beyond 300 m. Displacement and attraction occurred 1 year after construction and persisted at least 5 years. Our research provides a framework for applying a BACI design to displacement studies and highlights the erroneous conclusions that can be made without the benefit of adopting such a design. More broadly, species-specific behaviors can be used to inform management decisions about turbine placement and the potential impact to individual species. Additionally, the avoidance distance metrics we estimated can facilitate future development of models evaluating impacts of wind facilities under differing land-use scenarios.

  4. Semi-arid grassland bird responses to patch-burn grazing and drought

    Science.gov (United States)

    Skagen, Susan K.; Augustine, David J.; Derner, Justin D.

    2018-01-01

    As grassland birds of central North America experience steep population declines with changes in land use, management of remaining tracts becomes increasingly important for population viability. The integrated use of fire and grazing may enhance vegetation heterogeneity and diversity in breeding birds, but the subsequent effects on reproduction are unknown. We examined the influence of patch-burn grazing management in shortgrass steppe in eastern Colorado on habitat use and reproductive success of 3 grassland bird species, horned lark (Eremophila alpestris), lark bunting (Calamospiza melanocorys), and McCown’s longspur (Rhynchophanes mccownii), at several spatial scales during 2011 and 2012. Although no simple direct relationship to patch-burn grazing treatment existed, habitat selection depended on precipitation- and management-induced vegetation conditions and spatial scale. All species selected taller-than-expected vegetation at the nest site, whereas at the territory scale, horned larks and McCown’s longspurs selected areas with low vegetation height and sparse cover of tall plants (taller than the dominant shortgrasses). Buntings nested primarily in unburned grassland under average rainfall. Larks and longspurs shifted activity from patch burns during average precipitation (2011) to unburned pastures during drought (2012). Daily survival rate (DSR) of nests varied with time in season, species, weather, and vegetation structure. Daily survival rate of McCown’s longspur nests did not vary with foliar cover of relatively tall vegetation at the nest under average precipitation but declined with increasing cover during drought. At the 200-m scale, increasing cover of shortgrasses, rather than taller plant species, improved DSR of larks and longspurs. These birds experience tradeoffs in the selection of habitat at different spatial scales: tall structure at nests may reduce visual detection by predators and provide protection from sun, wind, and rain, yet

  5. Evaluation of a reproductive index for estimating productivity of grassland breeding birds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morgan, M.R.; Norment, C.; Runge, M.C.

    2010-01-01

    Declining populations of grassland breeding birds have led to increased efforts to assess habitat quality, typically by estimating density or relative abundance. Because some grassland habitats may function as ecological traps, a more appropriate metric for determining quality is breeding success, which is challenging to determine for many cryptic-nesting grassland birds. This difficulty led Vickery et al. (1992) to propose a reproductive index based on behavioral observations rather than nest fate. We rigorously evaluated the index for 2 years using a Savannah Sparrow (Passerculus sandwichensis) population in western New York and found a weak correlation in classification of the breeding stages of monitored territories among multiple observers (r = 0.398). We also discovered a large difference between overall territory and nest success rates independently estimated with the index (9.8% over the entire breeding cycle) and with nest searching and monitoring (41.7% of nests successfully fledged young). Most importantly, we made territory-level comparisons of index estimates with actual nest fate and found that the index correctly predicted fates for only 43% of the monitored nests. A Mayfield logistic regression analysis demonstrated that only index rank 4 (eggs hatched, but young failed to fledge) showed a strong positive correlation with nest success. Although the reproductive index may function as a coarse indicator of habitat suitability (e.g., documenting production in potential ecological traps), in our study the index exhibited neither internal consistency nor the ability to predict nest fate at the plot or territory level and functioned poorly as a substitute for nest searching and monitoring. ?? 2010 The American Ornithologists' Union.

  6. Density and success of bird nests relative to grazing on western Montana grasslands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fondell, Thomas F.; Ball, I.J.

    2004-01-01

    Grassland birds are declining at a faster rate than any other group of North American bird species. Livestock grazing is the primary economic use of grasslands in the western United States, but the effects of this use on distribution and productivity of grassland birds are unclear. We examined nest density and success of ground-nesting birds on grazed and ungrazed grasslands in western Montana. In comparison to grazed plots, ungrazed plots had reduced forb cover, increased litter cover, increased litter depth, and increased visual obstruction readings (VOR) of vegetation. Nest density among 10 of 11 common bird species was most strongly correlated with VOR of plots, and greatest nest density for each species occurred where mean VOR of the plot was similar to mean VOR at nests. Additionally, all bird species were relatively consistent in their choice of VOR at nests despite substantial differences in VOR among plots. We suggest that birds selected plots based in part on availability of suitable nest sites and that variation in nest density relative to grazing reflected the effect of grazing on availability of nest sites. Nest success was similar between grazed plots and ungrazed plots for two species but was lower for nests on grazed plots than on ungrazed plots for two other species because of increased rates of predation, trampling, or parasitism by brown-headed cowbirds (Molothrus ater). Other species nested almost exclusively on ungrazed plots (six species) or grazed plots (one species), precluding evaluation of the effects of grazing on nest success. We demonstrate that each species in a diverse suite of ground-nesting birds preferentially used certain habitats for nesting and that grazing altered availability of preferred nesting habitats through changes in vegetation structure and plant species composition. We also show that grazing directly or indirectly predisposed some bird species to increased nesting mortality. Management alternatives that avoid

  7. Edge effects at an induced forest-grassland boundary: forest birds in ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Bird species diversity and guild composition between the edge (5-10 m from the margin) of primary forest abutting grassland and the deep interior (> 500 m from the margin) in the Dngoye Forest Reserve were compared. Edge and interior sites were chosen that were homogeneous with respect to habitat physiognomy i.e. ...

  8. Nesting ecology of grassland birds following a wildfire in the southern Great Plains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roberts, Anthony J.; Boal, Clint W.; Whitlaw, Heather A.

    2017-01-01

    We studied the response of nesting grassland birds occupying short-grass and mixed-grass prairie sites 2 and 3 y following two, large-scale wildfires that burned ≥360,000 ha in the Texas Panhandle in March 2006. Nest success was greater on burned plots compared to unburned plots, though this varied by species and year. Woody vegetation cover was greater around nests on unburned plots compared to burned plots for Cassin's sparrow (Peucaea cassinii) and lark sparrow (Chondestes grammacus). Cassin's sparrows and lark sparrows nested in more-woody vegetation than did grasshopper sparrows (Ammodramus savannarum), and woody vegetation was reduced following the wildfires. The wildfires appear to have had few if any negative influences on the avian community 3 years postfire. This may be due to grassland breeding birds being adapted to landscapes in which, historically, periodic disturbance (e.g., wildfire, intensive grazing by bison [Bison bison]) resulted in vegetation heterogeneity.

  9. Linking snake habitat use to nest predation risk in grassland birds: the dangers of shrub cover.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klug, Page E; Jackrel, Sara L; With, Kimberly A

    2010-03-01

    Extremes in rangeland management, varying from too-frequent fire and intensive grazing to the suppression of both, threaten rangeland ecosystems worldwide. Intensive fire and grazing denude and homogenize vegetation whereas their suppression increases woody cover. Although habitat loss is implicated in grassland bird declines, degradation through intensive management or neglect also decreases breeding habitat and may reduce nesting success through increased rates of nest predation. Snakes are important nest predators, but little is known about how habitat use in snakes relates to predation risk for grassland birds nesting within tallgrass prairie subjected to different grazing and fire frequencies. We evaluated nest survival in the context of habitat used by nesting songbirds and two bird-eating snakes, the eastern yellowbelly racer Coluber constrictor flaviventris and Great Plains ratsnake Pantherophis emoryi. Daily nest survival rates decreased with increasing shrub cover and decreasing vegetation height, which characterize grasslands that have been neglected or intensively managed, respectively. Discriminant function analysis revealed that snake habitats were characterized by higher shrub cover, whereas successful nests were more likely to occur in areas with tall grass and forbs but reduced shrub cover. Because snakes often use shrub habitat, birds nesting in areas with increased shrub cover may be at higher risk of nest predation by snakes in addition to other predators known to use shrub habitat (e.g., mid-sized carnivores and avian predators). Depredated nests also occurred outside the discriminant space of the snakes, indicating that other predators (e.g., ground squirrels Spermophilus spp. and bullsnakes Pituophis catenifer) may be important in areas with denuded cover. Targeted removal of shrubs may increase nest success by minimizing the activity of nest predators attracted to shrub cover.

  10. Grassland bird productivity in warm season grass fields in southwest Wisconsin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Byers, Carolyn M.; Ribic, Christine; Sample, David W.; Dadisman, John D.; Guttery, Michael

    2017-01-01

    Surrogate grasslands established through federal set-aside programs, such as U.S. Department of Agriculture's Conservation Reserve Program (CRP), provide important habitat for grassland birds. Warm season grass CRP fields as a group have the potential for providing a continuum of habitat structure for breeding birds, depending on how the fields are managed and their floristic composition. We studied the nesting activity of four obligate grassland bird species, Bobolink (Dolichonyx oryzivorus), Eastern Meadowlark (Sturnella magna), Grasshopper Sparrow (Ammodramus savannarum), and Henslow's Sparrow (A. henslowii), in relation to vegetative composition and fire management in warm season CRP fields in southwest Wisconsin during 2009–2011. Intraspecific variation in apparent nest density was related to the number of years since the field was burned. Apparent Grasshopper Sparrow nest density was highest in the breeding season immediately following spring burns, apparent Henslow's Sparrow nest density was highest 1 y post burn, and apparent Bobolink and Eastern Meadowlark nest densities were higher in post fire years one to three. Grasshopper Sparrow nest density was highest on sites with more diverse vegetation, specifically prairie forbs, and on sites with shorter less dense vegetation. Bobolink, Eastern Meadowlark, and Henslow's Sparrow apparent nest densities were higher on sites with deeper litter; litter was the vegetative component that was most affected by spring burns. Overall nest success was 0.487 for Bobolink (22 d nesting period), 0.478 for Eastern Meadowlark (25 d nesting period), 0.507 for Grasshopper Sparrow (22 d nesting period), and 0.151 for Henslow's Sparrow (21 d nesting period). The major nest predators were grassland-associated species: thirteen-lined ground squirrel (Ictidomys tridecemlineatus), striped skunk (Mephitis mephitis), milk snake (Lampropeltis triangulum), American badger (Taxidea taxus), and western fox snake (Elaphe vulpina). Overall

  11. Nesting success of grassland and savanna birds on reclaimed surface coal mines of the midwestern United States

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Galligan, E.W.; DeVault, T.L.; Lima, S.L. [Indiana State University, Terre Haute, IN (United States)

    2006-12-15

    Reclaimed surface coal mines in southwestern Indiana support many grassland and shrub/savanna bird species of conservation concern. We examined the nesting success of birds on these reclaimed mines to assess whether such 'unnatural' places represent productive breeding habitats for such species. We established eight study sites on two large, grassland-dominated mines in southwestern Indiana and classified them into three categories (open grassland, shrub/savanna, and a mixture of grassland and shrub/savanna) based on broad vegetation and landscape characteristics. During the 1999 and 2000 breeding seasons, we found and monitored 911 nests of 31 species. Daily nest survival for the most commonly monitored grassland species ranged from 0.903 (Dickcissel, Spiza americana) to 0.961 (Grasshopper Sparrow, Ammodramus savannarum). Daily survival estimates for the dominant shrub/savanna nesting species ranged from 0.932 (Brown Thrasher, Toxostoma rufum) to 0.982 (Willow Flycatcher, Empidonax traillii). Vegetation and landscape effects on nesting success were minimal, and only Eastern Meadowlarks (Sturnella magna) showed a clear time-of-season effect, with greater nesting success in the first half of the breeding season. Rates of Brown-headed Cowbird (Molothrus ater) parasitism were only 2.1% for grassland species and 12.0% for shrub/savanna species. The nesting success of birds on reclaimed mine sites was comparable to that in other habitats, indicating that reclaimed habitats on surface mines do not necessarily represent reproductive traps for birds.

  12. Grassland ecology and population growth: striking a balance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hou, D; Duan, C; Zhang, D

    2000-06-01

    Degradation of forest and grasslands in western China attributes to the soil erosion and desertification in the country. Researchers have established that the primary reason for the degradation of grasslands is overgrazing, which in turn is caused by a number of factors, including over-population and over-reliance on animal husbandry. In addition, the existing administrative system has also proved ineffective in ensuring sustainable development. On contrary, many local governments even encourage exploitative development of grassland; thus, localities opened up grassland for growing crops in an effort to increase income. According to estimates, degraded grassland accounts for more than one-third of utilizable acreage and another one-third suffers from a profusion of rats and pests. To redress the situation, central government should implement strategies in achieving sustainable development, such as providing banking and tax incentives for the development of the secondary and tertiary industries, and supporting education and training of youths from herding areas. Moreover, government should increase spending on infrastructural construction and ecological preservation. Finally, the family planning program needs to be enforced to control population growth and improve the quality of peoples¿ lives.

  13. The effects of forest-savanna-grassland gradients on bird communities of Chiquitano Dry Forests domain, in western Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Godoi, Mauricio N; Souza, Edivaldo O DE

    2016-01-01

    Different vegetation types are distributed in mountains according to altitude, topography and soil. The composition and structure of bird communities in these areas can change in relation to the vegetation gradient, with particular communities occupying each habitat type. In this study we present the changes in composition, species richness and bird abundance over the gradient of forests, savannas and altitudinal grasslands of Maciço do Urucum, a mountainous region located in the Chiquitano Dry Forests domain in western Brazil. We recorded 165 bird species through qualitative and quantitative methods. Forested savannas, riparian forests and submontane forests presented the highest richness and abundance of birds, while arboreal savannas and altitudinal grasslands had intermediate and low values, respectively. The bird composition was similar between riparian and submontane forests, while other vegetation types present more dissimilar bird communities. Our results show differences in composition, richness and bird abundance among the vegetation types present at Maciço do Urucum, and highlight an important function of vegetation gradients for the conservation of bird communities in mountains. Additionally, this is the first study of the bird communities in the Brazilian Chiquitano Dry Forests, an important domain in the west of Brazil which has been poorly studied.

  14. Population trends of Goričko agricultural landscape birds

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Denac Katarina

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Due to numerous bird surveys in the past 20 years, the avifauna of Goričko is relatively well known. For some species, the very first national ecological researches were conducted in this area. The article summarizes all bird surveys so far. It presents population trends of farmland species which is one of the most threatened bird groups in Europe. Most of the qualifying species of this habitat that are protected within the Natura 2000 network have suffered a decline at Goričko, specifically Quail Coturnix coturnix, Scops Owl Otus scops, Hoopoe Upupa epops, Woodlark Lullula arborea and White Stork Ciconia ciconia. The number of breeding pairs of the latter has not changed, but its fecundity has decreased. Furthermore, populations of other farmland bird species have decreased, for example Skylark Alauda arvensis, Stonechat Saxicola rubicola, Serin Serinus serinus and Common Linnet Linaria cannabina, as well as butterfly populations and tracts of grassland habitat types. National agricultural and nature conservation policies are evidently inefficient in protecting the biodiversity of Goričko. The most probable cause for bird population decline is agricultural intensification, which manifests itself at Goričko as disappearance and intensification of meadows, land consolidation, degradation of traditional orchards and use of pesticides. As a result of land consolidation hedges, uncultivated strips between fields, individual trees and bushes and minority habitat types are disappearing, whereas the surface of arable fields is increasing. Nature conservation measures performed by the Public Institute Goričko Nature Park with the support of DOPPS – BirdLife Slovenia volunteers seem to be efficient, but are spatially and temporally constrained. For this reason, they cannot serve as a substitute for insufficient systemic financing which could be improved by substantive and financial reform of the agri-environmental scheme. Currently, a negligible

  15. Off-road sampling reveals a different grassland bird community than roadside sampling: implications for survey design and estimates to guide conservation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Troy I. Wellicome

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Grassland bird species continue to decline steeply across North America. Road-based surveys such as the North American Breeding Bird Survey (BBS are often used to estimate trends and population sizes and to build species distribution models for grassland birds, although roadside survey counts may introduce bias in estimates because of differences in habitats along roadsides and in off-road surveys. We tested for differences in land cover composition and in the avian community on 21 roadside-based survey routes and in an equal number of adjacent off-road walking routes in the grasslands of southern Alberta, Canada. Off-road routes (n = 225 point counts had more native grassland and short shrubs and less fallow land and road area than the roadside routes (n = 225 point counts. Consequently, 17 of the 39 bird species differed between the two route types in frequency of occurrence and relative abundance, measured using an indicator species analysis. Six species, including five obligate grassland species, were more prevalent at off-road sites; they included four species listed under the Canadian federal Species At Risk Act or listed by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada: Sprague's Pipit (Anthus spragueii, Baird's Sparrow (Ammodramus bairdii, the Chestnut-collared Longspur (Calcarius ornatus, and McCown's Longspur (Rhynchophanes mccownii. The six species were as much as four times more abundant on off-road sites. Species more prevalent along roadside routes included common species and those typical of farmland and other human-modified habitats, e.g., the European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris, the Black-billed Magpie (Pica hudsonia, and the House Sparrow (Passer domesticus. Differences in avian community composition between roadside and off-road surveys suggest that the use of BBS data when generating population estimates or distribution models may overestimate certain common species and underestimate others of conservation

  16. Using the North American Breeding Bird Survey to assess broad-scale response of the continent's most imperiled avian community, grassland birds, to weather variability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gorzo, Jessica; Pidgeon, Anna M.; Thogmartin, Wayne E.; Allstadt, Andrew J.; Radeloff, Volker C.; Heglund, Patricia J.; Vavrus, Stephen J.

    2016-01-01

    Avian populations can respond dramatically to extreme weather such as droughts and heat waves, yet patterns of response to weather at broad scales remain largely unknown. Our goal was to evaluate annual variation in abundance of 14 grassland bird species breeding in the northern mixed-grass prairie in relation to annual variation in precipitation and temperature. We modeled avian abundance during the breeding season using North American Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) data for the U.S. Badlands and Prairies Bird Conservation Region (BCR 17) from 1980 to 2012. We used hierarchical Bayesian methods to fit models and estimate the candidate weather parameters standardized precipitation index (SPI) and standardized temperature index (STI) for the same year and the previous year. Upland Sandpiper (Bartramia longicauda) responded positively to within-year STI (β = 0.101), and Baird's Sparrow (Ammodramus bairdii) responded negatively to within-year STI (β = −0.161) and positively to within-year SPI (β = 0.195). The parameter estimates were superficially similar (STI β = −0.075, SPI β = 0.11) for Grasshopper Sparrow (Ammodramus savannarum), but the best-selected model included an interaction between SPI and STI. The best model for both Eastern Kingbird (Tyrannus tyrannus) and Vesper Sparrow (Pooecetes gramineus) included the additive effects of within-year SPI (β = −0.032 and β = −0.054, respectively) and the previous-year's SPI (β = −0.057 and −0.02, respectively), although for Vesper Sparrow the lag effect was insignificant. With projected warmer, drier weather during summer in the Badlands and Prairies BCR, Baird's and Grasshopper sparrows may be especially threatened by future climate change.

  17. Inadequate thermal refuge constrains landscape habitability for a grassland bird species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tomecek, John M; Pierce, Brian L; Reyna, Kelly S; Peterson, Markus J

    2017-01-01

    Ecologists have long recognized the influence that environmental conditions have on abundance and range extent of animal species. We used the northern bobwhite ( Colinus virginianus ; hereafter bobwhite) as a model species for studying how microclimates serve as refuge against severe weather conditions. This species serves as an indicator or umbrella species for other sensitive ground-nesting, grassland obligate species. We conducted a mensurative field experiment in the rolling plains of Texas, USA, a semi-arid ecosystem on the southwestern periphery of bobwhite range, to determine whether native bunch grasses, apparently suitable for bobwhite nesting, could reduce ambient temperature below levels harmful for eggs. During the nesting season, we compared temperature and relative humidity readings at daily heat maxima (i.e., the 3 h during each day with highest temperatures) during the nesting season over the course of two years at 63 suitable nest sites paired with 63 random locations ( n = 126) using two sensors at ∼10 and ∼60 cm above ground level. Mean temperature at nest height was 2.3% cooler at nest sites (35.99 °C ± 0.07 SE) compared to random locations (36.81 °C ± 0.07 SE); at ambient height, nest sites were slightly cooler (32.78 °C ± 0.06 SE) than random location (32.99 °C ± 0.06 SE). Mean relative humidity at nest sites was greater at nest height (34.53% ± 0.112 SE) and ambient height (36.22% ± 0.10 SE) compared to random locations at nest (33.35% ± 0.12 SE) and ambient height (35.75% ± 0.10 SE). Based on these results, cover at sites that appear visually suitable for nesting by bobwhites and other ground nesting birds provided adequate thermal refuge in the rolling plains by maintaining cooler, moister microclimates than surrounding non-nesting locations. Post-hoc analyses of data revealed that habitat conditions surrounding suitable nest sites strongly influenced thermal suitability of the substrate. Given that eggs of bobwhites and

  18. Inadequate thermal refuge constrains landscape habitability for a grassland bird species

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John M. Tomecek

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Ecologists have long recognized the influence that environmental conditions have on abundance and range extent of animal species. We used the northern bobwhite (Colinus virginianus; hereafter bobwhite as a model species for studying how microclimates serve as refuge against severe weather conditions. This species serves as an indicator or umbrella species for other sensitive ground-nesting, grassland obligate species. We conducted a mensurative field experiment in the rolling plains of Texas, USA, a semi-arid ecosystem on the southwestern periphery of bobwhite range, to determine whether native bunch grasses, apparently suitable for bobwhite nesting, could reduce ambient temperature below levels harmful for eggs. During the nesting season, we compared temperature and relative humidity readings at daily heat maxima (i.e., the 3 h during each day with highest temperatures during the nesting season over the course of two years at 63 suitable nest sites paired with 63 random locations (n = 126 using two sensors at ∼10 and ∼60 cm above ground level. Mean temperature at nest height was 2.3% cooler at nest sites (35.99 °C ± 0.07 SE compared to random locations (36.81 °C ± 0.07 SE; at ambient height, nest sites were slightly cooler (32.78 °C ± 0.06 SE than random location (32.99 °C ± 0.06 SE. Mean relative humidity at nest sites was greater at nest height (34.53% ± 0.112 SE and ambient height (36.22% ± 0.10 SE compared to random locations at nest (33.35% ± 0.12 SE and ambient height (35.75% ± 0.10 SE. Based on these results, cover at sites that appear visually suitable for nesting by bobwhites and other ground nesting birds provided adequate thermal refuge in the rolling plains by maintaining cooler, moister microclimates than surrounding non-nesting locations. Post-hoc analyses of data revealed that habitat conditions surrounding suitable nest sites strongly influenced thermal suitability of the substrate. Given that eggs of bobwhites

  19. Pesticide acute toxicity is a better correlate of U.S. grassland bird declines than agricultural intensification.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pierre Mineau

    Full Text Available Common agricultural birds are in decline, both in Europe and in North America. Evidence from Europe suggests that agricultural intensification and, for some species, the indirect effects of pesticides mediated through a loss of insect food resource is in part responsible. On a state-by-state basis for the conterminous Unites States (U.S., we looked at several agronomic variables to predict the number of grassland species increasing or declining according to breeding bird surveys conducted between 1980 and 2003. Best predictors of species declines were the lethal risk from insecticide use modeled from pesticide impact studies, followed by the loss of cropped pasture. Loss of permanent pasture or simple measures of agricultural intensification such as the proportion of land under crop or the proportion of farmland treated with herbicides did not explain bird declines as well. Because the proportion of farmland treated with insecticides, and more particularly the lethal risk to birds from the use of current insecticides feature so prominently in the best models, this suggests that, in the U.S. at least, pesticide toxicity to birds should be considered as an important factor in grassland bird declines.

  20. Oak Ridge Reservation Bird Records and Population Trends

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Roy, W. K. [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States); Giffen, N. R. [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States); Wade, M. C. [CDM Smith (United States); Haines, A. M. [Xcel Engineering, Inc.(United States); Evans, J. W. [Tennessee WIldlife Resources Agency (WRA), Nashville, TN (United States); Jett, R. T. [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)

    2014-09-01

    Bird data have been collected through surveys, environmental assessments, and other observations for decades in the Oak Ridge National Environmental Research Park, located on the US Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge Reservation (ORR) in East Tennessee. Birds were recorded in a variety of habitats, including wetlands, interior forests, grasslands, ponds, corridors, forest edges, and more. Most of the information was gathered from waterfowl surveys conducted from 1990 to 2008, from Partners in Flight (PIF) breeding bird surveys conducted from 1995 to 2013, and from past publications and research on Reservation birds. We have also included our own observations and, in a few instances, credible observations of ORR birds of which we have been made aware through eBird or discussions with area ornithologists and bird watchers. For the period 1950-2014, we were able to document 228 species of birds on the ORR. Several of these species are known from historic records only, while others were not known to have ever occurred on the Reservation until recently. This report does not include PIF breeding bird data from the 2014 season or any records after July 2014. Twenty-two species--approximately 10% of the total number of species observed--have state-listed status in Tennessee as endangered, threatened, or in need of management. Of the 228 species we documented, 120 are believed to be breeding birds on the ORR.

  1. Oak Ridge Reservation Bird Records and Population Trends

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Roy, W. Kelly [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States); Giffen, Neil R. [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States); Wade, Murray [CDM Smith, Inc., Knoxville, TN (United States); Haines, Angelina [Xcel Engineering, Inc., Oak Ridge, TN (United States); Evans, James W. [Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, Nashville, TN (United States); Jett, Robert Trent [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)

    2014-11-01

    Bird data have been collected through surveys, environmental assessments, and other observations for decades in the Oak Ridge National Environmental Research Park, located on the US Department of Energy s Oak Ridge Reservation (ORR) in East Tennessee. Birds were recorded in a variety of habitats, including wetlands, interior forests, grasslands, ponds, corridors, forest edges, and more. Most of the information was gathered from waterfowl surveys conducted from 1990 to 2008, from Partners in Flight (PIF) breeding bird surveys conducted from 1995 to 2013, and from past publications and research on Reservation birds. We have also included our own observations and, in a few instances, credible observations of ORR birds of which we have been made aware through eBird or discussions with area ornithologists and bird watchers. For the period 1950 2014, we were able to document 228 species of birds on the ORR. Several of these species are known from historic records only, while others were not known to have ever occurred on the Reservation until recently. This report does not include PIF breeding bird data from the 2014 season or any records after July 2014. Twenty-two species approximately 10% of the total number of species observed have state-listed status in Tennessee as endangered, threatened, or in need of management. Of the 228 species we documented, 120 are believed to be breeding birds on the ORR.

  2. Effects of wind-energy facilities on breeding grassland bird distributions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shaffer, Jill A; Buhl, Deborah A

    2016-02-01

    The contribution of renewable energy to meet worldwide demand continues to grow. Wind energy is one of the fastest growing renewable sectors, but new wind facilities are often placed in prime wildlife habitat. Long-term studies that incorporate a rigorous statistical design to evaluate the effects of wind facilities on wildlife are rare. We conducted a before-after-control-impact (BACI) assessment to determine if wind facilities placed in native mixed-grass prairies displaced breeding grassland birds. During 2003-2012, we monitored changes in bird density in 3 study areas in North Dakota and South Dakota (U.S.A.). We examined whether displacement or attraction occurred 1 year after construction (immediate effect) and the average displacement or attraction 2-5 years after construction (delayed effect). We tested for these effects overall and within distance bands of 100, 200, 300, and >300 m from turbines. We observed displacement for 7 of 9 species. One species was unaffected by wind facilities and one species exhibited attraction. Displacement and attraction generally occurred within 100 m and often extended up to 300 m. In a few instances, displacement extended beyond 300 m. Displacement and attraction occurred 1 year after construction and persisted at least 5 years. Our research provides a framework for applying a BACI design to displacement studies and highlights the erroneous conclusions that can be made without the benefit of adopting such a design. More broadly, species-specific behaviors can be used to inform management decisions about turbine placement and the potential impact to individual species. Additionally, the avoidance distance metrics we estimated can facilitate future development of models evaluating impacts of wind facilities under differing land-use scenarios. Published 2015. This article is a U.S. Government work and is in the public domain in the USA.

  3. Varying Land-Use Has an Influence on Wattled and Grey Crowned Cranes’ Abundance and Distribution in Driefontein Grasslands Important Bird Area, Zimbabwe

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fakarayi, Togarasei; Mashapa, Clayton; Gandiwa, Edson; Kativu, Shakkie

    2016-01-01

    Three species of cranes are distributed widely throughout southern Africa, but little is known about how they respond to the changes in land-use that have occurred in this region. This study assessed habitat preference of the two crane species across land-use categories of the self contained small scale commercial farms of 30 to 40 ha per household (A1), large scale commercial agriculture farms of > 50 ha per household (A2) and Old Resettlement, farms of crane species abundance. Crane bird counts and data on influencing environmental variables were collected between June and August 2012. Our results show that varying land-use categories had an influence on the abundance and distribution of the Wattled Crane (Bugeranus carunculatus) and the Grey Crowned Crane (Belearica regulorum) across Driefontein Grasslands IBA. The Wattled Crane was widely distributed in the relatively undisturbed A2 farms while the Grey Crowned Crane was associated with the more disturbed land of A1 farms, Old Resettlement and its communal grazing land. Cyperus esculentus and percent (%) bare ground were strong environmental variables best explaining the observed patterns in Wattled Crane abundance across land-use categories. The pattern in Grey Crowned Crane abundance was best explained by soil penetrability, moisture and grass height variables. A holistic sustainable land-use management that takes into account conservation of essential habitats in Driefontein Grasslands IBA is desirable for crane populations and other wetland dependent species that include water birds. PMID:27875552

  4. Varying Land-Use Has an Influence on Wattled and Grey Crowned Cranes' Abundance and Distribution in Driefontein Grasslands Important Bird Area, Zimbabwe.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fakarayi, Togarasei; Mashapa, Clayton; Gandiwa, Edson; Kativu, Shakkie

    2016-01-01

    Three species of cranes are distributed widely throughout southern Africa, but little is known about how they respond to the changes in land-use that have occurred in this region. This study assessed habitat preference of the two crane species across land-use categories of the self contained small scale commercial farms of 30 to 40 ha per household (A1), large scale commercial agriculture farms of > 50 ha per household (A2) and Old Resettlement, farms of crane species abundance. Crane bird counts and data on influencing environmental variables were collected between June and August 2012. Our results show that varying land-use categories had an influence on the abundance and distribution of the Wattled Crane (Bugeranus carunculatus) and the Grey Crowned Crane (Belearica regulorum) across Driefontein Grasslands IBA. The Wattled Crane was widely distributed in the relatively undisturbed A2 farms while the Grey Crowned Crane was associated with the more disturbed land of A1 farms, Old Resettlement and its communal grazing land. Cyperus esculentus and percent (%) bare ground were strong environmental variables best explaining the observed patterns in Wattled Crane abundance across land-use categories. The pattern in Grey Crowned Crane abundance was best explained by soil penetrability, moisture and grass height variables. A holistic sustainable land-use management that takes into account conservation of essential habitats in Driefontein Grasslands IBA is desirable for crane populations and other wetland dependent species that include water birds.

  5. Conserving the grassland Important Bird Areas (IBAs) of southern South America: Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, and Brazil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adrian S. Di Giacomo; Santiago Krapovickas

    2005-01-01

    In the southern part of South America, knowledge about bird species distribution is still not used as a tool for land use planning and conservation priority-setting. BirdLife International’s Important Bird Areas (IBA) Program is an appropriate vehicle for analyzing existing information about birds, and to generate new data where necessary. IBA inventories...

  6. Role of Antidesma ghaesembilla Gaertn in Enriching the Depauperate Bird Community in “Cogon” Imperata cylindrica (L. Raeuschel Dominated Grassland in Swidden Vegetation Matrix

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alejandro A. Bernardo Jr.

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available The study was conducted to understand the role of Antidesma ghaesembilla Gaertn in enhancing the avifaunal diversity in Imperata cylindrica (L. Raeuschel dominated grassland patches and to realize the influence of adjacent vegetations on the assemblage of birds that feed on the fruit of this tree. An avifaunal survey was conducted on “Cogon” dominated grassland patches adjacent to selected vegetations such as primary forest, secondary forest and upland agricultural area. A total of 250 birds belonging to 19 species representing ten families were found feeding on the fruits of Antidesma ghaesembilla. The site adjacent to secondary forest has the highest species richness, abundance and diversity index values. This accentuates the combined influence of the open and forest dwelling bird species thriving in the secondary forest. The sites adjacent to the primary forest and to the agricultural area have the same species richness but differ in species composition as reflected by the low similarity index. More forest dwelling bird species were recorded near the forest while more open dwelling bird species were recorded near the agricultural area. This highlights the spillover effect of the adjacent vegetations on the feeding bird assemblage. The presence of several endemic and conservation priority bird species that feed on the fruits of Antidesma ghaesembilla unfolds its important role in avifaunal conservation. Finally, the wide collection of fruit eating bird species attracted to it emphasized its importance in improving the overall avifaunal diversity in Imperata cylindrica dominated grassland patches within the swidden vegetation matrix.

  7. Patch size and edge proximity are useful predictors of brood parasitism but not nest survival of grassland birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benson, Thomas J; Chiavacci, Scott J; Ward, Michael P

    2013-06-01

    Declines of migratory birds have led to increased focus on causative factors for these declines, including the potential adverse effects of habitat fragmentation on reproductive success. Although numerous studies have addressed how proximity to a habitat edge, patch size, or landscape context influence nest survival or brood parasitism, many have failed to find the purported effects. Furthermore, many have sought to generalize patterns across large geographic areas and habitats. Here, we examined evidence for effects of edge proximity, patch size, and landscape context on nest survival and brood parasitism of grassland birds, a group of conservation concern. The only consistent effect was a positive association between edge proximity and brood parasitism. We examined effects of patch size on nest survival (37 studies) and brood parasitism (30 studies) representing 170 and 97 different estimates, respectively, with a total sample size of > 14000 nests spanning eastern North America. Nest survival weakly increased with patch size in the Great Plains, but not in the Midwestern or Eastern United States, and brood parasitism was inversely related to patch size and consistently greater in the Great Plains. The consistency in brood parasitism relative to nest survival patterns is likely due to parasitism being caused by one species, while nest survival is driven by a diverse and variable suite of nest predators. Often, studies assume that predators responsible for nest predation, the main driver of nest success, either are the same or exhibit the same behaviors across large geographic areas. These results suggest that a better mechanistic understanding of nest predation is needed to provide meaningful conservation recommendations for improving grassland bird productivity, and that the use of general recommendations across large geographic areas should only be undertaken when sufficient data are available from all regions.

  8. Habitat-specific population growth of a farmland bird.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Debora Arlt

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: To assess population persistence of species living in heterogeneous landscapes, the effects of habitat on reproduction and survival have to be investigated. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We used a matrix population model to estimate habitat-specific population growth rates for a population of northern wheatears Oenanthe oenanthe breeding in farmland consisting of a mosaic of distinct habitat (land use types. Based on extensive long-term data on reproduction and survival, habitats characterised by tall field layers (spring- and autumn-sown crop fields, ungrazed grasslands displayed negative stochastic population growth rates (log lambda(s: -0.332, -0.429, -0.168, respectively, that were markedly lower than growth rates of habitats characterised by permanently short field layers (pastures grazed by cattle or horses, and farmyards, log lambda(s: -0.056, +0.081, -0.059. Although habitats differed with respect to reproductive performance, differences in habitat-specific population growth were largely due to differences in adult and first-year survival rates, as shown by a life table response experiment (LTRE. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Our results show that estimation of survival rates is important for realistic assessments of habitat quality. Results also indicate that grazed grasslands and farmyards may act as source habitats, whereas crop fields and ungrazed grasslands with tall field layers may act as sink habitats. We suggest that the strong decline of northern wheatears in Swedish farmland may be linked to the corresponding observed loss of high quality breeding habitat, i.e. grazed semi-natural grasslands.

  9. Species at risk setback distances : the effects of shallow gas activity on the distribution of grassland birds

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Linnen, C.

    2006-01-01

    The effects of shallow gas activity on the distribution of grassland birds was discussed in this presentation. The overall purpose of the study was to examine the effects of minimal disturbance gas wells and associated activity on species richness; effects on species abundance; and effects on the occurrence of species. The presentation provided several hypotheses, including that species richness would increase with increasing distance from gas wells and trails; that abundance and occurrence of sensitive species would increase with distance from gas wells and trails; and that abundance and occurrence of brood parasites and predators would decrease with increasing distance from gas wells and trails. The presentation illustrated the study area and study design. Several graphs representing the study results were also presented. Bird species that were examined included the abundance and occurrence of western meadowlark; horned lark; chestnut-collared longspur; clay-coloured sparrow; vesper sparrow; sprague pipit; savannah sparrow; grasshopper sparrow; baird sparrow; and brown-headed cowbird. A summary slide was also presented that concluded that species richness did not vary with distance from gas development and that brown-headed cowbirds tended to favour areas with gas development and interior habitats. tabs., figs

  10. The influence of fire on the assemblage structure of foraging birds in grasslands of the Serra da Canastra National Park, Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matheus G. Reis

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Grasslands are the most threatened physiognomies of the Cerrado biome (Brazilian savanna, a biodiversity hotspot with conservation as a priority. The Serra da Canastra National Park protects the most important remnants of the Cerrado's southern grasslands, which are under strong anthropogenic pressure. The present study describes the structure of bird assemblages that directly use food resources in burned areas, comparing areas affected by natural fire to the areas where controlled fires were set (a management strategy to combat arson. The tested null hypothesis was that different bird assemblages are structured in a similar manner, regardless of the post-fire period or assessed area. Between December/2012 and January/2015, 92 species were recorded foraging in the study areas. The results indicate that both types of burnings triggered profound and immediate changes in bird assemblages, increasing the number of species and individuals. Natural fires exhibited a more significant influence on the structure (diversity and dominance than prescribed burnings. Nevertheless, all the differences were no longer noticeable after a relatively short time interval of 2-3 months after prescribed burnings and 3-4 after natural fires. The findings may help the understanding of prescribed burnings as a management strategy for bird conservation in grasslands.

  11. Population ecology of rodents of maize fields and grassland in central Ethiopia

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bekel'e, Afework; Leirs, Herwig

    1997-01-01

    of A.dembeensis reached high values in the grassland. Breeding was seasonal and related to rainfall periods: extended rainy seasons resulting in longer periods with breeding females and higher litter sizes and, consequently, population size increases. These observations suggest that rodent population...

  12. A GIS-based model of Serengeti grassland bird species | Gottschalk ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The study was conducted on the Serengeti Plains, Tanzania, combining (1) records from a bird survey, (2) local measurements of vegetation structure and precipitation, and (3) a habitat map derived from a Landsat satellite image classification. The question of whether ground-based or satellite data explained more of the ...

  13. Looking above the prairie: localized and upward acute vision in a native grassland bird.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tyrrell, Luke P; Moore, Bret A; Loftis, Christopher; Fernández-Juricic, Esteban

    2013-12-02

    Visual systems of open habitat vertebrates are predicted to have a band of acute vision across the retina (visual streak) and wide visual coverage to gather information along the horizon. We tested whether the eastern meadowlark (Sturnella magna) had this visual configuration given that it inhabits open grasslands. Contrary to our expectations, the meadowlark retina has a localized spot of acute vision (fovea) and relatively narrow visual coverage. The fovea projects above rather than towards the horizon with the head at rest, and individuals modify their body posture in tall grass to maintain a similar foveal projection. Meadowlarks have relatively large binocular fields and can see their bill tips, which may help with their probe-foraging technique. Overall, meadowlark vision does not fit the profile of vertebrates living in open habitats. The binocular field may control foraging while the fovea may be used for detecting and tracking aerial stimuli (predators, conspecifics).

  14. Time to extinction of bird populations

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sæther, B-E.; Engen, S.; Møller, A.P.; Visser, M.E.; Matthysen, E.; Fiedler, W.; Lambrechts, M.M.; Becker, P.H.; Brommer, J.E.; Dickinson, J.; du Feu, C.; Gehlbach, F.R.; Merilä, J.; Rendell, W.; Robertson, R.J.; Thomson, D.L.; Török, J.

    2005-01-01

    The risk of extinction of populations has not previously been empirically related to parameters characterizing their population dynamics. To analyze this relationship, we simulated how the distribution of population dynamical characters changed as a function of time, in both the remaining and the

  15. Influence of olfactory and visual cover on nest site selection and nest success for grassland-nesting birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fogarty, Dillon T; Elmore, R Dwayne; Fuhlendorf, Samuel D; Loss, Scott R

    2017-08-01

    Habitat selection by animals is influenced by and mitigates the effects of predation and environmental extremes. For birds, nest site selection is crucial to offspring production because nests are exposed to extreme weather and predation pressure. Predators that forage using olfaction often dominate nest predator communities; therefore, factors that influence olfactory detection (e.g., airflow and weather variables, including turbulence and moisture) should influence nest site selection and survival. However, few studies have assessed the importance of olfactory cover for habitat selection and survival. We assessed whether ground-nesting birds select nest sites based on visual and/or olfactory cover. Additionally, we assessed the importance of visual cover and airflow and weather variables associated with olfactory cover in influencing nest survival. In managed grasslands in Oklahoma, USA, we monitored nests of Northern Bobwhite ( Colinus virginianus ), Eastern Meadowlark ( Sturnella magna ), and Grasshopper Sparrow ( Ammodramus savannarum ) during 2015 and 2016. To assess nest site selection, we compared cover variables between nests and random points. To assess factors influencing nest survival, we used visual cover and olfactory-related measurements (i.e., airflow and weather variables) to model daily nest survival. For nest site selection, nest sites had greater overhead visual cover than random points, but no other significant differences were found. Weather variables hypothesized to influence olfactory detection, specifically precipitation and relative humidity, were the best predictors of and were positively related to daily nest survival. Selection for overhead cover likely contributed to mitigation of thermal extremes and possibly reduced detectability of nests. For daily nest survival, we hypothesize that major nest predators focused on prey other than the monitored species' nests during high moisture conditions, thus increasing nest survival on these

  16. Overview of national bird population monitoring programs and databases

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gregory S. Butcher; Bruce Peterjohn; C. John Ralph

    1993-01-01

    A number of programs have been set up to monitor populations of nongame migratory birds. We review these programs and their purposes and provide information on obtaining data or results from these programs. In addition, we review recommendations for improving these programs.

  17. Reduced inflammation in expanding populations of a neotropical bird species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bailly, Juliette; Garnier, Stéphane; Khimoun, Aurélie; Arnoux, Emilie; Eraud, Cyril; Goret, Jean-Yves; Luglia, Thomas; Gaucher, Philippe; Faivre, Bruno

    2016-10-01

    The loss of regulating agents such as parasites is among the most important changes in biotic interactions experienced by populations established in newly colonized areas. Under a relaxed parasite pressure, individuals investing less in costly immune mechanisms might experience a selective advantage and become successful colonizers as they re-allocate resources to other fitness-related traits. Accordingly, a refinement of the evolution of increased competitive ability (EICA) hypothesis proposed that immunity of invasive populations has evolved toward a reduced investment in innate immunity, the most costly component of immunity, and an increased humoral immunity that is less costly. Biogeographical approaches comparing populations between native and expansion ranges are particularly relevant in exploring this issue, but remain very scarce. We conducted a biogeographical comparison between populations of Spectacled Thrush ( Turdus nudigenis ) from the native area (South America) and from the expansion range (Caribbean islands). First, we compared haemosporidian prevalence and circulating haptoglobin (an acute-phase protein produced during inflammation). Second, we challenged captive birds from both ranges with Escherichia coli lipopolysaccharides ( LPS ) and measured postchallenge haptoglobin production and body mass change. Birds from the expansion range showed lower haemosporidian prevalence and lower levels of haptoglobin than birds from the native range. In addition, the inflammation elicited by LPS injection and its associated cost in terms of body mass loss were lower in birds from the expansion range than in birds from the native range. In accordance with the enemy release hypothesis, our results suggest that range expansion is associated with a reduced infection risk. Our study also supports the hypothesis that individuals from newly established populations have evolved mechanisms to dampen the inflammatory response and are in accordance with one prediction

  18. Bird populations as sentinels of endocrine disrupting chemicals

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Claudio Carere

    2010-03-01

    Full Text Available Exposure to endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs is a widespread phenomenon in nature. Although the mechanisms of action of EDCs are actively studied, the consequences of endocrine disruption (ED at the population level and the adaptations evolved to cope with chronic EDC exposure have been overlooked. Birds probably represent the animal taxon most successfully adapted to synanthropic life. Hence, birds share with humans a similar pattern of exposure to xenobiotics. In this article, we review case studies on patterns of behaviour that deviate from the expectation in bird species exposed to EDCs. We provide behavioural and ecological parameters to be used as endpoints of ED; methodological requirements and caveats based on species-specific life-history traits, behavioural repertoires, developmental styles, and possibility of captive breeding; a list of species that could be used as sentinels to assess the quality of man-made environment.

  19. Bird populations as sentinels of endocrine disrupting chemicals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carere, Claudio; Costantini, David; Sorace, Alberto; Santucci, Daniela; Alleva, Enrico

    2010-01-01

    Exposure to endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) is a widespread phenomenon in nature. Although the mechanisms of action of EDCs are actively studied, the consequences of endocrine disruption (ED) at the population level and the adaptations evolved to cope with chronic EDC exposure have been overlooked. Birds probably represent the animal taxon most successfully adapted to synanthropic life. Hence, birds share with humans a similar pattern of exposure to xenobiotics. In this article, we review case studies on patterns of behaviour that deviate from the expectation in bird species exposed to EDCs. We provide behavioural and ecological parameters to be used as endpoints of ED; methodological requirements and caveats based on species-specific life-history traits, behavioural repertoires, developmental styles, and possibility of captive breeding; a list of species that could be used as sentinels to assess the quality of man-made environment.

  20. Using Christmas Bird Count data in analysis of population change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sauer, J.R.; Link, W.A.

    2002-01-01

    The scientific credibility of Christmas Bird Count (CBC) results depend on the development and implementation of appropriate methods of statistical analysis. The key to any successful analysis of CBC data is to begin with a careful review of how the limitations of the data are likely to influence the results of the analysis, then to choose methods of analysis that accommodate as much as possible the limitations of the survey. For our analyses of CBC data, we develop a flexible model for effort adjustment and use information from the data to guide the selection of the best model. We include geographic structuring to accommodate the regional variation in number of samples, use a model that allows for overdispersed poisson data appropriate for counts, and employ empirical Bayes procedures to accommodate differences in quality of information in regional summaries. This generalized linear model approach is very flexible, and can be applied to a variety of studies focused on factors influencing wintering bird populations. In particular, the model can be easily modified to contain covariates, allowing for assessment of associations between CBC counts and winter weather, disturbance, and a variety of other environmental factors. These new survey analysis methods have added value in that they provide insights into changes in survey design that can enhance the value of the information. The CBC has been extremely successful as a tool for increasing public interest in birding and bird conservation. Use of the information for bird conservation creates new demands on quality of information, and it is important to maintain a dialogue between users of the information, information needs for the analyses, and survey coordinators and participants. Our work as survey analysts emphasizes the value and limitations of existing data, and provides some indications of what features of the survey could be modified to make the survey a more reliable source of bird population data. Surveys

  1. Forest management under uncertainty for multiple bird population objectives

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moore, C.T.; Plummer, W.T.; Conroy, M.J.; Ralph, C. John; Rich, Terrell D.

    2005-01-01

    We advocate adaptive programs of decision making and monitoring for the management of forest birds when responses by populations to management, and particularly management trade-offs among populations, are uncertain. Models are necessary components of adaptive management. Under this approach, uncertainty about the behavior of a managed system is explicitly captured in a set of alternative models. The models generate testable predictions about the response of populations to management, and monitoring data provide the basis for assessing these predictions and informing future management decisions. To illustrate these principles, we examine forest management at the Piedmont National Wildlife Refuge, where management attention is focused on the recovery of the Red-cockaded Woodpecker (Picoides borealis) population. However, managers are also sensitive to the habitat needs of many non-target organisms, including Wood Thrushes (Hylocichla mustelina) and other forest interior Neotropical migratory birds. By simulating several management policies on a set of-alternative forest and bird models, we found a decision policy that maximized a composite response by woodpeckers and Wood Thrushes despite our complete uncertainty regarding system behavior. Furthermore, we used monitoring data to update our measure of belief in each alternative model following one cycle of forest management. This reduction of uncertainty translates into a reallocation of model influence on the choice of optimal decision action at the next decision opportunity.

  2. Weather radar data correlate to hail-induced mortality in grassland birds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Large hail can kill animals, but its contribution to annual mortality is under-studied and difficult to quantify. Hail events are challenging to predict, and they often occur in locations where populations are not being studied. Small-bodied terrestrial animals such as songbirds (Order Passeriformes...

  3. Terrestrial bird population trends on Aguiguan (Goat Island), Mariana Islands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amidon, Fred; Camp, Richard J.; Marshall, Ann P.; Pratt, Thane K.; Williams, Laura; Radley, Paul; Cruz, Justine B.

    2014-01-01

    The island of Aguiguan is part of the Mariana archipelago and currently supports populations of four endemic species, including one endemic genus, Cleptornis. Bird population trends since 1982 were recently assessed on the neighbouring islands of Saipan, Tinian, and Rota indicating declines in some native species. Point-transect surveys were conducted in 2008 by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to assess population densities and trends on Aguiguan. Densities for six of the nine native birds—White-throated Ground-dove Gallicolumba xanthonura, Collared Kingfisher Todiramphus chloris, Rufous Fantail Rhipidura rufifrons, Golden White-eye Cleptornis marchei, Bridled White-eye Zosterops conspicillatus and Micronesian Starling Aplonis opaca—and the non-native bird—Island Collared-dove Streptopelia bitorquata—were significantly greater in 2008 than in 1982. No differences in densities were detected among the surveys for Mariana Fruit-dove Ptilinopus roseicapilla, and Micronesian MyzomelaMyzomela rubratra. Three federally and locally listed endangered birds—Nightingale Reed-warbler Acrocephalus luscinius, Mariana Swiftlet Collocalia bartschi, and Micronesian Megapode Megapodius laperous)—were either not detected during the point-transect counts, the surveys were not appropriate for the species, or the numbers of birds detected were too small to estimate densities. The factors behind the increasing trends for some species are unknown but may be related to increased forest cover on the island since 1982. With declining trends for some native species on neighbouring islands, the increasing and stable trends on Aguiguan is good news for forest bird populations in the region, as Aguiguan populations can help support conservation efforts on other islands in the archipelago.

  4. Breeding bird populations in Missouri Ozark forests with and without clearcutting

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frank R., III Thompson; William D. Dijak; Thomas G. Kulowiec; David A. Hamilton

    1992-01-01

    Concern has arisen that forest management practices that create edge (such as clearcutting) are contributing to regional declines in neotropical migrant birds that inhabit forest interiors. Consequently, we studied breeding bird populations in an extensively forested region of southern Missouri to determine if the numbers of breeding birds differed between areas (n = 9...

  5. Bird on the wire: Landscape planning considering costs and benefits for bird populations coexisting with power lines.

    Science.gov (United States)

    D'Amico, Marcello; Catry, Inês; Martins, Ricardo C; Ascensão, Fernando; Barrientos, Rafael; Moreira, Francisco

    2018-02-24

    Power-line grids are increasingly expanding worldwide, as well as their negative impacts on avifauna, namely the direct mortality through collision and electrocution, the reduction of breeding performance, and the barrier effect. On the other hand, some bird species can apparently benefit from the presence of power lines, for example perching for hunting purposes or nesting on electricity towers. In this perspective essay, we reviewed the scientific literature on both costs and benefits for avifauna coexisting with power lines. Overall, we detected a generalized lack of studies focusing on these costs or benefits at a population level. We suggest that a switch in research approach to a larger spatio-temporal scale would greatly improve our knowledge about the actual effects of power lines on bird populations. This research approach would facilitate suitable landscape planning encompassing both mitigation of costs and promotion of benefits for bird populations coexisting with power lines. For example, the strategic route planning of electricity infrastructures would limit collision risk or barrier effects for threatened bird populations. Concurrently, this strategic route planning would promote the range expansion of threatened populations of other bird species, by providing nesting structures in treeless but potentially suitable landscapes. We suggest establishing a collaborative dialogue among the scientific community, governments, and electricity companies, with the aim to produce a win-win scenario in which both biodiversity conservation and infrastructure development are integrated in a common strategy.

  6. Assessment of bird populations in a high quality savanna/woodland: a banding approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilmore, Sandra L.; Glowacki, Gary A.; Grundel, Ralph

    2005-01-01

    Between 1999 and 2004, Save the Dunes Conservation Fund's Miller Woods Bird Banding Program monitored migrating and breeding bird populations within a high quality black oak, dry-mesic sand savanna/woodland with ridge and swale topography. The objectives of this program were to collect consistent and reliable demographic and abundance data on the bird populations, to investigate long-term population trends, and to contribute to improved land management decisions at regional and national scales. The technique employed involved capturing birds in mist nets that were deployed for set periods of time at 17 net sites in two banding areas in Miller Woods.

  7. Successive sheep grazing reduces population density of Brandt's voles in steppe grassland by altering food resources: a large manipulative experiment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Guoliang; Yin, Baofa; Wan, Xinrong; Wei, Wanhong; Wang, Guiming; Krebs, Charles J; Zhang, Zhibin

    2016-01-01

    Livestock grazing has shaped grassland ecosystems around the world. Previous studies indicated grazing showed various impacts on small rodents; however, most studies were conducted over 1-2 years without controlling for confounding factors such as immigration/emigration and predation in rodents. Brandt's voles (Lasiopodomys brandtii) are generally recognized as pests because of food overlap with domestic herbivores, but are also important for biodiversity conservation because they provide nests or food to many birds. Fully understanding the ecological relationship between domestic herbivores and small mammals is essential to making ecosystem management decisions. To address these needs, we carried out a field experiment during the period 2010-2013 to assess the effects of sheep grazing on vegetation and the population density of Brandt's voles along a gradient of three grazing intensities by using 12 large-scale enclosures. Responses of Brandt's voles to livestock grazing varied with grazing intensity and year. As compared to the control group, sheep grazing had no effect on vole abundance in the first year but an overall negative effect on vole abundance in the following 3 years. Successive grazing caused decreases in survival and male body mass of voles, but had no significant effect on fecundity. Negative effects of grazing were associated with a grazing-induced deterioration in both food quantity (reflected by biomass and cover of less-preferred plants), and food quality (measured by tannin and total phenol content). Our findings highlight the urgent need for more flexible management of yearly rotational grazing to optimize livestock production while maintaining species diversity and ecosystem health.

  8. Aspects of population dynamics and feeding by piscivorous birds in ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Breaching events were associated with a change in feeding groups from waders to pursuit feeders, and a decrease in total bird numbers, most likely due to loss of potential littoral zone foraging habitat for waders resulting from reduced water levels. The highest bird numbers were recorded in winter reflecting the migration of ...

  9. Plastic responses to elevated temperature in low and high elevation populations of three grassland species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frei, Esther R; Ghazoul, Jaboury; Pluess, Andrea R

    2014-01-01

    Local persistence of plant species in the face of climate change is largely mediated by genetic adaptation and phenotypic plasticity. In species with a wide altitudinal range, population responses to global warming are likely to differ at contrasting elevations. In controlled climate chambers, we investigated the responses of low and high elevation populations (1200 and 1800 m a.s.l.) of three nutrient-poor grassland species, Trifolium montanum, Ranunculus bulbosus, and Briza media, to ambient and elevated temperature. We measured growth-related, reproductive and phenological traits, evaluated differences in trait plasticity and examined whether trait values or plasticities were positively related to approximate fitness and thus under selection. Elevated temperature induced plastic responses in several growth-related traits of all three species. Although flowering phenology was advanced in T. montanum and R. bulbosus, number of flowers and reproductive allocation were not increased under elevated temperature. Plasticity differed between low and high elevation populations only in leaf traits of T. montanum and B. media. Some growth-related and phenological traits were under selection. Moreover, plasticities were not correlated with approximate fitness indicating selectively neutral plastic responses to elevated temperature. The observed plasticity in growth-related and phenological traits, albeit variable among species, suggests that plasticity is an important mechanism in mediating plant responses to elevated temperature. However, the capacity of species to respond to climate change through phenotypic plasticity is limited suggesting that the species additionally need evolutionary adaptation to adjust to climate change. The observed selection on several growth-related and phenological traits indicates that the study species have the potential for future evolution in the context of a warming climate.

  10. Conservation of disturbance-dependent birds in eastern North America

    Science.gov (United States)

    William C. Hunter; David A. Buehler; Ronald A. Canterbury; John L. Confer; Paul B. Hamel

    2001-01-01

    Populations of most bird species associated with grassland, shrub-scrub habitats, and disturbed areas in forested habitats (hereafter all referred to as disturbance-dependent species) have declined steeply. However, a widespread perception exists that disturbance-dependent species are merely returning to population levels likely found by the first European explorers...

