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Person

Charles Van Riper

Scientist Emeritus

Southwest Biological Science Center

Email: charles_van_riper@usgs.gov
Office Phone: 520-670-5508
Fax: 520-670-5592
ORCID: 0000-0003-1084-5843

Location
520 N. Park Ave
Tucson , AZ 85719
US

Supervisor: Theodore S Melis
Our knowledge of avian behaviors during the non-breeding period still lags behind that of the breeding season, but the last decade has witnessed a proliferation in research that has yielded significant progress in understanding migration patterns of North American birds. And, although the great majority of migration research has historically been conducted in the eastern half of the continent, there has been much recent progress on aspects of avian migration in the West. In particular, expanded use of techniques such as radar, plasma metabolites, mist-netting, count surveys, stable isotopes, genetic data, and animal tracking, coupled with an increase in multi-investigator collaborations, have all contributed to...
Abstract (from http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs10584-009-9644-9): Recent changes in global climate have dramatically altered worldwide temperatures and the corresponding timing of seasonal climate conditions. Recognizing the degree to which species respond to changing climates is therefore an area of increasing conservation concern as species that are unable to respond face increased risk of extinction. Here we examine spatial and temporal heterogeneity in the rate of climate change across western North America and discuss the potential for conditions to arise that may limit the ability of western migratory birds to adapt to changing climates. Based on 52 years of climate data, we show that changes in...
The Lower Colorado River provides critical riparian areas in an otherwise arid region and is an important stopover site for migrating landbirds. In order to reverse ongoing habitat degradation due to drought and human-altered hydrology, a pulse flow was released from Morelos Dam in spring of 2014, which brought surface flow to dry stretches of the Colorado River in Mexico. To assess the potential effects of habitat modification resulting from the pulse flow, we used foraging behavior of spring migrants from past and current studies to assess the relative importance of different riparian habitats. We observed foraging birds in 2000 and 2014 at five riparian sites along the Lower Colorado River in Mexico to quantify...
A series of range map projections of the potential effects of climate change on bird and reptile distributions in the western United States. "These predictions can help managers and policy makers better prioritize conservation effects" - Charles Van Riper III.
USGS News Release 4/7/2014: " Dramatic distribution losses and a few major distribution gains are forecasted for southwestern bird and reptile species as the climate changes, according to just-published research by scientists with the U.S. Geological Survey, the University of New Mexico, and Northern Arizona University. Overall, the study forecasted species distribution losses – that is, where species are able to live – of nearly half for all but one of the 5 reptile species they examined, including for the iconic chuckwalla. The threatened Sonoran (Morafka’s) desert tortoise, however, is projected to experience little to no habitat losses from climate change...."
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