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James Lyons

The Black Rail (Laterallus jamaicensis) is the most secretive of the secretive marsh birds and one of the least understood bird species in North America. The Eastern Black Rail (L. j. jamaicensis) is listed as endangered in five states along the Atlantic Coast and is under review for federal listing. Historical population size was likely in the tens of thousands but is now believed to be in the hundreds or low thousands (Watts 2016). Within the United States, Eastern Black Rails breed within three general geographic areas within the United States - the Atlantic Coast, the Gulf Coast and the Midwest-Great Plains. The Atlantic Coast has generally been considered to support the largest breeding population throughout...
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Ecological restoration has traditionally been evaluated by monitoring the recovery of ecosystem conditions, such as species diversity and abundance, physical form, and water quality, whereas monitoring the social benefits of restoration is uncommon. Current monitoring frameworks do not track who benefits from restoration or by how much. In this study, we investigate how ecological restoration could be monitored to provide indications of progress in terms of social conditions. We provide suggestions for measuring several categories of benefit indicators, including access, beneficiaries, and quality of benefit, using information compiled from natural and social science literature. We also demonstrate how to evaluate...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Restoration Ecology
Much of the focus of Red Knot research and conservation over the past twenty years has largely focused on just a few sites along the Atlantic flyway, primarily in the mid-Atlantic region. The major cause of the Red Knot population decline in the 1990’s through 2003 was mostly attributed to declining horseshoe crab numbers in Delaware Bay due to their overharvest for the commercial bait industry. Substantial focus has been placed on improving horseshoe crab populations through better horseshoe crab management in the Delaware Bay region and on improving horseshoe crab and shorebird habitat in Delaware Bay. This work has likely halted the decline in the numbers of Red Knots passing through Delaware Bay: populations...
Categories: Project; Tags: 2019, LCC, SSP-QR FWSR4
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Migratory birds are responding to changes in climate in complex and sometimes unpredictable ways. The timing of breeding and migration typically coincide with the periods of peak food availability; however, these peaks are shifting as temperatures and precipitation patterns change, resulting in a mismatch in the timing of key events. The degree to which this mismatch is impacting migratory birds varies among species and regions, creating a major source of uncertainty for managers. The goal of this project is to develop tools to support migratory bird management decision-making in the face of uncertain future climate and land use conditions. In order to identify and implement the most effective management strategies,...
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Managed wetlands provide critical foraging and roosting habitats for shorebirds during migration; therefore, ensuring their availability is a priority action in shorebird conservation plans. Contemporary shorebird conservation plans rely on a number of assumptions about shorebird prey resources and migratory behavior to determine stopover habitat requirements. For example, the US Shorebird Conservation Plan for the Southeast-Caribbean region assumes that average benthic invertebrate biomass in foraging habitats is 2.4 g dry mass m−2 and that the dominant prey item of shorebirds in the region is Chironomid larvae. For effective conservation and management, it is important to test working assumptions and update predictive...
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