  11. American Exceptionalism: Population Trends and Flight Initiation Distances in Birds from Three Continents

    Science.gov (United States)

    Møller, Anders Pape; Samia, Diogo S. M.; Weston, Mike A.; Guay, Patrick-Jean; Blumstein, Daniel T.

    2014-01-01

    Background All organisms may be affected by humans' increasing impact on Earth, but there are many potential drivers of population trends and the relative importance of each remains largely unknown. The causes of spatial patterns in population trends and their relationship with animal responses to human proximity are even less known. Methodology/Principal Finding We investigated the relationship between population trends of 193 species of bird in North America, Australia and Europe and flight initiation distance (FID); the distance at which birds take flight when approached by a human. While there is an expected negative relationship between population trend and FID in Australia and Europe, we found the inverse relationship for North American birds; thus FID cannot be used as a universal predictor of vulnerability of birds. However, the analysis of the joint explanatory ability of multiple drivers (farmland breeding habitat, pole-most breeding latitude, migratory habit, FID) effects on population status replicated previously reported strong effects of farmland breeding habitat (an effect apparently driven mostly by European birds), as well as strong effects of FID, body size, migratory habit and continent. Farmland birds are generally declining. Conclusions/Significance Flight initiation distance is related to population trends in a way that differs among continents opening new research possibilities concerning the causes of geographic differences in patterns of anti-predator behavior. PMID:25226165

  12. Predation drives nesting success in moist highland grasslands: the ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    By focusing on process-oriented data rather than inventory-type data, this study provides a robust understanding of the effects of agricultural management on grassland bird reproductive output in the moist highland grasslands (MHGs) of South Africa. Four-hundred and four nests of 12 grassland-breeding bird species were ...

  13. Long-Term Bird Assemblage Trends in Areas of High and Low Human Population Density

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Barrett, K.; Romagosa, C.M.; Williams, M.I.

    2008-01-01

    Urban areas are expanding globally, and the impact of high human population density (HHPD) on bird species richness remains unresolved. Studies primarily focus on species richness along an urban-to-rural gradient; however, some studies have analyzed larger-scale patterns and found results that contrast with those obtained at smaller scales. To move the discussion beyond static species richness patterns, we analyzed the effect of HHPD on bird assemblage dynamics (year-to-year extinction probability, turnover, changes in species richness) across the United States over a 25-year period. We found that bird assemblages in both high and low human population density areas changed significantly over the period of record. Specifically, bird assemblages increased in species richness on average. Assemblage change in areas of HHPD was not significantly different from assemblage change in areas with LHPD. These results suggest that human population density alone does not alter the persistence of avian assemblage patterns.

  14. The effect of wind turbines on the bird population at Blyth Harbour

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Still, D.; Little, B.; Lawrence, S.

    1996-01-01

    Bird monitoring was carried out at Blyth Harbour Wind Farm which consists of a line of nine 300kW wind turbines distributed at 200m intervals along a 1.2km breakwater. The harbour breakwater is designated as part of a Site of Special Scientific Interest as it supports an internationally important winter population of Purple Sandpipers. The Blyth estuary is to be designated as part of a Special Protection Area under the EC Habitats Directive and as part of a proposed RAMSAR site due to its peak periods up to c.5000 bird movements/day occur adjacent to the windfarm. Mortality surveys (at one week intervals) were carried out on adjacent beaches to the wind farm in order to assess the background numbers of bird corpses and locate wind farm casualties. Supplementary mortality searches were carried out near power lines less than 2.5 km upstream from the wind farm. Tests of the efficiency of the mortality surveys have been carried out in order to assess the likely impact on the local bird populations. In spite of the large bird population supported by the harbour and its close proximity to the wind farm there have been relatively few collision victims (31) since the windfarm was commissioned. This is equivalent to less than 1.34 bird strike/wind turbine per annum. (author)

  15. Breeding bird populations and habitat associations within the Savannah River Site (SRS).

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gauthreaux, Sidney, A.; Steven J. Wagner.

    2005-06-29

    Gauthreaux, Sidney, A., and Steven J. Wagner. 2005. Breeding bird populations and habitat associations within the Savannah River Site (SRS). Final Report. USDA Forest Service, Savannah River, Aiken, SC. 48 pp. Abstract: During the 1970's and 1980's a dramatic decline occurred in the populations of Neotropical migratory birds, species that breed in North America and winter south of the border in Central and South America and in the Caribbean. In 1991 an international initiative was mounted by U. S. governmental land management agencies, nongovernmental conservation agencies, and the academic and lay ornithological communities to understand the decline of Neotropical migratory birds in the Americas. In cooperation with the USDA Forest Service - Savannah River (FS - SR) we began 1992 a project directed to monitoring population densities of breeding birds using the Breeding Bird Census (BBC) methodology in selected habitats within the Savannah River Site SRS. In addition we related point count data on the occurrence of breeding Neotropical migrants and other bird species to the habitat data gathered by the Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) program of the USDA Forest Service and data on habitat treatments within forest stands.

  16. Bird populations on the Island of Tinian: persistence despite wholesale loss of native forests

    Science.gov (United States)

    Camp, Richard J.; Amidon, Frederick A.; Marshall, Ann P.; Pratt, Thane K.

    2012-01-01

    Bird habitat on the island of Tinian, Mariana Islands, has been substantially altered, and only around 5% of the island has native forest today. The modern bird fauna is likely to be a subset of the original avifauna where only species tolerant to native forest loss and human disturbance have survived. Avian surveys were conducted on the island in 2008 by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to provide current densities and abundances of the remaining species, and assess population trends using data collected from previous surveys. During the three surveys (1982, 1996, and 2008), 18 species were detected, and abundances and trends were assessed for 11 species. Five of the nine native species and one alien bird have increased since 1982. Three native birds—Mariana Fruit-Dove (Ptilinopusroseicapilla), Micronesian Honeyeater (Myzomela rubratra), and Tinian Monarch (Monarcha takatsukasae)—have decreased since 1982. Trends for the remaining two birds (one native and one alien) were considered relatively stable. Only five birds, including the Tinian Monarch, showed significant differences among regions of Tinian by year. Increased development on Tinian may result in increases in habitat clearing and expansion of human-dominated habitats, and declines in some bird populations would likely continue or be exacerbated with these actions. Expanded development activities on Tinian would also mean increased cargo movement between Guam and Tinian, elevating the probability of transporting the Brown Tree Snake (Boiga irregularis) to Tinian, which would lead to precipitous decreases and extinctions.

  17. Development of a practical modeling framework for estimating the impact of wind technology on bird populations

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Morrison, M.L. [California State Univ., Sacramento, CA (United States); Pollock, K.H. [North Carolina State Univ., Raleigh, NC (United States)

    1997-11-01

    One of the most pressing environmental concerns related to wind project development is the potential for avian fatalities caused by the turbines. The goal of this project is to develop a useful, practical modeling framework for evaluating potential wind power plant impacts that can be generalized to most bird species. This modeling framework could be used to get a preliminary understanding of the likelihood of significant impacts to birds, in a cost-effective way. The authors accomplish this by (1) reviewing the major factors that can influence the persistence of a wild population; (2) briefly reviewing various models that can aid in estimating population status and trend, including methods of evaluating model structure and performance; (3) reviewing survivorship and population projections; and (4) developing a framework for using models to evaluate the potential impacts of wind development on birds.

  18. Development of a practical modeling framework for estimating the impact of wind technology on bird populations

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Morrison, M.L.; Pollock, K.H.

    1997-11-01

    One of the most pressing environmental concerns related to wind project development is the potential for avian fatalities caused by the turbines. The goal of this project is to develop a useful, practical modeling framework for evaluating potential wind power plant impacts that can be generalized to most bird species. This modeling framework could be used to get a preliminary understanding of the likelihood of significant impacts to birds, in a cost-effective way. The authors accomplish this by (1) reviewing the major factors that can influence the persistence of a wild population; (2) briefly reviewing various models that can aid in estimating population status and trend, including methods of evaluating model structure and performance; (3) reviewing survivorship and population projections; and (4) developing a framework for using models to evaluate the potential impacts of wind development on birds

  19. Results of the of wintering bird populations monitoring in the region of Nizhnee Prisurye

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ekaterina S. Preobrazhenskaya

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available The monitoring of wintering bird populations in the region of Nizhnee Prisurie on the territory of Chuvash Republic was carried out in 1989–1990. From 2000 censuses were conducted on the territory of the nature reserve "Prisurskiy" and the National Park "Chavash Varmane". These regular censuses were called project "Parus" by the Menzbir Ornithological Society of the Russian Academy of Sciences. The last ten years they were also included in the overall-Russian campaign "Euro-Asian Christmas Bird Counts" project from the Russian Birds Conservation Union. During these 20 years there were 44 bird species registered in the studied area. Eleven of them are marked by single or rare. Four species - Regulus regulus, Aegithalos caudatus, Spinus spinus and Carduelis carduelis – increased their abundance from 1990 till the middle 2000-s and then – decreased. Dendrocopos minor showed the opposite trend. The abundance of 13 species in the 1990-s was higher, sometimes significantly, than in the 2000s and 2010s. The reason may be searched in the differences between the censuses areas in 1990s and 2000s. However, the decreasing of the population densities is typical for other forest species, not only in Nizhnee Prisurie, but also in other model territories. In general, during the last 25 years we can see negative trends in the population dynamics of wintering bird species within the East European plain.

  20. Consequences of habitat change and resource selection specialization for population limitation in cavity-nesting birds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin, Thomas E.

    2015-01-01

    Resource selection specialization may increase vulnerability of populations to environmental change. One environmental change that may negatively impact some populations is the broad decline of quaking aspen Populus tremuloides, a preferred nest tree of cavity-nesting organisms who are commonly limited by nest-site availability. However, the long-term consequences of this habitat change for cavity-nesting bird populations are poorly studied.

  1. Breeding bird response to juniper woodland expansion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosenstock, Steven S.; van Riper, Charles

    2001-01-01

    In recent times, pinyon (Pinus spp.)-juniper (Juniperus spp.) woodlands have expanded into large portions of the Southwest historically occupied by grassland vegetation. From 1997-1998, we studied responses of breeding birds to one-seed juniper (J. monosperma) woodland expansion at 2 grassland study areas in northern Arizona. We sampled breeding birds in 3 successional stages along a grassland-woodland gradient: un-invaded grassland, grassland undergoing early stages of juniper establishment, and developing woodland. Species composition varied greatly among successional stages and was most different between endpoints of the gradient. Ground-nesting grassland species predominated in uninvaded grassland but declined dramatically as tree density increased. Tree- and cavity-nesting species increased with tree density and were most abundant in developing woodland. Restoration of juniper-invaded grasslands will benefit grassland-obligate birds and other wildlife.

  2. Testing the environmental Kuznets curve hypothesis with bird populations as habitat-specific environmental indicators: evidence from Canada.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lantz, Van; Martínez-Espiñeira, Roberto

    2008-04-01

    The traditional environmental Kuznets curve (EKC) hypothesis postulates that environmental degradation follows an inverted U-shaped relationship with gross domestic product (GDP) per capita. We tested the EKC hypothesis with bird populations in 5 different habitats as environmental quality indicators. Because birds are considered environmental goods, for them the EKC hypothesis would instead be associated with a U-shaped relationship between bird populations and GDP per capita. In keeping with the literature, we included other variables in the analysis-namely, human population density and time index variables (the latter variable captured the impact of persistent and exogenous climate and/or policy changes on bird populations over time). Using data from 9 Canadian provinces gathered over 37 years, we used a generalized least-squares regression for each bird habitat type, which accounted for the panel structure of the data, the cross-sectional dependence across provinces in the residuals, heteroskedasticity, and fixed- or random-effect specifications of the models. We found evidence that supports the EKC hypothesis for 3 of the 5 bird population habitat types. In addition, the relationship between human population density and the different bird populations varied, which emphasizes the complex nature of the impact that human populations have on the environment. The relationship between the time-index variable and the different bird populations also varied, which indicates there are other persistent and significant influences on bird populations over time. Overall our EKC results were consistent with those found for threatened bird species, indicating that economic prosperity does indeed act to benefit some bird populations.

  3. Seasonal associations with urban light pollution for nocturnally migrating bird populations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    La Sorte, Frank A; Fink, Daniel; Buler, Jeffrey J; Farnsworth, Andrew; Cabrera-Cruz, Sergio A

    2017-11-01

    The spatial extent and intensity of artificial light at night (ALAN) has increased worldwide through the growth of urban environments. There is evidence that nocturnally migrating birds are attracted to ALAN, and there is evidence that nocturnally migrating bird populations are more likely to occur in urban areas during migration, especially in the autumn. Here, we test if urban sources of ALAN are responsible, at least in part, for these observed urban associations. We use weekly estimates of diurnal occurrence and relative abundance for 40 nocturnally migrating bird species that breed in forested environments in North America to assess how associations with distance to urban areas and ALAN are defined across the annual cycle. Migratory bird populations presented stronger than expected associations with shorter distances to urban areas during migration, and stronger than expected association with higher levels of ALAN outside and especially within urban areas during migration. These patterns were more pronounced during autumn migration, especially within urban areas. Outside of the two migration periods, migratory bird populations presented stronger than expected associations with longer distances to urban areas, especially during the nonbreeding season, and weaker than expected associations with the highest levels of ALAN outside and especially within urban areas. These findings suggest that ALAN is associated with higher levels of diurnal abundance along the boundaries and within the interior of urban areas during migration, especially in the autumn when juveniles are undertaking their first migration journey. These findings support the conclusion that urban sources of ALAN can broadly effect migratory behavior, emphasizing the need to better understand the implications of ALAN for migratory bird populations. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  4. Seasonal distribution of bird populations at the Patuxent Research Refuge

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoffman, D.J.; Henny, C.J.; Hill, E.F.; Keith, J.A.; Grove, R.A.

    2000-01-01

    High concentrations of mercury from past mining activities have accumulated in the food chain of fish-eating birds nesting along the mid to lower Carson River. Activities of nine plasma and tissue enzymes, and concentrations of other plasma and tissue constituents were measured for black-crowned night-heron, Nycticorax nycticorax, (BCNH) and snowy egret, Egretta thula, (SE) nestlings from two high mercury sites and one low mercury site. Geometric mean blood Hg concentrations for BCNHs at the high mercury sites were 2.6 and 2.8 ppm (ww) and 0.6 ppm at the low mercury site. Blood concentrations for SEs were 3.6 and 1.9 ppm at the high mercury sites and 0.7 ppm at the low mercury site. In BCNHs plasma glutathione peroxidase (GSH peroxidase) activity was lower in both high mercury sites relative to the low mercury site. Butyryl cholinesterase (BuChe), ALT, glutathione reductase (GSSG-reductase) and LDH-L activities were lower in one high mercury site. In SEs significant differences were lower BuChe and LDH-L, but elevated GGT activities. Evidence of renal stress in both species at high mercury sites included increased plasma uric acid, blood urea nitrogen, and creatinine concentrations as well as oxidative stress in the kidney tissue itself where oxidized glutathione increased. A number of the mercury site-related effects, including decreased plasma GSH-peroxidase and hepatic G-6-PDH activities, higher GSSG-reductase activity, and lower hepatic concentrations of reduced thiols have been reported in methylmercury feeding studies with great egrets and mallards. These findings suggest the utility of herons and egrets for monitoring mercury sites.

  5. Grassland Sustainability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deborah U. Potter; Paulette L. Ford

    2004-01-01

    In this chapter we discuss grassland sustainability in the Southwest, grassland management for sustainability, national and local criteria and indicators of sustainable grassland ecosystems, and monitoring for sustainability at various scales. Ecological sustainability is defined as: [T]he maintenance or restoration of the composition, structure, and processes of...

  6. Population growth in a wild bird is buffered against phenological mismatch

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Reed, T.; Grotan, V.; Jenouvrier, S.; Saether, B.E.; Visser, M.E.

    2013-01-01

    road-scale environmental changes are altering patterns of natural selection in the wild, but few empirical studies have quantified the demographic cost of sustained directional selection in response to these changes. We tested whether population growth in a wild bird is negatively affected by

  7. Recommended methods for monitoring change in bird populations by counting and capture of migrants

    Science.gov (United States)

    David J. T. Hussell; C. John Ralph

    2005-01-01

    Counts and banding captures of spring or fall migrants can generate useful information on the status and trends of the source populations. To do so, the counts and captures must be taken and recorded in a standardized and consistent manner. We present recommendations for field methods for counting and capturing migrants at intensively operated sites, such as bird...

  8. The effects of organic inputs to estuaries on overwintering bird populations and communities

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Green, P.T.; Hill, D.A.; Clark, N.A.

    1992-01-01

    This study investigates the relationship between changes in organic inputs to river estuaries and other coastal intertidal areas, and changes in the populations of waterfowl in these habitats. This is done in the context of tidal barrage construction, where barrage construction and operation may coincide with the cleaning of estuarine water. A thorough review of the literature is undertaken to determine the current status of knowledge of bird/organic-enrichment interactions. The use of multivariate statistics for identifying gradients in similarity between bird communities (specifically waders) of different estuaries, irrespective of geographic locations is investigated. (UK)

  9. An indicator of the impact of climatic change on European bird populations.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Richard D Gregory

    Full Text Available Rapid climatic change poses a threat to global biodiversity. There is extensive evidence that recent climatic change has affected animal and plant populations, but no indicators exist that summarise impacts over many species and large areas. We use data on long-term population trends of European birds to develop such an indicator. We find a significant relationship between interspecific variation in population trend and the change in potential range extent between the late 20(th and late 21(st centuries, forecasted by climatic envelope models. Our indicator measures divergence in population trend between bird species predicted by climatic envelope models to be favourably affected by climatic change and those adversely affected. The indicator shows a rapid increase in the past twenty years, coinciding with a period of rapid warming.

  10. Quantifying the detrimental impacts of land-use and management change on European forest bird populations.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amy S I Wade

    Full Text Available The ecological impacts of changing forest management practices in Europe are poorly understood despite European forests being highly managed. Furthermore, the effects of potential drivers of forest biodiversity decline are rarely considered in concert, thus limiting effective conservation or sustainable forest management. We present a trait-based framework that we use to assess the detrimental impact of multiple land-use and management changes in forests on bird populations across Europe. Major changes to forest habitats occurring in recent decades, and their impact on resource availability for birds were identified. Risk associated with these changes for 52 species of forest birds, defined as the proportion of each species' key resources detrimentally affected through changes in abundance and/or availability, was quantified and compared to their pan-European population growth rates between 1980 and 2009. Relationships between risk and population growth were found to be significantly negative, indicating that resource loss in European forests is an important driver of decline for both resident and migrant birds. Our results demonstrate that coarse quantification of resource use and ecological change can be valuable in understanding causes of biodiversity decline, and thus in informing conservation strategy and policy. Such an approach has good potential to be extended for predictive use in assessing the impact of possible future changes to forest management and to develop more precise indicators of forest health.

  11. Temporal variation in population size of European bird species: effects of latitude and marginality of distribution.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    José J Cuervo

    Full Text Available In the Northern Hemisphere, global warming has been shown to affect animal populations in different ways, with southern populations in general suffering more from increased temperatures than northern populations of the same species. However, southern populations are also often marginal populations relative to the entire breeding range, and marginality may also have negative effects on populations. To disentangle the effects of latitude (possibly due to global warming and marginality on temporal variation in population size, we investigated European breeding bird species across a latitudinal gradient. Population size estimates were regressed on years, and from these regressions we obtained the slope (a proxy for population trend and the standard error of the estimate (SEE (a proxy for population fluctuations. The possible relationships between marginality or latitude on one hand and slopes or SEE on the other were tested among populations within species. Potentially confounding factors such as census method, sampling effort, density-dependence, habitat fragmentation and number of sampling years were controlled statistically. Population latitude was positively related to regression slopes independent of marginality, with more positive slopes (i.e., trends in northern than in southern populations. The degree of marginality was positively related to SEE independent of latitude, with marginal populations showing larger SEE (i.e., fluctuations than central ones. Regression slopes were also significantly related to our estimate of density-dependence and SEE was significantly affected by the census method. These results are consistent with a scenario in which southern and northern populations of European bird species are negatively affected by marginality, with southern populations benefitting less from global warming than northern populations, thus potentially making southern populations more vulnerable to extinction.

  12. Population genetic structure and long-distance dispersal of a recently expanding migratory bird.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramos, Raül; Song, Gang; Navarro, Joan; Zhang, Ruiying; Symes, Craig T; Forero, Manuela G; Lei, Fumin

    2016-06-01

    Long-distance dispersal events and their derivable increases of genetic diversity have been highlighted as important ecological and evolutionary determinants that improve performances of range-expanding species. In the context of global environmental change, specific dispersal strategies have to be understood and foreseen if we like to prevent general biodiversity impoverishment or the spread of allochthonous diseases. We explored the genetic structure and potential population mixing on the recently range-expanding European bee-eater Merops apiaster. In addition, the species is suspected of harbouring and disseminating the most relevant disease for bees and apiculture, Nosema microsporidia. In agreement with complementary ringing recovery data and morphometric measurements, genetic results on two mitochondrial genes and 12 microsatellites showed a reasonably well-structured population partitioning along its breeding distribution. Microsatellite results indicated that not only did a few birds recently disperse long distance during their return migrations and change their natal breeding areas, but also that a group of allochthonous birds together founded a new colony. Although we did not provide evidence on the direct implication of birds in the widespread of Nosema parasites, our finding on the long-distance dispersal of bird flocks between remote breeding colonies adds concern about the role of European bee-eaters in the spread of such disease at a large, inter-continental scale. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. Trade-offs between pasture production and farmland bird conservation: exploration of options using a dynamic farm model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sabatier, R; Teillard, F; Rossing, W A H; Doyen, L; Tichit, M

    2015-05-01

    In European grassland landscapes, grazing and mowing play a key role for the maintenance of high-quality habitats that host important bird populations. As grasslands are also key resources for cattle feeding, there is a need to develop management strategies that achieve the double objective of production and biodiversity conservation. The objective of this study was to use a modelling approach to generate recognisable patterns of bird dynamics in farms composed of different land use proportions, and to compare their production and ecological dimensions. We developed a dynamic model, which linked grassland management to bird population dynamics at the field and farm levels. The model was parameterised for two types of suckling farms corresponding to contrasting levels of grassland intensification and for two bird species of high conservation value. A viability algorithm was used to define and assess viable management strategies for production and ecological performance so as to draw the shape of the relationship between both types of performances for the two types of farms. Our results indicated that, at the farm level, there was a farming system effect with a negative and non-linear relationship linking performance. Improving bird population maintenance was less costly in extensive farms compared with intensive farms. At the field level, the model predicted the timing and intensity of land use, maximising either production or ecological performance. The results suggested that multi-objective grassland management would benefit from public policies that consider levels of organisation higher than the field level, such as the farm or the landscape.

  14. Population ecology of rodents of maize fields and grassland in central Ethiopia

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bekel'e, Afework; Leirs, Herwig

    1997-01-01

    We report on the presence of rodents in grassland and maize fields in central Ethiopia, during the course of a 21-month study by means of removal and capture-recapture trapping. In both habitats, the small mammal fauna consisted of the same species but in different relative proportions: Arvicanthis...... dembeensis, Mastomys erythroleucus, Tatera robusta, Rattus rattus, Mus mahomet and Crocidura olivieri. A. dembeensis and M. erythroleucus were the dominant species. Densities were generally low throughout the study period, but at the end of the breeding season in the second year of the study, the numbers...... dynamics in the study area are linked to rainfall patterns and this information can be used to develop forecasting models....

  15. Population Change in a Marine Bird Colony is Driven By Changes in Recruitment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anthony J. Gaston

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available The population dynamics of long-lived birds are thought to be very sensitive to changes in adult survival. However, where natal philopatry is low, recruitment from the larger metapopulation may have the strongest effect on population growth rate even in long-lived species. Here, we illustrate such a situation where changes in a seabird colony size appeared to be the consequence of changes in recruitment. We studied the population dynamics of a declining colony of Ancient Murrelets (Synthliboramphus antiquus at East Limestone Island, British Columbia. During 1990-2010, Ancient Murrelet chicks were trapped at East Limestone Island while departing to sea, using a standard trapping method carried on throughout the departure period. Adult murrelets were trapped while departing from the colony during 1990-2003. Numbers of chicks trapped declined during 1990-1995, probably because of raccoon predation, increased slightly from 1995-2000 and subsequently declined again. Reproductive success was 30% lower during 2000-2003 than in earlier years, mainly because of an increase in desertions. The proportion of nonbreeders among adult birds trapped at night also declined over the study period. Mortality of adult birds, thought to be mainly prebreeders, from predators more than doubled over the same period. Apparent adult survival of breeders remained constant during 1991-2002 once the first year after banding was excluded, but the apparent survival rates in the first year after banding fell and the survival of birds banded as chicks to age three halved over the same period. A matrix model of population dynamics suggested that even during the early part of the study immigration from other breeding areas must have been substantial, supporting earlier observations that natal philopatry in this species is low. The general colony decline after 2000 probably was related to diminished recruitment, as evidenced by the lower proportion of nonbreeders in the trapped

  16. The dynamics of fauna and population of birds in agricultural landscapes on the border of Kazan International Airport

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bespalov, A. F.; Belyaev, A. N.

    2018-01-01

    The dynamics of fauna and population of birds from agricultural lands near Kazan International Airport has been studied for one year. A total of 60 bird species have been registered, of which 26 species must be considered as highly dangerous to flying aircraft. With regard to seasonal activity, the nesting period (April - June) is the most hazardous, since it is characterized by maximum species richness and total population density of birds, as well as their high species diversity. Furthermore, a serious danger is posed by the period of postnesting nomadic movements and the onset of migrations (July - September) when the species diversity turns out to be the highest and the total population density begins to decrease. It has been recommended based on the obtained results that the current crops should be replaced by cultivars that will be less attractive to birds. In spring and autumn, certain bird hazing and frightening measures must be taken on a more regular basis.

  17. Modeling a farm population to estimate on-farm compliance costs and environmental effects of a grassland extensification scheme at the regional scale

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Uthes, Sandra; Sattler, Claudia; Piorr, Annette

    2010-01-01

    We used a farm-level modeling approach to estimate on-farm compliance costs and environmental effects of a grassland extensification scheme in the district of Ostprignitz-Ruppin, Germany. The behavior of the regional farm population (n = 585) consisting of different farm types with different...... and environmental effects were heterogeneous in space and farm types as a result of different agricultural production and site characteristics. On-farm costs ranged from zero up to almost 1500 Euro/ha. Such high costs occurred only in a very small part of the regional area, whereas the majority of the grassland had...... low on-farm costs below 50 Euro/ha. Environmental effects were moderate and greater on high-yield than on low-yield grassland. The low effectiveness combined with low on-farm costs in large parts of the region indicates that the scheme is not well targeted. The soft scheme design results from...

  18. Surveys of forest bird populations found in the vicinity of proposed geothermal project subzones in the district of Puna, Hawaii

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jacobi, J.D.; Reynolds, M.; Ritchotte, G.; Nielsen, B.; Viggiano, A.; Dwyer, J.

    1994-10-01

    This report presents data on the distribution and status of forest bird species found within the vicinity of proposed geothermal resource development on the Island of Hawaii. Potential impacts of the proposed development on the native bird populations found in the project are are addressed

  19. Surveys of forest bird populations found in the vicinity of proposed geothermal project subzones in the district of Puna, Hawaii

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jacobi, J.D.; Reynolds, M.; Ritchotte, G.; Nielsen, B.; Viggiano, A.; Dwyer, J.

    1994-10-01

    This report presents data on the distribution and status of forest bird species found within the vicinity of proposed geothermal resource development on the Island of Hawaii. Potential impacts of the proposed development on the native bird populations found in the project are are addressed.

  20. Mourning dove population trend estimates from Call-Count and North American Breeding Bird Surveys

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sauer, J.R.; Dolton, D.D.; Droege, S.

    1994-01-01

    The mourning dove (Zenaida macroura) Callcount Survey and the North American Breeding Bird Survey provide information on population trends of mourning doves throughout the continental United States. Because surveys are an integral part of the development of hunting regulations, a need exists to determine which survey provides precise information. We estimated population trends from 1966 to 1988 by state and dove management unit, and assessed the relative efficiency of each survey. Estimates of population trend differ (P lt 0.05) between surveys in 11 of 48 states; 9 of 11 states with divergent results occur in the Eastern Management Unit. Differences were probably a consequence of smaller sample sizes in the Callcount Survey. The Breeding Bird Survey generally provided trend estimates with smaller variances than did the Callcount Survey. Although the Callcount Survey probably provides more withinroute accuracy because of survey methods and timing, the Breeding Bird Survey has a larger sample size of survey routes and greater consistency of coverage in the Eastern Unit.

  1. Monitoring requirements for detecting tidal barrage induced changes to estuary bird populations

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Davenport, T.; Jeffers, J.N.R.; North, P.M.; Clark, N.A.; Langston, R.H.W.; Prys-Jones, R.P.

    1990-01-01

    This study was performed to examine the monitoring requirements for detecting tidal barrage induced changes to estuary bird populations, focussing mainly on the Mersey estuary. The degree of variability in populations between years for a number of species within the Mersey, Dee, Alt and Ribble were ascertained. The number of counts needed each winter, before and after barrage construction, were assessed. The percentage charge detectable for species was predicted. One east coast estuary (the Wash) was investigated for comparison of the effects of influences of severe weather. (UK)

  2. The demographic drivers of local population dynamics in two rare migratory birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schaub, Michael; Reichlin, Thomas S; Abadi, Fitsum; Kéry, Marc; Jenni, Lukas; Arlettaz, Raphaël

    2012-01-01

    The exchange of individuals among populations can have strong effects on the dynamics and persistence of a given population. Yet, estimation of immigration rates remains one of the greatest challenges for animal demographers. Little empirical knowledge exists about the effects of immigration on population dynamics. New integrated population models fitted using Bayesian methods enable simultaneous estimation of fecundity, survival and immigration, as well as the growth rate of a population of interest. We applied this novel analytical framework to the demography of two populations of long-distance migratory birds, hoopoe Upupa epops and wryneck Jynx torquilla, in a study area in south-western Switzerland. During 2002-2010, the hoopoe population increased annually by 11%, while the wryneck population remained fairly stable. Apparent juvenile and adult survival probability was nearly identical in both species, but fecundity and immigration were slightly higher in the hoopoe. Hoopoe population growth rate was strongly correlated with juvenile survival, fecundity and immigration, while that of wrynecks strongly correlated only with immigration. This indicates that demographic components impacting the arrival of new individuals into the populations were more important for their dynamics than demographic components affecting the loss of individuals. The finding that immigration plays a crucial role in the population growth rates of these two rare species emphasizes the need for a broad rather than local perspective for population studies, and the development of wide-scale conservation actions.

  3. First evidence and predictions of Plasmodium transmission in Alaskan bird populations.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Claire Loiseau

    Full Text Available The unprecedented rate of change in the Arctic climate is expected to have major impacts on the emergence of infectious diseases and host susceptibility to these diseases. It is predicted that malaria parasites will spread to both higher altitudes and latitudes with global warming. Here we show for the first time that avian Plasmodium transmission occurs in the North American Arctic. Over a latitudinal gradient in Alaska, from 61°N to 67°N, we collected blood samples of resident and migratory bird species. We found both residents and hatch year birds infected with Plasmodium as far north as 64°N, providing clear evidence that malaria transmission occurs in these climates. Based on our empirical data, we make the first projections of the habitat suitability for Plasmodium under a future-warming scenario in Alaska. These findings raise new concerns about the spread of malaria to naïve host populations.

  4. No Association between Personality and Candidate Gene Polymorphisms in a Wild Bird Population.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hannah A Edwards

    Full Text Available Consistency of between-individual differences in behaviour or personality is a phenomenon in populations that can have ecological consequences and evolutionary potential. One way that behaviour can evolve is to have a genetic basis. Identifying the molecular genetic basis of personality could therefore provide insight into how and why such variation is maintained, particularly in natural populations. Previously identified candidate genes for personality in birds include the dopamine receptor D4 (DRD4, and serotonin transporter (SERT. Studies of wild bird populations have shown that exploratory and bold behaviours are associated with polymorphisms in both DRD4 and SERT. Here we tested for polymorphisms in DRD4 and SERT in the Seychelles warbler (Acrocephalus sechellensis population on Cousin Island, Seychelles, and then investigated correlations between personality and polymorphisms in these genes. We found no genetic variation in DRD4, but identified four polymorphisms in SERT that clustered into five haplotypes. There was no correlation between bold or exploratory behaviours and SERT polymorphisms/haplotypes. The null result was not due to lack of power, and indicates that there was no association between these behaviours and variation in the candidate genes tested in this population. These null findings provide important data to facilitate representative future meta-analyses on candidate personality genes.

  5. Bird list of San Bernardino Ranch in Agua Prieta, Sonora, Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Melinda Cardenas-Garcia; Monica C. Olguin-Villa

    2013-01-01

    Interest and investigation of birds has been increasing over the last decades due to the loss of their habitats, and declination and fragmentation of their populations. San Bernardino Ranch is located in the desert grassland region of northeastern Sonora, México. Over the last decade, restoration efforts have tried to address the effects of long deteriorating economic...

  6. Behavioral responses of birds of prey to large scale energy development in southcentral Washington

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fitzner, R.E.

    1985-02-01

    The types of raptorial and semi-raptorial birds that use the Hanford environs are discussed along with the impacts of past operations and the recent WPPSS project on their populations. These findings add to our understanding of the population dynamics of the birds of prey community at the Hanford Site and the expected impacts of the WPPSS energy facilities. The results may have implications toward other large scale energy facilities, and may aid us in management of bird of prey communities throughout the grasslands of the western United States. 110 refs., 5 figs., 4 tabs

  7. Determinants of bird conservation-action implementation and associated population trends of threatened species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luther, David A; Brooks, Thomas M; Butchart, Stuart H M; Hayward, Matt W; Kester, Marieke E; Lamoreux, John; Upgren, Amy

    2016-12-01

    Conservation actions, such as habitat protection, attempt to halt the loss of threatened species and help their populations recover. The efficiency and the effectiveness of actions have been examined individually. However, conservation actions generally occur simultaneously, so the full suite of implemented conservation actions should be assessed. We used the conservation actions underway for all threatened and near-threatened birds of the world (International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List of Threatened Species) to assess which biological (related to taxonomy and ecology) and anthropogenic (related to geoeconomics) factors were associated with the implementation of different classes of conservation actions. We also assessed which conservation actions were associated with population increases in the species targeted. Extinction-risk category was the strongest single predictor of the type of conservation actions implemented, followed by landmass type (continent, oceanic island, etc.) and generation length. Species targeted by invasive nonnative species control or eradication programs, ex situ conservation, international legislation, reintroduction, or education, and awareness-raising activities were more likely to have increasing populations. These results illustrate the importance of developing a predictive science of conservation actions and the relative benefits of each class of implemented conservation action for threatened and near-threatened birds worldwide. © 2016 Society for Conservation Biology.

  8. [Urbanization mechanisms in bird species: population systems transformations or adaptations at the individual level?].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fridman, V S; Eremkin, G S; Zakharova-Kubareva, N Iu

    2008-01-01

    The present research deals with urbanization of wild bird and mammal species. Forms and mechanisms of population steadiness in the urban landscape have been examined. The urbanization process turned out to be a directed change of the population system forming de novo in the urbolandscape leading to a sustainable organization peculiar for the particular environment. The population organization of different types in urbolandscape is found to provide its stability under conditions of directed and fast changes accompanied with instability and heterogenous structure of habitats. It is shown that the same type of population organization meets the corresponding demands among different species settling in the urban environment. Its features are "openness" and "flowage" of the groups, far order of settlement levels and other units of population system, constant movements of the individuals between the groups as a respond to the signals of urboenvironment significant changes. The "urban" variant of the population system organization turns out to be opposite to that of the same species in the non-urban habitats. After formation of the urban types by the species and successful developing of the town, the urban population becomes separated from the maternal local population and begins to exist independently in the urban landscape. The variety of adaptation aberrations in ecology, behavior, and mode of life of urban birds is the population system stability function in the urban landscape and is not a results of individual selection. It is shown that the urbanization process of the species goes firstly on the population level being the system structure transformation developed by the species towards the most stable state in the town (city) territory. Only after the appearance of stable urban population, the urban individuals show the rapid growth of different changes in ecology, behavior, mode of life that was traditionally described by naturalists as species adaptation to the

  9. Current selection for lower migratory activity will drive the evolution of residency in a migratory bird population.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pulido, Francisco; Berthold, Peter

    2010-04-20

    Global warming is impacting biodiversity by altering the distribution, abundance, and phenology of a wide range of animal and plant species. One of the best documented responses to recent climate change is alterations in the migratory behavior of birds, but the mechanisms underlying these phenotypic adjustments are largely unknown. This knowledge is still crucial to predict whether populations of migratory birds will adapt to a rapid increase in temperature. We monitored migratory behavior in a population of blackcaps (Sylvia atricapilla) to test for evolutionary responses to recent climate change. Using a common garden experiment in time and captive breeding we demonstrated a genetic reduction in migratory activity and evolutionary change in phenotypic plasticity of migration onset. An artificial selection experiment further revealed that residency will rapidly evolve in completely migratory bird populations if selection for shorter migration distance persists. Our findings suggest that current alterations of the environment are favoring birds wintering closer to the breeding grounds and that populations of migratory birds have strongly responded to these changes in selection. The reduction of migratory activity is probably an important evolutionary process in the adaptation of migratory birds to climate change, because it reduces migration costs and facilitates the rapid adjustment to the shifts in the timing of food availability during reproduction.

  10. Prioritizing bird conservation actions in the Prairie Hardwood transition of the Midwestern United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thogmartin, Wayne E.; Crimmins, Shawn M.; Pearce, Jennie

    2014-01-01

    Large-scale planning for the conservation of species is often hindered by a poor understanding of factors limiting populations. In regions with declining wildlife populations, it is critical that objective metrics of conservation success are developed to ensure that conservation actions achieve desired results. Using spatially explicit estimates of bird abundance, we evaluated several management alternatives for conserving bird populations in the Prairie Hardwood Transition of the United States. We designed landscapes conserving species at 50% of their current predicted abundance as well as landscapes attempting to achieve species population targets (which often required the doubling of current abundance). Conserving species at reduced (half of current) abundance led to few conservation conflicts. However, because of extensive modification of the landscape to suit human use, strategies for achieving regional population targets for forest bird species would be difficult under even ideal circumstances, and even more so if maintenance of grassland bird populations is also desired. Our results indicated that large-scale restoration of agricultural lands to native grassland and forest habitats may be the most productive conservation action for increasing bird population sizes but the level of landscape transition required to approach target bird population sizes may be societally unacceptable.

  11. Lesser prairie-chicken avoidance of trees in a grassland landscape

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lautenbach, Joseph M.; Plumb, Reid T.; Robinson, Samantha G.; Hagen, Christian A.; Haukos, David A.; Pitman, James C.

    2016-01-01

    Grasslands are among the most imperiled ecosystems in North America. Reasons that grasslands are threatened include conversion to row-crop agriculture, fragmentation, and changes in fire regimes. The reduction of fire processes in remaining prairies has resulted in tree encroachment and establishment in grasslands, further reducing grassland quantity and quality. Grassland birds have been experiencing precipitous population declines in recent decades, commensurate with landscape changes to grasslands. The lesser prairie-chicken (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus Ridgway) is a declining species of prairie grouse of conservation concern. We used second- and third-order habitat selection metrics to test if female lesser prairie-chickens avoid grasslands where trees were present. Our results indicated that female lesser prairie-chickens selected habitats avoiding the nearest trees by 283 m on average, nearly twice as far as would be expected at random. Lesser prairie-chickens were 40 times more likely to use habitats with tree densities of 0 trees ∙ ha− 1 than habitats with 5 trees ∙ ha− 1. Probability of use indicated that lesser prairie-chickens were 19 times more likely to use habitats 1000 m from the nearest tree when compared with using habitats 0 m from the nearest tree. Nest survival was not affected at densities 2 trees ∙ ha− 1. Avoidance of trees could be due to perceived increased predation risk, reduced habitat quality, or a combination of these potentially confounding factors. Preventing further establishment and expansion of trees in landscapes occupied by lesser prairie-chickens could contribute to the continued persistence of the species. Additionally, restoring grasslands through tree removal may facilitate conservation efforts for grassland species such as the lesser prairie-chicken by improving habitat quality and promoting expansion of occupied range.

  12. Current selection for lower migratory activity will drive the evolution of residency in a migratory bird population

    OpenAIRE

    Pulido, Francisco; Berthold, Peter

    2010-01-01

    Global warming is impacting biodiversity by altering the distribution, abundance, and phenology of a wide range of animal and plant species. One of the best documented responses to recent climate change is alterations in the migratory behavior of birds, but the mechanisms underlying these phenotypic adjustments are largely unknown. This knowledge is still crucial to predict whether populations of migratory birds will adapt to a rapid increase in temperature. We monitored migratory behavior in...

  13. Implicit assumptions underlying simple harvest models of marine bird populations can mislead environmental management decisions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Brien, Susan H; Cook, Aonghais S C P; Robinson, Robert A

    2017-10-01

    Assessing the potential impact of additional mortality from anthropogenic causes on animal populations requires detailed demographic information. However, these data are frequently lacking, making simple algorithms, which require little data, appealing. Because of their simplicity, these algorithms often rely on implicit assumptions, some of which may be quite restrictive. Potential Biological Removal (PBR) is a simple harvest model that estimates the number of additional mortalities that a population can theoretically sustain without causing population extinction. However, PBR relies on a number of implicit assumptions, particularly around density dependence and population trajectory that limit its applicability in many situations. Among several uses, it has been widely employed in Europe in Environmental Impact Assessments (EIA), to examine the acceptability of potential effects of offshore wind farms on marine bird populations. As a case study, we use PBR to estimate the number of additional mortalities that a population with characteristics typical of a seabird population can theoretically sustain. We incorporated this level of additional mortality within Leslie matrix models to test assumptions within the PBR algorithm about density dependence and current population trajectory. Our analyses suggest that the PBR algorithm identifies levels of mortality which cause population declines for most population trajectories and forms of population regulation. Consequently, we recommend that practitioners do not use PBR in an EIA context for offshore wind energy developments. Rather than using simple algorithms that rely on potentially invalid implicit assumptions, we recommend use of Leslie matrix models for assessing the impact of additional mortality on a population, enabling the user to explicitly define assumptions and test their importance. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. Consistent response of bird populations to climate change on two continents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stephens, Philip A; Mason, Lucy R; Green, Rhys E; Gregory, Richard D; Sauer, John R; Alison, Jamie; Aunins, Ainars; Brotons, Lluís; Butchart, Stuart H M; Campedelli, Tommaso; Chodkiewicz, Tomasz; Chylarecki, Przemysław; Crowe, Olivia; Elts, Jaanus; Escandell, Virginia; Foppen, Ruud P B; Heldbjerg, Henning; Herrando, Sergi; Husby, Magne; Jiguet, Frédéric; Lehikoinen, Aleksi; Lindström, Åke; Noble, David G; Paquet, Jean-Yves; Reif, Jiri; Sattler, Thomas; Szép, Tibor; Teufelbauer, Norbert; Trautmann, Sven; van Strien, Arco J; van Turnhout, Chris A M; Vorisek, Petr; Willis, Stephen G

    2016-04-01

    Global climate change is a major threat to biodiversity. Large-scale analyses have generally focused on the impacts of climate change on the geographic ranges of species and on phenology, the timing of ecological phenomena. We used long-term monitoring of the abundance of breeding birds across Europe and the United States to produce, for both regions, composite population indices for two groups of species: those for which climate suitability has been either improving or declining since 1980. The ratio of these composite indices, the climate impact indicator (CII), reflects the divergent fates of species favored or disadvantaged by climate change. The trend in CII is positive and similar in the two regions. On both continents, interspecific and spatial variation in population abundance trends are well predicted by climate suitability trends. Copyright © 2016, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

  15. Use of the superpopulation approach to estimate breeding population size: An example in asynchronously breeding birds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, K.A.; Frederick, P.C.; Nichols, J.D.

    2011-01-01

    Many populations of animals are fluid in both space and time, making estimation of numbers difficult. Much attention has been devoted to estimation of bias in detection of animals that are present at the time of survey. However, an equally important problem is estimation of population size when all animals are not present on all survey occasions. Here, we showcase use of the superpopulation approach to capture-recapture modeling for estimating populations where group membership is asynchronous, and where considerable overlap in group membership among sampling occasions may occur. We estimate total population size of long-legged wading bird (Great Egret and White Ibis) breeding colonies from aerial observations of individually identifiable nests at various times in the nesting season. Initiation and termination of nests were analogous to entry and departure from a population. Estimates using the superpopulation approach were 47-382% larger than peak aerial counts of the same colonies. Our results indicate that the use of the superpopulation approach to model nesting asynchrony provides a considerably less biased and more efficient estimate of nesting activity than traditional methods. We suggest that this approach may also be used to derive population estimates in a variety of situations where group membership is fluid. ?? 2011 by the Ecological Society of America.

  16. [Energy accumulation and allocation of main plant populations in Aneurolepidium chinense grassland in Songnen Plain].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qu, Guohui; Wen, Mingzhang; Guo, Jixun

    2003-05-01

    The calorific value of plants is dependent on their biological characteristics and energy-containing materials. The allocation of calorific value in different organs of Aneurolepidium chinese, Calamagrostic epigejos, Puccinellia tenuiflora and Chloris virgata was inflorescence > leaf > stem > dead standing. The seasonal dynamics of standing crop energy of aboveground part of four plant populations showed single-peak curve, and the energy production was Aneurolepidium chinense > Calamagrostic epigejos > Chloris virgata > Puccinellia tenuiflora. Energy increasing rate showed double-peak curve, with the first peak at heading stage and the second peak at maturing stage of seeds. Energy increasing rate was negative at the final stage of growth. The horizontal distribution of energy of aboveground part was that the allocation ratio of different organs at different growth stages was different. There existed a similar trend for vertical distribution of energy among four plant populations, i.e., was the vertical distribution of energy of aboveground part showed a tower shape, with the maximum value in 10-30 cm height. The vertical distribution of energy of underground part showed an inverted tower shape from soil surface to deeper layer, with the maximum value in 0-10 cm depth. The standing crop energy of underground part was about 3-4 times than that of aboveground part.

  17. The Bird Community Resilience Index: a novel remote sensing-based biodiversity variable for quantifying ecological integrity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michel, N. L.; Wilsey, C.; Burkhalter, C.; Trusty, B.; Langham, G.

    2017-12-01

    Scalable indicators of biodiversity change are critical to reporting overall progress towards national and global targets for biodiversity conservation (e.g. Aichi Targets) and sustainable development (SDGs). These essential biodiversity variables capitalize on new remote sensing technologies and growth of community science participation. Here we present a novel biodiversity metric quantifying resilience of bird communities and, by extension, of their associated ecological communities. This metric adds breadth to the community composition class of essential biodiversity variables that track trends in condition and vulnerability of ecological communities. We developed this index for use with North American grassland birds, a guild that has experienced stronger population declines than any other avian guild, in order to evaluate gains from the implementation of best management practices on private lands. The Bird Community Resilience Index was designed to incorporate the full suite of species-specific responses to management actions, and be flexible enough to work across broad climatic, land cover, and bird community gradients (i.e., grasslands from northern Mexico through Canada). The Bird Community Resilience Index consists of four components: density estimates of grassland and arid land birds; weighting based on conservation need; a functional diversity metric to incorporate resiliency of bird communities and their ecosystems; and a standardized scoring system to control for interannual variation caused by extrinsic factors (e.g., climate). We present an analysis of bird community resilience across ranches in the Northern Great Plains region of the United States. As predicted, Bird Community Resilience was higher in lands implementing best management practices than elsewhere. While developed for grassland birds, this metric holds great potential for use as an Essential Biodiversity Variable for community composition in a variety of habitat.

  18. Wired: impacts of increasing power line use by a growing bird population

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moreira, Francisco; Encarnação, Vitor; Rosa, Gonçalo; Gilbert, Nathalie; Infante, Samuel; Costa, Julieta; D'Amico, Marcello; Martins, Ricardo C.; Catry, Inês

    2017-02-01

    Power lines are increasingly widespread across many regions of the planet. Although these linear infrastructures are known for their negative impacts on bird populations, through collision and electrocution, some species take advantage of electricity pylons for nesting. In this case, estimation of the net impact of these infrastructures at the population level requires an assessment of trade-offs between positive and negative impacts. We compiled historical information (1958-2014) of the Portuguese white stork Ciconia ciconia population to analyze long-term changes in numbers, distribution range and use of nesting structures. White stork population size increased 660% up to 12000 breeding pairs between 1984 and 2014. In the same period, the proportion of nests on electricity pylons increased from 1% to 25%, likely facilitated by the 60% increase in the length of the very high tension power line grid (holding the majority of the nests) in the stork’s distribution range. No differences in breeding success were registered for storks nesting on electricity pylons versus other structures, but a high risk of mortality by collision and electrocution with power lines was estimated. We discuss the implications of this behavioral change, and of the management responses by power line companies, both for stork populations and for managers.

  19. Epidemiology of the Emergent Disease Paridae pox in an Intensively Studied Wild Bird Population

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lachish, Shelly; Lawson, Becki; Cunningham, Andrew A.; Sheldon, Ben C.

    2012-01-01

    Paridae pox, a novel avipoxvirus infection, has recently been identified as an emerging infectious disease affecting wild tit species in Great Britain. The incursion of Paridae pox to a long-term study site where populations of wild tits have been monitored in detail for several decades provided a unique opportunity to obtain information on the local-scale epidemiological characteristics of this novel infection during a disease outbreak. Using captures of >8000 individual birds, we show that, within two years of initial emergence, Paridae pox had become established within the population of great tits (Parus major) reaching relatively high peak prevalence (10%), but was far less prevalent (<1%) in sympatric populations of several other closely related, abundant Paridae species. Nonlinear smoothing models revealed that the temporal pattern of prevalence among great tits was characterised by within-year fluctuations indicative of seasonal forcing of infection rates, which was likely driven by multiple environmental and demographic factors. There was individual heterogeneity in the course of infection and, although recovery was possible, diseased individuals were far less likely to be recaptured than healthy individuals, suggesting a survival cost of infection. This study demonstrates the value of long-term monitoring for obtaining key epidemiological data necessary to understand disease dynamics, spread and persistence in natural populations. PMID:23185230

  20. Epidemiology of the emergent disease Paridae pox in an intensively studied wild bird population.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shelly Lachish

    Full Text Available Paridae pox, a novel avipoxvirus infection, has recently been identified as an emerging infectious disease affecting wild tit species in Great Britain. The incursion of Paridae pox to a long-term study site where populations of wild tits have been monitored in detail for several decades provided a unique opportunity to obtain information on the local-scale epidemiological characteristics of this novel infection during a disease outbreak. Using captures of >8000 individual birds, we show that, within two years of initial emergence, Paridae pox had become established within the population of great tits (Parus major reaching relatively high peak prevalence (10%, but was far less prevalent (<1% in sympatric populations of several other closely related, abundant Paridae species. Nonlinear smoothing models revealed that the temporal pattern of prevalence among great tits was characterised by within-year fluctuations indicative of seasonal forcing of infection rates, which was likely driven by multiple environmental and demographic factors. There was individual heterogeneity in the course of infection and, although recovery was possible, diseased individuals were far less likely to be recaptured than healthy individuals, suggesting a survival cost of infection. This study demonstrates the value of long-term monitoring for obtaining key epidemiological data necessary to understand disease dynamics, spread and persistence in natural populations.

  1. Global population collapse in a superabundant migratory bird and illegal trapping in China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kamp, Johannes; Oppel, Steffen; Ananin, Alexandr A; Durnev, Yurii A; Gashev, Sergey N; Hölzel, Norbert; Mishchenko, Alexandr L; Pessa, Jorma; Smirenski, Sergey M; Strelnikov, Evgenii G; Timonen, Sami; Wolanska, Kolja; Chan, Simba

    2015-12-01

    Persecution and overexploitation by humans are major causes of species extinctions. Rare species, often confined to small geographic ranges, are usually at highest risk, whereas extinctions of superabundant species with very large ranges are rare. The Yellow-breasted Bunting (Emberiza aureola) used to be one of the most abundant songbirds of the Palearctic, with a very large breeding range stretching from Scandinavia to the Russian Far East. Anecdotal information about rapid population declines across the range caused concern about unsustainable trapping along the species' migration routes. We conducted a literature review and used long-term monitoring data from across the species' range to model population trend and geographical patterns of extinction. The population declined by 84.3-94.7% between 1980 and 2013, and the species' range contracted by 5000 km. Quantitative evidence from police raids suggested rampant illegal trapping of the species along its East Asian flyway in China. A population model simulating an initial harvest level of 2% of the population, and an annual increase of 0.2% during the monitoring period produced a population trajectory that matched the observed decline. We suggest that trapping strongly contributed to the decline because the consumption of Yellow-breasted Bunting and other songbirds has increased as a result of economic growth and prosperity in East Asia. The magnitude and speed of the decline is unprecedented among birds with a comparable range size, with the exception of the Passenger Pigeon (Ectopistes migratorius), which went extinct in 1914 due to industrial-scale hunting. Our results demonstrate the urgent need for an improved monitoring of common and widespread species' populations, and consumption levels throughout East Asia. © 2015 Society for Conservation Biology.

  2. Vulnerability of shortgrass prairie bird assemblages to climate change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Skagen, Susan K.; Dreitz, Victoria; Conrey, Reesa Y.; Yackel, Amy; Panjabi, Arvind O.; Knuffman, Lekha

    2016-01-01

    The habitats and resources needed to support grassland birds endemic to North American prairie ecosystems are seriously threatened by impending climate change. To assess the vulnerability of grassland birds to climate change, we consider various components of vulnerability, including sensitivity, exposure, and adaptive capacity (Glick et al. 2011). Sensitivity encompasses the innate characteristics of a species and, in this context, is related to a species’ tolerance to changes in weather patterns. Groundnesting birds, including prairie birds, are particularly responsive to heat waves combined with drought conditions, as revealed by abundance and distribution patterns (Albright et al. 2010). To further assess sensitivity, we estimated reproductive parameters of nearly 3000 breeding attempts of a suite of prairie birds relative to prevailing weather. Fluctuations in weather conditions in eastern Colorado, 1997-2014, influenced breeding performance of a suite of avian species endemic to the shortgrass prairie, many of which have experienced recent population declines. High summer temperatures and intense rain events corresponded with lower nest survival for most species. Although dry conditions favored nest survival of Burrowing Owls and Mountain Plovers (Conrey 2010, Dreitz et al. 2012), drought resulted in smaller clutch sizes and lower nest survival for passerines (Skagen and Yackel Adams 2012, Conrey et al. in review). Declining summer precipitation may reduce the likelihood that some passerine species can maintain stable breeding populations in this region of the shortgrass prairie.

  3. Selenium teratogenesis in natural populations of aquatic birds in central California

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoffman, D.J.; Ohlendorf, H.M.; Aldrich, T.W.

    1988-01-01

    The frequency and types of malformations are described that were encountered during the spring of 1983 in a natural population of aquatic birds exposed to agricultural drainwater ponds and food items containing high concentrations of selenium in central California. A total of 347 nests of aquatic birds containing 1,681 eggs was selected for study at Kesterson Reservoir located in the Kesterson National Wildlife Refuge (NWR), Merced County, California. Embryos collected during incubation or from eggs that failed to hatch were examined to determine the age at death and presence of malformations. Embryonic death was generally high; approximately 17?60% of the nests of different species contained at least one dead embryo. The incidence of malformed embryos was also high; approximately 22?65% of the nests where at least two embryos were examined contained abnormal embryos. American coots (Fulica americana) and black-necked stilts (Himantopus mexicanus) experienced the highest incidence of malformed embryos. For all species, the average percentage of eggs containing dead or live abnormal embryos was 16.1 whereas the average percentage containing live abnormal embryos was 10.7. Multiple gross malformations of the eyes, brain, and feet were often present. Brain defects included hydrocephaly and exencephaly. Eye defects included both unilateral and bilateral anophthalmia and microphthalmia. Eye and foot defects with ectrodactyly and swollen joints were the most common in coots. Beak defects also occurred frequently and most often included incomplete development of the lower beak of ducks (Anas spp.) and stilts. Wing and leg defects were most prevalent in stilts and ducks, with ectromelia and amelia most prevalent in stilts. Other malformations occurring at lower frequencies included enlarged hearts with thin ventricular walls, liver hypopiasia, and gastroschisis. Based upon simultaneous examination of a control population of aquatic birds of the same species and published

  4. Predicting foraging wading bird populations in Everglades National Park from seasonal hydrologic statistics under different management scenarios

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kwon, Hyun-Han; Lall, Upmanu; Engel, Vic

    2011-09-01

    The ability to map relationships between ecological outcomes and hydrologic conditions in the Everglades National Park (ENP) is a key building block for their restoration program, a primary goal of which is to improve conditions for wading birds. This paper presents a model linking wading bird foraging numbers to hydrologic conditions in the ENP. Seasonal hydrologic statistics derived from a single water level recorder are well correlated with water depths throughout most areas of the ENP, and are effective as predictors of wading bird numbers when using a nonlinear hierarchical Bayesian model to estimate the conditional distribution of bird populations. Model parameters are estimated using a Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) procedure. Parameter and model uncertainty is assessed as a byproduct of the estimation process. Water depths at the beginning of the nesting season, the average dry season water level, and the numbers of reversals from the dry season recession are identified as significant predictors, consistent with the hydrologic conditions considered important in the production and concentration of prey organisms in this system. Long-term hydrologic records at the index location allow for a retrospective analysis (1952-2006) of foraging bird numbers showing low frequency oscillations in response to decadal fluctuations in hydroclimatic conditions. Simulations of water levels at the index location used in the Bayesian model under alternative water management scenarios allow the posterior probability distributions of the number of foraging birds to be compared, thus providing a mechanism for linking management schemes to seasonal rainfall forecasts.

