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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 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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While habitat selection and population estimates are well documented for spring migrating birds in the central Platte River system, little information or monitoring efforts on the North Platte River exist, particularly for the multiple priority bird species known to be present. Most conservation partners deliver habitat programs in the region with limited information and a lack of a landscape prioritization tools. In order for conservation delivery to be more effective and efficient in utilizing limited funds, a decision support tool is critical so that priority species habitat needs are being addressed through appropriate restoration/management strategies in the correct geography at multiple scales. We propose...
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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...
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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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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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This project will develop species distribution models (SDM) to evaluate current and future occurrence and density of wetland-dependent birds relative to several predictors, including land use patterns, wetland condition and connectivity, geomorphic setting and climate. These tools will suggest which wetland-dependent bird species appear most vulnerable to climate and land use change based on the expected extent of range change under various scenarios. Knowledge of natural history and habitat associations of species coupled with coefficients from regression models will provide insight into the potential reasons for species vulnerability. This information will be valuable in the development of management strategies.
Land-use change, invasive species, and climate change have dramatically impaired ecosystem function worldwide. Understanding how changes to ecosystems impact species of conservation concern is essential for effective conservation delivery. Of particular importance are environments that provide disproportionate ecosystem services. Throughout the Great Plains Landscape Conservation Cooperative, playas provide disproportionate ecological services, including essential stopover habitat for migratory waterbirds. Anthropogenic change to playa distribution, abundance, and function may impact the ecosystem services provided, with demographic consequences for priority species. We will address partner needs by developing a...
Categories: Data, Project; Tags: 2013, BIRDS, CO-01, CO-02, CO-03, All tags...
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The Nature Conservancy - Great Lakes Program is leading the development of a scalable (Great Lakes wide, individual lake basin, to coastal reach within a lake basin) rule-based spatial model for ranking the relative importance of coastal lands and waters as habitat for migrating birds. Results will guide conservation actions including land acquisition, land and water management and restoration, and development of wind energy facilities. Specifically, the team will: 1) refine, create and integrate migratory bird stopover habitat models which depict the distribution of potential stopover sites along or near the shorelines of Lakes Michigan, Huron, Erie, and Ontario; and, 2) develop an online portal that will deliver...
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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...
Playas and other wetlands within the Great Plains Landscape Conservation Cooperative (GPLCC) provide essential habitat for many wetland-dependent vertebrate species and are especially important as migration and wintering areas for waterfowl and shorebirds. Playas in the GPLCC are at risk of unsustainable sediment accumulation, reduced inundation frequency, and declining hydroperiods due to agricultural intensification and a changing climate with expected decreases in annual precipitation, changing precipitation patterns, and higher summer temperatures. We propose to project distribution shifts and/or range reductions of several focal migrating shorebird, waterfowl, and waterbird species in response to climate change,...
Categories: Data, Project; Tags: 2013, BIRDS, CLIMATE CHANGE IMPACT ASSESSMENT MODELS, CO-01, CO-02, All tags...
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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 Nature Conservancy - Great Lakes Program is leading the development of a scalable (Great Lakes wide, individual lake basin, to coastal reach within a lake basin) rule-based spatial model for ranking the relative importance of coastal lands and waters as habitat for migrating birds. Results will guide conservation actions including land acquisition, land and water management and restoration, and development of wind energy facilities. Specifically, the team will: 1) refine, create and integrate migratory bird stopover habitat models which depict the distribution of potential stopover sites along or near the shorelines of Lakes Michigan, Huron, Erie, and Ontario; and, 2) develop an online portal that will deliver...
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Advancement in Geographical Information System (GIS) data development, management, and analysis has allowed conservation practitioners to apply ecological theory into conservation delivery at broad landscape scales. This project demonstrated that process with the creation of Decision Support Tools (DST) to guide on-the-ground habitat delivery to those areas on the landscape that, if managed, will provide the greatest biological return for the conservation dollar invested. This project focused on the habitat needs of Sandhill cranes and waterfowl, as a guild, during spring migration. Understanding the species habitat relationships for these priority species/guild will allow the conservation community to more effectively...
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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...
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Wind power is a promising clean energy technology that has grown rapidly in recent years (EIA 2013). In spite of its environmentally friendly reputation, industrial wind energy generation can have serious impacts on wildlife. Bat and bird collision fatality rates have been alarmingly high at some wind farms. Proper siting of wind facilities may help minimize collision impacts as the wind energy industry continues to grow. Bat and bird fatality rates vary greatly among sites; however, there is no reliable method for assessing collision risk prior to development. My goal was to develop a method for predicting fatality rates based on nocturnal activity patterns measured by ground-level recording of bat and bird calls....
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Unconventional oil development in the Bakken shale region has increased rapidly as a result of new technologies. 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 oil extraction sites (i.e. developed with hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling) and associated roads 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 149 m of roads (95% CI: 4 – 294 m), 267 m of single-bore well pads (95% CI: 157 – 377 m), and 150 m of multi-bore...


    map background search result map search result map On-a-wing and a (GIS) Layer: Prioritizing migratory bird habitat along Great Lakes shoreline Full life cycle vulnerability assessments for the birds of the upper Midwest and Great Lakes Capture of Down-Scale Climate Change Models. Part B: The Application of High Resolution Climate Models for Avian Conservation Capture and interpretation of down-scaled climate change models to benefit avian conservation Predicting Bird and Bat Fatality Risk at Wind Farms and Proposed Wind Farm Sites Using Acoustic Ultrasonic Recorders Sandhill Cranes and Waterfowl of the North Platte River Valley: Evaluation of Habitat Selection to Guide Conservation Delivery Final Report: Sandhill Cranes and Waterfowl of the North Platte River Valley Report: On-a-wing and a (GIS) Layer: Prioritizing migratory bird habitat along Great Lakes shoreline Report: Full life cycle vulnerability assessments for the birds of the upper Midwest and Great Lakes 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 Grassland Birds and Unconventional Oil Development in Western North Dakota Avoidance of unconventional oil wells and roads exacerbates habitat loss for grassland birds in the North American great plains Assessing Bat and Bird Fatality Risk at Wind Farm Sites using Acoustic Detectors Sandhill Cranes and Waterfowl of the North Platte River Valley: Evaluation of Habitat Selection to Guide Conservation Delivery Avoidance of unconventional oil wells and roads exacerbates habitat loss for grassland birds in the North American great plains Final Report: Sandhill Cranes and Waterfowl of the North Platte River Valley Capture of Down-Scale Climate Change Models. Part B: The Application of High Resolution Climate Models for Avian Conservation Capture and interpretation of down-scaled climate change models to benefit avian conservation Predicting Bird and Bat Fatality Risk at Wind Farms and Proposed Wind Farm Sites Using Acoustic Ultrasonic Recorders 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 Grassland Birds and Unconventional Oil Development in Western North Dakota Assessing Bat and Bird Fatality Risk at Wind Farm Sites using Acoustic Detectors On-a-wing and a (GIS) Layer: Prioritizing migratory bird habitat along Great Lakes shoreline Full life cycle vulnerability assessments for the birds of the upper Midwest and Great Lakes Report: On-a-wing and a (GIS) Layer: Prioritizing migratory bird habitat along Great Lakes shoreline Report: Full life cycle vulnerability assessments for the birds of the upper Midwest and Great Lakes Publication: A blind spot in climate change