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Full life-cycle vulnerability assessments are identifying the effects of climate change on nongame migratory birds that are of conservation concern and breed in the upper Midwest and Great Lakes region. Full life-cycle analyses are critical, as current efforts likely underestimate the vulnerability of migratory land birds due to a focus on assessing only one component of the annual cycle. The approach provides a framework for integrating exposure to climate changes, sensitivity to these changes, and the potential for adaptation in both winter and summer seasons, and accounts for carry-over effects from one season to another. The results of this work will inform regional management by highlighting both local and...
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The central Platte River Valley represents a key mid-latitude stopover This dataset supports a contemporary analysis of nocturnal roost selection for sandhill cranes staging along the Platte River during 2003-2007. We explored variation in selection for previously established characteristics of roost sites, including river channel width, vegetation height along the river bank, and distance to nearest disturbance feature. This analysis also included novel environmental factors (yearly estimates of corn near roost sites, nightly temperature, wind speed, and river discharge) and how they may interact with the more established characteristics.
Whooping cranes (Grus americana) of the Aransas-Wood Buffalo population migrate twice each year through the Great Plains in North America. Recovery activities for this endangered species include providing adequate places to stop and rest during migration, which are generally referred to as stopover sites. To assist in recovery efforts, initial estimates of stopover site use intensity are presented, which provide opportunity to identify areas across the migration range used more intensively by whooping cranes. We used location data acquired from 58 unique individuals fitted with platform transmitting terminals that collected global position system locations. Radio-tagged birds provided 2,158 stopover sites over 10...
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The Prairie Pothole Region (PPR) of the north-central U.S. and south-central Canada contains millions of small prairie wetlands that provide critical habitat to many migrating and breeding waterbirds. Due to their small size and the relatively dry climate of the region, these wetlands are considered at high risk for negative climate change effects as temperatures increase. To estimate the potential impacts of climate change on breeding waterbirds, we predicted current and future distributions of species common in the PPR using species distribution models (SDMs). We created regional-scale SDMs for the U.S. PPR using Breeding Bird Survey occurrence records for 1971–2011 and wetland, upland, and climate variables....
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The habitats and food resources required to support breeding and migrant birds dependent on North American prairie wetlands are threatened by impending climate change. The North American Prairie Pothole Region (PPR) hosts nearly 120 species of wetland-dependent birds representing 21 families. Strategic management requires knowledge of avian habitat requirements and assessment of species most vulnerable to future threats. We applied bioclimatic species distribution models (SDMs) to project range changes of 29 wetland-dependent bird species using ensemble modeling techniques, a large number of General Circulation Models (GCMs), and hydrological climate covariates. For the U.S. PPR, mean projected range change, expressed...
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...
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Identifying the climatic drivers of an ecological system is a key step in assessing its vulnerability to climate change. Theclimatic dimensions to which a species or system is most sensitive – such as means or extremes – can guide methodologicaldecisions for projections of ecological impacts and vulnerabilities. However, scientific workflows for combining climateprojections with ecological models have received little explicit attention. We review Global Climate Model (GCM)performance along different dimensions of change and compare frameworks for integrating GCM output into ecologicalmodels. In systems sensitive to climatological means, it is straightforward to base ecological impact assessments onmean projected...
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Oil development in the Bakken shale region has increased rapidly as a result of new technologies and strongdemand for fossil fuel. This region also supports a particularly high density and diversity of grassland bird species,which are declining across North America. We examined grassland bird response to unconventional oilextraction sites (i.e. developed with hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling techniques) and associatedroads in North Dakota. Our goal was to quantify the amount of habitat that was indirectly degraded by oil development,as evidenced by patterns of avoidance by birds. Grassland birds avoided areas within 150 m of roads(95% CI: 87–214 m), 267 m of single-bore well pads (95% CI: 157–378 m),...
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Sandhill cranes are a long-lived bird species found in wetland-rich landscapes across North America. This dataset includes locations of 5 cranes during a single autumn migration from their breeding areas in northeastern Asia and south through Alaska, central Canada, and the Great Plains. The migration ends in northern Texas and northern Mexico. These data were used as a case study to highlight the utility of a continuous-time movement model to characterize animal migration and networks.
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Sediment accumulation threatens the viability and hydrologic functioning of many naturally formed depressional wetlands across the interior regions of North America. These wetlands provide many ecosystem services and vital habitats for diverse plant and animal communities. Climate change may further impact sediment accumulation rates in the context of current land use patterns. We estimated sediment accretion in wetlands within a region renowned for its large populations of breeding waterfowl and migrant shorebirds and examined the relative roles of precipitation and land use context in the sedimentation process. We modeled rates of sediment accumulation from 1971 through 2100 using the Revised Universal Soil Loss...
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Climate change poses major challenges for conservation and management because it alters the area, quality, and spatial distribution of habitat for natural populations. To assess species’ vulnerability to climate change and target ongoing conservation investments, researchers and managers often consider the effects of projected changes in climate and land use on future habitat availability and quality and the uncertainty associated with these projections. Here, we draw on tools from hydrology and climate science to project the impact of climate change on the density of wetlands in the Prairie Pothole Region of the USA, a critical area for breeding waterfowl and other wetland-dependent species. We evaluate the potential...


map background search result map search result map Sandhill crane roosts use, channel characteristics, and environmental variables along the Platte River, Nebraska, 2003-2007 Sandhill crane locations, autumn 2013 migration Publication: A blind spot in climate change Projected wetland densities under climate change: habitat loss but little geographic shift in conservation strategy Implications of climate change for wetland-dependent birds in the Prairie Potholes Region Vulnerability of Breeding Waterbirds to Climate Change in the Prairie Pothole Region Designing ecological climate change impact assessments to reflect key climatic drivers Sediment Accumulation in Prairie Wetlands under a Changing Climate: the Relative Roles of Landscape and Precipitation Avoidance of unconventional oil wells and roads exacerbates habitat loss for grassland birds in the North American great plains Avoidance of unconventional oil wells and roads exacerbates habitat loss for grassland birds in the North American great plains Projected wetland densities under climate change: habitat loss but little geographic shift in conservation strategy Implications of climate change for wetland-dependent birds in the Prairie Potholes Region Vulnerability of Breeding Waterbirds to Climate Change in the Prairie Pothole Region Designing ecological climate change impact assessments to reflect key climatic drivers Sediment Accumulation in Prairie Wetlands under a Changing Climate: the Relative Roles of Landscape and Precipitation Publication: A blind spot in climate change Sandhill crane locations, autumn 2013 migration