  5. The erratic mitochondrial clock: variations of mutation rate, not population size, affect mtDNA diversity across birds and mammals

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Galtier Nicolas

    2009-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background During the last ten years, major advances have been made in characterizing and understanding the evolution of mitochondrial DNA, the most popular marker of molecular biodiversity. Several important results were recently reported using mammals as model organisms, including (i the absence of relationship between mitochondrial DNA diversity and life-history or ecological variables, (ii the absence of prominent adaptive selection, contrary to what was found in invertebrates, and (iii the unexpectedly large variation in neutral substitution rate among lineages, revealing a possible link with species maximal longevity. We propose to challenge these results thanks to the bird/mammal comparison. Direct estimates of population size are available in birds, and this group presents striking life-history trait differences with mammals (higher mass-specific metabolic rate and longevity. These properties make birds the ideal model to directly test for population size effects, and to discriminate between competing hypotheses about the causes of substitution rate variation. Results A phylogenetic analysis of cytochrome b third-codon position confirms that the mitochondrial DNA mutation rate is quite variable in birds, passerines being the fastest evolving order. On average, mitochondrial DNA evolves slower in birds than in mammals of similar body size. This result is in agreement with the longevity hypothesis, and contradicts the hypothesis of a metabolic rate-dependent mutation rate. Birds show no footprint of adaptive selection on cytochrome b evolutionary patterns, but no link between direct estimates of population size and cytochrome b diversity. The mutation rate is the best predictor we have of within-species mitochondrial diversity in birds. It partly explains the differences in mitochondrial DNA diversity patterns observed between mammals and birds, previously interpreted as reflecting Hill-Robertson interferences with the W

  6. Disentangling the relative importance of changes in climate and land-use intensity in driving recent bird population trends.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sarah M Eglington

    Full Text Available Threats to biodiversity resulting from habitat destruction and deterioration have been documented for many species, whilst climate change is regarded as increasingly impacting upon species' distribution and abundance. However, few studies have disentangled the relative importance of these two drivers in causing recent population declines. We quantify the relative importance of both processes by modelling annual variation in population growth of 18 farmland bird species in the UK as a function of measures of land-use intensity and weather. Modelled together, both had similar explanatory power in accounting for annual fluctuations in population growth. When these models were used to retrodict population trends for each species as a function of annual variation in land-use intensity and weather combined, and separately, retrodictions incorporating land-use intensity were more closely linked to observed population trends than retrodictions based only on weather, and closely matched the UK farmland bird index from 1970 onwards. Despite more stable land-use intensity in recent years, climate change (inferred from weather trends has not overtaken land-use intensity as the dominant driver of bird populations.

  7. Dynamics of a recovering Arctic bird population: the importance of climate, density dependence, and site quality

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bruggeman, Jason E.; Swem, Ted; Andersen, David E.; Kennedy, Patricia L.; Nigro, Debora A.

    2015-01-01

    Intrinsic and extrinsic factors affect vital rates and population-level processes, and understanding these factors is paramount to devising successful management plans for wildlife species. For example, birds time migration in response, in part, to local and broadscale climate fluctuations to initiate breeding upon arrival to nesting territories, and prolonged inclement weather early in the breeding season can inhibit egg-laying and reduce productivity. Also, density-dependent regulation occurs in raptor populations, as territory size is related to resource availability. Arctic Peregrine Falcons (Falco peregrinus tundrius; hereafter Arctic peregrine) have a limited and northern breeding distribution, including the Colville River Special Area (CRSA) in the National Petroleum Reserve–Alaska, USA. We quantified influences of climate, topography, nest productivity, prey habitat, density dependence, and interspecific competition affecting Arctic peregrines in the CRSA by applying the Dail-Madsen model to estimate abundance and vital rates of adults on nesting cliffs from 1981 through 2002. Arctic peregrine abundance increased throughout the 1980s, which spanned the population's recovery from DDT-induced reproductive failure, until exhibiting a stationary trend in the 1990s. Apparent survival rate (i.e., emigration; death) was negatively correlated with the number of adult Arctic peregrines on the cliff the previous year, suggesting effects of density-dependent population regulation. Apparent survival and arrival rates (i.e., immigration; recruitment) were higher during years with earlier snowmelt and milder winters, and apparent survival was positively correlated with nesting season maximum daily temperature. Arrival rate was positively correlated with average Arctic peregrine productivity along a cliff segment from the previous year and initial abundance was positively correlated with cliff height. Higher cliffs with documented higher productivity (presumably

  8. Population Densities of Birds Breeding in Urbanized Habitats in the Grabiszyn District in the City of Wrocław

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kopij Grzegorz

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available Studies were carried out in 2010 by mean of simplified version of the mapping method. The study area (395 ha was located close to the city centre. It comprised a mosaic of urbanized habitats, with a clear dominance of green areas, such as parks (41.1 ha, gardens, cemeteries and tree clumps. A total of 48 breeding bird species were recorded in the whole study area. The most common (<25 pairs/100 ha were Passer domesticus, Passer montanus, Sturnus vulgaris, Parus caeruleus, Parus major, Apus apus and Columba livia. Numerous (7-15 pairs/100 ha were also the following species: Columba palumbus, Turdus pilaris, Sylvia atricapilla, Serinus serinus, Turdus merula and Pica pica. Insectivorous birds were the most common birds constituting 63.3%, and granivorous -32.6% of all pairs recorded. Most birds nested in tree holes (39.3%, in/on buildings (30.2% and in trees/shrubs (25.6%. Distribution of breeding pairs of 23 bird species was presented on maps. Population trends for 17 species were documented. Rapid increase in numbers of Turdus pilaris, Corvus cornix and Phoenicurus phoenicurus and decrease of Pica pica were recorded.

  9. Avian malaria in Hawaiian forest birds: Infection and population impacts across species and elevations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Samuel, Michael D.; Woodworth, Bethany L.; Atkinson, Carter T.; Hart, P. J.; LaPointe, Dennis

    2015-01-01

    Wildlife diseases can present significant threats to ecological systems and biological diversity, as well as domestic animal and human health. However, determining the dynamics of wildlife diseases and understanding the impact on host populations is a significant challenge. In Hawai‘i, there is ample circumstantial evidence that introduced avian malaria (Plasmodium relictum) has played an important role in the decline and extinction of many native forest birds. However, few studies have attempted to estimate disease transmission and mortality, survival, and individual species impacts in this distinctive ecosystem. We combined multi-state capture-recapture (longitudinal) models with cumulative age-prevalence (cross-sectional) models to evaluate these patterns in Apapane, Hawai‘i Amakihi, and Iiwi in low-, mid-, and high-elevation forests on the island of Hawai‘i based on four longitudinal studies of 3–7 years in length. We found species-specific patterns of malaria prevalence, transmission, and mortality rates that varied among elevations, likely in response to ecological factors that drive mosquito abundance. Malaria infection was highest at low elevations, moderate at mid elevations, and limited in high-elevation forests. Infection rates were highest for Iiwi and Apapane, likely contributing to the absence of these species in low-elevation forests. Adult malaria fatality rates were highest for Iiwi, intermediate for Amakihi at mid and high elevations, and lower for Apapane; low-elevation Amakihi had the lowest malaria fatality, providing strong evidence of malaria tolerance in this low-elevation population. Our study indicates that hatch-year birds may have greater malaria infection and/or fatality rates than adults. Our study also found that mosquitoes prefer feeding on Amakihi rather than Apapane, but Apapane are likely a more important reservoir for malaria transmission to mosquitoes. Our approach, based on host abundance and infection rates, may be an

  10. Social and spatial effects on genetic variation between foraging flocks in a wild bird population.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Radersma, Reinder; Garroway, Colin J; Santure, Anna W; de Cauwer, Isabelle; Farine, Damien R; Slate, Jon; Sheldon, Ben C

    2017-10-01

    Social interactions are rarely random. In some instances, animals exhibit homophily or heterophily, the tendency to interact with similar or dissimilar conspecifics, respectively. Genetic homophily and heterophily influence the evolutionary dynamics of populations, because they potentially affect sexual and social selection. Here, we investigate the link between social interactions and allele frequencies in foraging flocks of great tits (Parus major) over three consecutive years. We constructed co-occurrence networks which explicitly described the splitting and merging of 85,602 flocks through time (fission-fusion dynamics), at 60 feeding sites. Of the 1,711 birds in those flocks, we genotyped 962 individuals at 4,701 autosomal single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). By combining genomewide genotyping with repeated field observations of the same individuals, we were able to investigate links between social structure and allele frequencies at a much finer scale than was previously possible. We explicitly accounted for potential spatial effects underlying genetic structure at the population level. We modelled social structure and spatial configuration of great tit fission-fusion dynamics with eigenvector maps. Variance partitioning revealed that allele frequencies were strongly affected by group fidelity (explaining 27%-45% of variance) as individuals tended to maintain associations with the same conspecifics. These conspecifics were genetically more dissimilar than expected, shown by genomewide heterophily for pure social (i.e., space-independent) grouping preferences. Genomewide homophily was linked to spatial configuration, indicating spatial segregation of genotypes. We did not find evidence for homophily or heterophily for putative socially relevant candidate genes or any other SNP markers. Together, these results demonstrate the importance of distinguishing social and spatial processes in determining population structure. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  11. Interactive effects of environmental stress and inbreeding on reproductive traits in a wild bird population.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marr, A B; Arcese, P; Hochachka, W M; Reid, J M; Keller, L F

    2006-11-01

    1. Conservation biologists are concerned about the interactive effects of environmental stress and inbreeding because such interactions could affect the dynamics and extinction risk of small and isolated populations, but few studies have tested for these interactions in nature. 2. We used data from the long-term population study of song sparrows Melospiza melodia on Mandarte Island to examine the joint effects of inbreeding and environmental stress on four fitness traits that are known to be affected by the inbreeding level of adult birds: hatching success, laying date, male mating success and fledgling survival. 3. We found that inbreeding depression interacted with environmental stress to reduce hatching success in the nests of inbred females during periods of rain. 4. For laying date, we found equivocal support for an interaction between parental inbreeding and environmental stress. In this case, however, inbred females experienced less inbreeding depression in more stressful, cooler years. 5. For two other traits, we found no evidence that the strength of inbreeding depression varied with environmental stress. First, mated males fathered fewer nests per season if inbred or if the ratio of males to females in the population was high, but inbreeding depression did not depend on sex ratio. Second, fledglings survived poorly during rainy periods and if their father was inbred, but the effects of paternal inbreeding and rain did not interact. 6. Thus, even for a single species, interactions between the inbreeding level and environmental stress may not occur in all traits affected by inbreeding depression, and interactions that do occur will not always act synergistically to further decrease fitness.

  12. A method to assess the population-level consequences of wind energy facilities on bird and bat species: Chapter

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diffendorfer, James E.; Beston, Julie A.; Merrill, Matthew; Stanton, Jessica C.; Corum, Margo D.; Loss, Scott R.; Thogmartin, Wayne E.; Johnson, Douglas H.; Erickson, Richard A.; Heist, Kevin W.

    2016-01-01

    For this study, a methodology was developed for assessing impacts of wind energy generation on populations of birds and bats at regional to national scales. The approach combines existing methods in applied ecology for prioritizing species in terms of their potential risk from wind energy facilities and estimating impacts of fatalities on population status and trend caused by collisions with wind energy infrastructure. Methods include a qualitative prioritization approach, demographic models, and potential biological removal. The approach can be used to prioritize species in need of more thorough study as well as to identify species with minimal risk. However, the components of this methodology require simplifying assumptions and the data required may be unavailable or of poor quality for some species. These issues should be carefully considered before using the methodology. The approach will increase in value as more data become available and will broaden the understanding of anthropogenic sources of mortality on bird and bat populations.

  13. PANTAI PASIR PADI (PADDY SAND BEACH OF BANGKA ISLAND; CRABS (Scopimera sp POPULATION, FEEDING BEHAVIOUR AND THEIR BIRD PREDATOR

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hanifa Marisa

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available An observation about beach crab (Scopimera sp population, their feeding behaviour and predator bird had been done at October 9 th, 2014 in Pantai Pasir Padi, Eastern Bangka Island beach, near Pangkal Pinang town. Ten 1 meter square plots were put at sandy beach and number of Scopimera sp be counted by the number of their hole nest home. Their feeding behaviour observed directly by eye-watching and video making. The threatening of bird predator was noted too.  The investigation find out that the mean of crabs population is 17 individu/m2 .  They come out from home hole for feeding around by sieving wet sand that be taken by front legs, obsorb organic nutrious material by mouth and kick residual sand to behind legs, move it as a small sand ball to right of left back side.  Production of small ball sand were about 15 - 30 balls /per minute. For making the nest hole, bigger sand ball were produced about 7 – 9 ball/minute; ball colour is same with under layer beach sand; quite grey. The crabs run instinctivey fast, when the threat come from their natural enemy, predator bird, Actitis hypoleucos.  Bird searching behaviour look adapted to the fast run of crab. Keywords: Scopimera sp, Actitis hypoleucos, small sand ball, predator, behaviour

  14. Supplementary feeding of wild birds indirectly affects ground beetle populations in suburban gardens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Orros, Melanie E; Thomas, Rebecca L; Holloway, Graham J; Fellowes, Mark D E

    Supplementary feeding of wild birds by domestic garden-holders is a globally widespread and popular form of human-wildlife interaction, particularly in urban areas. Vast amounts of energy are thus being added to garden ecosystems. However, the potential indirect effects of this activity on non-avian species have been little studied to date, with the only two previous studies taking place under experimentally manipulated conditions. Here we present the first evidence of a localised depletive effect of wild bird feeding on ground beetles (Coleoptera: Carabidae) in suburban gardens under the usual feeding patterns of the garden-holders. We trapped significantly fewer ground beetles directly under bird-feeding stations than in matched areas of habitat away from feeders. Video analysis also revealed significantly higher activity by ground-foraging birds under the feeding stations than in the control areas. Small mammal trapping revealed no evidence that these species differ in abundance between gardens with and without bird feeders. We therefore suggest that local increases in ground-foraging activity by bird species whose diets encompass arthropods as well as seed material are responsible for the reduction in ground beetle numbers. Our work therefore illustrates that providing food for wild birds can have indirect negative effects on palatable prey species under typical conditions.

  15. The use of data and knowledge about bird numbers and population demography for the conservation and management of migratory birds

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fox, Anthony David

    2011-01-01

    Flyway level assessment of changes in abundance is essential to assess the effectiveness of conservation and management. Additional data on demographic rates (reproduction and survival) is needed to underpin the causes of changes. Data on immigration or emigration are helpful but more difficult t...... to obtain. There should be more attention to the effects of hunting on population sizes. Much can be achieved if citizen science (counters are almost all volunteers!) is well organised but on the basis of good professional leadership to get the maximum out of it....

  16. 5 Is the Bird Population in the Hadejia-Nguru.cdr

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    user

    Jigawa State, Nigeria. 2. Nigerian Conservation Foundation/Hadejia-Nguru Wetlands Conservation Project, .... Nigeria's inland fish catch with a market value of nearly US$ 300 ...... In Nigeria, the. BirdLife partner is assisting wetland restoration.

  17. Integrating paleoecology and genetics of bird populations in two sky island archipelagos.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCormack, John E; Bowen, Bonnie S; Smith, Thomas B

    2008-06-27

    Genetic tests of paleoecological hypotheses have been rare, partly because recent genetic divergence is difficult to detect and time. According to fossil plant data, continuous woodland in the southwestern USA and northern Mexico became fragmented during the last 10,000 years, as warming caused cool-adapted species to retreat to high elevations. Most genetic studies of resulting 'sky islands' have either failed to detect recent divergence or have found discordant evidence for ancient divergence. We test this paleoecological hypothesis for the region with intraspecific mitochondrial DNA and microsatellite data from sky-island populations of a sedentary bird, the Mexican jay (Aphelocoma ultramarina). We predicted that populations on different sky islands would share common, ancestral alleles that existed during the last glaciation, but that populations on each sky island, owing to their isolation, would contain unique variants of postglacial origin. We also predicted that divergence times estimated from corrected genetic distance and a coalescence model would post-date the last glacial maximum. Our results provide multiple independent lines of support for postglacial divergence, with the predicted pattern of shared and unique mitochondrial DNA haplotypes appearing in two independent sky-island archipelagos, and most estimates of divergence time based on corrected genetic distance post-dating the last glacial maximum. Likewise, an isolation model based on multilocus gene coalescence indicated postglacial divergence of five pairs of sky islands. In contrast to their similar recent histories, the two archipelagos had dissimilar historical patterns in that sky islands in Arizona showed evidence for older divergence, suggesting different responses to the last glaciation. This study is one of the first to provide explicit support from genetic data for a postglacial divergence scenario predicted by one of the best paleoecological records in the world. Our results

  18. Century-scale Changes in Environmental Synchrony and Variability and their Effects on Populations of Birds and Reproduction of Trees

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koenig, W.

    2016-12-01

    The ecological impacts of modern global climate change are detectable in a wide variety of phenomena ranging from shifts in species ranges to changes in community composition and human disease dynamics. Thus far, however, little attention has been given to temporal changes in environmental spatial synchrony-the coincident change in abundance or value across the landscape-or environmental variability, despite the importance of these factors as drivers of population rescue and extinction and reproductive dynamics of both animal and plant populations. We quantified spatial synchrony of widespread North American wintering birds species using Audubon Christmas Bird Counts over the past 50 years and seed set variability (mast fruiting) among trees over the past century and found that both spatial synchrony of the birds and seed set variability have significantly increased over these time periods. The first of these results was mirrored by significant increases in spatial synchrony of mean maximum air temperature across North America, primarily during the summer, while the second is consistent with the hypothesis that climate change is resulting in greater seed set variability. These findings suggest the potential for temporal changes in envioronmental synchrony and variability to be affecting a wide range of ecological phenomena by influencing the probability of population rescue and extinction and by affecting ecosystem processes that rely on the resource pulses provided by mast fruiting plants.

  19. Climate change and the increasing impact of polar bears on bird populations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jouke eProp

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available The Arctic is becoming warmer at a high rate, and contractions in the extent of sea ice are currently changing the habitats of marine top-predators dependent on ice. Polar bears (Ursus maritimus depend on sea ice for hunting seals. For these top-predators, longer ice-free seasons are hypothesized to force the bears to hunt for alternative terrestrial food, such as eggs from colonial breeding birds. We analyzed time-series of polar bear observations at four locations on Spitsbergen (Svalbard and one in east Greenland. Summer occurrence of polar bears, measured as the probability of encountering bears and the number of days with bear presence, has increased significantly from the 1970/80s to the present. The shifts in polar bear occurrence coincided with trends for shorter sea ice seasons and less sea ice during the spring in the study area. This resulted in a strong inverse relationship between the probability of bear encounters on land and the length of the sea ice season. Within ten years after their first appearance on land, polar bears had advanced their arrival dates by almost 30 days. Direct observations of nest predation showed that polar bears may severely affect reproductive success of the barnacle goose (Branta leucopsis, common eider (Somateria mollissima and glaucous gull (Larus hyperboreus. Nest predation was strongest in years when the polar bears arrived well before hatch, with more than 90% of all nests being predated. The results are similar to findings from Canada, and large-scale processes, such as climate and subsequent habitat changes, are pinpointed as the most likely drivers in various parts of the Arctic. We suggest that the increasing, earlier appearance of bears on land in summer reflects behavioral adaptations by a small segment of the population to cope with a reduced hunting range on sea ice. This exemplifies how behavioral adaptations may contribute to the cascading effects of climate change.

  20. Effects of land use on bird populations and pest control services on coffee farms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Railsback, Steven F.; Johnson, Matthew D.

    2014-01-01

    Global increases in both agriculture and biodiversity awareness raise a key question: Should cropland and biodiversity habitat be separated, or integrated in mixed land uses? Ecosystem services by wildlife make this question more complex. For example, birds benefit agriculture by preying on pest insects, but other habitat is needed to maintain the birds. Resulting land use questions include what areas and arrangements of habitat support sufficient birds to control pests, whether this pest control offsets the reduced cropland, and the comparative benefits of “land sharing” (i.e., mixed cropland and habitat) vs. “land sparing” (i.e., separate areas of intensive agriculture and habitat). Such questions are difficult to answer using field studies alone, so we use a simulation model of Jamaican coffee farms, where songbirds suppress the coffee berry borer (CBB). Simulated birds select habitat and prey in five habitat types: intact forest, trees (including forest fragments), shade coffee, sun coffee, and unsuitable habitat. The trees habitat type appears to be especially important, providing efficient foraging and roosting sites near coffee plots. Small areas of trees (but not forest alone) could support a sufficient number of birds to suppress CBB in sun coffee; the degree to which trees are dispersed within coffee had little effect. In simulations without trees, shade coffee supported sufficient birds to offset its lower yield. High areas of both trees and shade coffee reduced pest control because CBB was less often profitable prey. Because of the pest control service provided by birds, land sharing was predicted to be more beneficial than land sparing in this system. PMID:24711377

  1. Effects of land use on bird populations and pest control services on coffee farms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Railsback, Steven F; Johnson, Matthew D

    2014-04-22

    Global increases in both agriculture and biodiversity awareness raise a key question: Should cropland and biodiversity habitat be separated, or integrated in mixed land uses? Ecosystem services by wildlife make this question more complex. For example, birds benefit agriculture by preying on pest insects, but other habitat is needed to maintain the birds. Resulting land use questions include what areas and arrangements of habitat support sufficient birds to control pests, whether this pest control offsets the reduced cropland, and the comparative benefits of "land sharing" (i.e., mixed cropland and habitat) vs. "land sparing" (i.e., separate areas of intensive agriculture and habitat). Such questions are difficult to answer using field studies alone, so we use a simulation model of Jamaican coffee farms, where songbirds suppress the coffee berry borer (CBB). Simulated birds select habitat and prey in five habitat types: intact forest, trees (including forest fragments), shade coffee, sun coffee, and unsuitable habitat. The trees habitat type appears to be especially important, providing efficient foraging and roosting sites near coffee plots. Small areas of trees (but not forest alone) could support a sufficient number of birds to suppress CBB in sun coffee; the degree to which trees are dispersed within coffee had little effect. In simulations without trees, shade coffee supported sufficient birds to offset its lower yield. High areas of both trees and shade coffee reduced pest control because CBB was less often profitable prey. Because of the pest control service provided by birds, land sharing was predicted to be more beneficial than land sparing in this system.

  2. A method for investigating population declines of migratory birds using stable isotopes: origins of harvested lesser scaup in North America.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Keith A Hobson

    2009-11-01

    Full Text Available Elucidating geographic locations from where migratory birds are recruited into adult breeding populations is a fundamental but largely elusive goal in conservation biology. This is especially true for species that breed in remote northern areas where field-based demographic assessments are logistically challenging.Here we used hydrogen isotopes (deltaD to determine natal origins of migrating hatch-year lesser scaup (Aythya affinis harvested by hunters in the United States from all North American flyways during the hunting seasons of 1999-2000 (n = 412 and 2000-2001 (n = 455. We combined geospatial, observational, and analytical data sources, including known scaup breeding range, deltaD values of feathers from juveniles at natal sites, models of deltaD for growing-season precipitation, and scaup band-recovery data to generate probabilistic natal origin landscapes for individual scaup. We then used Monte Carlo integration to model assignment uncertainty from among individual deltaD variance estimates from birds of known molt origin and also from band-return data summarized at the flyway level. We compared the distribution of scaup natal origin with the distribution of breeding population counts obtained from systematic long-term surveys.Our analysis revealed that the proportion of young scaup produced in the northern (above 60 degrees N versus the southern boreal and Prairie-Parkland region was inversely related to the proportions of breeding adults using these regions, suggesting that despite having a higher relative abundance of breeding adults, the northern boreal region was less productive for scaup recruitment into the harvest than more southern biomes. Our approach for evaluating population declines of migratory birds (particularly game birds synthesizes all available distributional data and exploits the advantages of intrinsic isotopic markers that link individuals to geography.

  3. Current land bird distribution and trends in population abundance between 1982 and 2012 on Rota, Mariana Islands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Camp, Richard J.; Brinck, Kevin W.; Gorresen, P. Marcos; Amidon, Fred A.; Radley, Paul M.; Berkowitz, S. Paul; Banko, Paul C.

    2015-01-01

    The western Pacific island of Rota is the fourth largest human-inhabited island in the Mariana archipelago and designated an Endemic Bird Area. Between 1982 and 2012, 12 point-transect distance-sampling surveys were conducted to assess bird population status. Surveys did not consistently sample the entire island; thus, we used a ratio estimator to estimate bird abundances in strata not sampled during every survey. Trends in population size were reliably estimated for 11 of 13 bird species, and 7 species declined over the 30-y time series, including the island collared-dove Streptopelia bitorquata, white-throated ground-dove Gallicolumba xanthonura, Mariana fruit-dove Ptilinopus roseicapilla, collared kingfisher Todiramphus chloris orii, Micronesian myzomela Myzomela rubratra, black drongo Dicrurus macrocercus, and Mariana crow Corvus kubaryi. The endangered Mariana crow (x̄  =  81 birds, 95% CI 30–202) declined sharply to fewer than 200 individuals in 2012, down from 1,491 birds in 1982 (95% CI  =  815–3,115). Trends increased for white tern Gygis alba, rufous fantail Rhipidura rufifrons mariae, and Micronesian starling Aplonis opaca. Numbers of the endangered Rota white-eye Zosterops rotensis declined from 1982 to the late 1990s but returned to 1980s levels by 2012, resulting in an overall stable trend. Trends for the yellow bittern Ixobrychus sinensis were inconclusive. Eurasian tree sparrow Passer montanus trends were not assessed; however, their numbers in 1982 and 2012 were similar. Occupancy models of the 2012 survey data revealed general patterns of land cover use and detectability among 12 species that could be reliably modeled. Occupancy was not assessed for the Eurasian tree sparrow because of insufficient detections. Based on the 2012 survey, bird distribution and abundance across Rota revealed three general patterns: 1) range restriction, including Mariana crow, Rota white-eye, and Eurasian tree sparrow; 2) widespread distribution, low

  4. HUMIDIFICATION AS A FACTOR OF STRUCTURIAL ORGANIZATION OF BIRD POPULATIONS IN THE WOOD STANDS OF THE BIOSPHERE RESERVE ASKANIA NOVA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Listopadsky M. A.

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available The influence of different humidification types towards appearance of forest vegetation conditions on spatial organization of birds in the wood stands is analyzed. Population density, coefficient of occurrence, and informative connection with six types of soil humidification are given for 53 bird species. The informative estimation of every humidification type is determined for every bird species. Thereby it is definitely a contribution of every gradation of edaphic factor to the structural genesis of dendrophilous bird communities. The strongest informative connection between humidity gradients and the avifauna structure of the wood stands is available in dry edaphotopes for margin representatives and fresh one for typical forest species. These two humidification types play a start function in the structural genesis of some blocks of dendrophilous bird communities per se. It is determined that change of bird species of forest-steppe faunogenetic complex by species from Nemoral complex undergoes in most cases on the border of the gradient between fresh and humid edaphotopes. For 53 species of birds from dendrophilous complex is was revealed that the importance of different levels of soil moisture has a different impact in shaping of the modern structure dendrophilous avifauna. Dry and especially drily edaphotopes determine the spatial structure of the species that are of forest-steppe origin and belong to the representatives of the optional component of dendrophilous bird communities. Wet edafotopes are involved in the formation of the spatial structure of species of predominantly immoral origin and relate to the obligate component of representatives of dendrophilous bitd comminities. Gradient wetting of edaphotopes on the verge of ‘linked’/’fresh’ is restructuring for the bird communities. It takes an optional replacement red communists feature to obligate. Stands rather dry and fresh items currently being the most active formation of

  5. Influence of a large late summer precipitation event on food limitation and grasshopper population dynamics in a northern Great Plains grassland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Branson, David H

    2008-06-01

    The complex interplay between grasshoppers, weather conditions, and plants that cause fluctuations in grasshopper populations remains poorly understood, and little is known about the ecological processes that generate grasshopper outbreaks. Grasshopper populations respond to interacting extrinsic and intrinsic factors, with yearly and decadal weather patterns and the timing of precipitation all potentially important. The effects of initial and increasing grasshopper densities on grasshopper survival and reproductive correlates were examined at a northern mixed-grass prairie site through manipulations of grasshopper densities inside 10-m2 cages. High-quality grass growth occurred after a 9.1-cm mid-August rain. Reduced proportional survival was apparent in the two higher density treatments before the rain, indicative of food-limited density-dependent mortality. However, the large late summer rainfall event mediated the effects of exploitative competition on demographic characteristics because of the high-quality vegetation growth. This led to weaker effects of food limitation on survival and reproduction at the end of the experiment. The results indicate a direct link between weather variation, resource quality and grasshopper population dynamics led to a severe grasshopper outbreak and show that infrequent large precipitation events can have significant effects on population dynamics. Additional research is needed to examine the importance of infrequent large precipitation events on grasshopper population dynamics in grassland ecosystems.

  6. Mathematical modeling of Avian Influenza epidemic with bird vaccination in constant population

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kharis, M.; Amidi

    2018-03-01

    The development of the industrial world and human life is increasingly modern and less attention to environmental sustainability causes the virus causes the epidemic has a high tendency to mutate so that the virus that initially only attack animals, is also found to have the ability to attack humans. The epidemics that lasted some time were bird flu epidemics and swine flu epidemics. The flu epidemic led to several deaths and many people admitted to the hospital. Strain (derivatives) of H5N1 virus was identified as the cause of the bird flu epidemic while the H1N1 strain of the virus was identified as the cause of the swine flu epidemic. The symptoms are similar to seasonal flu caused by H3N2 strain of the virus. Outbreaks of bird flu and swine flu initially only attacked animals, but over time some people were found to be infected with the virus.

  7. Population Trends of Central European Montane Birds Provide Evidence for Adverse Impacts of Climate Change on High-Altitude Species.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jiří Flousek

    Full Text Available Climate change is among the most important global threats to biodiversity and mountain areas are supposed to be under especially high pressure. Although recent modelling studies suggest considerable future range contractions of montane species accompanied with increased extinction risk, data allowing to test actual population consequences of the observed climate changes and identifying traits associated to their adverse impacts are very scarce. To fill this knowledge gap, we estimated long-term population trends of montane birds from 1984 to 2011 in a central European mountain range, the Giant Mountains (Krkonoše, where significant warming occurred over this period. We then related the population trends to several species' traits related to the climate change effects. We found that the species breeding in various habitats at higher altitudes had more negative trends than species breeding at lower altitudes. We also found that the species moved upwards as a response to warming climate, and these altitudinal range shifts were associated with more positive population trends at lower altitudes than at higher altitudes. Moreover, long-distance migrants declined more than residents or species migrating for shorter distances. Taken together, these results indicate that the climate change, besides other possible environmental changes, already influences populations of montane birds with particularly adverse impacts on high-altitude species such as water pipit (Anthus spinoletta. It is evident that the alpine species, predicted to undergo serious climatically induced range contractions due to warming climate in the future, already started moving along this trajectory.

  8. Urban birds in the Sonoran Desert: estimating population density from point counts

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Karina Johnston López

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available We conducted bird surveys in Hermosillo, Sonora using distance sampling to characterize detection functions at point-transects for native and non-native urban birds in a desert environment. From March to August 2013 we sampled 240 plots in the city and its surroundings; each plot was visited three times. Our purpose was to provide information for a rapid assessment of bird density in this region by using point counts. We identified 72 species, including six non-native species. Sixteen species had sufficient detections to accurately estimate the parameters of the detection functions. To illustrate the estimation of density from bird count data using our inferred detection functions, we estimated the density of the Eurasian Collared-Dove (Streptopelia decaocto under two different levels of urbanization: highly urbanized (90-100% of urban impact and moderately urbanized zones (39-50% of urban impact. Density of S. decaocto in the highly-urbanized and moderately-urbanized zones was 3.97±0.52 and 2.92±0.52 individuals/ha, respectively. By using our detection functions, avian ecologists can efficiently relocate time and effort that is regularly used for the estimation of detection distances, to increase the number of sites surveyed and to collect other relevant ecological information.

  9. Prevalence of Taxa of Pasteurellaceae Among Populations of Healthy Captive Psittacine Birds

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bisgaard, M.; Xin, Di; Bertelsen, M. F.

    2017-01-01

    Sixty-two strains of Pasteurellaceae-like bacteria were isolated from the tracheas of 87 clinically healthy psittacine birds in two Danish zoos. The isolates were identified by a combination of rpoB and 16S rRNA gene sequencing and by matrix-assisted laser desorption–ionization time of flight. Tw...

  10. Optimizing the duration of point counts for monitoring trends in bird populations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jared Verner

    1988-01-01

    Minute-by-minute analysis of point counts of birds in mixed-conifer forests in the Sierra National Forest, central California, showed that cumulative counts of species and individuals increased in a curvilinear fashion but did not reach asymptotes after 10 minutes of counting. Comparison of the expected number of individuals counted per hour with various combinations...

  11. Monitoring the impact of the Gordon C. Leitch oil spill on the breeding bird populations of the Mingan Archipelago National Park Reserve, (QC) Canada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Roberge, B.; Chapdelaine, G.

    2000-01-01

    Results of a monitoring study of the impact of a 1999 oil spill on the breeding bird population in the Mingan Archipelago National Park Reserve in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, Quebec, are discussed. The common eider, the black guillemot and the bald eagle were the three species studied by observing and comparing the status of these bird populations on islands located inside and outside of the contaminated area. Data from before and after the oil spill were compared. Results show that an estimated 211 to 777 breeding birds have died as a result of the oil spill, however, the overall impact on the reproductive potential of the breeding bird population was insignificant. Various protective measures to mitigate the effects of future oil spills are proposed. 38 refs., 7 tabs., 1 fig

  12. Foraging ecology and spatial behavior of the red fox (Vulpes vulpes) in a wet grassland ecosystem

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Meisner, Katrine; Sunde, Peter; Clausen, Kevin Kuhlmann

    2014-01-01

    We investigated diet composition, habitat selection and spatial behaviour of the red fox (Vulpes vulpes) in relation to the availability of wader nests in a coastal polder area in southwest Denmark. The predatory role of the red fox in wet grassland ecosystems has profound implications...... for conservation status of declining populations of grassland breeding waders. However, few studies have focussed on the foraging ecology and behaviour of the red fox in these landscapes. Faecal analyses revealed that fox diet consisted of birds (43 % of prey remains / 32 % of biomass), rodents (39 % / 21...... %), sheep (mainly as carrion, 14 % / 41 %) and lagomorphs (4 % / 7 %). Charadriiformes (including waders) comprised 3–12 % of prey remains throughout the year. Telemetry data and spotlight counts indicated that foxes did not select areas with high densities of breeding waders, suggesting that foxes did...

  13. An evaluation of marine bird population trends following the Exxon Valdez oil spill, Prince William Sound, Alaska

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lance, Brian K.; Irons, David B.; Kendall, Steven J.; McDonald, Lyman L.

    2001-01-01

    We examined post-spill trends (1989-1998) of marine bird populations in Prince William Sound (PWS) following the Exxon Valdez oil spill (EVOS) to evaluate recovery of injured taxa. Two criteria were employed. First, we examined population trends of injured taxa only in the oiled area of PWS using regression models. Second, we examined population trends of injured taxa in the oiled area relative to the unoiled area using homogeneity of the slopes tests. We considered a population recovering if there was a positive trend using either criteria. We considered a population not recovering if there was no trend using either criteria or a negative trend in the oiled area. A significant negative trend in the oiled area relative to the unoiled area was considered a continuing and increasing effect. Most taxa for which injury was previously demonstrated were not recovering and some taxa showed evidence of increasing effects nine years after the oil spill. Four taxa (loons Gavia spp, Harlequin Duck Histrionicus histrionicus, Bufflehead Bucephala spp, and North-western Crow Corvus caurinus) showed weak to very weak evidence of recovery. None of these taxa showed positive trends in both winter and summer. Nine taxa (grebes Podiceps spp, cormorants Phalacrocorax spp, Black Oystercatcher Haematopus bachmani, Mew Gull Larus canus, Glaucous-winged Gull Larus glaucescens, terns Sterna spp, murres Uria spp, Pigeon Guillemot Cepphus columba, and murrelets Brachyramphus spp) showed no evidence of recovery during summer or winter. Four taxa (scoters Melanitta spp, mergansers Mergus spp, goldeneyes Bucephala spp, and Black-legged Kittiwake Rissa tridactyla) showed evidence of continuing, increasing effects. We showed evidence of slow recovery, lack of recovery, and divergent population trends in many taxa which utilise shoreline and nearshore habitats where oil is likely to persist. Potential lingering spill effects and natural variability appear to be acting in concert in delaying

  14. Joint review of related contracts on bird populations in the Ravenglass Estuary

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Anderson, N.; Evans, P.R.; Lowe, V.P.W.

    1987-10-01

    Black-headed Gulls breeding at Ravenglass (and at other coastal sites in Cumbria) fed exclusively inland during the breeding season and so they and their young could not have acquired any radionuclides present in the estuarine muds and invertebrates. Levels in the invertebrates and in gull tissues were low; they were slightly higher in Shelducks, which feed on estuarine invertebrates but have nested successfully at Ravenglass in recent years. Gulls and two other ground-nesting bird species have suffered severe disturbance and predation by foxes in recent springs at Ravenglass; Shelducks nest in burrows and have escaped such effects. Levels of radionuclides in birds, particularly gulls, are too low to have caused breeding failures at Ravenglass. (author)

  15. Relatively high prevalence of pox-like lesions in Henslow's sparrow (Ammodrammus henslowii) among nine species of migratory grassland passerines in Wisconsin, USA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ellison, Kevin S; Hofmeister, Erik K; Ribic, Christine A; Sample, David W

    2014-10-01

    Globally, Avipoxvirus species affect over 230 species of wild birds and can significantly impair survival. During banding of nine grassland songbird species (n=346 individuals) in southwestern Wisconsin, USA, we noted species with a 2-6% prevalence of pox-like lesions (possible evidence of current infection) and 4-10% missing digits (potential evidence of past infection). These prevalences approach those recorded among island endemic birds (4-9% and 9-20% for the Galapagos and Hawaii, respectively) for which Avipoxvirus species have been implicated as contributing to dramatic population declines. Henslow's Sparrow Ammodramus henslowii (n=165 individuals) had the highest prevalence of lesions (6.1%) and missing digits (9.7%). Among a subset of 26 Henslow's Sparrows from which blood samples were obtained, none had detectable antibody reactive to fowlpox virus antigen. However, four samples (18%) had antibody to canarypox virus antigen with test sample and negative control ratios (P/N values) ranging from 2.4 to 6.5 (median 4.3). Of four antibody-positive birds, two had lesions recorded (one was also missing a digit), one had digits missing, and one had no signs. Additionally, the birds with lesions or missing digits had higher P/N values than did the antibody-positive bird without missing digits or recorded lesions. This study represents an impetus for considering the impacts and dynamics of disease caused by Avipoxvirus among North American grassland bird species.

  16. Relatively high prevalence of pox-like lesions in Henslow's Sparrow (Ammodramus henslowii) among nine species of migratory grassland passerines in Wisconsin, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ellison, Kevin S.; Hofmeister, Erik K.; Ribic, Christine A.; Sample, David W.

    2014-01-01

    Globally, Avipoxvirus species affect over 230 species of wild birds and can significantly impair survival. During banding of nine grassland songbird species (n = 346 individuals) in southwestern Wisconsin, USA, we noted species with a 2–6% prevalence of pox-like lesions (possible evidence of current infection) and 4–10% missing digits (potential evidence of past infection). These prevalences approach those recorded among island endemic birds (4–9% and 9–20% for the Galapagos and Hawaii, respectively) for which Avipoxvirus species have been implicated as contributing to dramatic population declines. Henslow's Sparrow Ammodramus henslowii (n = 165 individuals) had the highest prevalence of lesions (6.1%) and missing digits (9.7%). Among a subset of 26 Henslow's Sparrows from which blood samples were obtained, none had detectable antibody reactive to fowlpox virus antigen. However, four samples (18%) had antibody to canarypox virus antigen with test sample and negative control ratios (P/N values) ranging from 2.4 to 6.5 (median 4.3). Of four antibody-positive birds, two had lesions recorded (one was also missing a digit), one had digits missing, and one had no signs. Additionally, the birds with lesions or missing digits had higher P/N values than did the antibody-positive bird without missing digits or recorded lesions. This study represents an impetus for considering the impacts and dynamics of disease caused by Avipoxvirus among North American grassland bird species.

  17. Model-based scenario planning to develop climate change adaptation strategies for rare plant populations in grassland reserves

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laura Phillips-Mao; Susan M. Galatowitsch; Stephanie A. Snyder; Robert G. Haight

    2016-01-01

    Incorporating climate change into conservation decision-making at site and population scales is challenging due to uncertainties associated with localized climate change impacts and population responses to multiple interacting impacts and adaptation strategies. We explore the use of spatially explicit population models to facilitate scenario analysis, a conservation...

  18. A Study of the Effects of Gas Well Compressor Noise on Breeding Bird Populations of the Rattlesnake Canyon Habitat Management Area, San Juan County, New Mexico

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    LaGory, K.E.; Chang, Young-Soo; Chun, K.C.; Reeves, T.; Liebich, R.; Smith, K.

    2001-06-04

    This report, conducted from May through July 2000, addressed the potential effect of compressor noise on breeding birds in gas-production areas administered by the FFO, specifically in the Rattlesnake Canyon Habitat Management Area northeast of Farmington, New Mexico. The study was designed to quantify and characterize noise output from these compressors and to determine if compressor noise affected bird populations in adjacent habitat during the breeding season.

  19. The Bird.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hannon, Jean

    2001-01-01

    Students use a dead bird to learn about bird life, anatomy, and death. Students examine a bird body and discuss what happened to the bird. Uses outdoor education as a resource for learning about animals. (SAH)

  20. Nepal’s National Red List of Birds

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carol Inskipp

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available The main objectives of the Nepal National Bird Red Data Book were to provide comprehensive and up-to-date accounts of all the bird species found in Nepal, assess their status applying the IUCN Guidelines at Regional Levels, identify threats to all bird species and recommend the most practical measures for their conservation.  It is hoped that the Bird RDB will help Nepal achieve the Convention on Biological Diversity target of preventing the extinction of known threatened species and improving their conservation status.  As population changes of Nepal’s birds have been studied for only a few species, assessments of species’ national status were mainly made by assessing changes in distribution.  Species distribution maps were produced for all of Nepal’s bird species except vagrants and compared to maps that were produced in 1991 using the same mapping system.  Of the 878 bird species recorded, 168 species (19% were assessed as nationally threatened. These comprise 68 (40% Critically Endangered species, 38 (23% Endangered species and 62 (37% Vulnerable species.  A total of 62 species was considered Near Threatened and 22 species Data Deficient.  Over 55% of the threatened birds are lowland grassland specialists, 25% are wetland birds and 24% tropical and sub-tropical broadleaved forest birds.  Larger birds appear to be more threatened than smaller birds with 98 (25% non-passerine species threatened and 67 (14% passerine species.  Habitat loss, degradation and fragmentation are the most important threats.  Other threats include chemical poisoning, over-exploitation, climate change, hydropower, invasive species, intensification of agriculture, disturbance, and limited conservation measures and research.  Measures to address these threats are described.  It was also concluded that re-assessments of the status of certain bird groups carried out every five years and the setting up of a national online system for storing and reporting

  1. Conceptual ecological model for management of breeding shrubland birds in the Mid-Atlantic Region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peterjohn, Bruce G.

    2006-01-01

    While grassland birds have become the focus of increased conservation activities, the status of birds occupying shrubland habitats has received relatively little attention (Hunter et al. 2001). Yet, in eastern North America, shrubland birds exhibited consistent population declines during the past 40 years, based on data from the North American Breeding Bird Survey (Pardieck and Sauer 2001). These population declines primarily reflect large-scale changes in land use patterns during the previous century (Lorimer 2001). Large areas of marginal farmland were abandoned and underwent secondary succession during the first half of the twentieth century, producing abundant successional habitats favored by shrubland birds. As these habitats matured, combined with strict fire-suppression policies (Hunter et al. 2001), shrublands succeeded into mature forests, and shrubland bird communities were replaced by woodland birds (Irland 1982; Askins 1993). For example, while nearly 29% of New England forests were classified as sapling stage in 1950, only 8% remained at that stage in the 1980s (Askins 1993). The trend towards forest maturation and loss of shrubland habitats continues, yet concerted conservation activities have not been directed to benefit declining shrubland bird populations. The National Park Service (NPS) could contribute to shrubland bird conservation in the Mid- Atlantic Region. The NPS maintains a number of historic sites and former battlefields managed for their cultural significance but also support wildlife populations. Many of these “cultural parks” maintain open landscapes, recreating land use patterns existing at the times of the historical events. While these open landscapes are frequently managed grasslands, some parks also support successional habitats that could be managed to benefit shrubland birds. In 2005, the NPS initiated a project exploring the potential of “cultural parks” to support significant breeding grassland and shrubland bird

  2. Virginia ESI: BIRDS (Bird Polygons)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set contains sensitive biological resource data for wading birds, shorebirds, waterfowl, raptors, diving birds, pelagic birds, passerine birds, and gulls...

  3. Partners in flight bird conservation plan for the Upper Great Lakes Plain (Physiographic Area 16)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knutson, M.G.; Butcher, G.; Fitzgerald, J.; Shieldcastle, J.

    2001-01-01

    oak savannah grasslands already have been converted to agriculture. The conversion to cropland may have benefitted some grassland birds, and forest birds still persist. Rates of cowbird parasitism and nest predation in this heavily fragmented region, however, are extremely high and it is possible that only those bird communities in the few remaining expanses of contiguous habitat are self-sustaining. Forest habitat needs to be retained or restored so that a significant number of patches of sufficient size and quality each support a healthy population of Cerulean Warblers. It is assumed that each of these patches will then support the full range of forest birds. The total area of savannah habitat also should be increased, although the need for large blocks is not as apparent. Those few areas of grassland that still exist should be retained.

  4. [Spatial distribution characteristics of urban potential population in Shenyang City based on QuickBird image and GIS].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Jun-Ying; Hu, Yuan-Man; Chen, Wei; Liu, Miao; Hu, Jian-Bo; Zhong, Qiao-Lin; Lu, Ning

    2012-06-01

    Population is the most active factor affecting city development. To understand the distribution characteristics of urban population is of significance for making city policy decisions and for optimizing the layout of various urban infrastructures. In this paper, the information of the residential buildings in Shenyang urban area was extracted from the QuickBird remote sensing images, and the spatial distribution characteristics of the population within the Third-Ring Road of the City were analyzed, according to the social and economic statistics data. In 2010, the population density in different types of residential buildings within the Third-Ring Road of the City decreased in the order of high-storey block, mixed block, mixed garden, old multi-storey building, high-storey garden, multi-storey block, multi-storey garden, villa block, shanty, and villa garden. The vacancy rate of the buildings within the Third-Ring Road was more than 30%, meaning that the real estate market was seriously overstocked. Among the five Districts of Shenyang City, Shenhe District had the highest potential population density, while Tiexi District and Dadong District had a lower one. The gravity center of the City and its five Districts was also analyzed, which could provide basic information for locating commercial facilities and planning city infrastructure.

  5. [Specific features of nesting bird populations in forest-meadow-field landscapes of Meshchovsk Opolye reflect the diversity of their biotope connections].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kut'in, S D; Konstantinov, V M

    2008-01-01

    Studies on specific features of nesting bird populations in patchy landscapes were performed in Meshchovsk Opolye, Kaluga Region, from 1981 to 1990. Indices of similarity between the avifaunas of agricultural fields, lowland bogs, and small-leaved forests markedly differed from parameters of their population density in rank and value. In the series of biotopes differing in the relative amount of woodland, from central areas of small-leaved forests to forest margins and then to forest islands gradually decreasing in size, the birds segregated into two distinct groups, one characteristic of forest margins and large forest islands and the other characteristic of small and very small forest islands. Specific features of bird density distribution in forest-meadow-field landscapes of Meshchovsk Opolye reflected heterogeneity of their populations manifested in diverse connections with nesting biotopes.

  6. Trans-generational effects on ageing in a wild bird population

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bouwhuis, S.; Charmantier, A.; Verhulst, S.; Sheldon, B. C.

    Ageing, long thought to be too infrequent to study effectively in natural populations, has recently been shown to be ubiquitous, even in the wild. A major challenge now is to explain variation in the rates of ageing within populations. Here, using 49 years of data from a population of great tits

  7. Landscape-based population viability models demonstrate importance of strategic conservation planning for birds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomas W. Bonnot; Frank R. Thompson; Joshua J. Millspaugh; D. Todd. Jones-Farland

    2013-01-01

    Efforts to conserve regional biodiversity in the face of global climate change, habitat loss and fragmentation will depend on approaches that consider population processes at multiple scales. By combining habitat and demographic modeling, landscape-based population viability models effectively relate small-scale habitat and landscape patterns to regional population...

  8. The Significance of Mating System and Nonbreeding Behavior to Population and Forest Patch Use by Migrant Birds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eugene S. Morton; Bridget J. M. Stutchbury

    2005-01-01

    Migratory birds are birds of two worlds, breeding in the temperate zone then living as tropical birds for most of the year. We show two aspects of this unique biology that are important considerations for their conservation. First, habitat selection for breeding must include their need for extra-pair mating opportunities. Second, non-breeding distributions in tropical...

  9. Filling the gaps: Using count survey data to predict bird density distribution patterns and estimate population sizes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sierdsema, H.; van Loon, E.E.

    2008-01-01

    Birds play an increasingly prominent role in politics, nature conservation and nature management. As a consequence, up-to-date and reliable spatial estimates of bird distributions over large areas are in high demand. The requested bird distribution maps are however not easily obtained. Intensive

  10. Population expansion of some bird species in the city of Wrocław

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kopij Grzegorz

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available During the years 2002-2010, distribution and numbers of eight bird species were studied in the whole city of Wrocław, SW Poland (293 km2. The estimation for these species are as follow: Streptopelia turtur: 3 breeding pairs, Upupa epops: 1, Cuculus canorus: 49, Emberiza hortulana: 7, Luscinia megarhynchos: 214-286, Phoenicurus phoenicurus: 87-118, Turdus pilaris: 105-150, Hippolais icterina: 136-181. In comparison with 1980‘s and 1990’s, a rapid increase in the numbers P. phoenicurus, and T. pilaris, and a slight increase of L. megarhynchos and Cuculus canorus were documented. T. pilaris began to breed in the city in the end of 1990‘s. The increase may indicate that the habitats in Wrocław improved both in regard to food availability, nesting sites and other environmental requisitions. The increase in the numbers recorded for C. canorus, P. phoe-nicurus, and L. megarhynchos may also be a result of good conditions prevailing in their wintering grounds in sub-Saharan Africa.

  11. The European and Japanese outbreaks of H5N8 derive from a single source population providing evidence for the dispersal along the long distance bird migratory flyways

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrew R. Dalby

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available The origin of recent parallel outbreaks of the high pathogenicity H5N8 avian flu virus in Europe and in Japan can be traced to a single source population, which has most likely been spread by migratory birds. By using Bayesian coalescent methods to analyze the DNA sequences of the virus to find the times for divergence and combining this sequence data with bird migration data we can show the most likely locations and migratory pathways involved in the origin of the current outbreak. This population was most likely located in the Siberian summer breeding grounds of long-range migratory birds. These breeding grounds provide a connection between different migratory flyways and explain the current outbreaks in remote locations. By combining genetic methods and epidemiological data we can rapidly identify the sources and the dispersion pathways for novel avian influenza outbreaks.

  12. SOWING GRASSLANDS – EFFICIENT SOLUTION FOR ZOOTEHNICAL PRODUCTION

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    VALENTINA OFELIA ROBESCU

    2008-05-01

    Full Text Available Recruitment is critical for the maintenance of plant populations and community diversity, but sexual regeneration is considered to be infrequent in climatically harsh habitats such as sub alpine grasslands. For this reasons it is very important to improve the grassland. In this paper we study the interaction among milk production, fertilizations and flower composition in sub alpine grasslands. The agrochemical indicators are important because they influence the pasture value and at the final the milk production.

  13. Alabama ESI: BIRDS (Bird Polygons)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set contains sensitive biological resource data for wading birds, shorebirds, waterfowl, raptors, diving birds, seabirds, passerine birds, gulls, and terns...

  14. Maryland ESI: BIRDS (Bird Polygons)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set contains sensitive biological resource data for wading birds, shorebirds, waterfowl, raptors, diving birds, seabirds, passerine birds, and gulls and...

  15. Population Development of Baltic Bird Species: Great Cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo sinensis) - Update with results from 2011

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Herrmann, Christof; Bregnballe, Thomas; Larsson, Kjell

    2011-01-01

    pair numbers started to increase during the second half of the 1970s. During the 1980s, the Cormorant started to expand its range towards the northern and eastern parts of the Baltic. Currently, the species is present in the whole Baltic Sea area, including the northern parts of the Gulf of Bothnia....... After a decade of exponential growth, the breeding population of the Cormorant has stabilized in the south-western Baltic (Denmark and the northern Federal States of Germany - Schleswig-Holstein and Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania) in the 1990s, but breeding populations are still growing in the central...

  16. Raptors in the State Nature Reserve “Kerzhensky” After Forest Fires of 2010: Materials of Five-Year Monitoring of a Summer Bird Population

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Olga S. Noskova

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available On the basis of five-year monitoring data on summer bird population in the Nature Reserve “Kerzhensky” after the catastrophic fires of 2010, a spatial distribution of raptors was analyzed (mainly birds of prey – Falconiformes. Main types of habitats were surveyed using line transect counts. In total 17 species of raptors were observed. Abundance of each species is presented here. Northern Goshawk (Accipiter gentilis, Eurasian Sparrowhawk (Accipiter nisus, Common Buzzard (Buteo buteo and Eurasian Hobby (Falco subbuteo were the most common species of raptors in the Nature Reserve.

  17. The California Valley grassland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keeley, J.E.; Schoenherr, Allan A.

    1990-01-01

    Grasslands are distributed throughout California from Oregon to Baja California Norte and from the coast to the desert (Brown 1982) (Figure 1). This review will focus on the dominant formation in cismontane California, a community referred to as Valley Grassland (Munz 1959). Today, Valley Grassland is dominated by non-native annual grasses in genera such as Avena (wild oat), Bromus (brome grass), and Hordeum (barley), and is often referred to as the California annual grassland. On localized sites, native perennial bunchgrasses such as Stipa pultra (purple needle grass) may dominate and such sites are interpreted to be remnants of the pristine valley grassland. In northwestern California a floristically distinct formation of the Valley Grassland, known as Coast Prairie (Munz 1959) or Northern Coastal Grassland (Holland and Keil 1989) is recognized. The dominant grasses include many native perennial bunchgrasses in genera such as Agrostis, Calamagrostis, Danthonia, Deschampsia, Festuca, Koeleria and Poa (Heady et al. 1977). Non-native annuals do not dominate, but on some sites non-native perennials like Anthoxanthum odoratum may colonize the native grassland (Foin and Hektner 1986). Elevationally, California's grasslands extend from sea level to at leas 1500 m. The upper boundary is vague because montane grassland formations are commonly referred to as meadows; a community which Munz (1959) does not recognize. Holland and Keil (1989) describe the montane meadow as an azonal community; that is, a community restricted not so much to a particular climatic zone but rather controlled by substrate characteristics. They consider poor soil-drainage an over-riding factor in the development of montane meadows and, in contrast to grasslands, meadows often remain green through the summer drought. Floristically, meadows are composed of graminoids; Cyperaceae, Juncaceae, and rhizomatous grasses such as Agropyron (wheat grass). Some bunchgrasses, such as Muhlenbergia rigens, are

  18. Birds protected by national legislation show improved population trends in Eastern Europe

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Koleček, Jaroslav; Schleuning, M.; Burfield, I. J.; Báldi, A.; Böhning-Gaese, K.; Devictor, V.; Fernández-García, J. M.; Hořák, D.; Van Turnhout, C. A. M.; Hnatyna, O.; Reif, J.

    2014-01-01

    Roč. 172, April (2014), s. 109-116 ISSN 0006-3207 Institutional support: RVO:68081766 Keywords : Conservation effectiveness * Ecological trait * Environmental legislation * Global change * Life history strategy * Population growth rate Subject RIV: EG - Zoology Impact factor: 3.762, year: 2014

  19. No association between personality and candidate gene polymorphisms in a wild bird population

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Edwards, Hannah A.; Hajduck, GK; Durieux, G; Burke, T; Dugdale, Hannah

    2015-01-01

    Consistency of between-individual differences in behaviour or personality is a phenomenon in populations that can have ecological consequences and evolutionary potential. One way that behaviour can evolve is to have a genetic basis. Identifying the molecular genetic basis of personality could

  20. Interactions between Behaviour and Genetics in Wild and Domestic Bird Populations

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rodenburg, T.B.; Oers, van K.

    2010-01-01

    Personality traits can be favoured by both natural and artificial selection, if they result in increased fitness or productivity, and therefore play an important role in both wild and domestic populations. Here, we review how personality traits affect and are affected by natural and artificial

  1. Life-history and ecological correlates of population change in Dutch breeding birds.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Turnhout, van C.A.M.; Foppen, R.P.B.; Leuven, R.S.E.W.; Strien, van A.J.; Siepel, H.

    2010-01-01

    Predicting relative extinction risks of animals has become a major challenge in conservation biology. Identifying life-history and ecological traits related to the decline of species helps understand what causes population decreases and sets priorities for conservation action. Here, we use Dutch

  2. The environmental dependence of inbreeding depression in a wild bird population.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marta Szulkin

    2007-10-01

    Full Text Available Inbreeding depression occurs when the offspring produced as a result of matings between relatives show reduced fitness, and is generally understood as a consequence of the elevated expression of deleterious recessive alleles. How inbreeding depression varies across environments is of importance for the evolution of inbreeding avoidance behaviour, and for understanding extinction risks in small populations. However, inbreeding-by-environment (IxE interactions have rarely been investigated in wild populations.We analysed 41 years of breeding events from a wild great tit (Parus major population and used 11 measures of the environment to categorise environments as relatively good or poor, testing whether these measures influenced inbreeding depression. Although inbreeding always, and environmental quality often, significantly affected reproductive success, there was little evidence for statistically significant I x E interactions at the level of individual analyses. However, point estimates of the effect of the environment on inbreeding depression were sometimes considerable, and we show that variation in the magnitude of the I x E interaction across environments is consistent with the expectation that this interaction is more marked across environmental axes with a closer link to overall fitness, with the environmental dependence of inbreeding depression being elevated under such conditions. Hence, our analyses provide evidence for an environmental dependence of the inbreeding x environment interaction: effectively an I x E x E.Overall, our analyses suggest that I x E interactions may be substantial in wild populations, when measured across relevant environmental contrasts, although their detection for single traits may require very large samples, or high rates of inbreeding.

  3. Agriculture modifies the seasonal decline of breeding success in a tropical wild bird population

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cartwright, Samantha J; Nicoll, Malcolm A C; Jones, Carl G; Tatayah, Vikash; Norris, Ken

    2014-01-01

    Habitat conversion for agriculture is a major driver of biodiversity loss, but our understanding of the demographic processes involved remains poor. We typically investigate the impacts of agriculture in isolation even though populations are likely to experience multiple, concurrent changes in the environment (e.g. land and climate change). Drivers of environmental change may interact to affect demography, but the mechanisms have yet to be explored fully in wild populations. Here, we investigate the mechanisms linking agricultural land use with breeding success using long-term data for the formerly Critically Endangered Mauritius kestrel Falco punctatus, a tropical forest specialist that also occupies agricultural habitats. We specifically focused on the relationship between breeding success, agriculture and the timing of breeding because the latter is sensitive to changes in climatic conditions (spring rainfall) and enables us to explore the interactive effects of different (land and climate) drivers of environmental change. Breeding success, measured as egg survival to fledging, declines seasonally in this population, but we found that the rate of this decline became increasingly rapid as the area of agriculture around a nest site increased. If the relationship between breeding success and agriculture was used in isolation to estimate the demographic impact of agriculture, it would significantly under-estimate breeding success in dry (early) springs and over-estimate breeding success in wet (late) springs. Analysis of prey delivered to nests suggests that the relationship between breeding success and agriculture might be due, in part, to spatial variation in the availability of native, arboreal geckos. Synthesis and applications. Agriculture modifies the seasonal decline in breeding success in this population. As springs are becoming wetter in our study area and since the kestrels breed later in wetter springs, the impact of agriculture on breeding success will

  4. Effects of wind energy development on nesting ecology of greater prairie-chickens in fragmented grasslands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McNew, Lance B; Hunt, Lyla M; Gregory, Andrew J; Wisely, Samantha M; Sandercock, Brett K

    2014-08-01

    Wind energy is targeted to meet 20% of U.S. energy needs by 2030, but new sites for development of renewable energy may overlap with important habitats of declining populations of grassland birds. Greater Prairie-Chickens (Tympanuchus cupido) are an obligate grassland bird species predicted to respond negatively to energy development. We used a modified before-after control-impact design to test for impacts of a wind energy development on the reproductive ecology of prairie-chickens in a 5-year study. We located 59 and 185 nests before and after development, respectively, of a 201 MW wind energy facility in Greater Prairie-Chicken nesting habitat and assessed nest site selection and nest survival relative to proximity to wind energy infrastructure and habitat conditions. Proximity to turbines did not negatively affect nest site selection (β = 0.03, 95% CI = -1.2-1.3) or nest survival (β = -0.3, 95% CI = -0.6-0.1). Instead, nest site selection and survival were strongly related to vegetative cover and other local conditions determined by management for cattle production. Integration of our project results with previous reports of behavioral avoidance of oil and gas facilities by other species of prairie grouse suggests new avenues for research to mitigate impacts of energy development. © 2014 The Authors. Conservation Biology published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of Society for Conservation Biology.

  5. Influence of life history strategies on sensitivity, population growth and response to climate for sympatric alpine birds

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wilson Scott

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The life history strategy of a species can influence how populations of that species respond to environmental variation. In this study, we used a matrix modeling approach to examine how life history differences among sympatric rock and white-tailed ptarmigan affect the influence of demographic rates on population growth (λ and the potential response to a changing climate. Rock ptarmigan have a slower life history strategy than white-tailed ptarmigan in the study region with lower annual reproductive effort but higher adult survival. Results Based on data from a 5-year field study, deterministic estimates of λ indicated that populations were stable for rock ptarmigan (λ = 1.01, but declining for white-tailed ptarmigan (λ = 0.96. The demographic rates with the highest elasticity for rock ptarmigan were the survival of after-second year females, followed by juvenile survival and success of the first nest. For white-tailed ptarmigan, juvenile survival had the highest elasticity followed by success of the first nest and survival of second-year females. Incorporating stochasticity into the demographic rates led to a 2 and 4% drop in λ for rock and white-tailed ptarmigan respectively. Using data from the first three years we also found that population growth rates of both species were depressed following an increased frequency of severe years, but less so for rock ptarmigan which showed greater resilience under these conditions. Conclusions Our results provide evidence that populations of closely related species can vary in their response to environmental change as a consequence of life history differences. Rock ptarmigan, with a slower life history, are more responsive to demographic rates that influence survival and older life stages but this response is tempered by the extent of variability in each of the rates. Thus, predictions need to consider both aspects in modeling population response to a varying climate

  6. Demographic consequences of invasion by a native, controphic competitor to an insular bird population.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, K M; Germain, R R; Tarwater, C E; Reid, J M; Arcese, P

    2018-05-01

    Species invasions and range shifts can lead to novel competitive interactions between historically resident and colonizing species, but the demographic consequences of such interactions remain controversial. We present results from field experiments and 45 years of demographic monitoring to test the hypothesis that the colonization of Mandarte Is., BC, Canada, by fox sparrows (Passerella iliaca) caused the long-term decline of the resident population of song sparrows (Melospiza melodia). Several lines of evidence indicate that competition with fox sparrows for winter food reduced over-winter survival in juvenile song sparrows by 48% from 1960 to 2015, enforcing population decline despite an increase in annual reproductive rate in song sparrows over the same period. Preference for locally abundant seeds presented at experimental arenas suggested complete overlap in diet in song and fox sparrows, and observations at arenas baited with commercial seed showed that fox sparrows displaced song sparrows in 91-100% of interactions in two periods during winter. In contrast, we found no evidence of interspecific competition for resources during the breeding season. Our results indicate that in the absence of marked shifts in niche dimension, range expansions by dominant competitors have the potential to cause the extirpation of historically resident species when competitive interactions between them are strong and resources not equitably partitioned.

  7. ECOLOGICAL SITUATION ON THE TYULENIY ISLAND IN THE OKHOTSK SEA (2015: POPULATION INTERACTIONS BETWEEN PINNIPEDS, BIRDS, IXODIDAE TICKS AND VIRUSES

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Yu. Shchelkanov

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Objective. Analysis of environmental status Tyuleniy Island after a 25-year break in ecological and virological expeditions.Discussion. The paper presents the first results of the ecological and virological expedition to the Tyuleniy Island in August 2015 – the first after a 25 year break. Species of colonial seabirds and pinnipeds are described as well as their population interactions with each other and with Ixodidae ticks Ixodes uriae, which parasite in breeding colonies of birds and are hosts and vectors of several arboviruses that pose a potential risk to mammals. Two strains were isolated from common murre cloaca swabs using chicken embryo biological model. Complete genome sequencing permitted to identify these strains as NDV/Uria aalge/Russia/Tyuleniy Island/109/2015 (GenBank ID: KU601398 and APMV-4/Uria aalge/Russia/Tyuleniy Island/115/2015 (GenBank ID: KU601399. Strain of new virus (Bunyaviridae, Nairovirus was isolated from homogenate of I. uriae on the model of intracerebrally inoculated newborn mice and was identified by sequencing of the fragment (240 nucleotides of the N-gene.Conclusion. The Tyuleniy Island confirmed its importance as a reservoir of arboviruses. The ecological conditions of the Tyuleniy Island requires urgent action to clean up the island from the old buildings and giving it the status of the reserve. 

  8. Breeding bird survey data

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency — The data are maintained by the USGS (https://www.pwrc.usgs.gov/bbs/RawData/) and provides information on the trends and status of North American bird populations...

  9. Experimental evolution of an RNA virus in wild birds: evidence for host-dependent impacts on population structure and competitive fitness.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nathan D Grubaugh

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available Within hosts, RNA viruses form populations that are genetically and phenotypically complex. Heterogeneity in RNA virus genomes arises due to error-prone replication and is reduced by stochastic and selective mechanisms that are incompletely understood. Defining how natural selection shapes RNA virus populations is critical because it can inform treatment paradigms and enhance control efforts. We allowed West Nile virus (WNV to replicate in wild-caught American crows, house sparrows and American robins to assess how natural selection shapes RNA virus populations in ecologically relevant hosts that differ in susceptibility to virus-induced mortality. After five sequential passages in each bird species, we examined the phenotype and population diversity of WNV through fitness competition assays and next generation sequencing. We demonstrate that fitness gains occur in a species-specific manner, with the greatest replicative fitness gains in robin-passaged WNV and the least in WNV passaged in crows. Sequencing data revealed that intrahost WNV populations were strongly influenced by purifying selection and the overall complexity of the viral populations was similar among passaged hosts. However, the selective pressures that control WNV populations seem to be bird species-dependent. Specifically, crow-passaged WNV populations contained the most unique mutations (~1.7× more than sparrows, ~3.4× more than robins and defective genomes (~1.4× greater than sparrows, ~2.7× greater than robins, but the lowest average mutation frequency (about equal to sparrows, ~2.6× lower than robins. Therefore, our data suggest that WNV replication in the most disease-susceptible bird species is positively associated with virus mutational tolerance, likely via complementation, and negatively associated with the strength of selection. These differences in genetic composition most likely have distinct phenotypic consequences for the virus populations. Taken together

  10. Multilocus sequence typing of Ornithobacterium rhinotracheale isolated from pigeons and birds of prey revealed new insights into its population structure

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Susann Thieme

    2016-12-01

    The MLST results of ORT isolated from pigeons and birds of prey likely reflect evolutionary bacterial host adaptations but might also indicate a potential for interspecies transmission. Definite conclusions should be drawn carefully as so far a few strains from non-galliform birds were analyzed by MLST. By extending the number of ORT isolates and the range of potential avian hosts, the MLST database can provide a valuable resource in understanding transmission dynamics.

  11. Screamy Bird

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Tarby, Sara; Cermak, Daniel

    2016-01-01

    Sara Tarby, Daniel Cermak-Sassenrath. Screamy Bird. Digital game. Kulturnatten 2016, Danish Science Ministry, Copenhagen, DK, Oct 14, 2016.......Sara Tarby, Daniel Cermak-Sassenrath. Screamy Bird. Digital game. Kulturnatten 2016, Danish Science Ministry, Copenhagen, DK, Oct 14, 2016....

  12. Conservation Action Based on Threatened Species Capture Taxonomic and Phylogenetic Richness in Breeding and Wintering Populations of Central Asian Birds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schweizer, Manuel; Ayé, Raffael; Kashkarov, Roman; Roth, Tobias

    2014-01-01

    Although phylogenetic diversity has been suggested to be relevant from a conservation point of view, its role is still limited in applied nature conservation. Recently, the practice of investing conservation resources based on threatened species was identified as a reason for the slow integration of phylogenetic diversity in nature conservation planning. One of the main arguments is based on the observation that threatened species are not evenly distributed over the phylogenetic tree. However this argument seems to dismiss the fact that conservation action is a spatially explicit process, and even if threatened species are not evenly distributed over the phylogenetic tree, the occurrence of threatened species could still indicate areas with above average phylogenetic diversity and consequently could protect phylogenetic diversity. Here we aim to study the selection of important bird areas in Central Asia, which were nominated largely based on the presence of threatened bird species. We show that although threatened species occurring in Central Asia do not capture phylogenetically more distinct species than expected by chance, the current spatially explicit conservation approach of selecting important bird areas covers above average taxonomic and phylogenetic diversity of breeding and wintering birds. We conclude that the spatially explicit processes of conservation actions need to be considered in the current discussion of whether new prioritization methods are needed to complement conservation action based on threatened species. PMID:25337861

  13. Current selection for lower migratory activity will drive the evolution of residency in a migratory bird population

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pulido, F.; Berthold, P.

    2010-01-01

    Global warming is impacting biodiversity by altering the distribution, abundance, and phenology of a wide range of animal and plant species. One of the best documented responses to recent climate change is alterations in the migratory behavior of birds, but the mechanisms underlying these phenotypic

  14. Population trends of central European montane birds provide evidence for adverse impacts of climate change on high-altitude species

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Flousek, J.; Telenský, Tomáš; Hanzelka, J.; Reif, J.

    2015-01-01

    Roč. 10, č. 10 (2015), č. článku e0139465. E-ISSN 1932-6203 Institutional support: RVO:68081766 Keywords : Elevational range shifts * Life-history traits * Arrival date * Boreal birds * Habitat loss * Biodiversity * Declines Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 3.057, year: 2015

  15. Risk of Agricultural Practices and Habitat Change to Farmland Birds

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David Anthony. Kirk

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available Many common bird species have declined as a result of agricultural intensification and this could be mitigated by organic farming. We paired sites for habitat and geographical location on organic and nonorganic farms in Ontario, Canada to test a priori predictions of effects on birds overall, 9 guilds and 22 species in relation to candidate models for farming practices (13 variables, local habitat features (12 variables, or habitat features that influence susceptibility to predation. We found that: (1 Overall bird abundance, but not richness, was significantly (p < 0.05 higher on organic sites (mean 43.1 individuals per site than nonorganic sites (35.8 individuals per site. Significantly more species of birds were observed for five guilds, including primary grassland birds, on organic vs. nonorganic sites. No guild had higher richness or abundance on nonorganic farms; (2 Farming practice models were the best (Î"AIC < 4 for abundance of birds overall, primary grassland bird richness, sallier aerial insectivore richness and abundance, and abundance of ground nesters; (3 Habitat models were the best for overall richness, Neotropical migrant abundance, richness and abundance of Ontario-USA-Mexico (short-distance migrants and resident richness; (4 Predation models were the best for richness of secondary grassland birds and ground feeders; (5 A combination of variables from the model types were best for richness or abundance overall, 13 of 18 guilds (richness and abundance and 16 of 22 species analyzed. Five of 10 farming practice variables (including herbicide use, organic farm type and 9 of 13 habitat variables (including hedgerow length, proportion of hay were significant in best models. Risk modeling indicated that herbicide use could decrease primary grassland birds by one species (35% decline from 3.4 to 2.3 species per site. Organic farming could benefit species of conservation concern by 49% (an increase from 7.6 to 11.4 grassland birds. An

  16. Bird guard

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fairchild, Dana M [Armour, SD

    2010-03-02

    The bird guard provides a device to protect electrical insulators comprising a central shaft; a clamp attached to an end of the shaft to secure the device to a transmission tower; a top and bottom cover to shield transmission tower insulators; and bearings to allow the guard to rotate in order to frighten birds away from the insulators.

  17. Population transcriptomes reveal synergistic responses of DNA polymorphism and RNA expression to extreme environments on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau in a predatory bird.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pan, Shengkai; Zhang, Tongzuo; Rong, Zhengqin; Hu, Li; Gu, Zhongru; Wu, Qi; Dong, Shanshan; Liu, Qiong; Lin, Zhenzhen; Deutschova, Lucia; Li, Xinhai; Dixon, Andrew; Bruford, Michael W; Zhan, Xiangjiang

    2017-06-01

    Low oxygen and temperature pose key physiological challenges for endotherms living on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau (QTP). Molecular adaptations to high-altitude living have been detected in the genomes of Tibetans, their domesticated animals and a few wild species, but the contribution of transcriptional variation to altitudinal adaptation remains to be determined. Here we studied a top QTP predator, the saker falcon, and analysed how the transcriptome has become modified to cope with the stresses of hypoxia and hypothermia. Using a hierarchical design to study saker populations inhabiting grassland, steppe/desert and highland across Eurasia, we found that the QTP population is already distinct despite having colonized the Plateau adaptation to hypothermia. Our results exemplify synergistic responses between DNA polymorphism and RNA expression diversity in coping with common stresses, underpinning the successful rapid colonization of a top predator onto the QTP. Importantly, molecular mechanisms underpinning highland adaptation involve relatively few genes, but are nonetheless more complex than previously thought and involve fine-tuned transcriptional responses and genomic adaptation. © 2017 The Authors. Molecular Ecology Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  18. The first 50 years of the North American Breeding Bird Survey

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sauer, John; Ziolkowski, David; Pardieck, Keith L.; Smith, Adam C.; Hudson, Marie-Anne R.; Rodriguez, Vicente; Berlanga, Humberto; Niven, Daniel; Link, William

    2017-01-01

    The vision of Chandler (Chan) S. Robbins for a continental-scale omnibus survey of breeding birds led to the development of the North American Breeding Bird Survey (BBS). Chan was uniquely suited to develop the BBS. His position as a government scientist had given him experience with designing and implementing continental-scale surveys, his research background made him an effective advocate of the need for a survey to monitor pesticide effects on birds, and his prominence in the birding community gave him connections to infrastructure—a network of qualified volunteer birders who could conduct roadside surveys with standardized point counts. Having started in the eastern United States and the Atlantic provinces of Canada in 1966, the BBS now provides population change information for ∼546 species in the continental United States and Canada, and recently initiated routes in Mexico promise to greatly expand the areas and species covered by the survey. Although survey protocols have remained unchanged for 50 years, the BBS remains relevant in a changing world. Several papers that follow in this Special Section of The Condor: Ornithological Advances review how the BBS has been applied to conservation assessments, especially in combination with other large-scale survey data. A critical feature of the BBS program is an active research program into field and analytical methods to enhance the quality of the count data and to control for factors that influence detectability. Papers in the Special Section also present advances in BBS analyses that improve the utility of this expanding and sometimes controversial survey. In this Perspective, we introduce the Special Section by reviewing the history of the BBS, describing current analyses, and providing summary trend results for all species, highlighting 3 groups of conservation concern: grassland-breeding birds, aridland-breeding birds, and aerial insectivorous birds.

  19. Change Points in the Population Trends of Aerial-Insectivorous Birds in North America: Synchronized in Time across Species and Regions.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adam C Smith

    Full Text Available North American populations of aerial insectivorous birds are in steep decline. Aerial insectivores (AI are a group of bird species that feed almost exclusively on insects in flight, and include swallows, swifts, nightjars, and flycatchers. The causes of the declines are not well understood. Indeed, it is not clear when the declines began, or whether the declines are shared across all species in the group (e.g., caused by changes in flying insect populations or specific to each species (e.g., caused by changes in species' breeding habitat. A recent study suggested that population trends of aerial insectivores changed for the worse in the 1980s. If there was such a change point in trends of the group, understanding its timing and geographic pattern could help identify potential causes of the decline. We used a hierarchical Bayesian, penalized regression spline, change point model to estimate group-level change points in the trends of 22 species of AI, across 153 geographic strata of North America. We found evidence for group-level change points in 85% of the strata. Change points for flycatchers (FC were distinct from those for swallows, swifts and nightjars (SSN across North America, except in the Northeast, where all AI shared the same group-level change points. During the 1980s, there was a negative change point across most of North America, in the trends of SSN. For FC, the group-level change points were more geographically variable, and in many regions there were two: a positive change point followed by a negative change point. This group-level synchrony in AI population trends is likely evidence of a response to a common environmental factor(s with similar effects on many species across broad spatial extents. The timing and geographic patterns of the change points that we identify here should provide a spring-board for research into the causes behind aerial insectivore declines.

  20. Cavity Nesting Birds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Virgil E. Scott; Keith E. Evans; David R. Patton; Charles P. Stone

    1977-01-01

    Many species of cavity-nesting birds have declined because of habitat reduction. In the eastern United States, where primeval forests are gone, purple martins depend almost entirely on man-made nesting structures (Allen and Nice 1952). The hole-nesting population of peregrine falcons disappeared with the felling of the giant trees upon which they depended (Hickey and...

  1. How well do regional or national Breeding Bird Survey data predict songbird population trends at an intact boreal site?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Craig S. Machtans

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available A study to monitor boreal songbird trends was initiated in 1998 in a relatively undisturbed and remote part of the boreal forest in the Northwest Territories, Canada. Eight years of point count data were collected over the 14 years of the study, 1998-2011. Trends were estimated for 50 bird species using generalized linear mixed-effects models, with random effects to account for temporal (repeat sampling within years and spatial (stations within stands autocorrelation and variability associated with multiple observers. We tested whether regional and national Breeding Bird Survey (BBS trends could, on average, predict trends in our study area. Significant increases in our study area outnumbered decreases by 12 species to 6, an opposite pattern compared to Alberta (6 versus 15, respectively and Canada (9 versus 20. Twenty-two species with relatively precise trend estimates (precision to detect > 30% decline in 10 years; observed SE ≤ 3.7%/year showed nonsignificant trends, similar to Alberta (24 and Canada (20. Precision-weighted trends for a sample of 19 species with both reliable trends at our site and small portions of their range covered by BBS in Canada were, on average, more negative for Alberta (1.34% per year lower and for Canada (1.15% per year lower relative to Fort Liard, though 95% credible intervals still contained zero. We suggest that part of the differences could be attributable to local resource pulses (insect outbreak. However, we also suggest that the tendency for BBS route coverage to disproportionately sample more southerly, developed areas in the boreal forest could result in BBS trends that are not representative of range-wide trends for species whose range is centred farther north.

  2. Hawaii ESI: BIRDS (Bird Polygons)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set contains sensitive biological resource data for endangered waterbirds and passerine birds, migratory shorebirds and waterfowl, gulls and terns,...

  3. Grassland biodiversity can pay.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Binder, Seth; Isbell, Forest; Polasky, Stephen; Catford, Jane A; Tilman, David

    2018-04-10

    The biodiversity-ecosystem functioning (BEF) literature provides strong evidence of the biophysical basis for the potential profitability of greater diversity but does not address questions of optimal management. BEF studies typically focus on the ecosystem outputs produced by randomly assembled communities that only differ in their biodiversity levels, measured by indices such as species richness. Landholders, however, do not randomly select species to plant; they choose particular species that collectively maximize profits. As such, their interest is not in comparing the average performance of randomly assembled communities at each level of biodiversity but rather comparing the best-performing communities at each diversity level. Assessing the best-performing mixture requires detailed accounting of species' identities and relative abundances. It also requires accounting for the financial cost of individual species' seeds, and the economic value of changes in the quality, quantity, and variability of the species' collective output-something that existing multifunctionality indices fail to do. This study presents an assessment approach that integrates the relevant factors into a single, coherent framework. It uses ecological production functions to inform an economic model consistent with the utility-maximizing decisions of a potentially risk-averse private landowner. We demonstrate the salience and applicability of the framework using data from an experimental grassland to estimate production relationships for hay and carbon storage. For that case, our results suggest that even a risk-neutral, profit-maximizing landowner would favor a highly diverse mix of species, with optimal species richness falling between the low levels currently found in commercial grasslands and the high levels found in natural grasslands.

  4. DESERTIFICATION AND ANIMAL BIODIVERSITY IN THE DESERT GRASSLANDS OF NORTH AMERICA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Studies of breeding birds and small mammals were conducted at a series of sites that form a gradient of severity of desertification. Desert grassland sites represented the least changed landscape units and mesquite coppice dunes represented the most severe degradtion, an irrevers...

  5. Epidemiologic characterization of Colorado backyard bird flocks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Emily I; Reif, John S; Hill, Ashley E; Slota, Katharine E; Miller, Ryan S; Bjork, Kathe E; Pabilonia, Kristy L

    2012-06-01

    Backyard gallinaceous bird flocks may play an important role in the spread of infectious diseases within poultry populations as well as the transmission of zoonotic diseases to humans. An epidemiologic characterization was conducted of Colorado backyard flocks to gather information on general flock characteristics, human movement of birds, human-bird interaction, biosecurity practices, and flock health. Our results suggest that backyard poultry flocks in Colorado are small-sized flocks (68.6% of flocks had meat or egg) production for the family (86.44%) or as pet or hobby birds (42.27%). The backyard flock environment may promote bird-to-bird transmission as well as bird-to-human transmission of infectious disease. Birds are primarily housed with free access to the outside (96.85%), and many are moved from the home premises (46.06% within 1 yr). Human contact with backyard flocks is high, biosecurity practices are minimal, and bird health is negatively impacted by increased movement events. Increased knowledge of backyard bird characteristics and associated management practices can provide guidelines for the development of measures to decrease disease transmission between bird populations, decrease disease transmission from birds to humans, and increase the overall health of backyard birds.

  6. Massive nest-box supplementation boosts fecundity, survival and even immigration without altering mating and reproductive behaviour in a rapidly recovered bird population.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Karine Berthier

    Full Text Available Habitat restoration measures may result in artificially high breeding density, for instance when nest-boxes saturate the environment, which can negatively impact species' demography. Potential risks include changes in mating and reproductive behaviour such as increased extra-pair paternity, conspecific brood parasitism, and polygyny. Under particular cicumstances, these mechanisms may disrupt reproduction, with populations dragged into an extinction vortex. With the use of nuclear microsatellite markers, we investigated the occurrence of these potentially negative effects in a recovered population of a rare secondary cavity-nesting farmland bird of Central Europe, the hoopoe (Upupa epops. High intensity farming in the study area has resulted in a total eradication of cavity trees, depriving hoopoes from breeding sites. An intensive nest-box campaign rectified this problem, resulting in a spectacular population recovery within a few years only. There was some concern, however, that the new, high artificially-induced breeding density might alter hoopoe mating and reproductive behaviour. As the species underwent a serious demographic bottleneck in the 1970-1990s, we also used the microsatellite markers to reconstitute the demo-genetic history of the population, looking in particular for signs of genetic erosion. We found i a low occurrence of extra-pair paternity, polygyny and conspecific brood parasitism, ii a high level of neutral genetic diversity (mean number of alleles and expected heterozygosity per locus: 13.8 and 83%, respectively and, iii evidence for genetic connectivity through recent immigration of individuals from well differentiated populations. The recent increase in breeding density did thus not induce so far any noticeable detrimental changes in mating and reproductive behaviour. The demographic bottleneck undergone by the population in the 1970s-1990s was furthermore not accompanied by any significant drop in neutral genetic

  7. Massive nest-box supplementation boosts fecundity, survival and even immigration without altering mating and reproductive behaviour in a rapidly recovered bird population.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berthier, Karine; Leippert, Fabio; Fumagalli, Luca; Arlettaz, Raphaël

    2012-01-01

    Habitat restoration measures may result in artificially high breeding density, for instance when nest-boxes saturate the environment, which can negatively impact species' demography. Potential risks include changes in mating and reproductive behaviour such as increased extra-pair paternity, conspecific brood parasitism, and polygyny. Under particular cicumstances, these mechanisms may disrupt reproduction, with populations dragged into an extinction vortex. With the use of nuclear microsatellite markers, we investigated the occurrence of these potentially negative effects in a recovered population of a rare secondary cavity-nesting farmland bird of Central Europe, the hoopoe (Upupa epops). High intensity farming in the study area has resulted in a total eradication of cavity trees, depriving hoopoes from breeding sites. An intensive nest-box campaign rectified this problem, resulting in a spectacular population recovery within a few years only. There was some concern, however, that the new, high artificially-induced breeding density might alter hoopoe mating and reproductive behaviour. As the species underwent a serious demographic bottleneck in the 1970-1990s, we also used the microsatellite markers to reconstitute the demo-genetic history of the population, looking in particular for signs of genetic erosion. We found i) a low occurrence of extra-pair paternity, polygyny and conspecific brood parasitism, ii) a high level of neutral genetic diversity (mean number of alleles and expected heterozygosity per locus: 13.8 and 83%, respectively) and, iii) evidence for genetic connectivity through recent immigration of individuals from well differentiated populations. The recent increase in breeding density did thus not induce so far any noticeable detrimental changes in mating and reproductive behaviour. The demographic bottleneck undergone by the population in the 1970s-1990s was furthermore not accompanied by any significant drop in neutral genetic diversity. Finally

  8. Avian diversity in the Naliya Grassland, Abdasa Taluka, Kachchh, India

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sandeep B Munjpara

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available Naliya Grassland is one of the significant grasslands of Gujarat. In this study the importance of the Naliya Grassland has been explored with special reference to avian diversity. Field work for the study was carried out throughout the year of 2007 on a monthly basis covering three distinct seasons to explore avian diversity. A total of 177 species belonging to 54 families were recorded wherein most species belonged to the family Accipitridae (20 species followed by Alaudidae (11 species. Of the total families, five were represented by more than seven species, 18 families by 3-7 species and 31 families by one or two species respectively. Among the species observed, 16 species ware globally threatened (three Critically Endangered, four Endangered and nine Near Threatened. Most of the species were chiefly terrestrial (68.2%, about 23.9% species were freshwater dependant and 7.9% utilized mixed habitats. Maximum species richness was recorded in the monsoons and minimum in summer. Constant turnover and fluctuation in species richness occurred because of seasonal immigration and emigration. Maximum emigration took place during February and March and maximum immigration occurred during June and July. Many water dependant birds attracted to the flooded grassland during the monsoons explained the high species richness during this season. In winter, the area was inhabited by resident species as well as many migratory species.

  9. Estimating the mercury exposure dose in a population of migratory bird hunters in the St. Lawrence River region, Quebec, Canada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Duchesne, J.-F.; Levesque, B.; Gauvin, Denis; Braune, Birgit; Gingras, Suzanne; Dewailly, E.

    2004-01-01

    St. Lawrence River hunters (Quebec, Canada) are exposed to the pollutants, especially mercury, that contaminate birds and fish. However, the health risks of this have remained unclear because of a lack of information about the hunters' duck, geese, and sportfish consumption habits. A nutritional survey was set up to characterize waterfowl and sportfish consumption in St. Lawrence River duck hunters and to estimate their daily exposure to mercury. During the winter of 2000, 512 hunters selected from the Canadian Wildlife Service database completed a self-administered questionnaire. Daily exposure to contaminants was measured using data from the Canadian Wildlife Service (waterfowl) and available data on St. Lawrence River sportfish. The annual average consumption was 7.5 meals of ducks and geese and 8.7 meals of sportfish. The daily exposure to mercury related to waterfowl consumption was below the Canadian tolerable daily intake (TDI) of 0.47 μg/kg body wt/day for all participants. The daily mercury intake associated with fish consumption was greater than the TDI in 2 duck hunters. The daily exposure to mercury was higher than the TDI in 4 participants when both waterfowl and fish consumption were combined. Our results suggest that fish consumption (especially freshwater fish) represents the main source of exposure to pollutants in duck hunters

  10. Bird community structure in riparian environments in Cai River, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil

    OpenAIRE

    Jaqueline Brummelhaus; Marcia Suelí Bohn; Maria Virginia Petry

    2012-01-01

    Urbanization produces changes in riparian environments, causing effects in the structure of bird communities, which present different responses to the impacts. We compare species richness, abundance, and composition of birds in riparian environments with different characteristics in Cai River, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. We carried out observations in woodland, grassland, and urban environments, between September 2007 and August 2008. We listed 130 bird species, 29 species unique to woodland e...

  11. Columbia River ESI: BIRDS (Bird Polygons)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set contains sensitive biological resource data for wading birds, shorebirds, waterfowl, diving birds, seabirds, passerine birds, gulls, and terns in...

  12. Grassland songbirds in a dynamic management landscape: Behavioral responses and management strategies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perlut, N.G.; Strong, A.M.; Donovan, T.M.; Buckley, N.J.

    2006-01-01

    In recent decades, earlier and more frequent harvests of agricultural grasslands have been implicated as a major cause of population declines in grassland songbirds. From 2002 to 2005, in the Champlain Valley of Vermont and New York, USA, we studied the reproductive success of Savannah Sparrows (Passerculus sandwichensis) and Bobolinks (Dolichonyx oryzivorus) on four grassland treatments: (1) early-hayed fields cut before 11 June and again in early- to mid-July; (2) middle-hayed fields cut once between 21 June and 10 July; (3) late-hayed fields cut after 1 August; and (4) rotationally grazed pastures. Both the number of fledglings per female per year and nest success (logistic-exposure method) varied among treatments and between species. Although birds initiated nests earlier on early-hayed fields compared to others, haying caused 99% of active Savannah Sparrow and 100% of active Bobolink nests to fail. Both the initial cutting date and time between cuttings influenced renesting behavior. After haying, Savannah Sparrows generally remained on early-hayed fields and immediately renested (clutch completion 15.6 ?? 1.28 days post-haying; all values are reported as mean ?? SE), while Bobolinks abandoned the fields for at least two weeks (mean clutch completion 33 ?? 0.82 days post-haying). While female Savannah Sparrows fledged more offspring per year (1.28 ?? 0.16) than female Bobolinks (0.05 ?? 0.05), reproductive success on early-hayed fields was low. The number of fledglings per female per year was greater on middle-hayed fields (Savannah Sparrows, 3.47 ?? 0.42; Bobolinks, 2.22 ?? 0.26), and late-hayed fields (Savannah Sparrows, 3.29 ?? 0.30; Bobolinks, 2.79 ?? 0.18). Reproductive success was moderate on rotationally grazed pastures, where female Savannah Sparrows and female Bobolinks produced 2.32 ?? 0.25 and 1.79 ?? 0.33 fledgling per year, respectively. We simultaneously conducted cutting surveys throughout the Champlain Valley and found that 3-8% of hayfield

  13. National Wind Technology Center Site Environmental Assessment: Bird and Bat Use and Fatalities -- Final Report; Period of Performance: April 23, 2001 -- December 31, 2002

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Schmidt, E.; Piaggio, A. J.; Bock, C. E.; Armstrong, D. M.

    2003-01-01

    This study was conducted to ascertain actual and potential impacts of wind turbines on populations of birds and bats at the National Wind Technology Center (NWTC) in northern Jefferson County, Colorado. The NWTC, which is part of the U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), is located on a mesa dominated by ungrazed grassland with isolated patches of ponderosa pine. Similar lands to the north and west are part of the city of Boulders open space system. Areas to the east and south are part of the Rocky Flats Environmental Technology Site.

  14. Partitioning the sources of demographic variation reveals density-dependent nest predation in an island bird population.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sofaer, Helen R; Sillett, T Scott; Langin, Kathryn M; Morrison, Scott A; Ghalambor, Cameron K

    2014-07-01

    Ecological factors often shape demography through multiple mechanisms, making it difficult to identify the sources of demographic variation. In particular, conspecific density can influence both the strength of competition and the predation rate, but density-dependent competition has received more attention, particularly among terrestrial vertebrates and in island populations. A better understanding of how both competition and predation contribute to density-dependent variation in fecundity can be gained by partitioning the effects of density on offspring number from its effects on reproductive failure, while also evaluating how biotic and abiotic factors jointly shape demography. We examined the effects of population density and precipitation on fecundity, nest survival, and adult survival in an insular population of orange-crowned warblers (Oreothlypis celata) that breeds at high densities and exhibits a suite of traits suggesting strong intraspecific competition. Breeding density had a negative influence on fecundity, but it acted by increasing the probability of reproductive failure through nest predation, rather than through competition, which was predicted to reduce the number of offspring produced by successful individuals. Our results demonstrate that density-dependent nest predation can underlie the relationship between population density and fecundity even in a high-density, insular population where intraspecific competition should be strong.

  15. Ecological Sustainability of Birds in Boreal Forests

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gerald Niemi

    1998-12-01

    Full Text Available We review characteristics of birds in boreal forests in the context of their ecological sustainability under both natural and anthropogenic disturbances. We identify the underlying ecological factors associated with boreal bird populations and their variability, review the interactions between boreal bird populations and disturbance, and describe some tools on how boreal bird populations may be conserved in the future. The boreal system has historically been an area with extensive disturbance such as fire, insect outbreaks, and wind. In addition, the boreal system is vulnerable to global climate change as well as increasing pressure on forest and water resources. Current knowledge indicates that birds play an important role in boreal forests, and sustaining these populations affords many benefits to the health of boreal forests. Many issues must be approached with caution, including the lack of knowledge on our ability to mimic natural disturbance regimes with management, our lack of understanding on fragmentation due to logging activity, which is different from permanent conversion to other land uses such as agriculture or residential area, and our lack of knowledge on what controls variability in boreal bird populations or the linkage between bird population fluctuations and productivity. The essential role that birds can provide is to clarify important ecological concerns and variables that not only will help to sustain bird populations, but also will contribute to the long-term health of the boreal forest for all species, including humans.

  16. Evidence for r- and K-selection in a wild bird population: a reciprocal link between ecology and evolution.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sæther, S.A.; Visser, M.E.; Grotan, V.; Engen, S.

    2016-01-01

    Understanding the variation in selection pressure on key life-history traits is crucial in our rapidly changing world. Density is rarely considered as a selective agent. To study its importance, we partition phenotypic selection in fluctuating environments into components representing the population

  17. Absolute consistency: individual versus population variation in annual-cycle schedules of a long-distance migrant bird.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jesse R Conklin

    Full Text Available Flexibility in scheduling varies throughout an organism's annual cycle, reflecting relative temporal constraints and fitness consequences among life-history stages. Time-selection can act at different scales, either by limiting the range of alternative strategies in the population, or by increasing the precision of individual performance. We tracked individual bar-tailed godwits Limosa lapponica baueri for two full years (including direct observation during non-breeding seasons in New Zealand and geolocator tracking of round-trip migrations to Alaska to present a full annual-cycle view of molt, breeding, and migration schedules. At both population and individual scales, temporal variation was greater in post-breeding than pre-breeding stages, and greater in molts than in movements, but schedules did not tighten across successive stages of migration toward the breeding grounds. In general, individual godwits were quite consistent in timing of events throughout the year, and repeatability of pre-breeding movements was particularly high (r = 0.82-0.92. However, we demonstrate that r values misrepresent absolute consistency by confounding inter- and intra-individual variation; the biological significance of r values can only be understood when these are considered separately. By doing so, we show that some stages have considerable tolerance for alternative strategies within the population, whereas scheduling of northbound migratory movements was similar for all individuals. How time-selection simultaneously shapes both individual and population variation is central to understanding and predicting adaptive phenological responses to environmental change.

  18. Viability of meta-populations of wetland birds in a fragmented landscape: Testing the key-patch approach

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vermaat, J.E.; Vigneau, N.; Omtzigt, N.

    2008-01-01

    The key patch approach assumes that metapopulations in fragmented landscapes are likely to be viable with at least one "key" sub-population that is sufficiently large to ensure re-colonization of surrounding minor habitat patches. It is based on a minimum viable number of breeding pairs and

  19. Do changes in the frequency, magnitude and timing of extreme climatic events threaten the population viability of coastal birds?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van de Pol, Martijn; Ens, Bruno J.; Heg, Dik; Brouwer, Lyanne; Krol, Johan; Maier, Martin; Exo, Klaus-Michael; Oosterbeek, Kees; Lok, Tamar; Eising, Corine M.; Koffijberg, Kees

    P>1. Climate change encompasses changes in both the means and the extremes of climatic variables, but the population consequences of the latter are intrinsically difficult to study. 2. We investigated whether the frequency, magnitude and timing of rare but catastrophic flooding events have changed

  20. Speeding up microevolution: the effects of increasing temperature on selection and genetic variance in a wild bird population

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Husby, A.; Visser, M.E.; Kruuk, L.E.B.

    2011-01-01

    The amount of genetic variance underlying a phenotypic trait and the strength of selection acting on that trait are two key parameters that determine any evolutionary response to selection. Despite substantial evidence that, in natural populations, both parameters may vary across environmental

  1. Ecological causes of multilevel covariance between size and first-year survival in a wild bird population

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bouwhuis, Sandra; Vedder, Oscar; Garroway, Colin J.; Sheldon, Ben C.

    Estimates of selection in natural populations are frequent but our understanding of ecological causes of selection, and causes of variation in the direction, strength and form of selection is limited. Here, we apply a multilevel framework to partition effects of great tit fledging mass on first-year

  2. Temperate grassland songbird species accumulate incrementally along a gradient of primary productivity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    William L Harrower

    Full Text Available Global analyses of bird communities along elevation gradients suggest that bird diversity on arid mountains is primarily limited by water availability, not temperature or altitude. However, the mechanism by which water availability, and subsequently primary productivity, increases bird diversity is still unclear. Here we evaluate two possible mechanisms from species-energy theory. The more individuals hypothesis proposes that a higher availability of resources increases the total number of individuals that can be supported, and therefore the greater number of species that will be sampled. By contrast, the more specialization hypothesis proposes that increasing resource availability will permit specialists to exploit otherwise rare resources, thus increasing total diversity. We used 5 years of surveys of grassland songbird communities along an elevational gradient in British Columbia, Canada, to distinguish between these hypotheses. Vegetation changed markedly in composition along the gradient and contrary to the expectations of the more specialization hypothesis, bird community composition was remarkably constant. However, both total abundance and species richness of birds increased with increasing water availability to plants. When we used rarefaction to correct species richness for differences in total abundance, much of the increase in bird diversity was lost, consistent with the expectations of the more individuals hypothesis. Furthermore, high species richness was associated with reductions in territory size of common bird species, rather than the fine-scale spatial partitioning of the landscape. This suggests that bird diversity increases when greater resource availability allows higher densities rather than greater habitat specialization. These results help explain a pervasive global pattern in bird diversity on arid mountains, and suggest that in such landscapes conservation of grassland birds is strongly linked to climate and hydrology.

  3. The effect of trait type and strength of selection on heritability and evolvability in an island bird population.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wheelwright, Nathaniel T; Keller, Lukas F; Postma, Erik

    2014-11-01

    The heritability (h(2) ) of fitness traits is often low. Although this has been attributed to directional selection having eroded genetic variation in direct proportion to the strength of selection, heritability does not necessarily reflect a trait's additive genetic variance and evolutionary potential ("evolvability"). Recent studies suggest that the low h(2) of fitness traits in wild populations is caused not by a paucity of additive genetic variance (VA ) but by greater environmental or nonadditive genetic variance (VR ). We examined the relationship between h(2) and variance-standardized selection intensities (i or βσ ), and between evolvability (IA :VA divided by squared phenotypic trait mean) and mean-standardized selection gradients (βμ ). Using 24 years of data from an island population of Savannah sparrows, we show that, across diverse traits, h(2) declines with the strength of selection, whereas IA and IR (VR divided by squared trait mean) are independent of the strength of selection. Within trait types (morphological, reproductive, life-history), h(2) , IA , and IR are all independent of the strength of selection. This indicates that certain traits have low heritability because of increased residual variance due to the age at which they are expressed or the multiple factors influencing their expression, rather than their association with fitness. © 2014 The Author(s). Evolution © 2014 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

  4. Transformation of a savanna grassland by drought and grazing | O ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The relative effects of drought and heavy grazing on the floristic composition, population size and and structure, and basal cover of an African savanna grassland were differentiated by comparing changes over eight years over eight years, which included a severe drought year, across a gradient of grazing history. Drought ...

  5. 9 CFR 93.104 - Certificate for pet birds, commercial birds, zoological birds, and research birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    ... 9 Animals and Animal Products 1 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Certificate for pet birds, commercial birds, zoological birds, and research birds. 93.104 Section 93.104 Animals and Animal Products ANIMAL... (INCLUDING POULTRY) AND ANIMAL PRODUCTS IMPORTATION OF CERTAIN ANIMALS, BIRDS, FISH, AND POULTRY, AND CERTAIN...

  6. Flower resource and land management drives hoverfly communities and bee abundance in seminatural and agricultural grasslands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lucas, Andrew; Bull, James C; de Vere, Natasha; Neyland, Penelope J; Forman, Dan W

    2017-10-01

    Pollination is a key ecosystem service, and appropriate management, particularly in agricultural systems, is essential to maintain a diversity of pollinator guilds. However, management recommendations frequently focus on maintaining plant communities, with the assumption that associated invertebrate populations will be sustained. We tested whether plant community, flower resources, and soil moisture would influence hoverfly (Syrphidae) abundance and species richness in floristically-rich seminatural and floristically impoverished agricultural grassland communities in Wales (U.K.) and compared these to two Hymenoptera genera, Bombus, and Lasioglossum . Interactions between environmental variables were tested using generalized linear modeling, and hoverfly community composition examined using canonical correspondence analysis. There was no difference in hoverfly abundance, species richness, or bee abundance, between grassland types. There was a positive association between hoverfly abundance, species richness, and flower abundance in unimproved grasslands. However, this was not evident in agriculturally improved grassland, possibly reflecting intrinsically low flower resource in these habitats, or the presence of plant species with low or relatively inaccessible nectar resources. There was no association between soil moisture content and hoverfly abundance or species richness. Hoverfly community composition was influenced by agricultural improvement and the amount of flower resource. Hoverfly species with semiaquatic larvae were associated with both seminatural and agricultural wet grasslands, possibly because of localized larval habitat. Despite the absence of differences in hoverfly abundance and species richness, distinct hoverfly communities are associated with marshy grasslands, agriculturally improved marshy grasslands, and unimproved dry grasslands, but not with improved dry grasslands. Grassland plant community cannot be used as a proxy for pollinator

  7. Alien invasive birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brochier, B; Vangeluwe, D; van den Berg, T

    2010-08-01

    A bird species is regarded as alien invasive if it has been introduced, intentionally or accidentally, to a location where it did not previously occur naturally, becomes capable of establishing a breeding population without further intervention by humans, spreads and becomes a pest affecting the environment, the local biodiversity, the economy and/or society, including human health. European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris), Common Myna (Acridotheres tristis) and Red-vented Bulbul (Pycnonotus cafer) have been included on the list of '100 of the World's Worst Invasive Alien Species', a subset of the Global Invasive Species Database. The 'Delivering Alien Invasive Species Inventories for Europe' project has selected Canada Goose (Branta canadensis), Ruddy Duck (Oxyura jamaicensis), Rose-ringed Parakeet (Psittacula krameri) and Sacred Ibis (Threskiornis aethiopicus) as among 100 of the worst invasive species in Europe. For each of these alien bird species, the geographic range (native and introduced range), the introduction pathway, the general impacts and the management methods are presented.

  8. Protecting Mongolia's grassland steppes | CRDI - Centre de ...

    International Development Research Centre (IDRC) Digital Library (Canada)

    ... windy grassland region is severely damaged, desertification can quickly set in. ... to marketing to the sound use of (grassland) resources," explains Ykhanbai, who ... is going to require improvement in the skills of researchers, adds Ykhanbai.

  9. Effect of urbanization on bird community in riparian environments in Caí River, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil

    OpenAIRE

    Brummelhaus, Jaqueline; Bohn, Márcia Sueli; Petry, Maria Virginia

    2012-01-01

    http://dx.doi.org/10.5007/2175-7925.2012v25n2p81 Urbanization produces changes in riparian environments causing effects in the structure of bird communities, which respond differently to impacts. We compare richness, abundance and composition of birds in riparian environments with different urbanization gradients in Caí River, Rio Grande do Sul. We conducted observations in woodland, grassland and urban environments, between September/2007 and August/2008. We recorded 130 bird species, 29...

  10. Appreciation of grassland functions by European stakeholders

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pol, van den A.; Golinski, P.; Hennessy, D.; Huyghe, C.; Parente, G.; Peyraud, J.L.

    2014-01-01

    In order to promote sustainable and competitive ruminant production systems, the European Multisward project was aimed at improving farmer trust in grassland and grassland mixtures. A questionnaire on grassland functions was submitted in eight languages, in order to better understand the importance

  11. Shifts in composition of avian communities related to temperate-grassland afforestation in southeastern South America Alterações na composição de comunidades de aves relacionadas ao florestamento de campos temperados no sudeste da América do Sul

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rafael A. Dias

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available Afforestation of temperate grasslands with fast-growing trees for industrial pulpwood production is spreading in South America. Despite high afforestation rates resulting from governmental policies that stimulate pulpwood production in grasslands of southern Brazil and Uruguay, the impact of this activity on biodiversity remains to be properly assessed. We used an Impact-Reference study design to evaluate how grassland afforestation affects the composition of grassland bird assemblages. We sampled eucalyptus plantations and neighboring natural grasslands in southern Brazil from 2006-2009, and relied on nested sampling and analysis to separate the effects of afforestation from the natural variability of grasslands. We recorded a significant difference in composition between assemblages from grasslands and tree plantations. Species adapted to open, treeless areas tended to be negatively affected in relation to edge or forest birds in eucalyptus plantations. Afforestation is systematically replacing the bird assemblage of hilltop grasslands by a collection of common edge and forest species that occur in nearby riverine and hillside forests. Although most grassland birds negatively affected by tree plantations are common and widespread, observed and predicted afforestation rates in southeastern South America may result in regional population reductions in the near future.O florestamento de campos temperados com árvores de crescimento rápido para a produção industrial de celulose está aumentando na América do Sul. Apesar das elevadas taxas de florestamento resultantes de políticas governamentais que estimulam o plantio de árvores para celulose em campos do sul do Brasil e Uruguai, o impacto dessa atividade sobre a biodiversidade ainda carece de avaliação adequada. Utilizamos um delineamento experimental do tipo impacto-referência para avaliar como o florestamento dos campos afeta a composição da assembleia de aves campestres. Amostramos

  12. Modeling effects of conservation grassland losses on amphibian habitat

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mushet, David M.; Neau, Jordan L.; Euliss, Ned H.

    2014-01-01

    Amphibians provide many ecosystem services valued by society. However, populations have declined globally with most declines linked to habitat change. Wetlands and surrounding terrestrial grasslands form habitat for amphibians in the North American Prairie Pothole Region (PPR). Wetland drainage and grassland conversion have destroyed or degraded much amphibian habitat in the PPR. However, conservation grasslands can provide alternate habitat. In the United States, the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) is the largest program maintaining grasslands on agricultural lands. We used an ecosystem services model (InVEST) parameterized for the PPR to quantify amphibian habitat over a six-year period (2007–2012). We then quantified changes in availability of amphibian habitat under various land-cover scenarios representing incremental losses (10%, 25%, 50%, 75%, and 100%) of CRP grasslands from 2012 levels. The area of optimal amphibian habitat in the four PPR ecoregions modeled (i.e., Northern Glaciated Plains, Northwestern Glaciated Plains, Lake Agassiz Plain, Des Moines Lobe) declined by approximately 22%, from 3.8 million ha in 2007 to 2.9 million ha in 2012. These losses were driven by the conversion of CRP grasslands to croplands, primarily for corn and soybean production. Our modeling identified an additional 0.8 million ha (26%) of optimal amphibian habitat that would be lost if remaining CRP lands are returned to crop production. An economic climate favoring commodity production over conservation has resulted in substantial losses of amphibian habitat across the PPR that will likely continue into the future. Other regions of the world face similar challenges to maintaining amphibian habitats.

  13. Monitoring in South African grasslands

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Mentis, MT

    1984-12-01

    Full Text Available The main purpose of this document is to propose how ecological monitoring might be developed in the Grassland Biome of South Africa. Monitoring is defined as the maintenance of regular surveillance to test the null hypothesis of no change...

  14. The effect of the Sep wind park near Oosterbierum, Friesland, The Netherlands, on birds

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Winkelman, J.E.

    1992-01-01

    The title study concerns the period 1984-1991. The wind park consists of 18 three-bladed 300 kW horizontal axis wind turbines of 35 meters height, and a rotor diameter of 30 meters, seven meteorological towers, and three cluster and control buildings. Aspects studied included disturbance of breeding, resting or feeding, and migrating birds, behavior of birds approaching the wind turbines during the day and night, and bird victims due to collision with the wind turbines and the meteorological towers. In this report attention is paid to the disturbance of the bird's biotope. The results show that four species of grassland birds, breeding in the park, were hardly disturbed by the wind turbines. For feeding and resting birds, however, disturbance effects were noted, even at a distance of 500 meters from the outside wind turbine array. The present number of bird species reduced 60-95%, dependent on the species, after the wind park was put into operation. Also the behavior of migrating birds was influenced by the wind park, showed in clustering of groups or avoiding the wind park, sometimes up to 67% of the birds did so. It is therefore recommended not to implement new wind parks in important bird migration and bird feeding or bird resting areas. Bird popular areas, however, are mostly windy areas. 15 figs., 25 tabs., 56 app., 128 refs

  15. Population and Habitat Objectives for Avian Conservation in California’s Central Valley Grassland–Oak Savannah Ecosystems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ryan T. DiGaudio

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available http://escholarship.org/uc/item/0dn9f9b4In California’s Central Valley, grassland and oak savannah ecosystems provide multiple economic and social benefits, ecosystem services, and vital bird habitat. There is a growing interest in protecting, restoring, and managing these ecosystems, and the Central Valley Joint Venture (CVJV provides leadership in the formulation of conservation goals and objectives. We defined a long-term goal of protecting, restoring, and managing Central Valley grassland and oak savannah ecosystems so that they are capable of supporting genetically robust, self-sustaining, and resilient wildlife populations. To measure progress toward this goal, we selected a suite of 12 landbird focal species that primarily breed in grasslands and oak savannahs as indicators of the state of these ecosystems on the Central Valley floor (primary focus area and in the Central Valley’s surrounding foothills (secondary focus area. Using data on current densities and habitat extent, we estimated that at least three of the focal species populations in the primary focus area and at least two of the focal species populations in the secondary focus area are currently small (<10,000 individuals and may be vulnerable to extirpation. Furthermore, at least two species appear to have steeply declining population trends. We defined long-term (100-year population objectives for each focal species that we expect to meet the goal of genetically robust, self-sustaining, and resilient populations. We then estimated corresponding short-term (10-year habitat objectives of 4,183 ha of additional grassland and 3,433 ha of additional oak savannah that will be required to make progress toward the long-term objectives. We expect that habitat restoration and enhancement efforts aimed at reaching these long-term conservation objectives will result in improvements to the function of Central Valley grassland and oak savannah ecosystems.

  16. Potential for enhancing nongame bird habitat values on abandoned mine lands of western North Dakota

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Burley, J.B.; Hopkins, R.B.

    1984-01-01

    Throughout western North Dakota the number of unreclaimed surface coal and coal-uranium mines might total over 1100. We examined the potential for enhancing the nongame bird habitat values of unreclaimed mine lands in the arid, western region of North Dakota. Generally, the greatest variety of birds occurred in natural and planted woodlands, while fewer birds occurred in unreclaimed mine lands, grasslands, shrublands and croplands. Deciduous woodland types supported more species of birds than coniferous types. Planted woodlands supported about the same number of bird species as some natural deciduous woodland types and more species than coniferous woods. Unreclaimed mine lands supported more species than grasslands and croplands, and about the same number of species as native shrublands. The highest bird densities were in planted woodlands. Bird diversity varied positively with habitat diversity. The bird fauna of unreclaimed mine lands can be enhanced by creating more diverse habitats. Seventeen guidelines to enhance unreclaimed mine lands for nongame birds are presented. These guidelines can be used in preserving habitats threatened by surface mining and reclaiming previously mined lands

  17. Birds and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Albers, P.H.

    2006-01-01

    Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) are present throughout the global environment and are produced naturally and by activities of humans. Effects of PAH on birds have been determined by studies employing egg injection, egg immersion, egg shell application, single and multiple oral doses, subcutaneous injection, and chemical analysis of field-collected eggs and tissue. The four-to six-ring aromatic compounds are the most toxic to embryos, young birds, and adult birds. For embryos, effects include death, developmental abnormalities, and a variety of cellular and biochemical responses. For adult and young birds, effects include reduced egg production and hatching, increased clutch or brood abandonment, reduced growth, increased organweights, and a variety of biochemical responses. Trophic level accumulation is unlikely. Environmental exposure to PAH in areas of high human population or habitats affected by recent petroleum spills might be sufficient to adversely affect reproduction. Evidence of long-term effects of elevated concentrations of environmental PAH on bird populations is very limited and the mechanisms of effect are unclear.

  18. Research on the Mechanism of Cross Regional Grassland Ecological Compensation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Ran; Ma, Jun

    2018-01-01

    In recent years, grassland environmental damage has become serious, and grassland resources protection task has become heavy, grassland ecological compensation has become an effective way to solve this problem; but the current grassland ecological compensation standards were low, the effect is poor. The fundamental reason is the model of administrative division destroys the integrity of grassland. Based on the analysis of the status quo of grassland compensation, this paper tries to protect the grassland integrity, breaks the administrative division restriction, implements the space regulation, constructs the framework of cross-regional grassland ecological compensation mechanism, describes its operation process. It provides new way to realize the sustainable development of the grassland environment.

  19. Effect of urbanization on bird community in riparian environments in Caí River, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jaqueline Brummelhaus

    2012-02-01

    Full Text Available http://dx.doi.org/10.5007/2175-7925.2012v25n2p81 Urbanization produces changes in riparian environments causing effects in the structure of bird communities, which respond differently to impacts. We compare richness, abundance and composition of birds in riparian environments with different urbanization gradients in Caí River, Rio Grande do Sul. We conducted observations in woodland, grassland and urban environments, between September/2007 and August/2008. We recorded 130 bird species, 29 species unique to woodland environments, including an endangered species: Triclaria malachitacea. Bird abundance differed between woodland and urban environments (426 individuals in woodland, 721 in grassland and 939 in urban. Species composition and feeding guilds contributed significantly to differentiation of bird community structures in these three riparian environments. In open environments (grassland and urban we recorded more generalist feeding guilds and bird species, while in riparian woodland environments, we find guilds and species more sensitive to human impacts. Bird species may be biological quality indicators and contribute to natural economy. With the knowledge of bird community structure and their needs, it is possible to establish management practices for riparian restoration of degraded environments in the region.

  20. Specialist plant species harbour higher reproductive performances in recently restored calcareous grasslands than in reference habitats

    OpenAIRE

    Harzé, Mélanie; Mahy, Grégory; Bizoux, Jean-Philippe; Piqueray, Julien; Monty, Arnaud

    2015-01-01

    Background and aims_Calcareous grasslands are local biodiversity hotspots in temperate regions that suffered intensive fragmentation. Ecological restoration projects took place all over Europe. Their success has traditionally been assessed using a plant community approach. However, population ecology can also be useful to assess restoration success and to understand underlying mechanisms. Methods_We took advantage of three calcareous grassland sites in Southern Belgium, where reference p...

  1. Ionizing radiation and wild birds: a review

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mellinger, P.J.; Schultz, V.

    1975-01-01

    Since the first atomic explosion, 16 July 1945 at the Trinity Site in south-central New Mexico, the impact of ionizing radiation on bird populations has been of concern to a few individuals. The proliferation of nuclear power plants has increased public concern as to possible deleterious effects of nuclear power plant operation on resident and migratory bird populations. Literature involving wild birds and ionizing radiation is not readily available, and only a few studies have been anywhere near comprehensive, with most effort directed towards monitoring radionuclide concentration in birds. The objective of the paper is to document the literature on wild birds and ionizing radiation including a brief description of pertinent papers

  2. Biosecurity and bird movement practices in upland game bird facilities in the United States.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Slota, Katharine E; Hill, Ashley E; Keefe, Thomas J; Bowen, Richard A; Pabilonia, Kristy L

    2011-06-01

    Since 1996, the emergence of Asian-origin highly pathogenic avian influenza subtype H5N1 has spurred great concern for the global poultry industry. In the United States, there is concern over the potential of a foreign avian disease incursion into the country. Noncommercial poultry operations, such as upland game bird facilities in the United States, may serve as a potential source of avian disease introduction to other bird populations including the commercial poultry industry, backyard flocks, or wildlife. In order to evaluate how to prevent disease transmission from these facilities to other populations, we examined biosecurity practices and bird movement within the upland game bird industry in the United States. Persons that held a current permit to keep, breed, or release upland game birds were surveyed for information on biosecurity practices, flock and release environments, and bird movement parameters. Biosecurity practices vary greatly among permit holders. Many facilities allow for interaction between wild birds and pen-reared birds, and there is regular long-distance movement of live adult birds among facilities. Results suggest that upland game bird facilities should be targeted for biosecurity education and disease surveillance efforts.

  3. Breeding birds on organic and conventional arable farms

    OpenAIRE

    Kragten, Steven

    2009-01-01

    As a result of agricultural intensification, farmland bird populations have been declining dramatically over the past decades. Organic farming is often mentioned to be a possible solution to stop these declines. In order to see whether farmland birds really benefit from organic farming a study was carried out comparing breeding bird densities, breeding success and bird food abundance between organic and conventional arable farms in Flevoland, the Netherlands. skylark (Alauda arvensis) and lap...

  4. Drug metabolism in birds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pan, Huo Ping; Fouts, James R.

    1979-01-01

    Papers published over 100 years since the beginning of the scientific study of drug metabolism in birds were reviewed. Birds were found to be able to accomplish more than 20 general biotransformation reactions in both functionalization and conjugation. Chickens were the primary subject of study but over 30 species of birds were used. Large species differences in drug metabolism exist between birds and mammals as well as between various birds, these differences were mostly quantitative. Qualitative differences were rare. On the whole, drug metabolism studies in birds have been neglected as compared with similar studies on insects and mammals. The uniqueness of birds and the advantages of using birds in drug metabolism studies are discussed. Possible future studies of drug metabolism in birds are recommended.

  5. Comparative Phylogeography of Neotropical Birds

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-05-01

    birds, butterflies, plants , soil type, and precipitation (Whitmore and Prance 1987); (C) study populations based largely on neo-tropical lowland...Caballero, A. 1994. Developments in the prediction of effective population size. Heredity 73:657- 679. Camargo, A., R. O. De Sa, and W. R. Heyer. 2006...157-183. Hamrick, J. L., and M. J. W. Godt. 1996. Effects of life history traits on genetic diversity in plant species. Philosophical Transactions Of

  6. The Important Bird Areas Program in the United States: building a network of sites for conservation, state by state

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jeffrey V. Wells; Daniel K. Niven; John Cecil

    2005-01-01

    The Important Bird Area (IBA) program is an international effort to identify, conserve, and monitor a network of sites that provide essential habitat for bird populations. BirdLife International began the IBA program in Europe in 1985. Since that time, BirdLife partners in more than 100 countries have joined together to build the global IBA network. Audubon (BirdLife...

  7. Reconstructing the Phylogenetic History of Long-Term Effective Population Size and Life-History Traits Using Patterns of Amino Acid Replacement in Mitochondrial Genomes of Mammals and Birds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nabholz, Benoit; Lartillot, Nicolas

    2013-01-01

    The nearly neutral theory, which proposes that most mutations are deleterious or close to neutral, predicts that the ratio of nonsynonymous over synonymous substitution rates (dN/dS), and potentially also the ratio of radical over conservative amino acid replacement rates (Kr/Kc), are negatively correlated with effective population size. Previous empirical tests, using life-history traits (LHT) such as body-size or generation-time as proxies for population size, have been consistent with these predictions. This suggests that large-scale phylogenetic reconstructions of dN/dS or Kr/Kc might reveal interesting macroevolutionary patterns in the variation in effective population size among lineages. In this work, we further develop an integrative probabilistic framework for phylogenetic covariance analysis introduced previously, so as to estimate the correlation patterns between dN/dS, Kr/Kc, and three LHT, in mitochondrial genomes of birds and mammals. Kr/Kc displays stronger and more stable correlations with LHT than does dN/dS, which we interpret as a greater robustness of Kr/Kc, compared with dN/dS, the latter being confounded by the high saturation of the synonymous substitution rate in mitochondrial genomes. The correlation of Kr/Kc with LHT was robust when controlling for the potentially confounding effects of nucleotide compositional variation between taxa. The positive correlation of the mitochondrial Kr/Kc with LHT is compatible with previous reports, and with a nearly neutral interpretation, although alternative explanations are also possible. The Kr/Kc model was finally used for reconstructing life-history evolution in birds and mammals. This analysis suggests a fairly large-bodied ancestor in both groups. In birds, life-history evolution seems to have occurred mainly through size reduction in Neoavian birds, whereas in placental mammals, body mass evolution shows disparate trends across subclades. Altogether, our work represents a further step toward a more

  8. 76 FR 44729 - Migratory Bird Hunting; Proposed Frameworks for Early-Season Migratory Bird Hunting Regulations...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-07-26

    ...- 2010 average (3.4 0.03 million). As expected, residual water from summer 2010 precipitation remained in... preliminary 2010 Migratory Bird Harvest Information Program (HIP) estimate of harvest was 84,900 birds. In... trend in the population indices between 1966 and 2010. According to HIP surveys, the preliminary harvest...

  9. Advanced long-term bird banding and climate data mining in spring confirm passerine population declines for the Northeast Chinese-Russian flyway

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiao, Shengwu; Huettmann, Falk; Guo, Yumin; Li, Xianda; Ouyang, Yanlan

    2016-09-01

    The migration of birds is fascinating for humans but it's also a serious environmental monitoring and management issue on a global level. Bird banding using mistnets has been the method of choice for decades worldwide; linking these data with climate data allows to infer on global warming and outlier events. However, good methods to achieve this effectively in time and space for many species are still missing; data for Asia are specifically sparse and often 'messy'. Here we present a data mining summary information for data from two bird banding stations (Gaofeng and Qingfeng) along the vast Northeast Chinese-Russian flyway. Bird data were collected during spring 2002-2011 with standardized techniques and then linked with related climate data in the banding as well as the wintering sites. This creates a complex data set which is based on a decade and which includes many predictors. This first-time data mining analysis with 'data cloning' and machine learning methods (boosted regression trees) shows how to extract the major signals in this unique dataset from highly correlated and interacting predictors. Our results indicate a large-scale warming trend for the flyway, with a start in 2003, and a freezing rain outlier event in 2008; the last years remained on a rather warm level. All evidence along this vast flyway supports major changes, warming trends, habitat losses and consequently strong passerine declines. Presumably human pressures are a major factor either way and we propose to address these problems immediately for betterment if meaningful conservation targets are to be met.

  10. Effects of Government Grassland Conservation Policy on Household Livelihoods and Dependence on Local Grasslands: Evidence from Inner Mongolia, China

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Du, Bingzhen; Zhen, Lin; Yan, Huimin; Groot, de Dolf

    2016-01-01

    Grassland degradation intensifies human-environment conflicts and adversely affects local residents’ livelihoods. To reduce grassland degradation in Inner Mongolia, China, the government has enforced (since 1998) a series of grassland conservation and management policies that restrict the use of

  11. Nocturnal activity of nesting shrubland and grassland passerines: Chapter 9

    Science.gov (United States)

    Slay, Christy M.; Ellison, Kevin S.; Ribic, Christine; Smith, Kimberly G.; Schmitz, Carolyn M.

    2013-01-01

    Nocturnal activity of nesting passerines is largely undocumented in field situations. We used video recordings to quantify sleep patterns of four shrubland and three grassland bird species during the nestling period. All species exhibited “back sleep” (bill tucked under scapular feathers); individuals woke frequently for vigils of their surroundings. Sleep-bout duration varied from 6 minutes (grasshopper sparrow) to 28 minutes (blue-winged warbler, field sparrow). Duration on nest varied from 6.4 hours (field sparrow) to 8.8 hours (indigo bunting). Adults woke 20–30 minutes before sunrise. First morning absence from the nest was short; nestlings were fed within 12 minutes of a parent’s departure. Further research is needed to understand energetic costs of sleep and behavioral adaptations to environmental pressures.

  12. Palaearctic-African Bird Migration

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Iwajomo, Soladoye Babatola

    Bird migration has attracted a lot of interests over past centuries and the methods used for studying this phenomenon has greatly improved in terms of availability, dimension, scale and precision. In spite of the advancements, relatively more is known about the spring migration of trans-Saharan m......Bird migration has attracted a lot of interests over past centuries and the methods used for studying this phenomenon has greatly improved in terms of availability, dimension, scale and precision. In spite of the advancements, relatively more is known about the spring migration of trans...... of birds from Europe to Africa and opens up the possibility of studying intra-African migration. I have used long-term, standardized autumn ringing data from southeast Sweden to investigate patterns in biometrics, phenology and population trends as inferred from annual trapping totals. In addition, I...... in the population of the species. The papers show that adult and juvenile birds can use different migration strategies depending on time of season and prevailing conditions. Also, the fuel loads of some individuals were theoretically sufficient for a direct flight to important goal area, but whether they do so...

  13. Birds and music

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    L Amini

    2009-03-01

    Through research in old mythological narrations, and literary texts, one could assume an intrinsic relationship between music and such sweet-singing mythological birds as phoenix, sphinx, Song-song, holy birds like Kership-tah, and other birds including swan and ring dove.

  14. Birds Kept as Pets

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... your pet’s health Visit a veterinarian who has experience with pet birds for routine check-ups to keep your bird healthy and prevent infectious diseases. If your bird becomes sick or dies within a month after purchase or adoption: Contact your veterinarian. Inform the pet ...

  15. Audubon Bird Study Program.

    Science.gov (United States)

    National Audubon Society, New York, NY.

    Included are a student reader, "The Story of Birds," a leaders' guide, a large colored Audubon bird chart, and a separate guide for the chart. The student reader is divided into eleven sections which relate to the various physical and behavioral features of birds such as feathers, feeding habits as related to the shape of bills and feet, nests,…

  16. Surveillance for Avian Influenza Viruses in Wild Birds in Denmark and Greenland, 2007–10

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hjulsager, Charlotte Kristiane; Breum, Solvej Østergaard; Trebbien, Ramona

    2012-01-01

    healthy live birds in waterfowl reservoirs and along migratory flyways, birds living in proximity to domestic poultry, and hunted game birds. Dead birds were sampled by oropharyngeal swabbing. Healthy live wild birds were captured with nets, traps, or by hand and were sampled by swabbing...... America via Greenland and vice versa. In Denmark, the screenings for AI showed LPAI viruses to be naturally occurring in the wild bird population, particularly in waterfowl. The occurrence of AI viruses in the wild bird population may pose a risk for AI infections in Danish poultry....

  17. Changes in productivity of grassland with ageing

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hoogerkamp, M.

    1984-01-01

    The productivity of grassland may change greatly with ageing. Frequently, a productive ley period, occurring in the first time after (re)seeding, is followed by a period in which productivity decreases. Under conditions favourable to grassland this may be temporary. A production level

  18. Bird community structure in riparian environments in Cai River, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jaqueline Brummelhaus

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Urbanization produces changes in riparian environments, causing effects in the structure of bird communities, which present different responses to the impacts. We compare species richness, abundance, and composition of birds in riparian environments with different characteristics in Cai River, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. We carried out observations in woodland, grassland, and urban environments, between September 2007 and August 2008. We listed 130 bird species, 29 species unique to woodland environment, and an endangeredspecies: Triclaria malachitacea. Bird abundance differed from woodland (n = 426 individuals to urban environments (n = 939 individuals (F2,6 = 7.315; P = 0.025. Species composition and feeding guilds differed significantly in the bird community structures among these three riparian environments. In the grassland and urban environments there were more generalist insectivorous species, while in the woodland environments we find more leaf and trunk insectivorous species and frugivorous species, sensitive to human impacts. Bird species can be biological quality indicators and they contribute to ecosystems performing relevant functions. With the knowledge on bird community structure and their needs, it is possible to implement management practices for restoration of degraded riparian environments.

  19. Effects of forest expansion on mountain grassland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Guidi, Claudia; Magid, Jakob; Rodeghiero, Mirco

    2014-01-01

    Background and aims. Grassland abandonment followed by forest succession is the dominant land-use change in the European Alps. We studied the impact of current forest expansion on mountain grassland on changes in physical soil organic carbon (SOC) fractions along a land-use and management gradient......, focusing on changes in aggregate stability and particulate organic matter (POM). Methods. Four successional stages were investigated: managed grassland, two transitional phases in which grassland abandonment led to colonization by Picea abies (L.) Karst., and old mixed forest dominated by Fagus sylvatica L....... Results. The dimension of aggregates assessed by aggregate size fractionation tended to increase, whereas SOC allocation to stable aggregates assessed by sizedensity fractionation decreased following conversion of grassland to forest (e.g. from 81 to 59 % in the 0–5 cm layer). The amount of SOC stored...

  20. Research priorities for grassland science: the need of long term integrated experiments networks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    G. Lemaire

    2007-07-01

    Full Text Available Grasslands have to be considered not only as a mean for providing foods for domestic herbivore but also as an important biome of terrestrial biosphere. This function of grasslands as an active component of our environment requires specific studies on the role and impact of this ecosystem on soil erosion and soil quality, quality and quantity of water resources, atmosphere composition and greenhouse gas emission or sequestration, biodiversity dynamics at different scales from field plot to landscape. All these functions have to be evaluated in conjunction with the function of providing animal products for increasing human population. So multifunctionality of grasslands become a new paradigm for grassland science. Environmental and biodiversity outputs require long term studies, being the long term retro-active processes within soil, vegetation and micro-organism communities in relation to changes in management programme. So grassland science needs to carry on long term integrated experimentation for studying all the environmental outputs and ecological services associated to grassland management systems.

  1. North Slope, Alaska ESI: BIRDS (Bird Polygons)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set contains sensitive biological resource data for diving birds, gulls and terns, seabirds, shorebirds, and waterfowl for the North Slope of Alaska....

  2. Birds of Sabaki Birds of Sabaki

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    CJ

    2005-02-25

    Feb 25, 2005 ... covers approximately 250ha.The area encompassed by this study extends from Mambrui to the north, the sea to the east, the opposite bank of the estuary to the south and the Sabaki bridge and Malindi-Garsen road to the west. The area is defined as an Important Bird Area(IBA) by BirdLife International in ...

  3. A meta-analysis of the effects of common management actions on the nest success of North American birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hartway, Cynthia; Mills, L Scott

    2012-08-01

    Management strategies for the recovery of declining bird populations often must be made without sufficient data to predict the outcome of proposed actions or sufficient time and resources necessary to collect these data. We quantitatively reviewed studies of bird management in Canada and the United States to evaluate the relative efficacy of 4 common management interventions and to determine variables associated with their success. We compared how livestock exclusion, prescribed burning, removal of predators, and removal of cowbirds (Molothrus ater) affect bird nest success and used meta-regression to evaluate the influence of species and study-specific covariates on management outcomes. On average, all 4 management interventions increased nest success. When common species and threatened, endangered, or declining species (as defined by long-term trend data from the North American Breeding Bird Survey) were analyzed together, predator removal was the most effective management option. The difference in mean nest success between treatment and control plots in predator-removal experiments was more than twice that of either livestock exclusion or prescribed burning. However, when we considered management outcomes from only threatened, endangered, or declining species, livestock exclusions resulted in the greatest mean increase in nest success, more than twice that of the 3 other treatments. Our meta-regression results indicated that between-species variation accounted for approximately 86%, 40%, 35%, and 7% of the overall variation in the results of livestock-exclusion, prescribed-burn, predator-removal, and cowbird-removal studies, respectively. However, the covariates we tested explained significant variation only in outcomes among prescribed-burn studies. The difference in nest success between burned and unburned plots displayed a significant, positive trend in association with time since fire and was significantly larger in grasslands than in woodlands. Our results

  4. Variability of annual CO2 exchange from Dutch grasslands

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Jacobs, C.M.J.; Jacobs, A.F.G.; Bosveld, F.C.; Hendriks, D.M.D.; Hensen, A.; Kroon, P.; Moors, E.J.; Nol, L.; Schrier-Uijl, A.P.; Veenendaal, E.M.

    2007-01-01

    An intercomparison is made of the Net Ecosystem Exchange of CO2, NEE, for eight Dutch grassland sites: four natural grasslands, two production grasslands and two meteorological stations within a rotational grassland region. At all sites the NEE was determined during at least 10 months per site,

  5. International Trade of CITES Listed Bird Species in China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Linlin; Jiang, Zhigang

    2014-01-01

    Commercial trade of wild birds may devastate wild bird populations. Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) controls the trade of wild species listed in its appendices to avoid these species being threatened by international trade. China used to be one of the major trading countries with significant bird trade with foreign countries; on the other hand, China is a country with unique avian fauna, many Important Bird Areas and critically endangered bird species. What is the role of the country in world wild bird trade? What kind of insights can we extract from trade records for improving future management of wild bird trade in the country? We retrieved and analyzed international trade records of the CITES listed bird species of China from 1981 to 2010 from the CITES Trade Database maintained by United Nations Environment Program and World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC). We found that: (1) International trade of live birds in China peaked during the late 1990s, then decreased to the level before the surge of trade in a few years, the trade dynamics of wild birds may be affected by governmental policy and the outbreak of avian influenza during the period. (2) Most frequently traded CITES Appendix listed birds in China were parrots, most of which were exotic species to the country. (3) Birds were mainly traded for commercial purpose. Exotic birds in trade were mainly captive-bred while the most Chinese birds traded internationally were captured from the wild. Since many bird species in international trade are threatened to extinction, China should take stricter measures on importing of wild-captured birds and should collaborate with the countries of original in the international bird trade to avoid unsustainable harvesting of wild birds. It is urgent for China to carry out population surveys on those domestic bird species once in significant international trade and to make better conservation decisions based on

  6. International trade of CITES listed bird species in China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Linlin; Jiang, Zhigang

    2014-01-01

    Commercial trade of wild birds may devastate wild bird populations. Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) controls the trade of wild species listed in its appendices to avoid these species being threatened by international trade. China used to be one of the major trading countries with significant bird trade with foreign countries; on the other hand, China is a country with unique avian fauna, many Important Bird Areas and critically endangered bird species. What is the role of the country in world wild bird trade? What kind of insights can we extract from trade records for improving future management of wild bird trade in the country? We retrieved and analyzed international trade records of the CITES listed bird species of China from 1981 to 2010 from the CITES Trade Database maintained by United Nations Environment Program and World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC). We found that: (1) International trade of live birds in China peaked during the late 1990s, then decreased to the level before the surge of trade in a few years, the trade dynamics of wild birds may be affected by governmental policy and the outbreak of avian influenza during the period. (2) Most frequently traded CITES Appendix listed birds in China were parrots, most of which were exotic species to the country. (3) Birds were mainly traded for commercial purpose. Exotic birds in trade were mainly captive-bred while the most Chinese birds traded internationally were captured from the wild. Since many bird species in international trade are threatened to extinction, China should take stricter measures on importing of wild-captured birds and should collaborate with the countries of original in the international bird trade to avoid unsustainable harvesting of wild birds. It is urgent for China to carry out population surveys on those domestic bird species once in significant international trade and to make better conservation decisions based on

  7. Satellite-based assessment of grassland yields

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grant, K.; Siegmund, R.; Wagner, M.; Hartmann, S.

    2015-04-01

    Cutting date and frequency are important parameters determining grassland yields in addition to the effects of weather, soil conditions, plant composition and fertilisation. Because accurate and area-wide data of grassland yields are currently not available, cutting frequency can be used to estimate yields. In this project, a method to detect cutting dates via surface changes in radar images is developed. The combination of this method with a grassland yield model will result in more reliable and regional-wide numbers of grassland yields. For the test-phase of the monitoring project, a study area situated southeast of Munich, Germany, was chosen due to its high density of managed grassland. For determining grassland cutting robust amplitude change detection techniques are used evaluating radar amplitude or backscatter statistics before and after the cutting event. CosmoSkyMed and Sentinel-1A data were analysed. All detected cuts were verified according to in-situ measurements recorded in a GIS database. Although the SAR systems had various acquisition geometries, the amount of detected grassland cut was quite similar. Of 154 tested grassland plots, covering in total 436 ha, 116 and 111 cuts were detected using CosmoSkyMed and Sentinel-1A radar data, respectively. Further improvement of radar data processes as well as additional analyses with higher sample number and wider land surface coverage will follow for optimisation of the method and for validation and generalisation of the results of this feasibility study. The automation of this method will than allow for an area-wide and cost efficient cutting date detection service improving grassland yield models.

  8. Predictable evolution toward flightlessness in volant island birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wright, Natalie A; Steadman, David W; Witt, Christopher C

    2016-04-26

    Birds are prolific colonists of islands, where they readily evolve distinct forms. Identifying predictable, directional patterns of evolutionary change in island birds, however, has proved challenging. The "island rule" predicts that island species evolve toward intermediate sizes, but its general applicability to birds is questionable. However, convergent evolution has clearly occurred in the island bird lineages that have undergone transitions to secondary flightlessness, a process involving drastic reduction of the flight muscles and enlargement of the hindlimbs. Here, we investigated whether volant island bird populations tend to change shape in a way that converges subtly on the flightless form. We found that island bird species have evolved smaller flight muscles than their continental relatives. Furthermore, in 366 populations of Caribbean and Pacific birds, smaller flight muscles and longer legs evolved in response to increasing insularity and, strikingly, the scarcity of avian and mammalian predators. On smaller islands with fewer predators, birds exhibited shifts in investment from forelimbs to hindlimbs that were qualitatively similar to anatomical rearrangements observed in flightless birds. These findings suggest that island bird populations tend to evolve on a trajectory toward flightlessness, even if most remain volant. This pattern was consistent across nine families and four orders that vary in lifestyle, foraging behavior, flight style, and body size. These predictable shifts in avian morphology may reduce the physical capacity for escape via flight and diminish the potential for small-island taxa to diversify via dispersal.

  9. An annotated check list of the birds of Qwaqwa National Park

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D.H. De Swardt

    1996-08-01

    Full Text Available This paper presents a check list of 179 bird species occuring in the Qwaqwa National Park which borders the eastern part of Golden Gate Highlands National Park. Data on the distribution, status, habitat preferences and breeding were obtained during several visits between December 1992 and March 1995. The following habitats were preferred: grassland, montane grassland, woodland, rocky hillsides, mountain slopes and riverine areas with Phragmites reedbeds. The conservation of waterbirds, raptors and other localised species such as Orangebreasted Rockjumper, Palecrowned Cisticola, Mountain Pipit and Gurney's Sugarbird is important as these species occur in specialised habitats.

  10. Vegetation in clear-cuts depends on previous land use: a century-old grassland legacy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jonason, Dennis; Ibbe, Mathias; Milberg, Per; Tunér, Albert; Westerberg, Lars; Bergman, Karl-Olof

    2014-01-01

    Plant species richness in central and northern European seminatural grasslands is often more closely linked to past than present habitat configuration, which is indicative of an extinction debt. In this study, we investigate whether signs of historical grassland management can be found in clear-cuts after at least 80 years as coniferous production forest by comparing floras between clear-cuts with a history as meadow and as forest in the 1870s in Sweden. Study sites were selected using old land-use maps and data on present-day clear-cuts. Species traits reflecting high capacities for dispersal and persistence were used to explain any possible links between the plants and the historical land use. Clear-cuts that were formerly meadow had, on average, 36% higher species richness and 35% higher richness of grassland indicator species, as well as a larger overall seed mass and lower anemochory, compared to clear-cuts with history as forest. We suggest that the plants in former meadows never disappeared after afforestation but survived as remnant populations. Many contemporary forests in Sweden were managed as grasslands in the 1800s. As conservation of remaining grassland fragments will not be enough to reduce the existing extinction debts of the flora, these young forests offer opportunities for grassland restoration at large scales. Our study supports the concept of remnant populations and highlights the importance of considering historical land use for understanding the distribution of grassland plant species in fragmented landscapes, as well as for policy-making and conservation. PMID:25540690

  11. Birds of the St. Croix River valley: Minnesota and Wisconsin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Faanes, Craig A.

    1981-01-01

    The St. Croix River Valley encompasses nearly 11,550 km2 in east-central Minnesota and northwestern Wisconsin. A wide range of habitats are available for birds including upland oak, lowland deciduous, maple-basswood, lowland and upland coniferous forests, natural basin wetlands, and grasslands. Situated in the north-central region of the United States, the valley is a biological 'crossroads' for many species. Because of the mixed affinities of plant communities, the valley includes the northern and southern range limits for a number of species. Also, because the valley lies near the forest-prairie transition zone, many typical western breeding species (e.g. pintail, western meadowlark, yellow-headed blackbird) breed in proximity to typical eastern species such as tufted titmouse, eastern meadowlark, and cardinal. From 1966 to 1980, I conducted extensive surveys of avian distribution and abundance in the St. Croix River Valley. I have supplemented the results of these surveys with published and unpublished observations contributed by many ornithologists. These additional data include compilations from Christmas Bird Counts sponsored by the National Audubon Society and from the Breeding Bird Survey coordinated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Three hundred fourteen species have been recorded in the study area; data are presented on the migration period, nesting season distribution, winter distribution, relative abundance, and habitat use of each species. Recognizing the uniqueness of the area, and its importance not only to wildlife but also to man, the U.S. Congress designated the St. Croix a National Scenic Riverway. This action provided a considerable degree of protection to lands along and directly adjacent to the river. Unfortunately, no similar legal measure exists to protect lands away from the river. With the exception of the northern quarter of the St. Croix River Valley, agricultural interests have made significant inroads into the habitat base. The

  12. Diseases Transmitted by Birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Levison, Matthew E

    2015-08-01

    Although many people these days actually work very hard at leisure time activities, diseases are most commonly acquired from birds during the course of work in the usual sense of the term, not leisure. However, travel for pleasure to areas where the diseases are highly endemic puts people at risk of acquiring some of these bird-related diseases (for example, histoplasmosis and arbovirus infections), as does ownership of birds as pets (psittacosis).

  13. Assessing collision risk for birds and bats : radar survey

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Brunet, R. [Genivar SEC, Sherbrooke, PQ (Canada)

    2010-07-01

    This PowerPoint presentation described some of the inventories and instrumentation available for monitoring winged fauna in and around wind farms. In addition to visual observations, bird calls and songs can be recorded to determine the amount and different types of birds located at wind farm sites. Radio-telemetry devices are also used to evaluate bird activities, and nest searches are conducted to determine the amount of eggs or young birds that will soon add to the bird population. Between 90 and 100 percent of birds and bats migrate at night. Acoustic radar, Doppler radar, and maritime surveillance radar instruments are used to monitor night-time activities in wind farm locations. Doppler radar is also used to detect bird and bat migration corridors. Screen-shots of various radar interfaces were presented. tabs., figs.

  14. Impact of estuarine pollution on birds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blus, L.J.; Wiemeyer, Stanley N.; Kerwin, J.A.; Stendell, R.C.; Ohlendorf, H.M.; Stickel, L.F.

    1977-01-01

    Pollution of estuaries affects bird populations indirectly through changes in habitat and food supply. The multi-factor pollution of Chesapeake Bay has resulted in diminution of submerged aquatic plants and consequent change in food habits of the canvasback duck. Although dredge-spoil operations can improve wildlife habitat, they often result in its demise. Pollution of estuaries also affects birds directly, through chemical toxication, which may result in outright mortality or in reproductive impairment. Lead from industrial sources and roadways enters the estuaries and is accumulated in tissues of birds. Lead pellets deposited in estuaries as a result of hunting are consumed by ducks with sufficient frequency .to result m large annual die-offs from lead poisoning. Fish in certain areas, usually near industrial sources, may contain levels of mercury high enough to be hazardous to birds that consume them. Other heavy metals are present in estuarine birds, but their significance is poorly known. Oil exerts lethal or sublethal effects on birds by oiling their feathers, oiling eggs and young by contaminated parents, and by ingestion of oil-contaminated food. Organochlorine chemicals, of both agricultural and industrial origin, travel through the food chains and reach harmful levels in susceptible species of birds in certain estuarine ecosystems. Both outright mortality and reproductive impairment have occurred.

  15. Faunal isotope records reveal trophic and nutrient dynamics in twentieth century Yellowstone grasslands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fox-Dobbs, Kena; Nelson, Abigail A; Koch, Paul L; Leonard, Jennifer A

    2012-10-23

    Population sizes and movement patterns of ungulate grazers and their predators have fluctuated dramatically over the past few centuries, largely owing to overharvesting, land-use change and historic management. We used δ(13)C and δ(15)N values measured from bone collagen of historic and recent gray wolves and their potential primary prey from Yellowstone National Park to gain insight into the trophic dynamics and nutrient conditions of historic and modern grasslands. The diet of reintroduced wolves closely parallels that of the historic population. We suggest that a significant shift in faunal δ(15)N values over the past century reflects impacts of anthropogenic environmental changes on grassland ecosystems, including grazer-mediated shifts in grassland nitrogen cycle processes.

  16. Birds of the Reserva Biológica do Mato Grande and surroundings, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Vizentin-Bugoni, Jeferson; Jacobs, Fernando; Coimbra, Marco Antônio Afonso

    2015-01-01

    The Reserva Biológica do Mato Grande encompasses 5,161 hectares of wetlands, restinga forests and grasslands in southern Brazil. Aiming to assemble a list of bird species occurring in the reserve, we carried out 21 monthly expeditions from July 2007 to March 2009 and an additional visit on October...

  17. Coastal Resources Atlas: Long Island: BIRDS (Bird Polygons)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set contains sensitive biological resource data for wading birds, shorebirds, waterfowl, raptors, diving birds, seabirds, passerine birds, and gulls and...

  18. Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands ESI: BIRDS (Bird Polygons)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set contains sensitive biological resource data for pelagic birds, shorebirds, wading birds, waterfowl, gulls, terns, and passerine birds in Guam and the...

  19. The birds of Blyth Harbour

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Still, D.; Carver, H.; Little, B.; Lawrence, S.G.

    1995-01-01

    Blyth Harbour Wind Farm, constructed upon an exposed pier, is not a Site of Special Scientific Interest and is designated to become a RAMSAR location because of the presence of a significant population of the Purple Sandpiper. A study of the effect of the wind farm on the birds was started before the wind farm was constructed and is ongoing. Initial evidence of how the wind turbines have affected the 110 varieties of birds recorded within the harbour will be presented and compared to previous research carried out in Europe and the USA. Methodology has included intensive beach surveys, visits to wind farms in the UK and USA and consultations with wildlife advisory bodies. The study will continue until 1996. (Author)

  20. Description of the Grassland Biome Project

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Mentis, MT

    1982-10-01

    Full Text Available The objectives, organization and research programme of the Grassland Biome Project are described against a background of the biome's ecological characteristics and environmental problems. Four principal research topics wil 1 be focused upon: (i...

  1. Where can flood refugees go? Re-distribution of Corncrakes (Crex crex due to floods and its consequences on grassland conservation in North-Eastern Hungary

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Boldogh Sándor András

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available The Corncrake is a threatened umbrella species for wet meadows, which mostly depends on managed grasslands. Therefore, effective conservation requires bird-friendly land management schemes and subsidies. Although the most important populations in Hungary usually breed in protected areas, some of these are regularly flooded, which forces Corncrakes to find breeding sites elsewhere. Such movements from protected/subsidised areas to suboptimal sites have risks for Corncrake populations and their conservation. Here, we describe a large-scale dynamic system of interlinked populations based on data from 4194 Corncrake territories found at four different sites (Aggtelek, Bodrogzug, Szatmár-Bereg and Zemplén regions across eight years between 1997 and 2006 in NE Hungary (c. 1500 km2. The results showed that the total population fluctuated between 407 and 631 pairs and that the populations were more-or-less stable in the first four years (1997–2000. However, extended floods caused the disappearance of the species from the Bodrogzug region in 2005–2006, while in the other sites, the number of territories increased five-fold (Zemplén, three-fold (Aggtelek and two-fold (Szatmár-Bereg. The correlation between the number of territories and maximum water level of river Tisza in April-May was negative in the Bodrogzug site and positive in the three other sites, indicating that interlinkages of the populations were associated with water levels. Our data thus support the hypothesis that many of the birds driven out by inundation of floodplain meadows moved to other sites in NE Hungary in flood years. These results suggest that even large, centrally located populations of Corncrake can be greatly exposed to risks of flooding and that it is highly important to maintain suitable alternative breeding sites for the species. The High Natural Value Areas programme may allow administrative and funding support to provide or extend protection and/or subsidies to

  2. Soil disturbance as a grassland restoration measure

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schnoor, Tim; Bruun, Hans Henrik; Olsson, Pål Axel

    2015-01-01

    Soil disturbance is recognized as an important driver of biodiversity in dry grasslands, and can therefore be implemented as a restoration measure. However, because community re-assembly following disturbance includes stochastic processes, a focus only on species richness or establishment success...... to experimental disturbance treatments (ploughing or rotavation), and the vegetation was surveyed during four subsequent years of succession. Treated plots were compared with control plots representing untreated grassland, as well as nearby plots characterized by plant communities representing the restoration...

  3. Can Ingestion of Lead Shot and Poisons Change Population Trends of Three European Birds: Grey Partridge, Common Buzzard, and Red Kite?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carolyn B Meyer

    Full Text Available Little is known about the magnitude of the effects of lead shot ingestion alone or combined with poisons (e.g., in bait or seeds/granules containing pesticides on population size, growth, and extinction of non-waterbird avian species that ingest these substances. We used population models to create example scenarios demonstrating how changes in these parameters might affect three susceptible species: grey partridge (Perdix perdix, common buzzard (Buteo buteo, and red kite (Milvus milvus. We added or subtracted estimates of mortality due to lead shot ingestion (4-16% of mortality, depending on species and poisons (4-46% of mortality reported in the UK or France to observed mortality of studied populations after models were calibrated to observed population trends. Observed trends were decreasing for partridge (in continental Europe, stable for buzzard (in Germany, and increasing for red kite (in Wales. Although lead shot ingestion and poison at modeled levels did not change the trend direction for the three species, they reduced population size and slowed population growth. Lead shot ingestion at modeled rates reduced population size of partridges by 10%, and when combined with bait and pesticide poisons, by 18%. For buzzards, decrease in mean population size by lead shot and poisons combined was much smaller (≤ 1%. The red kite population has been recovering; however, modeled lead shot ingestion reduced its annual growth rate from 6.5% to 4%, slowing recovery. If mortality from poisoned baits could be removed, the kite population could potentially increase at a rapid annual rate of 12%. The effects are somewhat higher if ingestion of these substances additionally causes sublethal reproductive impairment. These results have uncertainty but suggest that declining or recovering populations are most sensitive to lead shot or poison ingestion, and removal of poisoned baits can have a positive impact on recovering raptor populations that frequently

  4. Response of ground-nesting farmland birds to agricultural intensification across Europe: Landscape and field level management factors

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Guerrero, I.; Morales, M.B.; Onate, J.J.; Geiger, F.; Berendse, F.; Snoo, de G.R.

    2012-01-01

    European farmland bird populations have decreased dramatically in recent decades and agricultural intensification has been identified as the main cause contributing to these declines. Identifying which specific intensification pressures are driving those population trends seems vital for bird

  5. Bird Flu (Avian Influenza)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bird flu (avian influenza) Overview Bird flu is caused by a type of influenza virus that rarely infects humans. More than a ... for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that seasonal influenza is responsible for ... heat destroys avian viruses, cooked poultry isn't a health threat. ...

  6. Nanoscale magnetoreceptors in birds

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Solov'yov, Ilia; Greiner, Walter

    2012-01-01

    The Earth's magnetic field provides an important source of directional information for many living organisms, especially birds, but the sensory receptor responsible for magnetic field detection still has to be identified. Recently, magnetic iron oxide particles were detected in dendritic endings...... field, by a bird....

  7. Understanding how birds navigate

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Solov'yov, Ilia; Schulten, Klaus

    2009-01-01

    A proposed model for migrating birds' magnetic sense can withstand moderate orientational disorder of a key protein in the eye.......A proposed model for migrating birds' magnetic sense can withstand moderate orientational disorder of a key protein in the eye....

  8. [Diversity and distribution of grasshoppers (Orthoptera: Acridoidea) in grasslands of the Southern Pampas region, Argentina].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mariottini, Yanina; De Wysiecki, María Laura; Lange, Carlos Ernesto

    2013-03-01

    In Argentina, the grasslands of Pampas region comprise approximately 15% of the country. As in other grasslands of the world, grasshoppers are among the most important native herbivores. Their economic importance has been recognized in Argentina since the mid to late nineteenth century, since outbreaks of different species have become recurrent phenomena. Therefore, the main objective of this work was to study their diversity and distribution in grasslands of the Southern Pampas region (Laprida county, Buenos Aires province), as one of the most affected areas. The study was conducted during five seasons (2005-10). Sampling sites were represented by the most common plant communities in this area, classified in four categories: native grasslands, disturbed grasslands, implanted pastures and halophilous grasslands. The samplings were conducted from mid-spring to early autumn, with five or six samples per season. We estimated the following population descriptors: species richness (S), eveness (E), dominance (J), and diversity index (H'). In order to evaluate the similitude of the grasshopper communities present in the different plant communities, we used qualitative and quantitative coefficients of similitude. A total of 22 species of grasshoppers were collected, of which 21 belong to the family Acrididae. The subfamily Melanoplinae was the most diverse with eight species. The largest species richness was recorded in native grasslands (18). The different communities of grasshoppers had similar indices of evenness and dominance (p>0.05). Considering all plant communities, the average value of Shannon-Wiener index was 1.58+/-0.075. There was a positive correlation between evenness index and species richness (pgrasshoppers species richness, and diversity of grasshoppers. According to the qualitative indices applied, the similitude between different grasshopper communities was higher than 60%. In general, the species that had a higher frequency of occurrence showed greater

  9. Effects of grassland management on the emission of methane from grassland on peat soils

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Van Dasselaar, A. [Dept. of Soil Science and Plant Nutrition, Wageningen Agricultural Univ. (Netherlands); Oenema, O. [NMI, Wageningen (Netherlands)

    1995-11-01

    Net methane (CH{sub 4}) emissions from managed grassland on peat soils in the Netherlands have been monitored with vented closed flux chambers in the period January - June 1994. Net CH{sub 4} emissions from two intensively managed grasslands were low, in general less than 0.1 mg CH{sub 4} m{sup -2} d{sup -l}. On these sites, the effect of management was negligibly small. CH{sub 4} emission from three extensively managed grasslands in a nature preserve ranged from 0 to 185 mg CH{sub 4} m{sup -2} d{sup -l}. The results presented here indicate that CH{sub 4} emissions are 2-3 orders of magnitude higher on extensively managed grasslands than on intensively managed grasslands. 2 figs., 6 refs.

  10. The forms and fitness cost of senescence : Age-specific recapture, survival, reproduction, and reproductive value in a wild bird population

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bouwhuis, Sandra; Choquet, Remi; Sheldon, Ben C.; Verhulst, Simon

    Longitudinal studies of senescence accumulate rapidly from natural populations. However, it is largely unknown whether different fitness components senesce in parallel, how reproductive and survival senescence contribute to declines in reproductive value, and how large the fitness cost of senescence

  11. Exposure of the endangered Milky stork population to cadmium and lead via food and water intake in Kuala Gula Bird Sanctuary, Perak, Malaysia

    OpenAIRE

    Rahman, Faid; Ismail, Ahmad; Omar, Hishamuddin; Hussin, Mohamed Zakaria

    2017-01-01

    The Milky stork is listed as an endangered species endemic to the Southeast Asia region. In Malaysia, the population is currently being reintroduced back into the wild. However, the increase of anthropogenic activity throughout the coastal area might expose the population to hazardous chemicals such as heavy metals. This study highlights the contamination of cadmium (Cd) and lead (Pb) in the Milky storkâs diet. Additionally, this is the first time an integrated exposure model being used to as...

  12. Effects of Wind Energy Development on Nesting Ecology of Greater Prairie-Chickens in Fragmented Grasslands

    Science.gov (United States)

    McNew, Lance B; Hunt, Lyla M; Gregory, Andrew J; Wisely, Samantha M; Sandercock, Brett K

    2014-01-01

    Wind energy is targeted to meet 20% of U.S. energy needs by 2030, but new sites for development of renewable energy may overlap with important habitats of declining populations of grassland birds. Greater Prairie-Chickens (Tympanuchus cupido) are an obligate grassland bird species predicted to respond negatively to energy development. We used a modified before–after control–impact design to test for impacts of a wind energy development on the reproductive ecology of prairie-chickens in a 5-year study. We located 59 and 185 nests before and after development, respectively, of a 201 MW wind energy facility in Greater Prairie-Chicken nesting habitat and assessed nest site selection and nest survival relative to proximity to wind energy infrastructure and habitat conditions. Proximity to turbines did not negatively affect nest site selection (β = 0.03, 95% CI = −1.2–1.3) or nest survival (β = −0.3, 95% CI = −0.6–0.1). Instead, nest site selection and survival were strongly related to vegetative cover and other local conditions determined by management for cattle production. Integration of our project results with previous reports of behavioral avoidance of oil and gas facilities by other species of prairie grouse suggests new avenues for research to mitigate impacts of energy development. Efectos del Desarrollo de la Energía Eólica sobre la Ecología de Anidación de Gallinas de la Gran Pradera en Pastizales Fragmentados Resumen Se calcula que la energía eólica aportará el 20% de las necesidades energéticas de los Estados Unidos para el 2030, pero nuevos sitios para el desarrollo de energía renovable pueden traslaparse con hábitats importantes de poblaciones declinantes de aves de pastizal. La gallina de la Gran Pradera (Tympanuchus cupido) es una especie de ave obligada de pastizal que se pronostica responderá negativamente al desarrollo energético. Usamos un diseño ADCI modificado para probar los impactos del desarrollo de la energía e

  13. Plutonium in a grassland ecosystem

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Little, C.A.

    1976-08-01

    A study was made of plutonium contamination of grassland at the Rocky Flats plant northwest of Denver, Colorado. Of interest were: the definition of major plutonium-containing ecosystem compartments; the relative amounts in those compartments; how those values related to studies done in other geographical areas; whether or not the predominant isotopes, 238 Pu and 239 Pu, behaved differently; and what mechanisms might have allowed for the observed patterns of contamination. Samples of soil, litter, vegetation, arthropods, and small mammals were collected for Pu analysis and mass determination from each of two macroplots. Small aliquots (5 g or less) were analyzed by a rapid liquid scintillation technique and by alpha spectrometry. Of the compartments sampled, greater than 99 percent of the total plutonium was contained in the soil and the concentrations were significantly inversely correlated with distance from the contamination source, depth of the sample, and particle size of the sieved soil samples. The soil data suggested that the distribution of contamination largely resulted from physical transport processes

  14. FLORISTIC CHANGES ALONG THE TOPOGRAPHICAL GRADIENT IN MONTANE GRASSLANDS IN MONTI PICENTINI (CAMPANIA, SW ITALY

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. CUTINI

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Populations of xerotolerant species (Achnatherum calamagrostis, Stipa crassiculmis subsp. picentina, are scattered along a wide altitudinal gradient on slopes at mid- and high elevation in Monti Picentini, a subcoastal mesozoic limestone ridge in Tyrrhenian Southern Italy. Their stands are widespread in grasslands of mostly secondary origin. At lower altitudes these grasslands replace former deciduous forest communities dominated by oaks or beech, while at higher altitudes they reach the summits, where they apparently merge into the remnants of the still partially grazed, zonal climatogenic, grasslands ranging above the local tree-line. Nevertheless primary stands of these grasslands are to be found around the many clusters of highly dynamic sites of the montane and sub-alpine levels, scattered around screes and rocky outcrops of the prevalently dolomitic morphology of the slopes. This virtual continuity of non arboreal communities across more than 1000 metres of the local topographical gradient, where azonal, relic stands of Pinus nigra s.l. are transitional between the grasslands and the surrounding zonal broadleaved forest vegetation, stresses patterns of the coenological changes between Festuco-Brometea and Elyno-Seslerietea along the catena, which suggest fragmentary persistence of a paleozonation.

  15. FLORISTIC CHANGES ALONG THE TOPOGRAPHICAL GRADIENT IN MONTANE GRASSLANDS IN MONTI PICENTINI (CAMPANIA, SW ITALY

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    F. SPADA

    2010-04-01

    Full Text Available Populations of xerotolerant species (Achnatherum calamagrostis, Stipa crassiculmis subsp. picentina, are scattered along a wide altitudinal gradient on slopes at mid- and high elevation in Monti Picentini, a subcoastal mesozoic limestone ridge in Tyrrhenian Southern Italy. Their stands are widespread in grasslands of mostly secondary origin. At lower altitudes these grasslands replace former deciduous forest communities dominated by oaks or beech, while at higher altitudes they reach the summits, where they apparently merge into the remnants of the still partially grazed, zonal climatogenic, grasslands ranging above the local tree-line. Nevertheless primary stands of these grasslands are to be found around the many clusters of highly dynamic sites of the montane and sub-alpine levels, scattered around screes and rocky outcrops of the prevalently dolomitic morphology of the slopes. This virtual continuity of non arboreal communities across more than 1000 metres of the local topographical gradient, where azonal, relic stands of Pinus nigra s.l. are transitional between the grasslands and the surrounding zonal broadleaved forest vegetation, stresses patterns of the coenological changes between Festuco-Brometea and Elyno-Seslerietea along the catena, which suggest fragmentary persistence of a paleozonation.

  16. Association of wintering raptors with Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program grasslands in Pennsylvania

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, A.; Brittingham, M.; Grove, G.

    2010-01-01

    Conservation grasslands can provide valuable habitat resource for breeding songbirds, but their value for wintering raptors has received little attention. We hypothesized that increased availability of grassland habitat through the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) has resulted in an increase or redistribution in numbers of four species of raptors in Pennsylvania since 2001. We tested this by analyzing winter raptor counts from volunteer surveys, conducted from 2001 to 2008, for Red-tailed Hawks (Buteo jamaicensis), Rough-legged Hawks (Buteo lagopus), Northern Harriers (Circus cyaneus), and American Kestrels (Falco sparverius). During that period, numbers of wintering Northern Harriers increased by more than 20% per year. Log-linear Poisson regression models show that all four species increased in the region of Pennsylvania that had the most and longest-established conservation grasslands. At the county scale (N= 67), Bayesian spatial models showed that spatial and temporal population trends of all four species were positively correlated with the amount of conservation grassland. This relationship was particularly strong for Northern Harriers, with numbers predicted to increase by 35.7% per year for each additional 1% of farmland enrolled in CREP. Our results suggest that conservation grasslands are likely the primary cause of the increase in numbers of wintering Northern Harriers in Pennsylvania since 2001. ?? 2010 The Authors. Journal of Field Ornithology ?? 2010 Association of Field Ornithologists.

  17. Birds of Sabaragamuwa University campus, Buttala, Sri Lanka

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    T.D. Surasinghe

    2010-05-01

    Full Text Available We conducted a bird survey in the Sabaragamuwa University premises in southeastern Sri Lanka between 2001 and 2004. We recorded 145 bird species, representing 17 orders and 51 families from the campus. The birdlife included Red-faced Malkoha, a globally Vulnerable species and four Near Threatened taxa. The university premises suffer from severe habitat alteration largely owing to fire, filling-up of aquatic habitats, resource over-extraction, improper waste management, invasion by exotic species and livestock grazing. Several conservation measures, including habitat management strategies such as restoration of riparian vegetation, and wetlands, increasing plant diversity in home gardens and prevention of secondary successions in grasslands are recommended to protect the campus environment and to conserve its avifaunal diversity.

  18. Preliminary Research on Grassland Fine-classification Based on MODIS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hu, Z W; Zhang, S; Yu, X Y; Wang, X S

    2014-01-01

    Grassland ecosystem is important for climatic regulation, maintaining the soil and water. Research on the grassland monitoring method could provide effective reference for grassland resource investigation. In this study, we used the vegetation index method for grassland classification. There are several types of climate in China. Therefore, we need to use China's Main Climate Zone Maps and divide the study region into four climate zones. Based on grassland classification system of the first nation-wide grass resource survey in China, we established a new grassland classification system which is only suitable for this research. We used MODIS images as the basic data resources, and use the expert classifier method to perform grassland classification. Based on the 1:1,000,000 Grassland Resource Map of China, we obtained the basic distribution of all the grassland types and selected 20 samples evenly distributed in each type, then used NDVI/EVI product to summarize different spectral features of different grassland types. Finally, we introduced other classification auxiliary data, such as elevation, accumulate temperature (AT), humidity index (HI) and rainfall. China's nation-wide grassland classification map is resulted by merging the grassland in different climate zone. The overall classification accuracy is 60.4%. The result indicated that expert classifier is proper for national wide grassland classification, but the classification accuracy need to be improved

  19. Some Insights on Grassland Health Assessment Based on Remote Sensing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dandan Xu

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Grassland ecosystem is one of the largest ecosystems, which naturally occurs on all continents excluding Antarctica and provides both ecological and economic functions. The deterioration of natural grassland has been attracting many grassland researchers to monitor the grassland condition and dynamics for decades. Remote sensing techniques, which are advanced in dealing with the scale constraints of ecological research and provide temporal information, become a powerful approach of grassland ecosystem monitoring. So far, grassland health monitoring studies have mostly focused on different areas, for example, productivity evaluation, classification, vegetation dynamics, livestock carrying capacity, grazing intensity, natural disaster detecting, fire, climate change, coverage assessment and soil erosion. However, the grassland ecosystem is a complex system which is formed by soil, vegetation, wildlife and atmosphere. Thus, it is time to consider the grassland ecosystem as an entity synthetically and establish an integrated grassland health monitoring system to combine different aspects of the complex grassland ecosystem. In this review, current grassland health monitoring methods, including rangeland health assessment, ecosystem health assessment and grassland monitoring by remote sensing from different aspects, are discussed along with the future directions of grassland health assessment.

  20. Some insights on grassland health assessment based on remote sensing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Dandan; Guo, Xulin

    2015-01-29

    Grassland ecosystem is one of the largest ecosystems, which naturally occurs on all continents excluding Antarctica and provides both ecological and economic functions. The deterioration of natural grassland has been attracting many grassland researchers to monitor the grassland condition and dynamics for decades. Remote sensing techniques, which are advanced in dealing with the scale constraints of ecological research and provide temporal information, become a powerful approach of grassland ecosystem monitoring. So far, grassland health monitoring studies have mostly focused on different areas, for example, productivity evaluation, classification, vegetation dynamics, livestock carrying capacity, grazing intensity, natural disaster detecting, fire, climate change, coverage assessment and soil erosion. However, the grassland ecosystem is a complex system which is formed by soil, vegetation, wildlife and atmosphere. Thus, it is time to consider the grassland ecosystem as an entity synthetically and establish an integrated grassland health monitoring system to combine different aspects of the complex grassland ecosystem. In this review, current grassland health monitoring methods, including rangeland health assessment, ecosystem health assessment and grassland monitoring by remote sensing from different aspects, are discussed along with the future directions of grassland health assessment.

  1. Hatching synchrony in birds

    OpenAIRE

    Tippeltová, Zuzana

    2011-01-01

    This bachelor thesis is about hatching synchrony in birds. Generally, among birds there are two types of hatching - asynchronous and synchronous- and the type of hatching is primarily determined by the time of the onset of incubation. In many bird species, including most precocial ones, incubation does not begin until the last egg has been laid, which results in hatching of all the eggs within a few hours. In synchronously-hatched broods, all the chicks are about the same age. Thus no single ...

  2. Conservation Priorities for Terrestrial Birds in the Northeastern United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kenneth V. Rosenberg; Jeffrey V. Wells

    2005-01-01

    As part of the Partners in Flight (PIF) bird-conservation planning process, we assessed breeding land bird species according to seven categories of population vulnerability to derive a priority species pool in each of 12 physiographic areas that overlap the northeastern U.S. We then grouped species into the following habitat-species suites: (1) boreal-mountaintop...

  3. Determination of Habitat Requirements For Birds in Suburban Areas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jack Ward Thomas; Richard M. DeGraaf; Joseph C. Mawson

    1977-01-01

    Songbird populations can be related to habitat components by a method that allows the simultaneous determination of habitat requirements for a variety of species . Through correlation and multiple-regression analyses, 10 bird species were studied in a suburban habitat, which was stratified according to human density. Variables used to account for bird distribution...

  4. Breeding birds on organic and conventional arable farms

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kragten, Steven

    2009-01-01

    As a result of agricultural intensification, farmland bird populations have been declining dramatically over the past decades. Organic farming is often mentioned to be a possible solution to stop these declines. In order to see whether farmland birds really benefit from organic farming a study was

  5. A field protocol to monitor cavity-nesting birds

    Science.gov (United States)

    J. Dudley; V. Saab

    2003-01-01

    We developed a field protocol to monitor populations of cavity-nesting birds in burned and unburned coniferous forests of western North America. Standardized field methods are described for implementing long-term monitoring strategies and for conducting field research to evaluate the effects of habitat change on cavity-nesting birds. Key references (but not...

  6. Case report of misdiagnosis of Avian Colibacillosis in laying Birds ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Two freshly dead 27 weeks old Issa brown laying birds from a population of about 3000 birds with history of blindness, greenish-whitish diarrhoea, symptomatic diagnosis of coccidiosis, treatment failure, reduced egg lay and increased mortality was presented for postmortem examination and diagnosis. Postmortem ...

  7. Mortality of Black-tailed Godwit Limosa limosa and Northern Lapwing Vanellus vanellus chicks in wet grasslands : influence of predation and agriculture

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schekkerman, Hans; Teunissen, Wolf; Oosterveld, Ernst

    Grassland-breeding shorebirds show widespread declines due to a reduction in breeding productivity following agricultural intensification. However, there is also concern that increasing predation causes further declines or precludes population recovery. Predation may itself be enhanced by

  8. Studying wind power-bird interactions during the next decade

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Holder, M. [TransAlta Wind, Calgary, AB (Canada)

    2010-07-01

    This PowerPoint presentation described TransAlta's ongoing study of wind power and bird interactions, and outlined the company's plans for the future. The deaths of large birds were noticed by the public as well as by the operators of wind farms built in response to the energy crisis of the 1970s. Post-construction casualty monitoring was established in 1994 in order to understand the direct effects of wind power projects on birds as well as to amass data and identify the broader issues affecting bird mortalities. Increased regulatory rigour led to a further clarification of the techniques used to monitor bird deaths. A study of the amassed data demonstrated that birds were not being killed in large numbers, but that common bird species in a given area were the most common casualties observed at wind farms. Particular species were not predisposed to be at risk. Significant declines in bird species have been noted in Canada, and many population declines have occurred in species located in landscapes well-suited for wind farms. The declines have meant that more scrutiny is placed on wind development projects and their potential cumulative effect. The direct effects of wind turbines on birds are not yet well-understood. The requirements for pre- and post-construction data collection must be reviewed and amended. Future studies will consider bird casualties as well as habitat and behavioural changes. tabs., figs.

  9. Importance and functions of European grasslands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carlier, L; De Vliegher, A; Van Cleemput, O; Boeckx, P

    2005-01-01

    The European agricultural policy is not simple and needs to accommodate also social and environmental requirements. Grassland will continue to be an important form of land use in Europe, but with increased diversity in management objectives and systems used. Besides its role as basic nutrient for herbivores and ruminants grasslands have opportunities for adding value by exploiting positive health characteristics in animal products from grassland and through the delivery of environmental benefits. In fact grasslands contribute to a high degree to the struggle against erosion and to the regularizing of water regimes, to the purification of fertilizers and pesticides and to biodiversity. Finally they have aesthetic role and recreational function as far as they provide public access that other agricultural uses do not allow. But even for grassland it is very difficult to create a good frame for its different tasks (1) the provision of forage for livestock, (2) protection and conservation of soil and water resources, (3) furnishing a habitat for wildlife, both flora and fauna and (4) contribution to the attractiveness of the landscape. Nevertheless it is the only crop, able to fulfil so many tasks and to fit so many requirements.

  10. [Research progress and trend on grassland agroecology].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ren, Jizhou; Li, Xianglin; Hou, Fujiang

    2002-08-01

    The connotation, progress, research frontiers and developmental trend of grassland agroecology are discussed in this paper. The interface theory, structure and function, coupling and discordance, and health assessment of grassland agroecosystems were recognized as the four research frontiers of the discipline. There exist three primary interfaces in a grassland agroecosystem, i.e., vegetation-site, grassland-animal and production-management. Research into a series of the ecological processes that occurred at these interfaces is the key to revealing the features of the system behavior. There are four sections in a grassland agroecosystem, i.e., pre-plant, plant, animal and post-biotic sections. System coupling and discordance are the two important concepts to describe interactions among the production sections. System coupling among the sections can lead to system improvement by exerting the potential of system capacity. Health of an ecosystem is a reflection of its structure and function, and health assessment is a measurement of its orderliness and service value.

  11. Conservation Reserve Program mitigates grassland loss in the lesser prairie-chicken range of Kansas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haukos, David A.; Spencer, David; Hagen, Christian A.; Daniels, Melinda D.; Goodin, Doug

    2017-01-01

    Since the beginning of the 20th century, the overall occupied range of the lesser prairie-chicken (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus) has declined by 84% commensurate with population trends. Much of this decline has been attributed to the loss and fragmentation of native grasslands throughout the lesser prairie-chicken range. However, quantification of changes in land cover in the distribution of the lesser prairie-chicken is lacking. Our objectives were to (1) document changes in the areal extent and connectivity of grasslands in the identified lesser prairie-chicken range in Kansas, USA, (>60% of extant lesser prairie-chicken population) from the 1950s to 2013 using remotely sensed data and (2) assess the potential of the Conservation Reserve Program (U.S. Department of Agriculture Program converting cropland to permanent cover; CRP) to mitigate grassland loss. Digital land cover maps were generated on a decadal time step through spectral classification of LANDSAT images and visual analysis of aerial photographs (1950s and 1960s). Landscape composition and configuration were assessed using FRAGSTATS to compute a variety of landscape metrics measuring changes in the amount of grassland present as well as changes in the size and configuration of grassland patches. With the exception of a single regional portion of the range, nearly all of the grassland converted to cropland in the lesser prairie-chicken range of Kansas occurred prior to the 1950s. Prior to the implementation of CRP, the amount of grassland decreased 3.6% between the 1950s and 1985 from 18,455 km2 to 17,788 km2. Since 1985, the overall amount of grassland in the lesser prairie-chicken range has increased 11.9% to 19,898 km2 due to implementation of CRP, although the area of grassland decreased between 1994 and 2013 as CRP contracts were not renewed by landowners. Since 1986 grassland in Kansas became more connected and less fragmented in response to the CRP. While the CRP has been successful in

  12. Conservation Reserve Program mitigates grassland loss in the lesser prairie-chicken range of Kansas

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David Spencer

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Since the beginning of the 20th century, the overall occupied range of the lesser prairie-chicken (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus has declined by 84% commensurate with population trends. Much of this decline has been attributed to the loss and fragmentation of native grasslands throughout the lesser prairie-chicken range. However, quantification of changes in land cover in the distribution of the lesser prairie-chicken is lacking. Our objectives were to (1 document changes in the areal extent and connectivity of grasslands in the identified lesser prairie-chicken range in Kansas, USA, (>60% of extant lesser prairie-chicken population from the 1950s to 2013 using remotely sensed data and (2 assess the potential of the Conservation Reserve Program (U.S. Department of Agriculture Program converting cropland to permanent cover; CRP to mitigate grassland loss. Digital land cover maps were generated on a decadal time step through spectral classification of LANDSAT images and visual analysis of aerial photographs (1950s and 1960s. Landscape composition and configuration were assessed using FRAGSTATS to compute a variety of landscape metrics measuring changes in the amount of grassland present as well as changes in the size and configuration of grassland patches. With the exception of a single regional portion of the range, nearly all of the grassland converted to cropland in the lesser prairie-chicken range of Kansas occurred prior to the 1950s. Prior to the implementation of CRP, the amount of grassland decreased 3.6% between the 1950s and 1985 from 18,455 km2 to 17,788 km2. Since 1985, the overall amount of grassland in the lesser prairie-chicken range has increased 11.9% to 19,898 km2 due to implementation of CRP, although the area of grassland decreased between 1994 and 2013 as CRP contracts were not renewed by landowners. Since 1986 grassland in Kansas became more connected and less fragmented in response to the CRP. While the CRP has been successful

  13. Barrier Infrared Detector (BIRD)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — A recent breakthrough in MWIR detector design, has resulted in a high operating temperature (HOT) barrier infrared detector (BIRD) that is capable of spectral...

  14. Calcium metabolism in birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Matos, Ricardo

    2008-01-01

    Calcium is one of the most important plasma constituents in mammals and birds. It provides structural strength and support (bones and eggshell) and plays vital roles in many of the biochemical reactions in the body. The control of calcium metabolism in birds is highly efficient and closely regulated in a number of tissues, primarily parathyroid gland, intestine, kidney, and bone. The hormones with the greatest involvement in calcium regulation in birds are parathyroid hormone, 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D(3) (calcitriol), and estrogen, with calcitonin playing a minor and uncertain role. The special characteristics of calcium metabolism in birds, mainly associated with egg production, are discussed, along with common clinical disorders secondary to derangements in calcium homeostasis.

  15. Birds as biodiversity surrogates

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Larsen, Frank Wugt; Bladt, Jesper Stentoft; Balmford, Andrew

    2012-01-01

    1. Most biodiversity is still unknown, and therefore, priority areas for conservation typically are identified based on the presence of surrogates, or indicator groups. Birds are commonly used as surrogates of biodiversity owing to the wide availability of relevant data and their broad popular...... and applications.?Good surrogates of biodiversity are necessary to help identify conservation areas that will be effective in preventing species extinctions. Birds perform fairly well as surrogates in cases where birds are relatively speciose, but overall effectiveness will be improved by adding additional data...... from other taxa, in particular from range-restricted species. Conservation solutions with focus on birds as biodiversity surrogate could therefore benefit from also incorporating species data from other taxa....

  16. Awesome Audubon Birds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kahler, Laura

    2010-01-01

    In this article, the author describes a watercolor art lesson on Audubon birds. She also discusses how science, technology, writing skills, and the elements and principles of art can be incorporated into the lesson.

  17. Nuisance Birds Webinar Report

    Science.gov (United States)

    All over the nation, birds of all shapes and sizes attempt to make schools a their favorite hangout. Their arrival can lead to sanitation issues, added facility degradation, distracted students and health problems.

  18. Birds - Breeding [ds60

    Data.gov (United States)

    California Natural Resource Agency — This data set provides access to information gathered on annual breeding bird surveys in California using a map layer developed by the Department. This data layer...

  19. Plutonium in a grassland ecosystem

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Little, C.A.

    1976-01-01

    This study was concerned with plutonium contamination of grassland at the U.S. Energy Research and Development Administration Rocky Flats plant northwest of Denver, Colorado. Of interest were: the definition of major plutonium-containing ecosystem compartments; the relative amounts in those compartments; how those values related to studies done in other geogrphical areas; whether or not the predominant isotopes, 238 Pu and 239 Pu, behaved differently; and what mechanisms might have allowed for the observed patterns of contamination. Samples of soil, litter, vegetation, arthropods, and small mammals were collected for plutonium analysis and mass determination from each of two macroplots. Small aliquots (5 g or less) were analyzed by a rapid liquid scintillation technique and by alpha spectrometry. Of the compartments sampled, greater than 99% of the total plutonium was contained in the soil. The concentrations of plutonium in soil were significantly inversely correlated with distance from the contamination source, depth of the sample, and particle size of the sieved soil samples. The soil data suggested that the distribution of contamination largely resulted from physical transport processes. A mechanism of agglomerated submicron plutonium oxide particles and larger (1-500 μm) host soil particles was proposed. Concentrations of Pu in litter and vegetation were inversely correlated to distance from the source and directly correlated to soil concentrations at the same location. Comparatively high concentration ratios of vegetation to soil suggested wind resuspension of contamination as an important transport mechanism. Arthropod and small mammal samples were highly skewed, kurtotic, and quite variable, having coefficients of variation (standard deviation/mean) as high as 600%. Bone Pu concentrations were lower than other tissues. Hide, GI, and lung were generally not higher in Pu than kidney, liver and muscle

  20. Land use change and ecosystem service provision in Pampas and Campos grasslands of southern South America

    Science.gov (United States)

    Modernel, P.; Rossing, W. A. H.; Corbeels, M.; Dogliotti, S.; Picasso, V.; Tittonell, P.

    2016-11-01

    New livestock production models need to simultaneously meet the increasing global demand for meat and preserve biodiversity and ecosystem services. Since the 16th century beef cattle has been produced on the Pampas and Campos native grasslands in southern South America, with only small amounts of external inputs. We synthesised 242 references from peer-reviewed and grey literature published between 1945 and mid-2015 and analysed secondary data to examine the evidence on the ecosystem services provided by this grassland biodiversity hotspot and the way they are affected by land use changes and their drivers. The analysis followed the requirements of systematic review from the PRISMA statement (Moher et al 2009 Acad. Clin. Ann. Intern. Med. 151 264-9). The Pampas and Campos provide feed for 43 million heads of cattle and 14 million sheep. The biome is habitat of 4000 native plant species, 300 species of birds, 29 species of mammals, 49 species of reptiles and 35 species of amphibians. The soils of the region stock 5% of the soil organic carbon of Latin America on 3% of its area. Driven by high prices of soybean, the soybean area increased by 210% between 2000 and 2010, at the expense of 2 million ha (5%) of native grassland, mostly in the Pampas. Intensification of livestock production was apparent in two spatially distinct forms. In subregions where cropping increased, intensification of livestock production was reflected in an increased use of grains for feed as part of feedlots. In subregions dominated by native grasslands, stocking rates increased. The review showed that land use change and grazing regimes with low forage allowances were predominantly associated with negative effects on ecosystem service provision by reducing soil organic carbon stocks and the diversity of plants, birds and mammals, and by increasing soil erosion. We found little quantitative information on changes in the ecosystem services water provision, nutrient cycling and erosion control

  1. Distinguishing Intensity Levels of Grassland Fertilization Using Vegetation Indices

    OpenAIRE

    Jens L. Hollberg; Jürgen Schellberg

    2017-01-01

    Monitoring the reaction of grassland canopies on fertilizer application is of major importance to enable a well-adjusted management supporting a sustainable production of the grass crop. Up to date, grassland managers estimate the nutrient status and growth dynamics of grasslands by costly and time-consuming field surveys, which only provide low temporal and spatial data density. Grassland mapping using remotely-sensed Vegetation Indices (VIs) has the potential to contribute to solving these ...

  2. Modeling birds on wires.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aydoğdu, A; Frasca, P; D'Apice, C; Manzo, R; Thornton, J M; Gachomo, B; Wilson, T; Cheung, B; Tariq, U; Saidel, W; Piccoli, B

    2017-02-21

    In this paper we introduce a mathematical model to study the group dynamics of birds resting on wires. The model is agent-based and postulates attraction-repulsion forces between the interacting birds: the interactions are "topological", in the sense that they involve a given number of neighbors irrespective of their distance. The model is first mathematically analyzed and then simulated to study its main properties: we observe that the model predicts birds to be more widely spaced near the borders of each group. We compare the results from the model with experimental data, derived from the analysis of pictures of pigeons and starlings taken in New Jersey: two different image elaboration protocols allow us to establish a good agreement with the model and to quantify its main parameters. We also discuss the potential handedness of the birds, by analyzing the group organization features and the group dynamics at the arrival of new birds. Finally, we propose a more refined mathematical model that describes landing and departing birds by suitable stochastic processes. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Influence of hiking trails on montane birds

    Science.gov (United States)

    William V. Deluca; David I. King

    2014-01-01

    Montane forests contribute significantly to regional biodiversity. Long-term monitoring data, often located along hiking trails, suggests that several indicator species of this ecosystem have declined in recent decades. Declining montane bird populations have been attributed to anthropogenic stressors such as climate change and atmospheric deposition. Several studies...

  4. Soil acidification and liming in grassland production and grassland soil fertility in Slovenia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jure ČOP

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available This paper reviews the evidences on grassland soil acidity and liming in relation to soil processes and herbage production. There is also an outline of the present state of soil acidity and acidity-related traits – contents of organic matter (OM, phosphorus (P and potassium (K in Slovene grassland. In grassland, soil acidification is an ongoing process under humid climate conditions. It is mainly driven by leaching of nutrients, net loss of cations due to retention in livestock products, use of physiologically acid fertilizers, acid rain and N2 fixation. This process is reduced by strong pH buffering capacity of the soil and by physiologically basic fertilizers. Acid grassland soils in Slovenia are widely distributed in spite of the fact that 44% of the total land has developed from a carbonate parent material. Of the 1713 grassland soil samples analysed during 2005-2007 45% were regarded as acid ones (pH < 5.5; in KCl, 57% as soils with very low P status (˂ 6 mg P2O5/100 g soil and 22% as soils with very low K status (˂ 10 mg K2O/100 soil. Increased content of soil organic matter was identified for alpine pastures (˃ 10 % OM in 44% of samples, mainly as a result of low decomposition rate. Liming of acid grassland soils did not always reflect in a higher herbage yield. The cause for this inefficiency is plant composition of grassland. Thus, many grassland plants with relatively high production potential have adapted to acid soil conditions. To illustrate the inconsistent liming effect three researches are reviewed. In the first two researches liming along with fertilizer application did not increase the yield comparing to the fertilized control while in the third research the increase amounted 26 %. Liming improves considerably botanical composition of the acid grassland (e.g. sward where Common Bent – Agrostis tenuis Sibth. – prevails and thus indirectly affects palatability and nutritive value of herbage. Grassland liming has a weak

  5. Grassland ecology and diversity (Ecologia y diversidad de pastizales)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laurie B. Abbott

    2006-01-01

    Grasslands of the Chihuahuan Desert region are ecologically and economically important. These grasslands are valued for their rangeland, wildlife, watershed, and recreation resources. Biological diversity also raises the value of grassland communities. The potential for multiple uses within the region increases as the diversity of the resource base increases. In order...

  6. Appreciation of the functions of grasslands by Irish stakeholders

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hennessy, D.; Pol-van Dasselaar, van den A.

    2014-01-01

    The European project MultiSward studied the appreciation of different functions of grasslands by European stakeholders. This paper describes the importance of grasslands for stakeholders in Ireland. Ireland currently has approximately 4.6 million ha of grassland, which is 90% of the total utilized

  7. COENOLOGICAL SHIFT FOLLOWING FERTILIZATION IN MEDITERRANEAN GRASSLAND

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    ALESSANDRO SERAFINI SAULI

    2006-05-01

    Full Text Available In Rome both meadows of CentraI-European affinity and Mediterranean dry grasslands are presento We studied a site (Parco Regionale Urbano de] Pineto in Rome with very diverse vegetation, where species belonging to both coenologica] groups oceur. Wc fertilized a grassland with a combination of phosphorus (P and nitrogen (N. After fertilization diagDostie species of Helianthemetea guttati (Thcrophytes dccrease while species of MolinioArrhenatheretea (Hemicriptophytes increase. In a climate as that of Rome, transition between Mediterranean (with summer drought and Central European (without summer drought, nutrients availability modulates the distribution of vegetation Classes with respectively Mediterranean or Central-Europe affinities.

  8. Exposure of the endangered Milky stork population to cadmium and lead via food and water intake in Kuala Gula Bird Sanctuary, Perak, Malaysia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rahman, Faid; Ismail, Ahmad; Omar, Hishamuddin; Hussin, Mohamed Zakaria

    2017-01-01

    The Milky stork is listed as an endangered species endemic to the Southeast Asia region. In Malaysia, the population is currently being reintroduced back into the wild. However, the increase of anthropogenic activity throughout the coastal area might expose the population to hazardous chemicals such as heavy metals. This study highlights the contamination of cadmium (Cd) and lead (Pb) in the Milky stork's diet. Additionally, this is the first time an integrated exposure model being used to assess heavy metal exposure risk to the population. Lead level (5.5-7.98 mg kg -1 ) in particular was relatively high compared to Cd (0.08-0.33 mg kg -1 ). This was probably related to the different niches occupied by the species in the aquatic environment. The results further show that the predicted exposure doses (through intake of both food and water) for all metals are much lower than the Tolerable Daily Intake (TDI) values. The total exposure dose for Cd was 0.11 mg kg -1  d -1 with TDI value of 0.54 mg kg -1  d -1 while Pb total exposure dose was 0.31 mg kg -1  d -1 with TDI value of 0.64 mg kg -1  d -1 . Several possible factors that could lead to the observed pattern were discussed. In conclusion, there is an urgent need to improve the current habitat quality to protect the endangered species. The authors also emphasized on the protection of remaining Milky stork's habitats i.e. mudflats and mangroves and the creation of buffer zone to mitigate the negative impacts that may arise from pollution activity.

  9. Whole-genome patterns of linkage disequilibrium across flycatcher populations clarify the causes and consequences of fine-scale recombination rate variation in birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kawakami, Takeshi; Mugal, Carina F; Suh, Alexander; Nater, Alexander; Burri, Reto; Smeds, Linnéa; Ellegren, Hans

    2017-08-01

    Recombination rate is heterogeneous across the genome of various species and so are genetic diversity and differentiation as a consequence of linked selection. However, we still lack a clear picture of the underlying mechanisms for regulating recombination. Here we estimated fine-scale population recombination rate based on the patterns of linkage disequilibrium across the genomes of multiple populations of two closely related flycatcher species (Ficedula albicollis and F. hypoleuca). This revealed an overall conservation of the recombination landscape between these species at the scale of 200 kb, but we also identified differences in the local rate of recombination despite their recent divergence (recombination rate in a lineage-specific manner, indicating differences in the extent of linked selection between species. We detected 400-3,085 recombination hotspots per population. Location of hotspots was conserved between species, but the intensity of hotspot activity varied between species. Recombination hotspots were primarily associated with CpG islands (CGIs), regardless of whether CGIs were at promoter regions or away from genes. Recombination hotspots were also associated with specific transposable elements (TEs), but this association appears indirect due to shared preferences of the transposition machinery and the recombination machinery for accessible open chromatin regions. Our results suggest that CGIs are a major determinant of the localization of recombination hotspots, and we propose that both the distribution of TEs and fine-scale variation in recombination rate may be associated with the evolution of the epigenetic landscape. © 2017 The Authors. Molecular Ecology Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  10. Mapping Land Cover and Estimating the Grassland Structure in a Priority Area of the Chihuahuan Desert

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alberto Rodríguez-Maturino

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available A field characterization of the grassland vegetation structure, represented by the coverage of grass canopy (CGC and the grass height, was carried out during three years (2009–2011 in a priority area for the conservation of grasslands of North America. Landsat Thematic Mapper (TM5 images were selected and the information of reflectance was obtained based on the geographical location of each field-sampling site. Linear models, constructed with field and satellite data, with high coefficients of determination for CGC (R2 = 0.81, R2 = 0.81 and R2 = 0.72 and grass height (R2 = 0.82, R2 = 0.79 and R2 = 0.73 were obtained. The maps showed a good level of CGC (>25% and grass height (>25 cm, except for the year 2009, which presented the lowest values of grass height in the area. According to the Kappa Index, a moderate concordance among the three CGC maps was presented (0.49–0.59. Conversely, weak and moderate concordances were found among the grass height maps (0.36–0.59. It was observed that areas with a high CGC do not necessarily correspond to areas with greater grass height values. Based on the data analyzed in this study, the grassland areas are highly dynamic, structurally heterogeneous and the spatial distribution of the variables does not show a definite pattern. From the information generated, it is possible to determine those areas that are the most important for monitoring to then establish effective strategies for the conservation of these grasslands and the protection of threatened migratory bird species.

  11. Radioecological sensitivity of permanent grasslands

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Besson, Benoit

    2009-01-01

    The project 'SENSIB' of the Institute for Radiological Protection and Nuclear Safety (IRSN) aims at characterizing and classifying parameters with significant impact on the transfer of radioactive contaminants in the environment. This thesis is focused on permanent grassland areas. Its objectives are the analysis of the activity variations of two artificial radionuclides ( 137 Cs and 90 Sr) in the chain from soil to dairy products as well as the categorization of ecological and anthropogenic parameters, which determine the sensitivity of the studied area. For this study, in situ sampling is carried out in 15 farms in 3 different French regions (Charente, Puy-de-Dome and Jura). The sampling sites are chosen according to their natural variations (geology, altitude and climate) and the soil types. Additionally to the radiologic measurements, geographic, soil and vegetation data as well as data concerning cattle-rearing and cheese manufacturing processes are gathered. From the soil to the grass vegetation, 137 Cs transfer factors vary between 3 x 10-3 and 148 x 10-3 Bq kg-1 (dry weight) per Bq kg-1 (dry weight) (N = 73). Theses transfer factors are significantly higher in the Puy-de-Dome region than in the Jura region. The 137 Cs transfer factor from cattle feed to milk varies from 5.9 x 10-3 to 258 x 10-3 Bq kg-1 (fresh weight) per Bq kg-1 (dry weight) (N = 28). Statistically, it is higher in the Charente region. Finally, the 90 Sr transfer factor from milk to cheese ranges from 3.9 to 12.1. The studied site with the highest factor is the Jura (N = 25). The link between milk and dairy products is the stage with the most 137 Cs and 90 Sr transfers. A nonlinear approach based on a discretization method of the transfer factor with multiple comparison tests admits a classification of the sensitivity factors from soil to grass vegetation. We can determine 20 factors interfering in the 137 Cs transfer into the vegetation, for instance, the clay rate of the soils or a marker

  12. An overview of migratory birds in Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marina Somenzari

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract We reviewed the occurrences and distributional patterns of migratory species of birds in Brazil. A species was classified as migratory when at least part of its population performs cyclical, seasonal movements with high fidelity to its breeding grounds. Of the 1,919 species of birds recorded in Brazil, 198 (10.3% are migratory. Of these, 127 (64% were classified as Migratory and 71 (36% as Partially Migratory. A few species (83; 4.3% were classified as Vagrant and eight (0,4% species could not be defined due to limited information available, or due to conflicting data.

  13. Sustaining the grassland sea: Regional perspectives on identifying, protecting and restoring the Sky Island region's most intact grassland valley landscapes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gitanjali S. Bodner; Peter Warren; David Gori; Karla Sartor; Steven Bassett

    2013-01-01

    Grasslands of the Sky Islands region once covered over 13 million acres in southeastern Arizona and adjacent portions of New Mexico, Sonora, and Chihuahua. Attempts to evaluate current ecological conditions suggest that approximately two thirds of these remain as intact or restorable grassland habitat. These grasslands provide watershed services such as flood control...

  14. Assessing allowable take of migratory birds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Runge, M.C.; Sauer, J.R.; Avery, M.L.; Blackwell, B.F.; Koneff, M.D.

    2009-01-01

    Legal removal of migratory birds from the wild occurs for several reasons, including subsistence, sport harvest, damage control, and the pet trade. We argue that harvest theory provides the basis for assessing the impact of authorized take, advance a simplified rendering of harvest theory known as potential biological removal as a useful starting point for assessing take, and demonstrate this approach with a case study of depredation control of black vultures (Coragyps atratus) in Virginia, USA. Based on data from the North American Breeding Bird Survey and other sources, we estimated that the black vulture population in Virginia was 91,190 (95% credible interval = 44,520?212,100) in 2006. Using a simple population model and available estimates of life-history parameters, we estimated the intrinsic rate of growth (rmax) to be in the range 7?14%, with 10.6% a plausible point estimate. For a take program to seek an equilibrium population size on the conservative side of the yield curve, the rate of take needs to be less than that which achieves a maximum sustained yield (0.5 x rmax). Based on the point estimate for rmax and using the lower 60% credible interval for population size to account for uncertainty, these conditions would be met if the take of black vultures in Virginia in 2006 was < 3,533 birds. Based on regular monitoring data, allowable harvest should be adjusted annually to reflect changes in population size. To initiate discussion about how this assessment framework could be related to the laws and regulations that govern authorization of such take, we suggest that the Migratory Bird Treaty Act requires only that take of native migratory birds be sustainable in the long-term, that is, sustained harvest rate should be < rmax. Further, the ratio of desired harvest rate to 0.5 x rmax may be a useful metric for ascertaining the applicability of specific requirements of the National Environmental Protection Act.

  15. Grasslands feeling the heat: The effects of elevated temperatures on a subtropical grassland

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rowan D. Buhrmann

    2016-12-01

    Conclusions: OTCs can simulate realistic increases of air temperature in subtropical grasslands. Graminoids and shrubs appear to benefit from elevated temperatures whilst forbs decrease in abundance, possibly through competition and/or direct physiological effects.

  16. Exposure of the endangered Milky stork population to cadmium and lead via food and water intake in Kuala Gula Bird Sanctuary, Perak, Malaysia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Faid Rahman

    Full Text Available The Milky stork is listed as an endangered species endemic to the Southeast Asia region. In Malaysia, the population is currently being reintroduced back into the wild. However, the increase of anthropogenic activity throughout the coastal area might expose the population to hazardous chemicals such as heavy metals. This study highlights the contamination of cadmium (Cd and lead (Pb in the Milky stork’s diet. Additionally, this is the first time an integrated exposure model being used to assess heavy metal exposure risk to the population. Lead level (5.5–7.98 mg kg−1 in particular was relatively high compared to Cd (0.08–0.33 mg kg−1. This was probably related to the different niches occupied by the species in the aquatic environment. The results further show that the predicted exposure doses (through intake of both food and water for all metals are much lower than the Tolerable Daily Intake (TDI values. The total exposure dose for Cd was 0.11 mg kg−1 d−1 with TDI value of 0.54 mg kg−1 d−1 while Pb total exposure dose was 0.31 mg kg−1 d−1 with TDI value of 0.64 mg kg−1 d−1. Several possible factors that could lead to the observed pattern were discussed. In conclusion, there is an urgent need to improve the current habitat quality to protect the endangered species. The authors also emphasized on the protection of remaining Milky stork’s habitats i.e. mudflats and mangroves and the creation of buffer zone to mitigate the negative impacts that may arise from pollution activity. Keywords: Milky stork, Heavy metals, Exposure dose, Integrated assessment, Ecotoxicology, Pollution

  17. Aerodynamics of bird flight

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dvořák Rudolf

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Unlike airplanes birds must have either flapping or oscillating wings (the hummingbird. Only such wings can produce both lift and thrust – two sine qua non attributes of flying.The bird wings have several possibilities how to obtain the same functions as airplane wings. All are realized by the system of flight feathers. Birds have also the capabilities of adjusting the shape of the wing according to what the immediate flight situation demands, as well as of responding almost immediately to conditions the flow environment dictates, such as wind gusts, object avoidance, target tracking, etc. In bird aerodynamics also the tail plays an important role. To fly, wings impart downward momentum to the surrounding air and obtain lift by reaction. How this is achieved under various flight situations (cruise flight, hovering, landing, etc., and what the role is of the wing-generated vortices in producing lift and thrust is discussed.The issue of studying bird flight experimentally from in vivo or in vitro experiments is also briefly discussed.

  18. Sex Reversal in Birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Major, Andrew T; Smith, Craig A

    2016-01-01

    Sexual differentiation in birds is controlled genetically as in mammals, although the sex chromosomes are different. Males have a ZZ sex chromosome constitution, while females are ZW. Gene(s) on the sex chromosomes must initiate gonadal sex differentiation during embryonic life, inducing paired testes in ZZ individuals and unilateral ovaries in ZW individuals. The traditional view of avian sexual differentiation aligns with that expounded for other vertebrates; upon sexual differentiation, the gonads secrete sex steroid hormones that masculinise or feminise the rest of the body. However, recent studies on naturally occurring or experimentally induced avian sex reversal suggest a significant role for direct genetic factors, in addition to sex hormones, in regulating sexual differentiation of the soma in birds. This review will provide an overview of sex determination in birds and both naturally and experimentally induced sex reversal, with emphasis on the key role of oestrogen. We then consider how recent studies on sex reversal and gynandromorphic birds (half male:half female) are shaping our understanding of sexual differentiation in avians and in vertebrates more broadly. Current evidence shows that sexual differentiation in birds is a mix of direct genetic and hormonal mechanisms. Perturbation of either of these components may lead to sex reversal. © 2016 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  19. Wet Grasslands as a Green Infrastructure for Ecological Sustainability: Wader Conservation in Southern Sweden as a Case Study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael Manton

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Biosphere Reserves aim at being role models for biodiversity conservation. This study focuses on the unsuccessful conservation of waders (Charadrii on wet grasslands in the Kristianstad Vattenrike Biosphere Reserve (KVBR in southern Sweden. Predation on nests and young has been proposed as one reason contributing to the decline of waders. We explored this hypothesis by comparing two landscapes, one with declining (KVBR and one with stable (Östergötland wader populations on managed wet grasslands in southern Sweden. Specifically, we tested three predictions linked to predation on wader nests and young, namely that (1 the relative abundance of avian predators and waders; (2 the avian predator abundance; and (3 the predation rate on artificial wader nests, should all be higher in declining versus stable populations. All predictions were clearly supported. Nevertheless, predation may not be the ultimate factor causing wader population declines. We discuss the cumulative effects of landscape change linked to increased food resources for predators, reduced wet grassland patch size and quality. Holistic analyses of multiple wet grassland landscapes as social-ecological systems as case studies, including processes such as predation and other factors affecting waders, is a promising avenue towards collaborative learning for wet grasslands as a functional green infrastructure. However, if governance and management approaches can be improved is questionable without considerable investment in both ecological and social systems.

  20. On the stability of mixed grasslands

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schulte, R.P.O.

    2001-01-01

    Recent years have seen a renewed interest in the use of white clover (Trifolium repens) in grasslands, as a more sustainable alternative to fertiliser nitrogen inputs. However, mixtures of grasses and white clover have frequently been associated with unstable and hence unreliable herbage

  1. Purpose and Need for a Grassland Assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deborah M. Finch; Cathy W. Dahms

    2004-01-01

    This report is volume 1 of an ecological assessment of grassland ecosystems in the Southwestern United States, and it is one of a series of planned publications addressing major ecosystems of the Southwest. The first assessment, General Technical Report RM-GTR- 295, An Assessment of Forest Ecosystem Health in the Southwest (by Dahms and Geils, technical editors,...

  2. [Spatiotemporal characteristics of MODIS NDVI in Hulunber Grassland].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Hong-Bin; Yang, Gui-Xia; Wu, Wen-Bin; Li, Gang; Chen, Bao-Rui; Xin, Xiao-Ping

    2009-11-01

    Time-series MODIS NDVI datasets from 2000 to 2008 were used to study the spatial change trend, fluctuation degree, and occurrence time of the annual NDVImax of four typical grassland types, i.e., lowland meadow, temperate steppe, temperate meadow steppe, and upland meadow, in Hulunber Grassland. In 2000-2008, the vegetation in Hulunber Grassland presented an obvious deterioration trend. The mean annual NDVImax of the four grassland types had a great fluctuation, especially in temperate steppe where the maximum change in the mean value of annual NDVImax approximated to 50%. As for the area change of different grade grasslands, the areas with NDVImax between 0.4 and 1 accounted for about 91% of the total grassland area, which suggested the good vegetation coverage in the Grassland. However, though the areas with NDVImax values in (0.4, 0.8) showed an increasing trend, the areas with NDVImax values in (0.2, 0.4) and (0.8, 1) decreased greatly in the study period. Overall, the deteriorating grassland took up about 66.25% of the total area, and the restoring grassland took the rest. There was about 62.85% of the grassland whose NDVImax occurred between the 193rd day and the 225th day in each year, indicating that this period was the most important vegetation growth season in Hulunber Grassland.

  3. Determinants of Mammal and Bird Species Richness in China Based on Habitat Groups.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Haigen Xu

    Full Text Available Understanding the spatial patterns in species richness is a central issue in macroecology and biogeography. Analyses that have traditionally focused on overall species richness limit the generality and depth of inference. Spatial patterns of species richness and the mechanisms that underpin them in China remain poorly documented. We created a database of the distribution of 580 mammal species and 849 resident bird species from 2376 counties in China and established spatial linear models to identify the determinants of species richness and test the roles of five hypotheses for overall mammals and resident birds and the 11 habitat groups among the two taxa. Our result showed that elevation variability was the most important determinant of species richness of overall mammal and bird species. It is indicated that the most prominent predictors of species richness varied among different habitat groups: elevation variability for forest and shrub mammals and birds, temperature annual range for grassland and desert mammals and wetland birds, net primary productivity for farmland mammals, maximum temperature of the warmest month for cave mammals, and precipitation of the driest quarter for grassland and desert birds. Noteworthily, main land cover type was also found to obviously influence mammal and bird species richness in forests, shrubs and wetlands under the disturbance of intensified human activities. Our findings revealed a substantial divergence in the species richness patterns among different habitat groups and highlighted the group-specific and disparate environmental associations that underpin them. As we demonstrate, a focus on overall species richness alone might lead to incomplete or misguided understanding of spatial patterns. Conservation priorities that consider a broad spectrum of habitat groups will be more successful in safeguarding the multiple services of biodiversity.

  4. Aging in Birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Travin, D Y; Feniouk, B A

    2016-12-01

    Rodents are the most commonly used model organisms in studies of aging in vertebrates. However, there are species that may suit this role much better. Most birds (Aves), having higher rate of metabolism, live two-to-three times longer than mammals of the same size. This mini-review briefly covers several evolutionary, ecological, and physiological aspects that may contribute to the phenomenon of birds' longevity. The role of different molecular mechanisms known to take part in the process of aging according to various existing theories, e.g. telomere shortening, protection against reactive oxygen species, and formation of advanced glycation end-products is discussed. We also address some features of birds' aging that make this group unique and perspective model organisms in longevity studies.

  5. Cook Inlet and Kenai Peninsula, Alaska ESI: BIRDS (Bird Polygons)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set contains biological resource data for alcids, shorebirds, waterfowl, diving birds, pelagic birds, gulls and terns in Cook Inlet and Kenai Peninsula,...

  6. Wind power and bird kills

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Raynolds, M.

    1998-01-01

    The accidental killing of birds by wind generators, and design improvements in the towers that support the turbines that might cut down on the bird killings were discussed. The first problem for the industry began in the late 1980s when the California Energy Commission reported as many as 160 birds (the majority being raptors, including the protected golden eagle) killed in one year in the vicinity of wind power plants. The key factor identified was the design of the towers as birds of prey are attracted to lattice towers as a place to hunt from. Tubular towers do not provide a place for the birds to perch, therefore they reduce the potential for bird strikes. Bird strikes also have been reported in Spain and the siting of the towers have been considered as the principal cause of the bird strikes. In view of these incidents, the wind power industry is developing standards for studying the potential of bird strikes and is continuing to study bird behaviour leading to collisions, the impact of topography, cumulative impacts and new techniques to reduce bird strikes. Despite the reported incidents, the risk of bird strikes by wind turbines, compared to other threats to birds such as pollution, oil spills, and other threats from fossil and nuclear fuels, is considered to be negligible. With continuing efforts to minimize incidents by proper design and siting, wind power can continue to grow as an environmentally sound and efficient source of energy

  7. Wind power and bird kills

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Raynolds, M.

    1998-12-01

    The accidental killing of birds by wind generators, and design improvements in the towers that support the turbines that might cut down on the bird killings were discussed. The first problem for the industry began in the late 1980s when the California Energy Commission reported as many as 160 birds (the majority being raptors, including the protected golden eagle) killed in one year in the vicinity of wind power plants. The key factor identified was the design of the towers as birds of prey are attracted to lattice towers as a place to hunt from. Tubular towers do not provide a place for the birds to perch, therefore they reduce the potential for bird strikes. Bird strikes also have been reported in Spain and the siting of the towers have been considered as the principal cause of the bird strikes. In view of these incidents, the wind power industry is developing standards for studying the potential of bird strikes and is continuing to study bird behaviour leading to collisions, the impact of topography, cumulative impacts and new techniques to reduce bird strikes. Despite the reported incidents, the risk of bird strikes by wind turbines, compared to other threats to birds such as pollution, oil spills, and other threats from fossil and nuclear fuels, is considered to be negligible. With continuing efforts to minimize incidents by proper design and siting, wind power can continue to grow as an environmentally sound and efficient source of energy.

  8. Conserving Prairie Pothole Region wetlands and surrounding grasslands: evaluating effects on amphibians

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mushet, David M.; Neau, Jordan L.

    2014-01-01

    The maintenance of viable and genetically diverse populations of amphibians in the Prairie Pothole Region of the United States depends on upland as well as wetland over-wintering and landscape level habitat features.Prairie pothole wetlands provide important amphibian breeding habitat while grasslands surrounding these wetlands provide foraging habitat for adults, overwintering habitat for some species, and important connectivity among breeding wetlands.Grasslands surrounding wetlands were found to be especially important for wood frogs and northern leopard frogs, while croplands dominated habitat utilized by Great Plains toads and Woodhouse’s toads.Habitat suitability mapping highlighted (1) the influence of deep-water overwintering wetlands on suitable habitat for four of five anuran species encountered; (2) the lack of overlap between areas of core habitat for both the northern leopard frog and wood frog compared to the core habitat for both toad species; and (3) the importance of conservation programs in providing grassland components of northern leopard frog and wood frog habitat.Currently, there are approximately 7.2 million acres (2.9 million hectares, ha) of habitat in the PPR identified as suitable for amphibians. WRP and CRP wetland and grassland habitats accounted for approximately 1.9 million acres (0.75 million ha) or 26 percent of this total area.Continued loss of amphibian habitat resulting from an ongoing trend of returning PPR conservation lands to crop production, will likely have significant negative effects on the region’s ability to maintain amphibian biodiversity. Conversely, increases in conservation wetlands and surrounding grasslands on the PPR landscape have great potential to positively influence the region’s amphibian populations.

  9. Blood protozoa of free-living birds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herman, C.M.; McDiarmid, Archibald

    1969-01-01

    Blood protozoa were first reported from wild birds in 1884. Since then numerous surveys throughout the world have demonstrated their presence in a wide variety of hosts and localities with continuing designations of new species. Taxonomic determinations include parasites in the genera Plasmodium, Haemoproteus, Leucocytozoon, Babesia, Lankesterella and Trypanosoma. Transmission of Plasmodium by mosquitoes was demonstrated with a bird parasite before these insects were proven as vectors of human malaria. All the genera under consideration require an insect vector to complete their life-cycles and susceptible vectors have been demonstrated. Most experimental work on the blood protozoa of birds has been carried on with captive birds. An extensive volume of research has been conducted on Plasmodium because of its close similarity to malaria in man. Field studies that would provide information on the epizootiology of occurrence of these parasites in wild populations have been very limited, mainly confined to single blood film surveys. Such data are inadequate to provide an understanding of true prevalence or incidence or of factual knowledge of their impact on the wild population. Mechanisms for procuring such information are available in some cases and can be developed to fit other situations. Isodiagnosis, inoculation of blood from wild birds into susceptible captive hosts, has revealed a prevalence of over 60 % for Plasmodium in situations where microscope examination of single peripheral blood preparations yielded less than 1 %. Culture of bone marrow collected by biopsy demonstrates high prevalence of trypanosomes even when none are evident from microscopic examination of blood. Often preparations of tissues collected at necropsy reveal Leucocytozoon and Lankesterella when examination of peripheral blood gave no indication of infection. Methods developed by bird ringers provide techniques for obtaining repeat examinations of free-living birds that can yield further

  10. Europe's last Mesozoic bird

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dyke, Gareth J.; Dortangs, Rudi W.; Jagt, John W.; Mulder, Eric W. A.; Schulp, Anne S.; Chiappe, Luis M.

    2002-01-01

    Birds known from more than isolated skeletal elements are rare in the fossil record, especially from the European Mesozoic. This paucity has hindered interpretations of avian evolution immediately prior to, and in the aftermath of, the Cretaceous-Tertiary (K-T) extinction event. We report on a

  11. The Umbrella Bird

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Crandall, Lee S.

    1949-01-01

    When CHARLES CORDIER arrived from Costa Rica on October 9, 1942, bringing with him, among other great rarities, three Bare-necked Umbrella Birds (Cephalopterus ornatus glabricollis), it seemed to us that the mere possession of such fabulous creatures was satisfaction enough. True, they were not

  12. Timber and forest birds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brian Roy Lockhart

    2009-01-01

    Many years ago, I had an epiphany that I would like to share. Several students and I were installing research plots in the forests on Pittman Island, Issaquena County, Mississippi, an island adjacent to the Mississippi River, near the borders of Arkansas, Mississippi, and Louisiana. While eating lunch, we watched a bird, more specifically a prothonotary warbler (

  13. Fish, birds and flies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gibbings, J. C.

    2013-04-01

    The article in your animal physics special issue on the use of magnetic field sensing in bird navigation (November 2012 pp38-42) reminded me of a comment made regarding a paper that I presented in the US many years ago.

  14. Eating Like a Bird.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brothers, Chris; Fortner, Rosanne W.

    This teacher guide and student workbook set contains two learning activities, designed for fifth through ninth grade students, that concentrate on the adaptations of shorebird beaks for a variety of habitats and food sources, and the effect of toxic chemicals in the food chain on the birds. In activity A, students discover how shorebirds are…

  15. Species Richness Responses to Structural or Compositional Habitat Diversity between and within Grassland Patches: A Multi-Taxon Approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lengyel, Szabolcs; Déri, Eszter; Magura, Tibor

    2016-01-01

    Habitat diversity (spatial heterogeneity within and between habitat patches in a landscape, HD) is often invoked as a driver of species diversity at small spatial scales. However, the effect of HD on species richness (SR) of multiple taxa is not well understood. We quantified HD and SR in a wet-dry gradient of open grassland habitats in Hortobágy National Park (E-Hungary) and tested the effect of compositional and structural factors of HD on SR of flowering plants, orthopterans, true bugs, spiders, ground beetles and birds. Our dataset on 434 grassland species (170 plants, 264 animals) showed that the wet-dry gradient (compositional HD at the between-patch scale) was primarily related to SR in orthopterans, ground-dwelling arthropods, and all animals combined. The patchiness, or plant association richness, of the vegetation (compositional HD at the within-patch scale) was related to SR of vegetation-dwelling arthropods, whereas vegetation height (structural HD at the within-patch scale) was related to SR of ground-dwelling arthropods and birds. Patch area was related to SR only in birds, whereas management (grazing, mowing, none) was related to SR of plants and true bugs. All relationships between HD and SR were positive, indicating increasing SR with increasing HD. However, total SR was not related to HD because different taxa showed similar positive responses to different HD variables. Our findings, therefore, show that even though HD positively influences SR in a wide range of grassland taxa, each taxon responds to different compositional or structural measures of HD, resulting in the lack of a consistent relationship between HD and SR when taxon responses are pooled. The idiosyncratic responses shown here exemplify the difficulties in detecting general HD-SR relationships over multiple taxa. Our results also suggest that management and restoration aimed specifically to sustain or increase the diversity of habitats are required to conserve biodiversity in

  16. Species Richness Responses to Structural or Compositional Habitat Diversity between and within Grassland Patches: A Multi-Taxon Approach.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Szabolcs Lengyel

    Full Text Available Habitat diversity (spatial heterogeneity within and between habitat patches in a landscape, HD is often invoked as a driver of species diversity at small spatial scales. However, the effect of HD on species richness (SR of multiple taxa is not well understood. We quantified HD and SR in a wet-dry gradient of open grassland habitats in Hortobágy National Park (E-Hungary and tested the effect of compositional and structural factors of HD on SR of flowering plants, orthopterans, true bugs, spiders, ground beetles and birds. Our dataset on 434 grassland species (170 plants, 264 animals showed that the wet-dry gradient (compositional HD at the between-patch scale was primarily related to SR in orthopterans, ground-dwelling arthropods, and all animals combined. The patchiness, or plant association richness, of the vegetation (compositional HD at the within-patch scale was related to SR of vegetation-dwelling arthropods, whereas vegetation height (structural HD at the within-patch scale was related to SR of ground-dwelling arthropods and birds. Patch area was related to SR only in birds, whereas management (grazing, mowing, none was related to SR of plants and true bugs. All relationships between HD and SR were positive, indicating increasing SR with increasing HD. However, total SR was not related to HD because different taxa showed similar positive responses to different HD variables. Our findings, therefore, show that even though HD positively influences SR in a wide range of grassland taxa, each taxon responds to different compositional or structural measures of HD, resulting in the lack of a consistent relationship between HD and SR when taxon responses are pooled. The idiosyncratic responses shown here exemplify the difficulties in detecting general HD-SR relationships over multiple taxa. Our results also suggest that management and restoration aimed specifically to sustain or increase the diversity of habitats are required to conserve

  17. Food preferences of winter bird communities in different forest types.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Swen C Renner

    Full Text Available Food availability for forest birds is a function of habitat type, forest management regime, and season. In winter, it is also impacted by variations in the weather. In the current study we assessed the food preferences of wild bird populations in two types of forest (spruce and beech during the months of November 2010 to April 2011 in the Schwäbische Alb Biodiversity Exploratory, south-western Germany. Our aim was to investigate whether local bird communities preferred fat-rich, carbohydrate-rich or wild fruits and to determine how forest structure, seasonality and local weather conditions affected food preferences. We found higher bird activity in beech forests for the eleven resident species. We observed a clear preference for fat-rich food for all birds in both forest types. Snow cover affected activity at food stations but did not affect food preferences. Periods of extreme low temperatures increased activity.

  18. Breeding Ecology of Birds -22 ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    or drive the birds away. However, the droppings of the birds provide a rich source of fertilizer and this ... birds of India are under severe threat and require urgent protection. he~ries'(Box 1), can ... there will be no fish and then suddenly a school.

  19. Radionuclides and the birds at Ravenglass

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lowe, V.P.W.

    1991-01-01

    Since 1983 concern has been expressed about the apparent decline in numbers of birds in the Ravenglass estuary in west Cumbria, particularly of the black-headed gull colony on the Drigg dunes, and suggestions have been made that this decline might be due to excessive radiation in the birds' food and their general environment. Twelve species of marine invertebrates from Ravenglass, known to be important foods for birds, were analysed, and further samples were taken from sites along the west Cumbrian coast. None of these samples showed excessive contamination with any of the radionuclides analysed. Analysis of a sample of bird carcasses from the area showed oystercatchers (Haematopus ostralegus) and shelduck (Tadorna tadorna) to have some of the highest concentrations of 137 Cs in their tissues; yet their breeding success and populations were not affected. Black-headed gulls were found to be feeding mainly inland, and were the least contaminated with radionuclides of all the birds at Ravenglass, yet this species and its breeding success were in decline. Calculations of the total dose equivalent rate to the whole body of the most contaminated black-headed gull amounted to 9.8 x 10 -4 mSv h -1 (∼ 8.4 x 10 -4 mGy h -1 , whole-body absorbed dose rate), and the background exposure dose was of the order of 8.3 x 10 -4 mGy h -1 . As a minimum chronic dose of 1000 mGy day -1 has been found necessary to retard growth of nestling birds, and 9600 mGy over 20 days of incubation to cause the death of 50% of embryos in black-headed gulls' eggs, the concentrations of radionuclides in the foods, body tissues and general environment were at least three orders of magnitude too low to have had any effects. (author)

  20. 14 CFR 33.76 - Bird ingestion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    ... single bird, the single largest medium bird which can enter the inlet, and the large flocking bird must...) (d) Large flocking bird. An engine test will be performed as follows: (1) Large flocking bird engine.... (4) Ingestion of a large flocking bird under the conditions prescribed in this paragraph must not...

  1. Management effect on bird and arthropod interaction in suburban woodlands

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-01-01

    Background Experiments from a range of ecosystems have shown that insectivorous birds are important in controlling the populations of their invertebrate prey. Here, we report on a large field experiment testing the hypothesis that management for enhancing recreational values in suburban woodlands affects the intensity of bird predation on canopy-living arthropods. Bird exclosures were used in two types of management (understory clearance and dense understory) at two foraging heights in oak Quercus robur canopies and the experiment was replicated at two sites. Results The biomass and abundance of arthropods were high on net-enclosed branches but strongly reduced on control branches in both types of management. In woods with dense understory, the effect of bird predation on arthropod abundance was about twice as high as in woods with understory clearance. The effect of bird predation on arthropod biomass was not significantly affected by management. Conclusions Our data provide experimental evidence to support the idea that bird predation on arthropods can be affected by forest management. We suggest that the mechanism is twofold: reduction of bird abundance and shift of foraging behaviour. In urban woodlands, there may be a management trade-off between enhancing recreational values and promoting bird predation rates on arthropods. PMID:21362174

  2. The effect of the Sep wind park near Oosterbierum, Friesland, The Netherlands, on birds. De invloed van de Sep-proefwindcentrale te Oosterbierum (Friesland) op vogels; Deel 4: Verstoring

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Winkelman, J E

    1992-01-01

    The title study concerns the period 1984-1991. The wind park consists of 18 three-bladed 300 kW horizontal axis wind turbines of 35 meters height, and a rotor diameter of 30 meters, seven meteorological towers, and three cluster and control buildings. Aspects studied included disturbance of breeding, resting or feeding, and migrating birds, behavior of birds approaching the wind turbines during the day and night, and bird victims due to collision with the wind turbines and the meteorological towers. In this report attention is paid to the disturbance of the bird's biotope. The results show that four species of grassland birds, breeding in the park, were hardly disturbed by the wind turbines. For feeding and resting birds, however, disturbance effects were noted, even at a distance of 500 meters from the outside wind turbine array. The present number of bird species reduced 60-95%, dependent on the species, after the wind park was put into operation. Also the behavior of migrating birds was influenced by the wind park, showed in clustering of groups or avoiding the wind park, sometimes up to 67% of the birds did so. It is therefore recommended not to implement new wind parks in important bird migration and bird feeding or bird resting areas. Bird popular areas, however, are mostly windy areas. 15 figs., 25 tabs., 56 app., 128 refs.

  3. Pesticide residues in birds and mammals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stickel, L.F.; Edwards, C.A.

    1973-01-01

    exposure to an organochlorine pesticide, the concentrations of residues in the different tissues are ordinarily directly correlated with each other. When the dosage is at lethal levels, or when stored residues are mobilised to lethal levels, the balanced relationship is disrupted. The concentrations of residues in the brain provide the most rigorous criteria for diagnosis of death due to these chemicals, and levels are generally similar across a wide range of species of birds and mammals. Residues in liver are closely correlated with recent dose, either from direct intake or from mobilisation from storage, and so reflect hazardous exposure. Residues in the whole carcass show the storage reserve, and so indicate the potential for adverse effects from lethal mobilisation or from the continuous slow mobilisation that occurs during the normal processes of metabolism and excretion. A synchronous, rapid, and widespread decline in weight and thickness of shells of eggs laid by many species of wild birds occurred in the late 1940's and has persisted. Birds of prey were primarily affected; exceptions apparently are the result of lesser exposure because of different food habits. Many species of fish-eating birds are also affected. Others, however, appear to be more resistant and to accumulate much higher residues before shell-thinning occurs. Seed-eating birds do not appear to have been generally affected; their exposure is ordinarily lower, but physiological factors also seem to be involved. A relationship between shell-thinning and population decline has been established for many species. In exceptional cases, such as the herring gull, persistent re-nesting and other population reactions have overcome adverse effects at the population level. The discovery of shell-thinning among natural populations, and the hypothesis that this thinning was related to the occurrence of organochlorine pesticides, stimulated experimental studies to determine wheth

  4. Paths more traveled: Predicting future recreation pressures on America’s national forests and grasslands - a Forests on the Edge report

    Science.gov (United States)

    Donald B. K. English; Pam Froemke; Kathleen Hawkos

    2014-01-01

    Populations near many national forests and grasslands are rising and are outpacing growth elsewhere in the United States. We used National Visitor Use Monitoring (NVUM) data and U.S. census data to examine growth in population and locally based recreation visits within 50 and 100 miles of National Forest System (NFS) boundaries. From 1990 to 2010, the population living...

  5. Energy analysis of various grassland utilisation systems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jozef Ržonca

    2005-01-01

    Full Text Available In 2003 and 2004 was carried out the energy analysis of the different types of permanent grassland utilization on the Hrubý Jeseník locality. There were estimated values of the particular entrances of additional energy. Energy entrances moved according to the pratotechnologies from 2.17 GJ. ha–1 to 22.70 GJ.ha–1. The biggest share on energy entrances had fertilizers. It was 84.93% by the nitrogen fertilisation. The most energy benefit of brutto and nettoenergy was marked by the low intensive utilisation (33.40 GJ.ha–1 NEL and 32.40 GJ.ha–1 NEV on average. The highest value of energy efficiency (13.23% was marked by the low intensive utilization of permanent grassland. By using of higher doses of industrial fertilizers has energy efficiency decreased. From view of energy benefit and intensiveness on energy entrances it appears the most available utilisation of permanent grassland with three cuts per year (first cut on May 31st at the latest, every next after 60 days or two cuts per year (first cut on July 15th, next cuts after 90 days.

  6. Atmospheric conditions create freeways, detours and tailbacks for migrating birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shamoun-Baranes, Judy; Liechti, Felix; Vansteelant, Wouter M G

    2017-07-01

    The extraordinary adaptations of birds to contend with atmospheric conditions during their migratory flights have captivated ecologists for decades. During the 21st century technological advances have sparked a revival of research into the influence of weather on migrating birds. Using biologging technology, flight behaviour is measured across entire flyways, weather radar networks quantify large-scale migratory fluxes, citizen scientists gather observations of migrant birds and mechanistic models are used to simulate migration in dynamic aerial environments. In this review, we first introduce the most relevant microscale, mesoscale and synoptic scale atmospheric phenomena from the point of view of a migrating bird. We then provide an overview of the individual responses of migrant birds (when, where and how to fly) in relation to these phenomena. We explore the cumulative impact of individual responses to weather during migration, and the consequences thereof for populations and migratory systems. In general, individual birds seem to have a much more flexible response to weather than previously thought, but we also note similarities in migratory behaviour across taxa. We propose various avenues for future research through which we expect to derive more fundamental insights into the influence of weather on the evolution of migratory behaviour and the life-history, population dynamics and species distributions of migrant birds.

  7. Radium-226 in wetland birds from Florida phosphate mines

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Myers, O.B.; Marion, W.R.; O'Meara, T.E.; Roessler, C.E.

    1989-01-01

    Radium-226 is a naturally-occurring radionuclide found in enhanced levels at Florida phosphate mines. We inventoried levels of radium-226 in the tissues of 4 wetland bird species from 2 mined and 2 umined areas in Florida. Bone tissues of wood duck (Aix sponsa), mottled duck (Anas fulvigula), common moorhen (Gallinula chloropus), and double-crested cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus) colleted at phosphate mines contained more radium-226 than tissues from unmined areas. Radium-226 concentrations in these birds were within guidelines inferred from radiological standards designed for human protection and should not adversely affect bird populations

  8. Effects of grassland management on the emission of methane from grassland on peat soils

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Oenema, O. [Department of Soil Science and Plant Nutrition, Wageningen Agricultural University, Wageningen (Netherlands)

    1995-12-31

    The aim of the project on the title subject is to provide insight into the major controlling factors that contribute to the net exchange rates of methane (CH4) between grassland and atmosphere, and to provide quantitative net CH4 emission rates. Net CH4 emissions have been monitored with vented closed flux chambers on both intensively managed grasslands and grasslands in a nature preserve on peat soil in the Netherlands. Net CH4 emissions from intensively managed grasslands (Zegveld, Netherlands) were low in the period January-December 1994, in general in the range of -0.2 to 0.2 mg CH4 m{sup -2} d{sup -1}. Only in the relatively warm summer of 1994, consumption of atmospheric CH4 of about 0.4 mg m{sup -2} d{sup -1} was measured. Effects of ground water level in the range of 30-60 cm below surface were very small. There were also no clear effects of nitrogen fertilization and grazing versus mowing on CH4 emission from the soil. Net CH4 emissions from three extensively managed grasslands in a nature preserve (Nieuwkoopse Plassen area in the Netherlands) ranged from 0-215 mg CH4 m{sup -2} d{sup -1} in the period January 1994-June 1995. Differences between the three sites were quite large, as were the spatial variations at each of the sites. The results presented here indicate that a shift of intensively managed peat grasslands into more natural ecosystems will significantly increase the contribution of Dutch peat soils to the total CH4 emission. refs.

  9. Windmills and birds

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Moeller, N W; Poulsen, E

    1984-07-01

    The objective of this study is an investigation of potential conflicts between windmills and birds. Emphasis is on frightening, collision risk and biotopic changes due to windmill systems. The study is based on the environment of Koldby and Nibe windmills (South Jutland). Biotopic changes were not observed around the existing windmills. Drainage of mill grounds at Nibe had probably no effect on water level in the area around; a longer observation is necessary to draw any decisive conclusions.(EG).

  10. Comparison of semiautomated bird song recognition with manual detection of recorded bird song samples

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lisa A. Venier

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Automated recording units are increasingly being used to sample wildlife populations. These devices can produce large amounts of data that are difficult to process manually. However, the information in the recordings can be summarized with semiautomated sound recognition software. Our objective was to assess the utility of the semiautomated bird song recognizers to produce data useful for conservation and sustainable forest management applications. We compared detection data generated from expert-interpreted recordings of bird songs collected with automated recording units and data derived from a semiautomated recognition process. We recorded bird songs at 109 sites in boreal forest in 2013 and 2014 using automated recording units. We developed bird-song recognizers for 10 species using Song Scope software (Wildlife Acoustics and each recognizer was used to scan a set of recordings that was also interpreted manually by an expert in birdsong identification. We used occupancy models to estimate the detection probability associated with each method. Based on these detection probability estimates we produced cumulative detection probability curves. In a second analysis we estimated detection probability of bird song recognizers using multiple 10-minute recordings for a single station and visit (35-63, 10-minute recordings in each of four one-week periods. Results show that the detection probability of most species from single 10-min recordings is substantially higher using expert-interpreted bird song recordings than using the song recognizer software. However, our results also indicate that detection probabilities for song recognizers can be significantly improved by using more than a single 10-minute recording, which can be easily done with little additional cost with the automate procedure. Based on these results we suggest that automated recording units and song recognizer software can be valuable tools to estimate detection probability and

  11. Does introduction of clover in an agricultural grassland affect the food base and functional diversity of Collembola?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Annibale, D' Alessandra; Sechi, Valentina; Larsen, Thomas; Christensen, Søren; Krogh, Paul Henning; Eriksen, Jørgen

    2017-01-01

    Introduction of legumes (i.e. white clover) in agricultural grasslands is a common practice to improve yields, but how this affects soil fauna populations, particularly mesofauna, is still poorly understood. We investigated taxonomical and functional differences of Collembola communities between

  12. Drought effect on selection of conservation reserve program grasslands by white-tailed deer on the Northern Great Plains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grovenburg, T.W.; Jacques, C.N.; Klaver, R.W.; Jenks, J.A.

    2011-01-01

    Limited information exists regarding summer resource selection of white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) in grassland regions of the Northern Great Plains. During summers 2005-2006, we analyzed habitat selection of adult female white-tailed deer in north-central South Dakota. We collected 1905 summer locations and used 21 and 30 home ranges during 2005 and 2006, respectively, to estimate habitat selection. Results indicated that selection occurred at the population (P rural development areas containing permanent water sources during extreme drought conditions during 2006. Deer likely selected for fields of CRP grasslands during early summer for cover and natural forages, such as clover (Trifolium sp.), prior to the period when agricultural crops become available. Drought conditions occurring in semiarid prairie grassland regions may reduce food and water availability and contribute to subsequent changes in deer habitat selection across the range of the species.

  13. Birds of a Great Basin Sagebrush Habitat in East-Central Nevada

    OpenAIRE

    United States Department of Agriculture, Forest Service

    1992-01-01

    Breeding bird populations ranged from 3.35 to 3.48 individuals/ha over a 3-year study conducted from 1981 to 1983. Brewer's sparrows, sage sparrows, sage thrashers, and black-throated sparrows were numerically dominant. Horned larks and western meadowlarks were less common. Results are compared with bird populations in Great Basin sagebrush habitats elsewhere in the United States.

  14. MIGRATORY GAME BIRDS AS A SOURCE OF PUBLIC EXPOSURE FROM THE FUKUSHIMA NUCLEAR POWER PLANT ACCIDENT

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    I. P. Stamat

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available This article examines assessments of the impact of the Fukushima nuclear power plant accident on exposure of the Russian Federation population related to the seasonal migration of game birds. Intake of artificial radionuclides with meat of migratory game birds is shown to be one of the major pathways for the population exposure in the Far Eastern region of the country.

  15. Long-term decline of a winter-resident bird community in Puerto Rico

    Science.gov (United States)

    J. Faaborg; W. J. Arendt; J. D. Toms; K. M. Dugger; W. A. Cox; M. Canals Mora

    2013-01-01

    Despite concern expressed two decades ago, there has been little recent discussion about continuing declines of migrant bird populations. Monitoring efforts have been focused almost exclusively on the breeding grounds. We describe the long-term decline of a winter-resident bird population in Guanica Commonwealth Forest, Puerto Rico, one of the last remaining tracts of...

  16. Bird species diversity and nesting success in mature, clearcut and shelterwood forest in northern New Hampshire, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    David I. King; Richard M. DeGraaf

    2000-01-01

    Bird species distribution and predation rates on natural and artificial nests were compared among unmanaged mature, shelterwood, and clearcut northern hardwoods forest to evaluate the effect of these practices on bird populations. Twenty-three of the 48 bird species detected during the study differed significantly in abundance among unmanaged mature forest,...

  17. Grassland Birds Wintering at U.S. Navy Facilities in Southern Texas

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

    Buster) for the ground material (Ault and Stormer , 1983). After collection, the samples were taken to the lab and carefully sorted to remove all...ecological processes in different regions: Ornithological Monographs No. 64, 46 p. Ault, S.C., and Stormer , F.A., 1983, A suction device for sampling seed

  18. Long-term grassland management effects on soil Phosphorus status on rewetted Histosols

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heller, Sebastian; Müller, Jürgen; Kayser, Manfred

    2017-04-01

    Since the Neolithic Period, the cultivation of wetlands has played a significant role for the settlement of Humans northwest Germany. A continuing drainage of the wetlands over the centuries and an intensified soil cultivation during the last decades has caused irreversible peat degradation and led to fundamental changes in the landscape. Nowadays, almost 70 % of the 4345 km2 peatland of Lower Saxony is altered by agriculture. For the revitalization of wetland ecosystems, permanent rewetting is an integral component to preserve the functions of organic soils and achieve resilient, speciesrich wetlands. However, permanent rewetting measures are not always feasible. In our study area at the Osterfeiner Moor, a fen located in the Dümmer lowlands near Osnabrück, intensive forage cropping areas were converted into extensive permanent grasslands accompanied by temporary rewetting during winter. This management practice combined with zero fertilization and a low mowing and grazing intensity aims at mitigating mineralisation of peat layers and creating a habitat for endangered meadow bird species. In this semi-natural ecosystem soil phosphorus (P) dynamics play a crucial role. However, longterm research results on P availability of degraded and rewetted fens are still lacking. Thus, we investigated the interaction of different grassland uses and P dynamics in the soil. We described P depletion of the topsoil over a time scale of 17 years after the implementation of restoration measures. Our study site comprises of 180 ha protected grassland divided into 52 management plots. According to the management system, we divided the plots into meadows, pastures and combinations of cutting and grazing. The soils in our study area can be characterised as drained organic soils, WRB: Rheic Sapric Histosols (Drainic), with drastic degradation properties through moorsh forming processes. Plant-available P (double lactate extraction method: PDL) was analysed from representative topsoil

  19. The North Sea Bird Club

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Doyle, P.A.T.; Gorman, M.L.; Patterson, I.J.; Howe, S.

    1991-01-01

    This paper reports that the creation of a club for the purpose of encouraging oil and gas workers to watch birds may not at first seem a viable proposition. To the layperson, birds offshore conjures up an image of hundreds of seagulls following fishing boats, and very little else. Also, the act of birdwatching is not seen as a typical offshore worker's activity. Anyone who has worked on an installation offshore and who has any interest in wildlife will be aware of the occasional presence of land-birds. Two decades ago, prompted by some keen offshore workers, a single oil company set up a monitoring program, which quickly became popular with a number of its employees. Birds seem offshore were recorded on data forms and collected together. At this stage the club was purely another recreation facility; however, when the data were collated it was soon realized that installations offshore were being used as staging posts by birds on migration, and that the information being collected would be of great interest in the study of bird movements. All over Britain, at strategic points on the coastline, there are bird observatories which record the arrival and departure of migrating birds. The presence of several hundred solid structures up and down the North Sea, which are used by birds en route, represents a huge, unique bird observatory, capable of uncovering facts about bird migration which have long eluded land-based scientists. Eleven years ago, the North Sea Bird Club began, composed of eight member companies, a recorder from Aberdeen University and a representative from the Nature Conservancy Council. The club received data from 41 installations, and the recorder collated these on Aberdeen University's computer and produced an annual report of sightings

  20. Colour preferences of UK garden birds at supplementary seed feeders.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luke Rothery

    Full Text Available Supplementary feeding of garden birds generally has benefits for both bird populations and human wellbeing. Birds have excellent colour vision, and show preferences for food items of particular colours, but research into colour preferences associated with artificial feeders is limited to hummingbirds. Here, we investigated the colour preferences of common UK garden birds foraging at seed-dispensing artificial feeders containing identical food. We presented birds simultaneously with an array of eight differently coloured feeders, and recorded the number of visits made to each colour over 370 30-minute observation periods in the winter of 2014/15. In addition, we surveyed visitors to a garden centre and science festival to determine the colour preferences of likely purchasers of seed feeders. Our results suggest that silver and green feeders were visited by higher numbers of individuals of several common garden bird species, while red and yellow feeders received fewer visits. In contrast, people preferred red, yellow, blue and green feeders. We suggest that green feeders may be simultaneously marketable and attractive to foraging birds.

  1. Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, and New Jersey ESI: BIRDS (Bird Polygons)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set contains sensitive biological resource data for wading birds, shorebirds, waterfowl, raptors, diving birds, pelagic birds, passerine birds, gulls and...

  2. Sensitivity of Coastal Environments and Wildlife to Spilled Oil: Upper Coast of Texas: BIRDS (Bird Polygons)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set contains sensitive biological resource data for diving birds, gulls, terns, passerine birds, pelagic birds, raptors, shorebirds, wading birds,...

  3. Sensitivity of Coastal Environments and Wildlife to Spilled Oil: South Florida: BIRDS (Bird Polygons)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set contains sensitive biological resource data for diving birds, gulls, terns, passerine birds, pelagic birds, raptors, shorebirds, wading birds, and...

  4. Sensitivity of Coastal Environments and Wildlife to Spilled Oil: Central California: BIRDS (Bird Polygons)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set contains sensitive biological resource data for alcids, diving birds, gulls, terns, passerine birds, pelagic birds, raptors, shorebirds, wading birds,...

  5. Distinguishing Intensity Levels of Grassland Fertilization Using Vegetation Indices

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jens L. Hollberg

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Monitoring the reaction of grassland canopies on fertilizer application is of major importance to enable a well-adjusted management supporting a sustainable production of the grass crop. Up to date, grassland managers estimate the nutrient status and growth dynamics of grasslands by costly and time-consuming field surveys, which only provide low temporal and spatial data density. Grassland mapping using remotely-sensed Vegetation Indices (VIs has the potential to contribute to solving these problems. In this study, we explored the potential of VIs for distinguishing five differently-fertilized grassland communities. Therefore, we collected spectral signatures of these communities in a long-term fertilization experiment (since 1941 in Germany throughout the growing seasons 2012–2014. Fifteen VIs were calculated and their seasonal developments investigated. Welch tests revealed that the accuracy of VIs for distinguishing these grassland communities varies throughout the growing season. Thus, the selection of the most promising single VI for grassland mapping was dependent on the date of the spectra acquisition. A random forests classification using all calculated VIs reduced variations in classification accuracy within the growing season and provided a higher overall precision of classification. Thus, we recommend a careful selection of VIs for grassland mapping or the utilization of temporally-stable methods, i.e., including a set of VIs in the random forests algorithm.

  6. Cattle slurry on grassland - application methods and nitrogen use efficiency

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lalor, S.T.J.

    2014-01-01

    Cattle slurry represents a significant resource on grassland-based farming systems. The objective of this thesis was to investigate and devise cattle slurry application methods and strategies that can be implemented on grassland farms to improve the efficiency with which nitrogen (N) in

  7. Ecological transition in Arizona's subalpine and montane grasslands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michael R. White

    2000-01-01

    Important components of Southwest forest ecosystem are subalpine and montane grassland communities, Grassland communities provide habitat diversity for wildlife, forage for domestic livestock and wildlife, and contribute to the visual quality of an area. The objectives of this research were to determine if: 1) vegetation attributes and soil-surface cover variables of...

  8. Influence of density on the seasonal utilization of broad grassland ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    We monitored seasonal use of grassland types by white rhinos at two sites within the Hluhluwe iMfolozi Park (HiP). Thirty-two rhinos were removed from one site to reduce rhino density. Seasonal use of grassland types was similar at both sites, but differed to what a previous study reported. This was likely due to higher food ...

  9. The ecology, status, and conservation of marine and shoreline birds on the west coast of Vancouver Island

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Vermeer, K.; Butler, R.W.; Morgan, K.H.

    1992-01-01

    A symposium was held to combine various disciplines to provide a review of current knowledge about the marine biology of the west coast of Vancouver Island, with a particular emphasis on birds. Papers were presented on the physical and biological environment of the study region, the population and breeding ecology of marine and shoreline birds, the distribution of marine and shoreline birds at sea, the effects of oil pollution on the bird population, and the conservation of marine and shoreline birds. Separate abstracts have been prepared for two papers from this symposium

  10. The community ecology of barley/cereal yellow dwarf viruses in Western US grasslands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Power, Alison G; Borer, Elizabeth T; Hosseini, Parviez; Mitchell, Charles E; Seabloom, Eric W

    2011-08-01

    Research on plant viruses in natural ecosystems has been increasing rapidly over the past decade. This paper reviews recent research on the barley and cereal yellow dwarf viruses (B/CYDVs) in grasslands of the western US, beginning with the evidence that the disease caused by these viruses facilitated the invasion of western US grasslands by European annual grasses. Observational and experimental studies of B/CYDVs were carried out along a latitudinal gradient (33.8-48.8°N) from southern California to southern Canada. The prevalence and community composition of B/CYDVs were assessed over a variety of scales and under a range of biotic and abiotic conditions. The findings indicate that both biotic and abiotic factors are important influences on virus ecology and epidemiology. Introduced annual grasses are high-quality hosts that amplify both virus and vector populations in this system, but our research suggests that endemic perennial grasses are critically important for sustaining virus populations in contemporary grasslands largely composed of introduced species. Experiments indicated that increased phosphorus supply to hosts resulted in greater host biomass and higher virus prevalence. Using experimental exclosures, it was found that the presence of grazing vertebrate herbivores increased the abundance of annual grasses, resulting in increased virus prevalence. The results of these studies suggest that patterns of B/CYDV prevalence and coinfection in western US grasslands are strongly shaped by the interactions of host plants, vectors, vertebrate herbivores, and abiotic drivers including nutrients. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  11. The relative importance of climate and vegetation properties on patterns of North American breeding bird species richness

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Goetz, Scott J; Sun, Mindy; Zolkos, Scott; Hansen, Andy; Dubayah, Ralph

    2014-01-01

    Recent advances in remote sensing and ecological modeling warrant a timely and robust investigation of the ecological variables that underlie large-scale patterns of breeding bird species richness, particularly in the context of intensifying land use and climate change. Our objective was to address this need using an array of bioclimatic and remotely sensed data sets representing vegetation properties and structure, and other aspects of the physical environment. We first build models of bird species richness across breeding bird survey (BBS) routes, and then spatially predict richness across the coterminous US at moderately high spatial resolution (1 km). Predictor variables were derived from various sources and maps of species richness were generated for four groups (guilds) of birds with different breeding habitat affiliation (forest, grassland, open woodland, scrub/shrub), as well as all guilds combined. Predictions of forest bird distributions were strong (R 2 = 0.85), followed by grassland (0.76), scrub/shrub (0.63) and open woodland (0.60) species. Vegetation properties were generally the strongest determinants of species richness, whereas bioclimatic and lidar-derived vertical structure metrics were of variable importance and dependent upon the guild type. Environmental variables (climate and the physical environment) were also frequently selected predictors, but canopy structure variables were not as important as expected based on more local to regional scale studies. Relatively sparse sampling of canopy structure metrics from the satellite lidar sensor may have reduced their importance relative to other predictor variables across the study domain. We discuss these results in the context of the ecological drivers of species richness patterns, the spatial scale of bird diversity analyses, and the potential of next generation space-borne lidar systems relevant to vegetation and ecosystem studies. This study strengthens current understanding of bird species

  12. Scoping the evidence for EarlyBird and EarlyBird Plus, two United Kingdom-developed parent education training programmes for autism spectrum disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dawson-Squibb, John-Joe; Davids, Eugene Lee; de Vries, Petrus J

    2018-03-01

    EarlyBird and EarlyBird Plus are parent education and training programmes designed by the UK National Autistic Society in 1997 and 2003, having been delivered to more than 27,000 families in 14 countries. These group-based programmes aim to (1) support parents immediately after diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder, (2) empower parents, encouraging a positive perception of their child's autism spectrum disorder and (3) help parents establish good practice. In the absence of any previous comprehensive review, we performed a scoping review of all peer-reviewed publications on EarlyBird/EarlyBird Plus. A search was conducted between February and June 2016 using EbscoHost, Sabinet, SAGE Journals, Directory of Open Access Journals, BioMed Central, Scopus, ScienceDirect and grey literature. Two reviewers independently screened titles and abstracts for inclusion. In total, 18 articles were identified: 16 from the United Kingdom and 2 from New Zealand. We reviewed the context, study populations, design, outcome measures, whether focus was on parental perception, parental change or child changes and programme feasibility. Strong parental support for the acceptability but lower level evidence of efficacy of EarlyBird/EarlyBird Plus was found. Future research should consider randomised controlled trials. There is no research on EarlyBird/EarlyBird Plus in low-resource settings; therefore, we recommend broader feasibility evaluation of EarlyBird/EarlyBird Plus including accessibility, cultural appropriateness and scalability.

  13. Effects of Government Grassland Conservation Policy on Household Livelihoods and Dependence on Local Grasslands: Evidence from Inner Mongolia, China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bingzhen Du

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Grassland degradation intensifies human-environment conflicts and adversely affects local residents’ livelihoods. To reduce grassland degradation in Inner Mongolia, China, the government has enforced (since 1998 a series of grassland conservation and management policies that restrict the use of grasslands. To ease the impact on the residents’ livelihoods, the national and regional governments have offered a series of top-down arrangements to stimulate sustainable use of the grasslands. Simultaneously, local households spontaneously developed bottom-up countermeasures. To determine the effects of these processes, we interviewed members of 135 households using a mix of qualitative and quantitative methods. We analyzed the effects on household dependence on local grasslands and on perceptions of the future of grassland use. Our findings show that the implementation of the grassland conservation policies significantly affected household livelihoods, which in turn affected household use of natural assets (primarily the land, their agricultural assets (farming and grazing activities and their financial assets (income and consumption, resulting in fundamental transformation of their lifestyles. The households developed adaptation measures to account for the dependence of their livelihood on local ecosystems by initializing strategies, such as seeking off-farm work, leasing pasture land, increasing purchases of fodder for stall-fed animals and altering their diet and fuel consumption to compensate for their changing livelihoods.

  14. Microhabitat selection by three common bird species of montane farmlands in Northern Greece.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsiakiris, Rigas; Stara, Kalliopi; Pantis, John; Sgardelis, Stefanos

    2009-11-01

    Common farmland birds are declining throughout Europe; however, marginal farmlands that escaped intensification or land abandonment remain a haven for farmland species in some Mediterranean mountains. The purpose of this study is to identify the most important anthropogenic microhabitat characteristics for Red-Backed Shrike (Lanius collurio), Corn Bunting (Miliaria calandra) and Common Whitethroat (Sylvia communis) in three such areas within the newly established Northern Pindos National Park. We compare land use structural and physiognomic characteristics of the habitat within 133 plots containing birds paired with randomly selected "non-bird" plots. Using logistic regression and classification-tree models we identify the specific habitat requirements for each of the three birds. The three species show a preference for agricultural mosaics dominated by rangelands with scattered shrub or short trees mixed with arable land. Areas with dikes and dirt roads are preferred by all three species, while the presence of fences and periodically burned bushes and hedges are of particular importance for Red-Backed Shrike. Across the gradient of vegetation density and height, M. calandra is mostly found in grasslands with few dwarf shrubs and short trees, S. communis in places with more dense and tall vegetation of shrub, trees and hedges, and L. collurio, being a typical bird of ecotones, occurs in both habitats and in intermediate situations. In all cases those requirements are associated with habitat features maintained either directly or indirectly by the traditional agricultural activities in the area and particularly by the long established extensive controlled grazing that prevent shrub expansion.

  15. CEPF Western Ghats Special Series: Birds of lower Palni Hills, Western Ghats, Tamil Nadu

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    T. Ramesh

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available The current altitudinal distribution and breeding observations on birds of lower Palni Hills, Western Ghats were documented by conducting road transects, opportunistic surveys including trail walks and mist netting. A total of 196 species belonging to 63 families were recorded during the study. The Accipitridae family was foremost in species richness, followed by Cuculidae and Muscicapidae, Picidae, Timaliidae and other families. Altitudinal distribution of birds was higher between 600 and 900 m. The general patterns of the decreasing species richness with increasing altitude were observed in mid and upper Palnis. This could be probably because the lower Palnis have more deciduous and scrub forest which can support high food availability. Resident and migrant species made up to 87.76% and 12.24% of the community, respectively. We recorded a species that was threatened, three nearly threatened, and five endemic to the Western Ghats. Most of the endemics were confined to the higher altitudes due to the presence of moist evergreen and high altitude montane forests and grasslands. In total, 51 breeding bird observations were recorded. Interestingly, the variation in the breeding season of some birds was noticed with respect to earlier studies. Overall, our study illustrated useful information on bird community in this region which serves as a baseline for future monitoring programs.

  16. Grassland Aboveground Biomass in Inner Mongolia: Dynamics (2001-2016) and Driving force

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, F.; Zeng, Y.; Chen, J.; Wu, B.

    2017-12-01

    population of livestock in this area over the past few decades. Concerning the production of grassland AGB for the future, we emphasized that the impacts of the frequently warming-drying climate associated with climate change across the Mongolia Plateau should be paid more attention.

  17. Laboratory Animal Management: Wild Birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    National Academy of Sciences - National Research Council, Washington, DC. Inst. of Lab. Animal Resources.

    This is a report on the care and use of wild birds in captivity as research animals. Chapters are presented on procurement and identification, housing, nutrition, health of birds and personnel, reproduction in confinement, and surgical procedures. Also included are addresses of federal, state, and provencial regulatory agencies concerned with wild…

  18. Bird impact study on the 10 MW wind farm of La Pena (Tarifa)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cererols, N.; Martinez, A.; Ferrer, M.

    1996-01-01

    This paper shows the conclusions of a 16 month study of the possible impacts on the local and migrating population of birds of a wind farm located in the passageway of migrating birds between Africa and Europe. On the whole, the wind farm did not prove to represent an important impact on the birds present in its surroundings and, on the contrary, created a new habitat for some species not present in adjacent areas. (author)

  19. Invasive rats strengthen predation pressure on bird eggs in a South Pacific island rainforest

    OpenAIRE

    Duron, Q.; Bourguet, E.; De Meringo, H.; Millon, A.; Vidal, Eric

    2017-01-01

    Invasive rats (Rattus spp.) are known to have pervasive impacts on island birds, particularly on their nesting success. To conserve or restore bird populations, numerous invasive rat control or eradication projects are undertaken on islands worldwide. However, such projects represent a huge investment and the decision-making process requires proper assessment of rat impacts. Here, we assessed the influence of two sympatric invasive rats (Rattus rattus and R. exulans) on native bird eggs in a ...

  20. Field Manual of Wildlife Diseases. General Field Procedures and Diseases of Birds

    Science.gov (United States)

    1999-01-01

    designed for blood- less castration of cattle or sheep; has been used for eutha- nasia of birds by cervical dislocation. Encrustation — forming a crust...ian populations. Cattle graze the adjacent area. There are no residential or industrial buildings within 1 mile of the site. Human visitation is...infections between birds and mammals. Strains isolated from birds will usually kill rabbits and mice but not other mam- mals. Strains isolated from cattle

  1. The heterogeneity of wooded-agricultural landscape mosaics influences woodland bird community assemblages

    OpenAIRE

    Neumann, Jessica L.; Griffiths, Geoffrey H.; Foster, Christopher W.; Holloway, Graham J.

    2016-01-01

    Context\\ud Landscape heterogeneity (the composition and configuration of different landcover types) plays a key role in shaping woodland bird assemblages in wooded-agricultural mosaics. Understanding how species respond to landscape factors could contribute to preventing further decline of woodland bird populations.\\ud Objective\\ud To investigate how woodland birds with different species traits respond to landscape heterogeneity, and to identify whether specific landcover types are important ...

  2. Resumes of the Bird mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lorenz, E.; Borwald, W.; Briess, K.; Kayal, H.; Schneller, M.; Wuensten, Herbert

    2004-11-01

    The DLR micro satellite BIRD (Bi-spectral Infra Red Detection) was piggy- back launched with the Indian Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle PSLV-C3 into a 570 km circular sun-synchronous orbit on 22 October 2001. The BIRD mission, fully funded by the DLR, answers topical technological and scientific questions related to the operation of a compact infra- red push-broom sensor system on board of a micro satellite and demonstrates new spacecraft bus technologies. BIRD mission control is conducted by DLR / GSOC in Oberpfaffenhofen. Commanding, data reception and data processing is performed via ground stations in Weilheim and Neustrelitz (Germany). The BIRD mission is a demonstrator for small satellite projects dedicated to the hazard detection and monitoring. In the year 2003 BIRD has been used in the ESA project FUEGOSAT to demonstrate the utilisation of innovative space technologies for fire risk management.

  3. Effects of overhead power lines on the bird population of the Radenhaeuser Lache area in the Marburg-Biedenkopf district, Hessen; Auswirkungen von Freileitungen auf die Voegel der Radenhaeuser Lache, Landkreis Marburg-Biedenkopf/Hessen

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kliebe, K.

    1997-12-01

    In the Radenhaeuser Lache area in the county of Marburg-Biedenkopf 122 birds belonging to at least 18 species were found dead (85.2%) or injured (14.8%) in the period from 1991 to the end of July 1997. In four cases collisions with the high voltage overhead power lines (OHL) running above the flat expanse of water (42 lines of 110 kV and 380 kV) were actually seen. Collisions with the conductors seem to occur with equal frequency when birds come in to land and when they take off in flocks (particularly ducks and lapwings) whether or not this is owing to some disturbance or other (birds of prey, human beings, helicopters or hot-air balloons). (orig.) [Deutsch] Im Bereich der Radenhaeuser Lache (Kreis Marburg-Biedenkopf) wurden seit 1991 bis Ende Juli 1997 122 Voegel in mindestens 18 Arten tot (85,2%) oder verletzt (14,8%) registriert. Kollissionen mit den das Flachgewaesser ueberspannenden Hochspannungsleitungen (42 Seile mit 110 bzw. 380 kV) wurden in vier Faellen durch Sichtbeobachtungen nachgewiesen. Leitungsanfluege geschehen wohl gleichrangig beim Landeanflug und beim scharenweisen Abflug (vor allem Enten und Kiebitze) ohne oder auf Grund von Stoerungen (jagende Greifvoegel, Menschen, Hubschrauber und Heissluftballons). (orig.)

  4. Unzipping bird feathers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kovalev, Alexander; Filippov, Alexander E; Gorb, Stanislav N

    2014-03-06

    The bird feather vane can be separated into two parts by pulling the barbs apart. The original state can be re-established easily by lightly stroking through the feather. Hooklets responsible for holding vane barbs together are not damaged by multiple zipping and unzipping cycles. Because numerous microhooks keep the integrity of the feather, their properties are of great interest for understanding mechanics of the entire feather structure. This study was undertaken to estimate the separation force of single hooklets and their arrays using force measurement of an unzipping feather vane. The hooklets usually separate in some number synchronously (20 on average) with the highest observed separation force of 1.74 mN (average force 0.27 mN), whereas the single hooklet separation force was 14 μN. A simple numerical model was suggested for a better understanding of zipping and unzipping behaviour in feathers. The model demonstrates features similar to those observed in experiments.

  5. Tracking migrating birds

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Willemoes, Mikkel

    habitats with those in rural habitats. Some species have decreased the frequency of migrants and migration distance in urban environments, and others have not. The other manuscript describes the small scale movements of three different Palaearctic migrants during winter in Africa in a farmland habitat....... In another species, environmental conditions are not a good predictor of movements, and possibly effects of timing constraints or food type play a role. Two manuscripts focus on the effects of human-induced habitat alterations on migratory behaviour. One compares the movements of partial migrants in urban...... and a forest reserve. In the degraded habitat all species used more space, although the consequence on bird density is less clear. Two manuscripts relate the migratory movements of a long-distance migrant with models of navigation. One compares model predictions obtained by simulation with actual movements...

  6. Comparison of semiautomated bird song recognition with manual detection of recorded bird song samples

    OpenAIRE

    Lisa A. Venier; Marc J. Mazerolle; Anna Rodgers; Ken A. McIlwrick; Stephen Holmes; Dean Thompson

    2017-01-01

    Automated recording units are increasingly being used to sample wildlife populations. These devices can produce large amounts of data that are difficult to process manually. However, the information in the recordings can be summarized with semiautomated sound recognition software. Our objective was to assess the utility of the semiautomated bird song recognizers to produce data useful for conservation and sustainable forest management applications. We compared detection data generated from ex...

  7. Understanding the causes of changing grassland use and productivity in Inner Mongolia, China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Y.; Gao, L.; Qiao, G.; Chen, J.

    2012-12-01

    Some dramatic changes of grassland use and productivity have been taking place in Inner Mongolia in the past half century. While the changes are apparently driven by both socio-economic factors and climate, their contribution and interaction are largely unknown. We hypothesize that population growth is an important driving force behind the loss and degradation of the grassland, the market forces and institutional factors such as de-collectivization are become more important factors as the economy is moving from planned economy to market economy. This paper assesses the effects of socio-economic, demographic, institutional and climate factors on grassland use and productivity using a panel data set. The panel data compose the years from 1970s to 2000s and all prefectures in Inner Mongolia. A generalized least squares estimation method, allowing individual effects for prefecture level are applied to the examination. The effect of climate change is tested as well and the coupled socio-economic system and the natural system are investigated.

  8. Effects of Patagonian pine forestry on native breeding birds

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Moises Pescador

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Aim of the study: The objective is to assess the influences of the tree stand age and other forestry management practices on species richness, composition, and distribution of the Patagonian pine plantation bird assemblages. Area of Study: The work was carried out in forested plots of Ponderosa pine located at the Lanín National Park (Patagonia, Argentina.Material and Methods: Birds were sampled using 25 m fixed radius point counts, at four plots varying in age, management, and forest structure. Main Results: A total of 2090 individuals belonging to 34 bird species were observed, their numbers vary significantly depending on the different modes of plantation management. The population density of the 14 most abundant bird species was compared among the four plantation plots and ten species don’t show statistically significant differences in their population density among the different forest plots. The California Quail, the White-Crested Elaenia and the Southern House Wren showed higher densities in pine plantations with lower tree densities and fewer cutting treatments. The Diuca Finch had high densities in the younger plantations not subjected to any treatment. Research highlights: Most of these bird species are opportunistic and a few are found more regularly in these non-native woods than in other native forested or afforested areas. Our data suggest that a mixed scenario based on a mosaic of plantation with patches of native deciduous forest may help maximize the bird diversity in the management of northwestern Patagonian plantation landscapes.Keywords: Bird population; diversity; exotic plantations; Patagonia; tree-age.

  9. Application of models to conservation planning for terrestrial birds in North America

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fitzgerald, Jane A.; Thogmartin, Wayne E.; Dettmers, Randy; Jones, Tim; Rustay, Christopher; Ruth, Janet M.; Thompson, Frank R.; Will, Tom; Millspaugh, Joshua J.; Thompson, Frank R.

    2009-01-01

    Partners in Flight (PIF), a public–private coalition for the conservation of land birds, has developed one of four international bird conservation plans recognized under the auspices of the North American Bird Conservation Initiative (NABCI). Partners in Flight prioritized species most in need of conservation attention and set range-wide population goals for 448 species of terrestrial birds. Partnerships are now tasked with developing spatially explicit estimates of the distribution, and abundance of priority species across large ecoregions and identifying habitat acreages needed to support populations at prescribed levels. The PIF Five Elements process of conservation design identifies five steps needed to implement all bird conservation at the ecoregional scale. Habitat assessment and landscape characterization describe the current amounts of different habitat types and summarize patch characteristics, and landscape configurations that define the ability of a landscape to sustain healthy bird populations and are a valuable first step to describing the planning area before pursuing more complex species-specific models. Spatially linked database models, landscape-scale habitat suitability models, and statistical models are viable alternatives for predicting habitat suitability or bird abundance across large planning areas to help assess conservation opportunities, design landscapes to meet population objectives, and monitor change in habitat suitability or bird numbers over time.Bird conservation in the United States is a good example of the use of models in large-scale wildlife conservation planning because of its geographic extent, focus on multiple species, involvement of multiple partners, and use of simple to complex models. We provide some background on the recent development of bird conservation initiatives in the United States and the approaches used for regional conservation assessment and planning. We focus on approaches being used for landscape

  10. Indirect Effects of Energy Development in Grasslands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duquette, Cameron Albert

    Grassland landscapes in North America are undergoing rapid industrialization due to energy development facilitated by the growing popularity of fracking and horizontal drilling technology. Each year over 3 million hectares are lost from grassland and shrubland habitats to well infrastructure. Direct footprints from energy infrastructure cause impacts to vegetation cover, available cattle forage, carbon sequestration potential, and usable space for wildlife. However, legacy effects from well construction and noise pollution, light pollution, and altered viewsheds have the potential to impact areas beyond this direct footprint, causing additive and persistent changes to nearby grassland function. While these additional areas may be small on a well pad basis, they may have substantial cumulative impacts over time. To investigate these effects via a diversity of mechanisms, we studied the seasonal habitat selection of northern bobwhite (Colinus virginianus, hereafter bobwhite) in an energy-producing landscape to evaluate space use patterns relative to energy infrastructure. Habitat selection was modeled in the breeding and nonbreeding season using resource Utilization functions (RUFs). We then investigated patterns of vegetation, arthropod, and soil characteristics surrounding well pads to assess small scale environmental gradients extending away from drilling pads via a combination of multivariate and univariate techniques (i.e., Nonmetric dimensional scaling and ANOVA). We found minimal avoidance of energy structures by quail, suggesting a tolerance of moderate development levels. All small-scale effects studied except for soil moisture were impacted at the pad itself (P < 0.01). Off-pad impacts to arthropod abundance and biomass were spatially limited to areas close to pads, while vegetation cover was typically lower than the surrounding habitat beyond 10 m of pads. Soil surface temperature was higher at distances close to well pads, and soil moisture was not

  11. Bird associations with shrubsteppe plant communities at the proposed reference repository location in southeastern Washington

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Schuler, C.A.; Rickard, W.H.; Sargeant, G.A.

    1988-03-01

    This report provides information on te seasonal use of shrubsteppe vegetation by bird species at the RRL. Bird abundance and distribution were studied at the RRL to ensure that the DOE monitored migratory bird species pursuant to the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and to assess potential impacts of site characterization activities on bird populations. Birds were counted on two transects that together sampled an areas of 1.39 km/sup 2/. The relative abundance of birds, species richness, seasonal distribution, and the association of breeding shrubsteppe birds with major vegetation types were determined from Janurary through December 1987. Only 38 species were counted during 82 surveys. Total bird density during the nesting season (March-June) was 42.96 birdskm/sup 2/ and the density for the entire year was 26.74 birdskm/sup 2/. The characteristic nesting birds in shrubsteppe habitats were western meadowlark, sage sparrow, burrowing owl, mourning dove, horned lark, long-billed curlew, lark sparrow, and loggerhead shrike. Western meadowlark and sage sparrows were the most abundant breeding birds with an average density of 11.25 and 7.76 birdskm/sup 2/, respectively. Seasonal distribution of birds varied with species, but most species were present from March to September. Distribution and abunandance of nesting birds were correlated with habitat type. About 63% of the habitat surveyed was sagebrush, 26% was cheatgrass, and 11% was spiny hopsage. Sagebrush habitat supproted a greeater total bird density than cheatgrass or hopsage habitats. Sage sparrows were closely associated with sagebrush habitats, while western meadowlarks showed no strong habitat affinities. 22 refs., 9 figs., 6 tabs

  12. The perception of self in birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Derégnaucourt, Sébastien; Bovet, Dalila

    2016-10-01

    The perception of self is an important topic in several disciplines such as ethology, behavioral ecology, psychology, developmental and cognitive neuroscience. Self-perception is investigated by experimentally exposing different species of animals to self-stimuli such as their own image, smell or vocalizations. Here we review more than one hundred studies using these methods in birds, a taxonomic group that exhibits a rich diversity regarding ecology and behavior. Exposure to self-image is the main method for studying self-recognition, while exposing birds to their own smell is generally used for the investigation of homing or odor-based kin discrimination. Self-produced vocalizations - especially in oscine songbirds - are used as stimuli for understanding the mechanisms of vocal coding/decoding both at the neural and at the behavioral levels. With this review, we highlight the necessity to study the perception of self in animals cross-modally and to consider the role of experience and development, aspects that can be easily monitored in captive populations of birds. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. The role of grasslands in food security and climate change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Mara, F P

    2012-11-01

    Grasslands are a major part of the global ecosystem, covering 37 % of the earth's terrestrial area. For a variety of reasons, mostly related to overgrazing and the resulting problems of soil erosion and weed encroachment, many of the world's natural grasslands are in poor condition and showing signs of degradation. This review examines their contribution to global food supply and to combating climate change. Grasslands make a significant contribution to food security through providing part of the feed requirements of ruminants used for meat and milk production. Globally, this is more important in food energy terms than pig meat and poultry meat. Grasslands are considered to have the potential to play a key role in greenhouse gas mitigation, particularly in terms of global carbon storage and further carbon sequestration. It is estimated that grazing land management and pasture improvement (e.g. through managing grazing intensity, improved productivity, etc) have a global technical mitigation potential of almost 1·5 Gt CO(2) equivalent in 2030, with additional mitigation possible from restoration of degraded lands. Milk and meat production from grassland systems in temperate regions has similar emissions of carbon dioxide per kilogram of product as mixed farming systems in temperate regions, and, if carbon sinks in grasslands are taken into account, grassland-based production systems can be as efficient as high-input systems from a greenhouse gas perspective. Grasslands are important for global food supply, contributing to ruminant milk and meat production. Extra food will need to come from the world's existing agricultural land base (including grasslands) as the total area of agricultural land has remained static since 1991. Ruminants are efficient converters of grass into humanly edible energy and protein and grassland-based food production can produce food with a comparable carbon footprint as mixed systems. Grasslands are a very important store of carbon, and

  14. Bird on a (live) wire

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Farr, M.

    2003-09-30

    Bird mortality as a result of contact with power lines is discussed. U. S. statistics are cited, according to which 174 million birds annually die as a result of contact with power lines, specifically when birds touch two phases of current at the same time. Raptors are particularly vulnerable to power-line electrocution due to their habit of perching on the highest vantage point available as they survey the ground for prey. Hydro lines located in agricultural areas, with bodies of water on one side and fields on the other, also obstruct flight of waterfowl as dusk and dawn when visibility is low. Various solutions designed to minimize the danger to birds are discussed. Among these are: changing the configuration of wires and cross arms to make them more visible to birds in flight and less tempting as perches, and adding simple wire markers such as flags, balloons, and coloured luminescent clips that flap and twirl in the wind. There is no evidence of any coordinated effort to deal with this problem in Ontario. However, a report is being prepared for submission to Environment Canada outlining risks to birds associated with the growing number of wind turbine power generators (negligible compared with power lines and communications towers), and offering suggestions on remedial measures. The Fatal Light Awareness Program (FLAP) also plans to lobby the Canadian Wildlife Service to discuss the possibility of coordinating efforts to monitor, educate about and ultimately reduce this form of bird mortality.

  15. The seasonal role of field characteristics on seed-eating bird abundances in agricultural landscapes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Codesido, Mariano; Abba, Agustín M.; Bilenca, David

    2017-01-01

    Abstract In temperate agroecosystems, avian responses in abundance and distribution to landscape attributes may be exacerbated by the coupling of natural seasons and farming practices. We assessed the seasonal roles of field type, field use in the surroundings, and distance from a field to the nearest woodlot on the abundance of seed-eating birds in a 225,000 km2 study area in the Pampas of central Argentina. During spring-summer and autumn of 2011–2013, we randomly selected 392 fields and used transect samples to collect data on abundance and presence of seed-eating bird species. We recorded a total of 11,579 individuals belonging to 15 seed-eating bird species. We used generalized lineal mixed models to relate bird abundance to field type, field use in the surroundings, and distance to the nearest woodlot. In spring-summer (breeding season) most bird responses were associated with their nesting requirements. Species that build their nests in trees, such as eared doves Zenaida auriculata, picazuro pigeons Patagioenas picazuro, and monk parakeets Myiopsitta monachus, were more abundant in fields closer to woodlots, whereas grassland yellow-finches Sicalis luteola, which nest at areas with tall grasses, were more abundant in fields with livestock use patches in the field surroundings. In autumn (non-breeding season), most bird responses were associated with foraging and refuge needs. The high abundance of eared doves in crop stubbles and the association of pigeons at field surroundings dominated by croplands or at crop stubbles surrounded by livestock use fields revealed the intimate association of these species to sites with high availability of food resources. In addition, both picazuro pigeons and spot-winged pigeons Patagioenas maculosa were associated with woodlots, which provide suitable roosting sites. Our results show that in temperate agroecosystems, the relationships between field characteristics and seed-eating bird abundances vary with season. PMID

  16. Factors influencing bird foraging preferences among conspecific fruit trees

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foster, M.S.

    1990-01-01

    The rates at which birds visit fruiting individuals of Allophylus edulis (Sapindaceae) differ substantially among trees. Such avian feeding preferences are well-known, but usually involve fruits and trees of different species. Factors controlling avian preferences for particular trees in a population of conspecifics are generally undocumented. To address this issue, I attempted to correlate rates at which individual birds and species fed in trees of Allophylus with 27 fruit or plant characteristics. Birds that swallow fruits whole were considered separately from those that feed in other ways. Plant characters were selected on the basis of their potential influence on feeding efficiency or predation risk, assuming that birds would select feeding trees so as to maximize the net rate of energy or nutrient intake and to minimize predation. Correlations were found between feeding visits by some groups of birds and percent water in the pulp, milligrams of mineral ash in the pulp, and crop size. No character was correlated with feeding visits by all groups of birds in both years of the study. The correlations with water and mineral ash are unexplained and may be artifacts. The correlation with crop size may represent a tactic to minimize predation.

  17. Bristol Bay, Alaska Subarea ESI: BIRDS (Bird Polygons)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set contains sensitive biological resource data for shorebirds, waterfowl, raptors, diving birds, and seabirds in the Bristol Bay Subarea. The Subarea...

  18. Birds of the Mongol Empire

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eugene N. Anderson

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available The Mongol Empire, the largest contiguous empire the world has ever known, had, among other things, a goodly number of falconers, poultry raisers, birdcatchers, cooks, and other experts on various aspects of birding. We have records of this, largely in the Yinshan Zhengyao, the court nutrition manual of the Mongol empire in China (the Yuan Dynasty. It discusses in some detail 22 bird taxa, from swans to chickens. The Huihui Yaofang, a medical encyclopedia, lists ten taxa used medicinally. Marco Polo also made notes on Mongol bird use. There are a few other records. This allows us to draw conclusions about Mongol ornithology, which apparently was sophisticated and detailed.

  19. Collision effects of wind-power generators and other obstacles on birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drewitt, Allan L; Langston, Rowena H W

    2008-01-01

    There is extensive literature on avian mortality due to collision with man-made structures, including wind turbines, communication masts, tall buildings and windows, power lines, and fences. Many studies describe the consequences of bird-strike rather than address the causes, and there is little data based on long-term, standardized, and systematic assessments. Despite these limitations, it is apparent that bird-strike is a significant cause of mortality. It is therefore important to understand the effects of this mortality on bird populations. The factors which determine avian collision risk are described, including location, structural attributes, such as height and the use of lighting, weather conditions, and bird morphology and behavior. The results of incidental and more systematic observations of bird-strike due to a range of structures are presented and the implications of collision mortality for bird populations, particularly those of scarce and threatened species susceptible to collisions, are discussed. Existing measures for reducing collision mortality are described, both generally and specifically for each type of structure. It is concluded that, in some circumstances, collision mortality can adversely affect bird populations, and that greater effort is needed to derive accurate estimates of mortality levels locally, regionally, and nationally to better assess impacts on avian populations. Priority areas for future work are suggested, including further development of remote technology to monitor collisions, research into the causes of bird-strike, and the design of new, effective mitigation measures.

  20. Birds and burns of the interior West: descriptions, habitats, and management in western forests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Victoria Saab; William Block; Robin Russell; John Lehmkuhl; Lisa Bate; Rachel White

    2007-01-01

    This publication provides information about prescribed fire effects on habitats and populations of birds of the interior West and a synthesis of existing information on bird responses to fire across North America. Our literature synthesis indicated that aerial, ground, and bark insectivores favored recently burned habitats, whereas foliage gleaners preferred unburned...

  1. The use of logistic regression in modelling the distributions of bird ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The method of logistic regression was used to model the observed geographical distribution patterns of bird species in Swaziland in relation to a set of environmental variables. Reporting rates derived from bird atlas data are used as an index of population densities. This is justified in part by the success of the modelling ...

  2. The Plight of Migrant Birds Wintering in the Caribbean: Rainfall Effects in the Annual Cycle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Joseph Wunderle; Wayne Arendt

    2017-01-01

    Here, we summarize results of migrant bird research in the Caribbean as part of a 75th Anniversary Symposium on research of the United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service, International Institute of Tropical Forestry (IITF). The fate of migratory birds has been a concern stimulating research over the past 40 years in response to population declines...

  3. Artificial light at night confounds broad-scale habitat use by migrating birds

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    McLaren, J.D.; Buler, J.J.; Schreckengost, T.; Smolinsky, J.A.; Boone, M.; van Loon, E.E.; Dawson, D.K.; Walters, E.L.

    With many of the world's migratory bird populations in alarming decline, broad-scale assessments of responses to migratory hazards may prove crucial to successful conservation efforts. Most birds migrate at night through increasingly light-polluted skies. Bright light sources can attract airborne

  4. Tourism revenue as a conservation tool for threatened birds in protected areas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steven, Rochelle; Castley, J Guy; Buckley, Ralf

    2013-01-01

    Many bird populations worldwide are at risk of extinction, and rely heavily on protected area networks for their continued conservation. Tourism to these areas contributes to conservation by generating revenue for management. Here we quantify the contribution of tourism revenue for bird species in the IUCN Red List, using a simple accounting method. Relevant data are available for 90 (16%) of the 562 critically endangered and endangered species. Contributions of tourism to bird conservation are highest, 10-64%, in South America, Africa, and their neighbouring islands. Critically endangered bird species rely on tourism more heavily than endangered species (pmanagement budgets by promoting birdwatching tourism specifically.

  5. Cleaning priority index for aquatic birds vulnerable to oil spills in the St. Lawrence

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Daigle, S.; Darveau, M.

    1995-01-01

    A cleaning priority index for 120 species of aquatic birds present in the St. Lawrence River system and vulnerable to the effects of oil spills, was developed. Six criteria were considered in drawing up the index: (1) world population size, (2) productivity, (3) vulnerability, (4) local numbers, (5) economic value, and (6) survival during rehabilitation. Birds were assessed against each of the criteria, using a semi-quantitative ordinal scale ranging from 0 to 5. The index can be used as a decision-making tool for directing oiled-bird capture and cleaning. In the case of individual birds, the physiological condition of the bird in question should be used as an additional point of reference when deciding which bird to clean. Use of the index is not confined to the St. Lawrence River; it is readily adaptable to any other region. 58 refs., 4 tabs

  6. Measurement of grassland evaporation using a surface-layer ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Measurement of grassland evaporation using a surface-layer scintillometer. ... Water SA. Journal Home · ABOUT THIS JOURNAL · Advanced Search ... of soil heat flux and net irradiance, evaporation rates were calculated as a residual of the ...

  7. Ecological mechanisms underlying arthropod species diversity in grasslands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Joern, Anthony; Laws, Angela N

    2013-01-01

    Arthropods are an important component of grassland systems, contributing significantly to biodiversity and ecosystem structure and function. Climate, fire, and grazing by large herbivores are important drivers in grasslands worldwide. Arthropod responses to these drivers are highly variable and clear patterns are difficult to find, but responses are largely indirect with respect to changes in resources, species interactions, habitat structure, and habitat heterogeneity resulting from interactions among fire, grazing, and climate. Here, we review these ecological mechanisms influencing grassland arthropod diversity. We summarize hypotheses describing species diversity at local and regional scales and then discuss specific factors that may affect arthropod diversity in grassland systems. These factors include direct and indirect effects of grazing, fire, and climate, species interactions, above- and belowground interactions, and landscape-level effects.

  8. Soil Organic Carbon Responses to Forest Expansion on Mountain Grasslands

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Guidi, Claudia

    . Changes in labile soil C were assessed by carbohydrate and thermal analyses of soil samples and fractions. Forest expansion on mountain grasslands caused a decrease in SOC stocks within the mineral soil. The SOC accumulation within the organic layers following forest establishment could not fully...... and thermally labile to resistant components decreased from grassland to forest successional stages, and corresponded to decreased SOC protection within stable aggregates. This PhD thesis showed that mineral SOC stocks and physically protected SOC fractions decreased following forest expansion on mountain......Grassland abandonment followed by progressive forest expansion is the dominant land-use change in the European Alps. Contrasting trends in soil organic carbon (SOC) stocks have been reported for mountainous regions following forest expansion on grasslands. Moreover, its effects on SOC properties...

  9. Impact intensities of climatic changes on grassland ecosystems in ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    DR. NJ TONUKARI

    2012-03-22

    Mar 22, 2012 ... Construction of the impact intensity model of climatic changes on grassland ecosystem ... the temperature and rainfall (Sun and Mu, 2011). Thus, the study ... of the equation, the study transformed the measurement unit Mu of.

  10. 21 CFR 1240.65 - Psittacine birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-04-01

    ... 21 Food and Drugs 8 2010-04-01 2010-04-01 false Psittacine birds. 1240.65 Section 1240.65 Food and... DISEASES Specific Administrative Decisions Regarding Interstate Shipments § 1240.65 Psittacine birds. (a) The term psittacine birds shall include all birds commonly known as parrots, Amazons, Mexican double...

  11. Robird : a robotic bird of prey

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Folkertsma, Gerrit Adriaan; Straatman, Wessel; Nijenhuis, Nico; Venner, Cornelis H.; Stramigioli, Stefano

    2017-01-01

    Ever since the start of aviation, birds and airplanes have posed a mutual risk: Birds are killed when struck by aircraft, but, in return, bird strikes cause billions in damage to the aviation industry. Airports employ bird-control methods such as audiovisual deterrents (like scarecrows, lasers, and

  12. [Leukosis in captive wild birds].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loupal, G

    1984-10-01

    Among 2589 captive wild birds, examined between 1974 and 1983, we found leukosis in 26 birds belonging to 13 different species and five orders. We diagnosed lymphoid leukosis in 11 birds (two Melopsittacus undulatus, two Psittacus erithacus one Platycerus eximius, one Columba livia, one Streptopelia decaocto, one Polyplectron bicalcaratum, one Pavo cristatus, one Aptenodytes patachonia and one finch, species unknown), myeloid leukosis in 14 (nine Melopsittacus undulatus, two Agapomis personata fischeri, two Urgeainthus bengalus and one Neophemia pulchella) and stem cell leukosis in one bird (Serinus canaria). Among the cases with lymphoid leukosis we distinguished between lymphoblastic (four cases) and prolymphocytic forms (seven). Myeloid leukosis was subdivided into poorly differentiated (12 cases) and well differentiated myeloblastosis (two).

  13. 'WORLD OF BIRDS' WILDLIFE SANCTUARY

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The development and activities of the 'World of Birds' Wildlife. Sanctuary, near Cape Town, are .... For the time being the benefit for school outings will be mainly visual ... feed, sing, display, build nests, incubate, feed chicks - and even fight.

  14. Biodiversity in temperate European grasslands: origin and conservation.

    OpenAIRE

    Pärtel, Meelis; Bruun, Hans Henrik; Sammul, Marek

    2005-01-01

    Northern Europe is in the forest zone, but wild megaherbivores have maintained grass-dominated vegetation here for the last 1.8 million years. Continuity of the grassland biome through glacialinterglacial cycles and connection to steppe vegetation has resulted in the evolution, immigration, and survival of a large number of grassland species. During the last millennia the effect of wild ungulates has been replaced by domestic grazers and hay making, and the persistence of grasslan...

  15. Methods for evaluation of the invasibility of grasslands

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Strandberg, M. T.; Strandberg, B.; Erneberg, M.

    The number of non-native plant species in Danish dry acidic grasslands was positively correlated with the cover of disturbance in the form of molehills, anthills, mouseholes and erosion due trampling or digging by large herbivores/livestock. Natural disturbance in acidic grassland ecosystems...... not grazed by livestock therefore is important for the occurrence of non-native species, and probably also for the occurrence of a high native floristic diversity....

  16. PV water pumping systems for grassland and farmland conservation

    OpenAIRE

    Campana, Pietro Elia

    2013-01-01

    Grassland degradation is considered as one of the worst environmental and economic problems in China because of the negative impacts on water and food security. The application of the photovoltaic water pumping (PVWP) technology for irrigation is an innovative and sustainable solution to curb the progress of grassland desertification and to promote the conservation of farmland in remote areas. The combination of PVWP with water saving irrigation techniques and the sustainable management of th...

  17. Individual-based ecology of coastal birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stillman, Richard A; Goss-Custard, John D

    2010-08-01

    Conservation objectives for non-breeding coastal birds (shorebirds and wildfowl) are determined from their population size at coastal sites. To advise coastal managers, models must predict quantitatively the effects of environmental change on population size or the demographic rates (mortality and reproduction) that determine it. As habitat association models and depletion models are not able to do this, we developed an approach that has produced such predictions thereby enabling policy makers to make evidence-based decisions. Our conceptual framework is individual-based ecology, in which populations are viewed as having properties (e.g. size) that arise from the traits (e.g. behaviour, physiology) and interactions of their constituent individuals. The link between individuals and populations is made through individual-based models (IBMs) that follow the fitness-maximising decisions of individuals and predict population-level consequences (e.g. mortality rate) from the fates of these individuals. Our first IBM was for oystercatchers Haematopus ostralegus and accurately predicted their density-dependent mortality. Subsequently, IBMs were developed for several shorebird and wildfowl species at several European sites, and were shown to predict accurately overwinter mortality, and the foraging behaviour from which predictions are derived. They have been used to predict the effect on survival in coastal birds of sea level rise, habitat loss, wind farm development, shellfishing and human disturbance. This review emphasises the wider applicability of the approach, and identifies other systems to which it could be applied. We view the IBM approach as a very useful contribution to the general problem of how to advance ecology to the point where we can routinely make meaningful predictions of how populations respond to environmental change.

  18. Birds of the Mongol Empire

    OpenAIRE

    Eugene N. Anderson

    2016-01-01

    The Mongol Empire, the largest contiguous empire the world has ever known, had, among other things, a goodly number of falconers, poultry raisers, birdcatchers, cooks, and other experts on various aspects of birding. We have records of this, largely in the Yinshan Zhengyao, the court nutrition manual of the Mongol empire in China (the Yuan Dynasty). It discusses in some detail 22 bird taxa, from swans to chickens. The Huihui Yaofang, a medical encyclopedia, lists ten taxa used medicinally. Ma...

  19. 78 FR 53217 - Migratory Bird Hunting; Migratory Bird Hunting Regulations on Certain Federal Indian Reservations...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-08-28

    ..., and by what means such birds or any part, nest, or egg thereof may be taken, hunted, captured, killed... Service 50 CFR Part 20 Migratory Bird Hunting; Migratory Bird Hunting Regulations on Certain Federal...-FXMB1231099BPP0] RIN 1018-AY87 Migratory Bird Hunting; Migratory Bird Hunting Regulations on Certain Federal...

  20. 76 FR 19875 - Migratory Bird Hunting; Proposed 2011-12 Migratory Game Bird Hunting Regulations (Preliminary...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-04-08

    ..., carriage, or export of any * * * bird, or any part, nest, or egg'' of migratory game birds can take place... 50 CFR Part 20 Migratory Bird Hunting; Proposed 2011-12 Migratory Game Bird Hunting Regulations (Preliminary) With Requests for Indian Tribal Proposals and Requests for 2013 Spring and Summer Migratory Bird...

  1. The Eurasian Dry Grassland Group (EDGG in 2016–2017

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Venn Stephen

    2018-06-01

    Full Text Available This report summarizes the activities and achievements of the Eurasian Dry Grassland Group (EDGG from mid-2016 through to the end of 2017. During this period, the 13th Eurasian Grassland Conference took place in Sighişoara, Romania, and the 14th conference was held in Riga, Latvia. The 10th EDGG Field Workshop on Biodiversity patterns across a precipitation gradient in the Central Apennine mountains was conducted in the Central Apennines, Italy, this time in addition to multi-scale sampling of vascular plants, bryophytes and lichens, also including one animal group (leaf hoppers. Apart from the quarterly issues of its own electronic journal (Bulletin of the Eurasian Dry Grassland Group, EDGG also finalised five grassland-related Special Features/Issues during the past 1.5 years in the following international journals: Applied Vegetation Science, Biodiversity and Conservation, Phytocoenologia, Tuexenia and Hacquetia. Beyond that, EDGG facilitated various national and supra-national vegetationplot databases of grasslands and established its own specialised database for standardised multi-scale plot data of Palaearctic grasslands (GrassPlot.

  2. Impacts of Future Grassland Changes on Surface Climate in Mongolia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fan Zhang

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Climate change caused by land use/cover change (LUCC is becoming a hot topic in current global change, especially the changes caused by the grassland degradation. In this paper, based on the baseline underlying surface data of 1993, the predicted underlying surface data which can be derived through overlaying the grassland degradation information to the map of baseline underlying surface, and the atmospheric forcing data of RCP 6.0 from CMIP5, climatological changes caused by future grassland changes for the years 2010–2020 and 2040–2050 with the Weather Research Forecast model (WRF are simulated. The model-based analysis shows that future grassland degradation will significantly result in regional climate change. The grassland degradation in future could lead to an increasing trend of temperature in most areas and corresponding change range of the annual average temperature of −0.1°C–0.4°C, and it will cause a decreasing trend of precipitation and corresponding change range of the annual average precipitation of 10 mm–50 mm. This study identifies lines of evidence for effects of future grassland degradation on regional climate in Mongolia which provides meaningful decision-making information for the development and strategy plan making in Mongolia.

  3. Coordinated bird monitoring: Technical recommendations for military lands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bart, Jonathan; Manning, Ann; Fischer, Richard; Eberly, Chris

    2012-01-01

    The Department of Defense (DoD) is subject to several rules and regulations establishing responsibilities for monitoring migratory birds. The Sikes Act requires all military installations with significant natural resources to prepare and implement Integrated Natural Resources Management Plans (INRMPs). These plans guide the conservation and long-term management of natural resources on military lands in a manner that is compatible with and sustains the military mission. An INRMP also supports compliance with all legal requirements and guides the military in fulfilling its obligation to be a good steward of public land.The management and conservation of migratory birds is addressed in installation INRMPs. The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) requires federal agencies to evaluate and disclose the potential environmental impacts of their proposed actions. More recently, DoD signed an MOU (http://www.dodpif.org/downloads/EO13186_MOU-DoD.pdf) for migratory birds, under Executive Order 13186, with the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) in July 2006 and a Migratory Bird Rule (http://www.dodpif.org/downloads/MigBirdFINALRule_FRFeb2007.pdf) was passed by Congress in February 2007. The Migratory Bird Rule addresses the potential impacts of military readiness activities on populations of migratory birds and establishes a process to implement conservation measures if and when a military readiness activity is expected to have a significant adverse impact on a population of migratory bird species (as determined through the NEPA process). The MOU states that for nonmilitary readiness activities, prior to initiating any activity likely to affect populations of migratory birds DoD shall (1) identify the migratory bird species likely to occur in the area of the proposed action and determine if any species of concern could be affected by the activity, and (2) assess and document, using NEPA when applicable, the effect of the proposed action on species of concern. By

  4. Bird banding and climate change: can we make a difference?

    Science.gov (United States)

    C. John Ralph; Jared D. Wolfe

    2014-01-01

    So how does your banding effort fit into the new paradigm of climate science? A little background: many bird populations underwent mass declines during the 19th century from a variety of causes including hunting and habitat change. Current human-induced climate change represents a new and fast-acting pressure that is inherently more difficult to curtail and may drive...

  5. Condition varies with habitat choice in postbreeding forest birds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scott H. Stoleson

    2013-01-01

    Many birds that are experiencing population declines require extensive tracts of mature forest habitat for breeding. Recent work suggests that at least some may shift their habitat use to early-successional areas after nesting but before migration. I used constant-effort mist netting in regenerating clearcuts (4-8 years postcut) and dense mature-forest understories to...

  6. Regional Forest Fragmentation and the Nesting Success of Migratory Birds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scott K. Robinson; Frank R. Thompson III; Therese M. Donovan; Donald R. Whitehead; John Faaborg

    1995-01-01

    Forest fragmentation, the disruption in the continuity of forest habitat, is hypothesized to be a major cause of population decline for, some species of forest birds because fragmentation reduces nesting (reproductive) success. Nest predation and parasitism by cowbirds increased with forest fragmentation in nine midwestern (United States)landscapes that varied from 6...

  7. Seasonal mortality and sequential density dependence in a migratory bird

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rakhimberdiev, Eldar; van den Hout, Piet J.; Brugge, Maarten; Spaans, Bernard; Piersma, Theunis

    2015-01-01

    Migratory bird populations may be limited during one or more seasons, and thus at one or more places, but there is a dearth of empirical examples of this possibility. We analyse seasonal survival in a migratory shellfish-eating shorebird (red knot Calidris canutus islandica) during a series of years

  8. POPULATION DYNAMICS OF SMALL MAMMALS ACROSS A NITROGEN AMENDED LANDSCAPE

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biogeochemical alterations of the nitrogen cycle from anthropogenic activities could have significant effects on ecological processes at the population, community and ecosystem levels. Nitrogen additions in grasslands have produced qualitative and quantitative changes in vegetat...

  9. Genetic Evidence for Contrasting Wetland and Savannah Habitat Specializations in Different Populations of Lions (Panthera leo).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moore, Andy E; Cotterill, Fenton P D Woody; Winterbach, Christiaan W; Winterbach, Hanlie E K; Antunes, Agostinho; O'Brien, Stephen J

    2016-03-01

    South-central Africa is characterized by an archipelago of wetlands, which has evolved in time and space since at least the Miocene, providing refugia for animal species during Pleistocene arid episodes. Their importance for biodiversity in the region is reflected in the evolution of a variety of specialist mammal and bird species, adapted to exploit these wetland habitats. Populations of lions (Panthera leo) across south-central and east Africa have contrasting signatures of mitochondrial DNA haplotypes and biparental nuclear DNA in wetland and savannah habitats, respectively, pointing to the evolution of distinct habitat preferences. This explains the absence of genetic admixture of populations from the Kalahari savannah of southwest Botswana and the Okavango wetland of northern Botswana, despite separation by only 500 km. We postulate that ancestral lions were wetland specialists and that the savannah lions evolved from populations that were isolated during arid Pleistocene episodes. Expansion of grasslands and the resultant increase in herbivore populations during mesic Pleistocene climatic episodes provided the stimulus for the rapid population expansion and diversification of the highly successful savannah lion specialists. Our model has important implications for lion conservation. © The American Genetic Association 2015. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  10. Birds of Conservation Concern

    Data.gov (United States)

    Department of the Interior — The 1988 amendment to the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act mandates the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) to “identify species, subspecies, and populations of...

  11. Relationship between plant biodiversity and heavy metal bioavailability in grasslands overlying an abandoned mine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hernández, A J; Pastor, J

    2008-04-01

    Abandoned metal mines in the Sierra de Guadarrama, Madrid, Spain, are often located in areas of high ecological value. This is true of an abandoned barium mine situated in the heart of a bird sanctuary. Today the area sustains grasslands, interspersed with oakwood formations of Quercus ilex and heywood scrub (Retama sphaerocarpa L.), used by cattle, sheep and wild animals. Our study was designed to establish a relationship between the plant biodiversity of these grasslands and the bioavailability of heavy metals in the topsoil layer of this abandoned mine. We conducted soil chemical analyses and performed a greenhouse evaluation of the effects of different soil heavy metal concentrations on biodiversity. The greenhouse bioassays were run for 6 months using soil samples obtained from the mine polluted with heavy metals (Cu, Zn, Pb and Cd) and from a control pasture. Soil heavy metal and Na concentrations, along with the pH, had intense negative effects on plant biodiversity, as determined through changes in the Shannon index and species richness. Numbers of grasses, legumes, and composites were reduced, whilst other species (including ruderals) were affected to a lesser extent. Zinc had the greatest effect on biodiversity, followed by Cd and Cu. When we compared the sensitivity of the biodiversity indicators to the different metal content variables, pseudototal metal concentrations determined by X-ray fluorescence (XRF) were the most sensitive, followed by available and soluble metal contents. Worse correlations between biodiversity variables and metal variables were shown by pseudototal contents obtained by plasma emission spectroscopy (ICP-OES). Our results highlight the importance of using as many different indicators as possible to reliably assess the response shown by plants to heavy metal soil pollution.

  12. Does Evapotranspiration Increase When Forests are converted to Grasslands?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Varcoe, Robert; Sterling, Shannon

    2017-04-01

    The conversion of forests to grasslands (FGC) is a widespread land cover change (LCC) and is also among the most commonly studied changes with respect to its impact on ET; such research employs a variety of experimental approaches, including, paired catchment (PC), Budyko and land surface models (LSM), and measurement methods, including the catchment water balance (CWB), eddy covariance (EC) and remote sensing (RS). Until recently, there has been consensus in the scientific literature that rates of ET decrease when a forest is converted to grassland; however, this consensus has recently come into question. Williams (2012) applied the Budyko framework to a global network of eddy covariance measurements with the results that grasslands have a 9% greater evaporative index than forests. In addition, HadGEM2, a recent Hadley Centre LSM, produced increased ET in the northern Amazon Basin after simulating global scale tropical deforestation (Brovkin et al., 2015). Here we present an analysis of available estimates of how ET rates change with FGC to increase our understanding of the forest - grassland-ET paradigm. We used two datasets to investigate the impacts land cover change on ET. I compiled a dataset of change in ET with land cover change (ΔETLCC) using published experiments that compare forest and grassland ET under conditions controlled for meteorological and landscape influences. Using the ΔETLCC dataset, we show that, in all cases, forest ET is higher than grassland under controlled conditions. Results suggest that the eddy covariance method measures smaller changes in ET when forests are converted to grasslands, though more data are needed for this result to be statistically significant. Finally, GETA2.0, a new global dataset of annual ET, projects that forest ET is greater than grassland, except at high latitudes and areas where orography influences precipitation (P). The data included in this study represent the data available on forest and grassland ET

  13. Sensitivity of Coastal Environments and Wildlife to Spilled Oil: Northwest Arctic, Alaska: BIRDS (Bird Polygons)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set contains sensitive biological resource data for wading birds, shorebirds, waterfowl, raptors, diving birds, pelagic birds, and gulls/terns in Northwest...

  14. Annotated Bibliography of Bird Hazards to Aircraft: Bird Strike Committee Citations 1967-1997

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Short, Jeffrey

    1998-01-01

    .... This annotated bibliography of bird hazards to aircraft, termed ABBHA, is a compilation of citations with abstracts on a wide range of related topics such as bird strike tolerance engineering, bird...

  15. Sensitivity of Coastal Environments and Wildlife to Spilled Oil: Northern California: BIRDS (Bird Polygons)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set contains sensitive biological resource data for alcids, diving birds, gulls, terns, passerines, pelagic birds, raptors, shorebirds, wading birds, and...

  16. Birds as predators in tropical agroforestry systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Bael, Sunshine A; Philpott, Stacy M; Greenberg, Russell; Bichier, Peter; Barber, Nicholas A; Mooney, Kailen A; Gruner, Daniel S

    2008-04-01

    Insectivorous birds reduce arthropod abundances and their damage to plants in some, but not all, studies where predation by birds has been assessed. The variation in bird effects may be due to characteristics such as plant productivity or quality, habitat complexity, and/or species diversity of predator and prey assemblages. Since agroforestry systems vary in such characteristics, these systems provide a good starting point for understanding when and where we can expect predation by birds to be important. We analyze data from bird exclosure studies in forests and agroforestry systems to ask whether birds consistently reduce their arthropod prey base and whether bird predation differs between forests and agroforestry systems. Further, we focus on agroforestry systems to ask whether the magnitude of bird predation (1) differs between canopy trees and understory plants, (2) differs when migratory birds are present or absent, and (3) correlates with bird abundance and diversity. We found that, across all studies, birds reduce all arthropods, herbivores, carnivores, and plant damage. We observed no difference in the magnitude of bird effects between agroforestry systems and forests despite simplified habitat structure and plant diversity in agroforests. Within agroforestry systems, bird reduction of arthropods was greater in the canopy than the crop layer. Top-down effects of bird predation were especially strong during censuses when migratory birds were present in agroforestry systems. Importantly, the diversity of the predator assemblage correlated with the magnitude of predator effects; where the diversity of birds, especially migratory birds, was greater, birds reduced arthropod densities to a greater extent. We outline potential mechanisms for relationships between bird predator, insect prey, and habitat characteristics, and we suggest future studies using tropical agroforests as a model system to further test these areas of ecological theory.

  17. Woody structure facilitates invasion of woody plants by providing perches for birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prather, Chelse M; Huynh, Andrew; Pennings, Steven C

    2017-10-01

    Woody encroachment threatens prairie ecosystems globally, and thus understanding the mechanisms that facilitate woody encroachment is of critical importance. Coastal tallgrass prairies along the Gulf Coast of the US are currently threatened by the spread of several species of woody plants. We studied a coastal tallgrass prairie in Texas, USA, to determine if existing woody structure increased the supply of seeds from woody plants via dispersal by birds. Specifically, we determined if (i) more seedlings of an invasive tree ( Tridacia sebifera ) are present surrounding a native woody plant ( Myrica cerifera ); (ii) wooden perches increase the quantity of seeds dispersed to a grassland; and (iii) perches alter the composition of the seed rain seasonally in prairie habitats with differing amounts of native and invasive woody vegetation, both underneath and away from artificial wooden perches. More T. sebifera seedlings were found within M. cerifera patches than in graminoid-dominated areas. Although perches did not affect the total number of seeds, perches changed the composition of seed rain to be less dominated by grasses and forbs. Specifically, 20-30 times as many seeds of two invasive species of woody plants were found underneath perches independent of background vegetation, especially during months when seed rain was highest. These results suggest that existing woody structure in a grassland can promote further woody encroachment by enhancing seed dispersal by birds. This finding argues for management to reduce woody plant abundance before exotic plants set seeds and argues against the use of artificial perches as a restoration technique in grasslands threatened by woody species.

  18. Flea abundance, diversity, and plague in Gunnison's prairie dogs (Cynomys gunnisoni) and their burrows in montane grasslands in northern New Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Megan M. Friggens; Robert R. Parmenter; Michael Boyden; Paulette L. Ford; Kenneth Gage; Paul Keim

    2010-01-01

    Plague, a flea-transmitted infectious disease caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis, is a primary threat to the persistence of prairie dog populations (Cynomys spp.). We conducted a 3-yr survey (2004-2006) of fleas from Gunnison's prairie dogs (Cynomys gunnisoni) and their burrows in montane grasslands in Valles Caldera National Preserve in New Mexico. Our...

  19. Non-market value of Estonian seminatural grasslands: a contingent valuation study. Eesti poolloodusliku rohumaa turuväline väärtus: tingliku hindamise uuring

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Helli Lepasaar

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Seminatural grasslands i.e. the floodplain meadows, seashore meadows, wooded meadows, dry meadows, wooded pastures are the very traditional part of Estonian landscapes, which play an important role in the appearance of the landscape in general and also serve as an important habitat for many plant and animal species. In order to preserve the seminatural grasslands continuous annual mowing and/or pasturing is needed. This activity is not economically profitable and needs subsidizing. The authors of the work raise a hypothesis that the Estonian seminatural grasslands could be viewed as a valuable non-market environmental good for which a significant public demand exists. In order to find out the non-market value of the seminatural grasslands a contingent valuation study was carried out among the Estonian working-age population (size of the sample 1061 individuals. The average individual willingness to pay was 11.3 euros. During the study, the authors constructed the total demand function and discovered that the total annual demand for seminatural grasslands was 17.9 million euros.

  20. Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza Virus among Wild Birds in Mongolia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gilbert, Martin; Jambal, Losolmaa; Karesh, William B.; Fine, Amanda; Shiilegdamba, Enkhtuvshin; Dulam, Purevtseren; Sodnomdarjaa, Ruuragchaa; Ganzorig, Khuukhenbaatar; Batchuluun, Damdinjav; Tseveenmyadag, Natsagdorj; Bolortuya, Purevsuren; Cardona, Carol J.; Leung, Connie Y. H.; Peiris, J. S. Malik; Spackman, Erica; Swayne, David E.; Joly, Damien O.

    2012-01-01

    Mongolia combines a near absence of domestic poultry, with an abundance of migratory waterbirds, to create an ideal location to study the epidemiology of highly pathogenic avian influenza virus (HPAIV) in a purely wild bird system. Here we present the findings of active and passive surveillance for HPAIV subtype H5N1 in Mongolia from 2005–2011, together with the results of five outbreak investigations. In total eight HPAIV outbreaks were confirmed in Mongolia during this period. Of these, one was detected during active surveillance employed by this project, three by active surveillance performed by Mongolian government agencies, and four through passive surveillance. A further three outbreaks were recorded in the neighbouring Tyva Republic of Russia on a lake that bisects the international border. No HPAIV was isolated (cultured) from 7,855 environmental fecal samples (primarily from ducks), or from 2,765 live, clinically healthy birds captured during active surveillance (primarily shelducks, geese and swans), while four HPAIVs were isolated from 141 clinically ill or dead birds located through active surveillance. Two low pathogenic avian influenza viruses (LPAIV) were cultured from ill or dead birds during active surveillance, while environmental feces and live healthy birds yielded 56 and 1 LPAIV respectively. All Mongolian outbreaks occurred in 2005 and 2006 (clade 2.2), or 2009 and 2010 (clade 2.3.2.1); all years in which spring HPAIV outbreaks were reported in Tibet and/or Qinghai provinces in China. The occurrence of outbreaks in areas deficient in domestic poultry is strong evidence that wild birds can carry HPAIV over at least moderate distances. However, failure to detect further outbreaks of clade 2.2 after June 2006, and clade 2.3.2.1 after June 2010 suggests that wild birds migrating to and from Mongolia may not be competent as indefinite reservoirs of HPAIV, or that HPAIV did not reach susceptible populations during our study. PMID:22984464

  1. Street trees reduce the negative effects of urbanization on birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pena, João Carlos de Castro; Martello, Felipe; Ribeiro, Milton Cezar; Armitage, Richard A; Young, Robert J; Rodrigues, Marcos

    2017-01-01

    The effects of streets on biodiversity is an important aspect of urban ecology, but it has been neglected worldwide. Several vegetation attributes (e.g. street tree density and diversity) have important effects on biodiversity and ecological processes. In this study, we evaluated the influences of urban vegetation-represented by characteristics of street trees (canopy size, proportion of native tree species and tree species richness)-and characteristics of the landscape (distance to parks and vegetation quantity), and human impacts (human population size and exposure to noise) on taxonomic data and functional diversity indices of the bird community inhabiting streets. The study area was the southern region of Belo Horizonte (Minas Gerais, Brazil), a largely urbanized city in the understudied Neotropical region. Bird data were collected on 60 point count locations distributed across the streets of the landscape. We used a series of competing GLM models (using Akaike's information criterion for small sample sizes) to assess the relative contribution of the different sets of variables to explain the observed patterns. Seventy-three bird species were observed exploiting the streets: native species were the most abundant and frequent throughout this landscape. The bird community's functional richness and Rao's Quadratic Entropy presented values lower than 0.5. Therefore, this landscape was favoring few functional traits. Exposure to noise was the most limiting factor for this bird community. However, the average size of arboreal patches and, especially the characteristics of street trees, were able to reduce the negative effects of noise on the bird community. These results show the importance of adequately planning the urban afforestation process: increasing tree species richness, preserving large trees and planting more native trees species in the streets are management practices that will increase bird species richness, abundance and community functional aspects and

  2. Prevalence of Chlamydia psittaci and Other Chlamydia Species in Wild Birds in Poland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krawiec, Marta; Piasecki, Tomasz; Wieliczko, Alina

    2015-11-01

    Avian chlamydiosis is a zoonotic disease occurring in humans, poultry, and exotic birds. It has been suggested that some wild bird species play an important role as reservoirs for Chlamydia, especially Chlamydia psittaci. Whereas C. psittaci is the predominant chlamydial agent in birds, in the present study we have determined the prevalence of different species of Chlamydia among selected wild bird species in Poland using a rapid and sensitive real-time PCR method. In total, 369 free-living birds from 35 bird species and 15 orders were examined. Samples from 27 birds (7.3%) were positive for chlamydial DNA in the PCR; 22 positive samples (81.5%) belonged to C. psittaci, three to Chlamydia trachomatis (11.1%), and two (7.4%) classified only to the genus Chlamydia. Most of C. psittaci-positive samples belonged to five orders: Anseriformes, Columbiformes, Gruiformes, Phasianiformes, and Passeriformes. All C. trachomatis samples were obtained from Eurasian coots (Gruiformes). Two Chlamydia-positive samples not classified to any Chlamydia species were obtained from a common wood pigeon (Columbiformes) and a common buzzard (Accipitriformes). Detection of C. psittaci and C. trachomatis in free-living bird populations force to think on significance of birds as reservoir of varied Chlamydia species and their epidemiological importance.

  3. WT Bird. Bird collision recording for offshore wind farms

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wiggelinkhuizen, E.J.; Rademakers, L.W.M.M.; Barhorst, S.A.M. [ECN Wind Energy, Petten (Netherlands); Den Boon, H. [E-Connection Project, Bunnik (Netherlands); Dirksen, S. [Bureau Waardenburg, Culemborg (Netherlands); Schekkerman, H. [Alterra, Wageningen (Netherlands)

    2004-11-01

    A new method for monitoring of bird collisions has been developed using video and audio registrations that are triggered by sound and vibration measurements. Remote access to the recorded images and sounds makes it possible to count the number of collisions as well as to identify the species. After the successful proof of principle and evaluation on small land-based turbines the system is now being designed for offshore wind farms. Currently the triggering system and video and audio registration are being tested on large land-based wind turbines using bird dummies. Tests of three complete prototype systems are planned for 2005.

  4. WT-Bird. Bird collision recording for offshore wind farms

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wiggelinkhuizen, E.J.; Rademakers, L.W.M.M.; Barhorst, S.A.M. [ECN Wind Energy, Petten (Netherlands); Den Boon, H.J. [E-Connection Project, Bunnik (Netherlands); Dirksen, S. [Bureau Waardenburg, Culemborg (Netherlands); Schekkerman, H. [Alterra, Wageningen (Netherlands)

    2006-03-15

    A new method for registration of bird collisions has been developed using video cameras and microphones combined with event triggering by acoustic vibration measurement. Remote access to the recorded images and sounds makes it possible to count the number of collisions as well as to identify the species. Currently a prototype system is being tested on an offshore-scale land-based wind turbine using bird dummies. After these tests we planned to perform endurance tests on other land-based turbines under offshore-like conditions.

  5. Birds and Aircraft on Midway Islands, 1959-63 Investigations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robbins, C.S.

    1966-01-01

    At Midway Naval Station, 1.100 miles west-northwest of Honolulu, military aircraft collide with flying albatrosses at the rate of about 300 to 400 per year. One aircraft out of every five that hits an albatross on takeoff either aborts (stops before it is airborne), or dumps fuel and returns for appraisal of damage. About 70,000 pairs of Laysan albatrosses and 7,000 pairs of blackfooted albatrosses nest at Midway in any given year. The population is declining. Two-thirds or more of the birds of breeding age nest each year. The minimum breeding age recorded is 5 years (each species), but many individuals do not nest until at least 7 years of age. Young birds begin to return to Midway at 3 years of age and are found more frequently as breeding age approaches. They come ashore more frequently in March and April (the high bird strike months) than in midwinter. Even in midwinter the number of 'walkers' (birds not on nests) may comprise more than 40 percent of the albatrosses present on Sand Island, Midway. Maximum longevity of the Laysan albatross is believed to exceed 40 years; 6 out of 99 birds banded as breeding adults (7+ years old) were still alive 24 years after banding. Control methods tested experimentally include disturbance, gunfire, other sounds, radar beams, smoke, odors, destruction of nests, eggs, chicks, and adults, moving of birds, eggs, and chicks, erection of obstacles to flight, and habitat management. Habitat management (leveling and hardsurfacing of shoulders of runways) has been the most effective. Albatrosses were counted over the runways at 10 locations in 1957, 1958, and 1960 to determine the effects of wind direction, wind speed, and topography on the numbers of flying birds. Birds were most concentrated in areas where rising air currents were created as winds blew against dunes or tall trees. Soaring and strike rate both increased with greater wind speeds. There was a highly significant correlation between strike frequency and wind direction

  6. Application of Multi-Source Remote Sensing Image in Yunnan Province Grassland Resources Investigation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, J.; Wen, G.; Li, D.

    2018-04-01

    Trough mastering background information of Yunnan province grassland resources utilization and ecological conditions to improves grassland elaborating management capacity, it carried out grassland resource investigation work by Yunnan province agriculture department in 2017. The traditional grassland resource investigation method is ground based investigation, which is time-consuming and inefficient, especially not suitable for large scale and hard-to-reach areas. While remote sensing is low cost, wide range and efficient, which can reflect grassland resources present situation objectively. It has become indispensable grassland monitoring technology and data sources and it has got more and more recognition and application in grassland resources monitoring research. This paper researches application of multi-source remote sensing image in Yunnan province grassland resources investigation. First of all, it extracts grassland resources thematic information and conducts field investigation through BJ-2 high space resolution image segmentation. Secondly, it classifies grassland types and evaluates grassland degradation degree through high resolution characteristics of Landsat 8 image. Thirdly, it obtained grass yield model and quality classification through high resolution and wide scanning width characteristics of MODIS images and sample investigate data. Finally, it performs grassland field qualitative analysis through UAV remote sensing image. According to project area implementation, it proves that multi-source remote sensing data can be applied to the grassland resources investigation in Yunnan province and it is indispensable method.

  7. Surveillance for avian influenza viruses in wild birds in Denmark and Greenland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hjulsager, Charlotte Kristiane; Breum, Solvej Østergaard; Trebbien, Ramona

    Avian influenza (AI) is a disease of major threat to poultry production. Surveillance of AI in wild birds contributes to the control of AI. In Denmark (DK) and Greenland (GL), extensive surveillance of AI viruses in the wild bird population has been conducted. The surveillance aimed at detecting......7 subtypes were detected throughout the period together with several other LPAI subtypes. In GL, HPAI was not detected, but few samples were PCR positive for AI. The occurrence of AI subtypes in the wild bird population correlates with concurrent outbreaks of LPAI in Danish poultry, which may...

  8. Prairie chicken populations of the Sheyenne Delta in North Dakota, 1961-1987

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jerry D. Kobriger; David P. Vollink; Michael E. Mcneill; Kenneth F. Higgins

    1988-01-01

    Prairie chickens (Tympanuchus cupido pinnatus) were first censused on the Sheyenne Grasslands in 1961. The population was extremely low in the 1960's, gradually increased in the 1970's, and reached a peak of 410 in 1980. Sufficient evidence exists to link the increase in numbers of prairie chickens on the grasslands from 1961 through 1987...

  9. Using urban forest assessment tools to model bird habitat potential

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lerman, Susannah B.; Nislow, Keith H.; Nowak, David J.; DeStefano, Stephen; King, David I.; Jones-Farrand, D. Todd

    2014-01-01

    The alteration of forest cover and the replacement of native vegetation with buildings, roads, exotic vegetation, and other urban features pose one of the greatest threats to global biodiversity. As more land becomes slated for urban development, identifying effective urban forest wildlife management tools becomes paramount to ensure the urban forest provides habitat to sustain bird and other wildlife populations. The primary goal of this study was to integrate wildlife suitability indices to an existing national urban forest assessment tool, i-Tree. We quantified available habitat characteristics of urban forests for ten northeastern U.S. cities, and summarized bird habitat relationships from the literature in terms of variables that were represented in the i-Tree datasets. With these data, we generated habitat suitability equations for nine bird species representing a range of life history traits and conservation status that predicts the habitat suitability based on i-Tree data. We applied these equations to the urban forest datasets to calculate the overall habitat suitability for each city and the habitat suitability for different types of land-use (e.g., residential, commercial, parkland) for each bird species. The proposed habitat models will help guide wildlife managers, urban planners, and landscape designers who require specific information such as desirable habitat conditions within an urban management project to help improve the suitability of urban forests for birds.

  10. Incorporating grassland management in a global vegetation model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chang, Jinfeng; Viovy, Nicolas; Vuichard, Nicolas; Ciais, Philippe; Wang, Tao; Cozic, Anne; Lardy, Romain; Graux, Anne-Isabelle; Klumpp, Katja; Martin, Raphael; Soussana, Jean-François

    2013-04-01

    Grassland is a widespread vegetation type, covering nearly one-fifth of the world's land surface (24 million km2), and playing a significant role in the global carbon (C) cycle. Most of grasslands in Europe are cultivated to feed animals, either directly by grazing or indirectly by grass harvest (cutting). A better understanding of the C fluxes from grassland ecosystems in response to climate and management requires not only field experiments but also the aid of simulation models. ORCHIDEE process-based ecosystem model designed for large-scale applications treats grasslands as being unmanaged, where C / water fluxes are only subject to atmospheric CO2 and climate changes. Our study describes how management of grasslands is included in the ORCHIDEE, and how management affects modeled grassland-atmosphere CO2 fluxes. The new model, ORCHIDEE-GM (Grassland Management) is capable with a management module inspired from a grassland model (PaSim, version 5.0), of accounting for two grassland management practices (cutting and grazing). The evaluation of the results of ORCHIDEE-GM compared with those of ORCHIDEE at 11 European sites equipped with eddy covariance and biometric measurements, show that ORCHIDEE-GM can capture realistically the cut-induced seasonal variation in biometric variables (LAI: Leaf Area Index; AGB: Aboveground Biomass) and in CO2 fluxes (GPP: Gross Primary Productivity; TER: Total Ecosystem Respiration; and NEE: Net Ecosystem Exchange). But improvements at grazing sites are only marginal in ORCHIDEE-GM, which relates to the difficulty in accounting for continuous grazing disturbance and its induced complex animal-vegetation interactions. Both NEE and GPP on monthly to annual timescales can be better simulated in ORCHIDEE-GM than in ORCHIDEE without management. At some sites, the model-observation misfit in ORCHIDEE-GM is found to be more related to ill-constrained parameter values than to model structure. Additionally, ORCHIDEE-GM is able to simulate

  11. Invasive alien birds in Denmark

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fox, Anthony David; Heldbjerg, Henning; Nyegaard, Timme

    2015-01-01

    Avian Introduced Alien Species (IAS) constitute a threat to the integrity of native biodiversity, the economy and human health, so here we briefly review some of the problems posed by such species around the world in relation to such bird species in Denmark. A new European Union Regulation...... on Invasive Alien Species implemented in January 2015 establishes a framework for actions to combat alien species, which requires Member States to prevent the spread of alien species, provide early warning and rapid responses to their presence and management of established alien species where they occur. We...... show the importance of mechanisms such as DOF’s (Dansk Ornitologisk Forening, BirdLife Denmark) Atlas project, Common Bird Census (breeding and wintering species) and DOFbasen to contribute data on the current geographical and numerical distribution of the few serious alien avian species already...

  12. Invasive alien birds in Denmark

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nyegaard, Timme; Heldbjerg, Henning; Fox, Anthony David

    Avian Introduced Alien Species (IAS) constitute a threat to the integrity of native biodiversity, the economy and human health, so here we briefly review some of the problems posed by such species around the world in relation to bird species in Denmark. A new European Union Regulation on Invasive...... Alien Species implemented in January 2015 requires a framework for actions to combat alien species, which requires Member States to prevent the spread of alien species, provide early warning and rapid responses to their presence and management of established alien species where they occur. We show...... the importance of mechanisms such as DOFs (Danish Ornithological Society, BirdLife Denmark) Atlas project, Common Bird Monitoring (breeding and wintering species) and DOFbasen to contribute data on the current geographical and numerical distribution of the few serious alien avian species already present...

  13. Improving aquatic warbler population assessments by accounting for imperfect detection.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Steffen Oppel

    Full Text Available Monitoring programs designed to assess changes in population size over time need to account for imperfect detection and provide estimates of precision around annual abundance estimates. Especially for species dependent on conservation management, robust monitoring is essential to evaluate the effectiveness of management. Many bird species of temperate grasslands depend on specific conservation management to maintain suitable breeding habitat. One such species is the Aquatic Warbler (Acrocephalus paludicola, which breeds in open fen mires in Central Europe. Aquatic Warbler populations have so far been assessed using a complete survey that aims to enumerate all singing males over a large area. Because this approach provides no estimate of precision and does not account for observation error, detecting moderate population changes is challenging. From 2011 to 2013 we trialled a new line transect sampling monitoring design in the Biebrza valley, Poland, to estimate abundance of singing male Aquatic Warblers. We surveyed Aquatic Warblers repeatedly along 50 randomly placed 1-km transects, and used binomial mixture models to estimate abundances per transect. The repeated line transect sampling required 150 observer days, and thus less effort than the traditional 'full count' approach (175 observer days. Aquatic Warbler abundance was highest at intermediate water levels, and detection probability varied between years and was influenced by vegetation height. A power analysis indicated that our line transect sampling design had a power of 68% to detect a 20% population change over 10 years, whereas raw count data had a 9% power to detect the same trend. Thus, by accounting for imperfect detection we increased the power to detect population changes. We recommend to adopt the repeated line transect sampling approach for monitoring Aquatic Warblers in Poland and in other important breeding areas to monitor changes in population size and the effects of

  14. Ecology and Conservation of Steppes and Semi-Natural Grasslands

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Valkó Orsolya

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Palaearctic grasslands encompass a diverse variety of habitats, many of high nature value and vulnerability. The main challenges are climate-change, land-use change, agricultural intensification and abandonment. Many measures are in place to address these challenges, through restoration and appropriate management, though more work is necessary. We present eight studies from China/Germany, Greece, Kazakhstan, Russia and Ukraine. The papers cover a wide range of grassland and steppe habitats and cover vegetation ecology, syntaxonomy and zoology. We also conducted a systematic search on steppe and grassland diversity. The greatest number of studies was from China, followed by Germany and England. We conclude that the amount of research being carried out on Eurasian grasslands is inadequate considering their high levels of biodiversity and vulnerability. We hope to encourage readers to address current major challenges, such as how to manage grasslands for the benefit of diverse taxa, to ensure that conservation initiatives concentrate on sites where there is good potential for success and for the generation of realistic and viable conservation strategies.

  15. Classification of Grassland Successional Stages Using Airborne Hyperspectral Imagery

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas Möckel

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available Plant communities differ in their species composition, and, thus, also in their functional trait composition, at different stages in the succession from arable fields to grazed grassland. We examine whether aerial hyperspectral (414–2501 nm remote sensing can be used to discriminate between grazed vegetation belonging to different grassland successional stages. Vascular plant species were recorded in 104.1 m2 plots on the island of Öland (Sweden and the functional properties of the plant species recorded in the plots were characterized in terms of the ground-cover of grasses, specific leaf area and Ellenberg indicator values. Plots were assigned to three different grassland age-classes, representing 5–15, 16–50 and >50 years of grazing management. Partial least squares discriminant analysis models were used to compare classifications based on aerial hyperspectral data with the age-class classification. The remote sensing data successfully classified the plots into age-classes: the overall classification accuracy was higher for a model based on a pre-selected set of wavebands (85%, Kappa statistic value = 0.77 than one using the full set of wavebands (77%, Kappa statistic value = 0.65. Our results show that nutrient availability and grass cover differences between grassland age-classes are detectable by spectral imaging. These techniques may potentially be used for mapping the spatial distribution of grassland habitats at different successional stages.

  16. Chemical compass for bird navigation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Solov'yov, Ilia; Hore, Peter J.; Ritz, Thorsten

    2014-01-01

    Migratory birds travel spectacular distances each year, navigating and orienting by a variety of means, most of which are poorly understood. Among them is a remarkable ability to perceive the intensity and direction of the Earth's magnetic field. Biologically credible mechanisms for the detection...... increased interest following the proposal in 2000 that free radical chemistry could occur in the bird's retina initiated by photoexcitation of cryptochrome, a specialized photoreceptor protein. In the present paper we review the important physical and chemical constraints on a possible radical...

  17. Fuglene. Audubon: Birds of America

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schlichtkrull, Torsten

    2010-01-01

    The Royal Library owns one of the most exceptional works in book history, an original edition of John James Audubon Birds of America. This edition, in a format called “double elephant folio” was published from 1827 to 1838. On basis of existing literature, this article briefly describes the work...... the Royal Library and the University Library, joined the library cooperation of the 1800’s on an equal standing with the other two libraries. The Classen’s Library and the library’s founder, industrialist JF Classen are described briefly in this article. Due to two library mergers the Birds of America...

  18. Prescribed burning to affect a state transition in a shrub-encroached desert grassland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prescribed burning is a commonly advocated and historical practice for control of woody species encroachment into grasslands on all continents. However, desert grasslands of the southwestern United States often lack needed herbaceous fuel loads for effective prescriptions, dominant perennial gramin...

  19. East Africa's diminishing bird habitats and bird species

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    foreign exchange earnings for each national exchequer. However, recent national census records have .... Dar-es-. Salaam: Wildlife Conservation Society of Tanzania. Bennun, L & Njoroge, P. 1999. Important Bird Areas in Kenya, Nairobi: East Africa Natural. History Society. Byaruhanga, A, Kasoma, P. & Pomeroy, D. 2001.

  20. Carbon fluxes from an urban tropical grassland

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ng, B.J.L.; Hutyra, L.R.; Nguyen, H.; Cobb, A.R.; Kai, F.M.; Harvey, C.; Gandois, L.

    2015-01-01

    Turfgrass covers a large fraction of the urbanized landscape, but the carbon exchange of urban lawns is poorly understood. We used eddy covariance and flux chambers in a grassland field manipulative experiment to quantify the carbon mass balance in a Singapore tropical turfgrass. We also assessed how management and variations in environmental factors influenced CO 2 respiration. Standing aboveground turfgrass biomass was 80 gC m −2 , with a mean ecosystem respiration of 7.9 ± 1.1 μmol m −2  s −1 . The contribution of autotrophic respiration was 49–76% of total ecosystem respiration. Both chamber and eddy covariance measurements suggest the system was in approximate carbon balance. While we did not observe a significant relationship between the respiration rates and soil temperature or moisture, daytime fluxes increased during the rainy interval, indicating strong overall moisture sensitivity. Turfgrass biomass is small, but given its abundance across the urban landscape, it significantly influences diurnal CO 2 concentrations. - Highlights: • We measured urban turfgrass CO 2 respiration rates and soil characteristics. • Mean observed ecosystem respiration was 7.9 ± 1.1 μmol m −2  s −1 . • Soil temperature and moisture were largely insignificant drivers of observed flux. - We found a Singapore urban turfgrass to be approximately carbon neutral, with a mean ecosystem respiration of 7.9 ± 1.1 μmol m −2  s −1

  1. Changes in bird community composition in response to growth changes in short-rotation woody crop planting

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tolbert, V.R.; Hanowski, J.; Schiller, A.; Hoffman, W.; Christian, D.; Lindberg, J.

    1997-01-01

    Hybrid poplar established as intensively managed short-rotation woody crops (SRWC) on former agricultural lands can provide habitat for wildlife. Studies of bird use of SRWC for nesting and during fall migration have shown that the numbers and kinds of breeding birds using mature plantings of hybrid poplar are similar to natural forested lands. In Minnesota, the number of species of breeding birds using habitat provided by clonal-trial plantings and young larger-scale plantings (12-64 ha) of hybrid poplar were initially most similar to those using grasslands and row-crops. As the plantings approached canopy closure, successional species became predominant. In the Pacific Northwest, breeding bird composition and density were very similar for mature plantings and forested areas; however, fall migrants were found primarily in forested areas. In the Southeast, preliminary comparisons of breeding bird use of plantings of sweetgum and sycamore with naturally regenerating forests of different ages and sizes and vegetation structure are showing no size effect on use. As with hybrid poplar, species use of the more mature plantings of sweetgum and sycamore was most similar to that of natural forests. (author)

  2. Effects of shallow natural gas well structures and associated roads on grassland songbird reproductive success in Alberta, Canada.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jenny Yoo

    Full Text Available Grassland songbird populations across North America have experienced dramatic population declines due to habitat loss and degradation. In Canada, energy development continues to fragment and disturb prairie habitat, but effects of oil and gas development on reproductive success of songbirds in North American mixed-grass prairies remains largely unknown. From 2010-2012, in southeastern Alberta, Canada, we monitored 257 nests of two ground-nesting grassland songbird species, Savannah sparrow (Passerculus sandwichensis and chestnut-collared longspur (Calcarius ornatus. Nest locations varied with proximity to and density of conventional shallow gas well structures and associated roads in forty-two 258-ha mixed-grass prairie sites. We estimated the probabilities of nest success and clutch size relative to gas well structures and roads. There was little effect of distance to or density of gas well structure on nest success; however, Savannah sparrow experienced lower nest success near roads. Clutch sizes were lower near gas well structures and cattle water sources. Minimizing habitat disturbance surrounding gas well structures, and reducing abundance of roads and trails, would help minimize impacts on reproductive success for some grassland songbirds.

  3. Vegetation composition and structure influences bird species ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Vegetation composition and structure influences bird species community ... variables on bird species diversity and richness of respective foraging guilds, and ... of the species assessed: (1) increasing closed cover due to woody plant density, ...

  4. Public health concerns associated with care of free-living birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whittington, Julia K

    2011-09-01

    Free-living birds are not only susceptible to certain infectious diseases; wild bird populations serve as reservoirs of several important diseases of public health concern. Bacterial and viral diseases endemic in populations of free-living birds such as tuberculosis, avian influenza, arboviral infections, and enteropathogens have been classified as emerging or reemerging. Providing care to wild avian patients increases the opportunity for direct contact with infected birds and the possibility of transmission of infectious disease to human handlers. Awareness of disease potential is critical to disease monitoring of wild populations and will allow for the implementation of precautionary measures when working with wild avian species. Biosecurity measures designed to minimize risk must be evaluated by individual facilities.

  5. Assessing the Effects of Grassland Management on Forage Production and Environmental Quality to Identify Paths to Ecological Intensification in Mountain Grasslands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loucougaray, Grégory; Dobremez, Laurent; Gos, Pierre; Pauthenet, Yves; Nettier, Baptiste; Lavorel, Sandra

    2015-11-01

    Ecological intensification in grasslands can be regarded as a process for increasing forage production while maintaining high levels of ecosystem functions and biodiversity. In the mountain Vercors massif, where dairy cattle farming is the main component of agriculture, how to achieve forage autonomy at farm level while sustaining environmental quality for tourism and local dairy products has recently stimulated local debate. As specific management is one of the main drivers of ecosystem functioning, we assessed the response of forage production and environmental quality at grassland scale across a wide range of management practices. We aimed to determine which components of management can be harnessed to better match forage production and environmental quality. We sampled the vegetation of 51 grasslands stratified across 13 grassland types. We assessed each grassland for agronomic and environmental properties, measuring forage production, forage quality, and indices based on the abundance of particular plant species such as timing flexibility, apiarian potential, and aromatic plants. Our results revealed an expected trade-off between forage production and environmental quality, notably by stressing the contrasts between sown and permanent grasslands. However, strong within-type variability in both production and environmental quality as well as in flexibility of timing of use suggests possible ways to improve this trade-off at grassland and farm scales. As achieving forage autonomy relies on increasing both forage production and grassland resilience, our results highlight the critical role of the ratio between sown and permanent grasslands as a major path for ecological intensification in mountain grasslands.

  6. [Book review] Massachusetts breeding bird atlas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robbins, Chandler S.

    2005-01-01

    A glance at the dust jacket of this handsome volume drives home the conservation message that breeding bird atlases are designed to promote—that bird populations are changing over vast areas and, unless we become aware of changes in status and take remedial action, some species will disappear from our neighborhoods and even our county or state. A case in point involves the closely related Golden-winged Warbler (Vermivora chrysoptera) and Blue- winged Warbler (Vermivora pinus). The males are shown in the atlas with their breeding distribution maps. When I was an active birder in the Boston suburbs in the 1930s, the Golden-winged Warbler was a common breeder and it was a treat to find a Blue-winged Warbler. The atlas map 40 years later (1974–1979) shows only five confirmed records statewide for the Golden-winged Warbler, compared with 73 for the Blue-winged Warbler, and the Golden-winged Warbler is now listed as endangered by the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife. Nationally, it is a species of management concern.

  7. Relative roles of grey squirrels, supplementary feeding, and habitat in shaping urban bird assemblages.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bonnington, Colin; Gaston, Kevin J; Evans, Karl L

    2014-01-01

    Non-native species are frequently considered to influence urban assemblages. The grey squirrel Sciurus carolinensis is one such species that is widespread in the UK and is starting to spread across Europe; it predates birds' nests and can compete with birds for supplementary food. Using distance sampling across the urbanisation intensity gradient in Sheffield (UK) we test whether urban grey squirrels influence avian species richness and density through nest predation and competition for supplementary food sources. We also assess how urban bird assemblages respond to supplementary feeding. We find that grey squirrels slightly reduced the abundance of breeding bird species most sensitive to squirrel nest predation by reducing the beneficial impact of woodland cover. There was no evidence that grey squirrel presence altered relationships between supplementary feeding and avian assemblage structure. This may be because, somewhat surprisingly, supplementary feeding was not associated with the richness or density of wintering bird assemblages. These associations were positive during the summer, supporting advocacy to feed birds during the breeding season and not just winter, but explanatory capacity was limited. The amount of green space and its quality, assessed as canopy cover, had a stronger influence on avian species richness and population size than the presence of grey squirrels and supplementary feeding stations. Urban bird populations are thus more likely to benefit from investment in improving the availability of high quality habitats than controlling squirrel populations or increased investment in supplementary feeding.

  8. Effects of drainage-basin geomorphology on insectivorous bird abundance in temperate forests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iwata, Tomoya; Urabe, Jotaro; Mitsuhashi, Hiromune

    2010-10-01

    Interfaces between terrestrial and stream ecosystems often enhance species diversity and population abundance of ecological communities beyond levels that would be expected separately from both the ecosystems. Nevertheless, no study has examined how stream configuration within a watershed influences the population of terrestrial predators at the drainage-basin scale. We examined the habitat and abundance relationships of forest insectivorous birds in eight drainage basins in a cool temperate forest of Japan during spring and summer. Each basin has different drainage-basin geomorphology, such as the density and frequency of stream channels. In spring, when terrestrial arthropod prey biomass is limited, insectivorous birds aggregated in habitats closer to streams, where emerging aquatic prey was abundant. Nevertheless, birds ceased to aggregate around streams in summer because terrestrial prey became plentiful. Watershed-scale analyses showed that drainage basins with longer stream channels per unit area sustained higher densities of insectivorous birds. Moreover, such effects of streams on birds continued from spring through summer, even though birds dispersed out of riparian areas in the summer. Although our data are from only a single year, our findings imply that physical modifications of stream channels may reduce populations of forest birds; thus, they emphasize the importance of landscape-based management approaches that consider both stream and forest ecosystems for watershed biodiversity conservation. © 2010 Society for Conservation Biology.

  9. Relative roles of grey squirrels, supplementary feeding, and habitat in shaping urban bird assemblages.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Colin Bonnington

    Full Text Available Non-native species are frequently considered to influence urban assemblages. The grey squirrel Sciurus carolinensis is one such species that is widespread in the UK and is starting to spread across Europe; it predates birds' nests and can compete with birds for supplementary food. Using distance sampling across the urbanisation intensity gradient in Sheffield (UK we test whether urban grey squirrels influence avian species richness and density through nest predation and competition for supplementary food sources. We also assess how urban bird assemblages respond to supplementary feeding. We find that grey squirrels slightly reduced the abundance of breeding bird species most sensitive to squirrel nest predation by reducing the beneficial impact of woodland cover. There was no evidence that grey squirrel presence altered relationships between supplementary feeding and avian assemblage structure. This may be because, somewhat surprisingly, supplementary feeding was not associated with the richness or density of wintering bird assemblages. These associations were positive during the summer, supporting advocacy to feed birds during the breeding season and not just winter, but explanatory capacity was limited. The amount of green space and its quality, assessed as canopy cover, had a stronger influence on avian species richness and population size than the presence of grey squirrels and supplementary feeding stations. Urban bird populations are thus more likely to benefit from investment in improving the availability of high quality habitats than controlling squirrel populations or increased investment in supplementary feeding.

  10. Tools for Management for Grassland Ecosystem Sustainability: Thinking "Outside the Box"

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gerald J. Gottfried

    2004-01-01

    Grassland ecosystem management is dynamic and has adapted to the development of new tools and ideas. Our ancestors were indirectly managing grasslands when they learned to move livestock to take advantage of better water and greener forage. One could argue that even their hunting of grassland wildlife, especially the use of fire to drive animals to waiting hunters, had...

  11. Resilience and stability of the grasslands of the Transkei | B | African ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    In spite of very high stocking rates the grasslands of Transkei still have in many areas a high cover and many climax species. The concepts of resilience and stability are used in an attempt to explain dynamics of the grasslands. Keywords: resiliences|stabilities|grasslands|Transkei|stocking rates|basal covers|grass ...

  12. Evapotranspiration and soil moisture dynamics in a temperate grassland ecosystem in Inner Mongolia China

    Science.gov (United States)

    L. Hao; Ge Sun; Yongqiang Liu; G. S. Zhou; J. H.   Wan;  L. B. Zhang; J. L. Niu; Y. H. Sang;  J. J He

    2015-01-01

    Precipitation, evapotranspiration (ET), and soil moisture are the key controls for the productivity and functioning of temperate grassland ecosystems in Inner Mongolia, northern China. Quantifying the soil moisture dynamics and water balances in the grasslands is essential to sustainable grassland management under global climate change. We...

  13. Voluntary intake and in vivo digestibility of forages from semi-natural grasslands in dairy cows

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bruinenberg, M.H.; Valk, H.; Struik, P.C.

    2003-01-01

    To study in vivo digestibility of forages from semi-natural grasslands two experiments were carried out. In the first experiment lactating dairy cows were offered three different silage-based diets. Silage originated from intensively managed grassland (IM), extensively managed species-poor grassland

  14. Forest and grassland carbon in North America: A short course for land managers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chris Swanston; Michael J. Furniss; Kristen Schmitt; Jeffrey Guntle; Maria Janowiak; Sarah Hines

    2012-01-01

    This multimedia short-course presents a range of information on the science, management and policy of forest and grassland carbon. Forests and grasslands worldwide play a critical role in storing carbon and sequestering greenhouse gases from the atmosphere. The U.S. Forest Service, which manages 193 million acres of forests and grasslands, emphasizes the need for...

  15. Physiological adaptation in desert birds

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Williams, JB; Tieleman, BI; Williams, Joseph B.

    We call into question the idea that birds have not evolved unique physiological adaptations to desert environments. The rate at which desert larks metabolize energy is lower than in mesic species within the same family, and this lower rate of living translates into a lower overall energy requirement

  16. Millipedes (Diplopoda) in birds' nests

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Tajovský, Karel; Mock, A.; Krumpál, M.

    2001-01-01

    Roč. 37, - (2001), s. 321-323 ISSN 1164-5563 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z6066911 Keywords : bird s nest s * microsites * millipedes Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 0.317, year: 2001

  17. Notes on some Sumatran birds

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Junge, G.C.A.

    1948-01-01

    During the war I was able to identify some collections of birds from Sumatra, present in the Leiden Museum. These collections were brought together by E. Jacobson and W. C. van Heurn in the Padang Highlands in 1013; by W. Groeneveldt in the same area in 1914 and 1915; bij L. P. Cosquino de Bussy and

  18. Microbiology as if Bird Watching

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Home; Journals; Resonance – Journal of Science Education; Volume 1; Issue 10. Microbiology as if Bird Watching. Milind G Watve. Classroom Volume 1 Issue 10 October 1996 pp 78-81. Fulltext. Click here to view fulltext PDF. Permanent link: https://www.ias.ac.in/article/fulltext/reso/001/10/0078-0081. Author Affiliations.

  19. Bird Flight and Satish Dhawan

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    and birds has inspired poetry, art, l~terature, science and tech- nology. In Monsoon, Wilbur ... Henk Tennekes, an aerospace engineering professor at Pennsyl- vania State University, USA, has a different story to tell in his popular book The ...

  20. Birds and Bird Habitat: What Are the Risks from Industrial Wind Turbine Exposure?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sprague, Terry; Harrington, M. Elizabeth; Krogh, Carmen M. E.

    2011-01-01

    Bird kill rate and disruption of habitat has been reported when industrial wind turbines are introduced into migratory bird paths or other environments. While the literature could be more complete regarding the documentation of negative effects on birds and bird habitats during the planning, construction, and operation of wind power projects,…