Presentation Title

Decline of Migratory Passerines and the Specific Risk Factors

Format of Presentation

Poster to be presented the Friday of the conference

Presenter Information

Victoria Adams-ParsonsFollow

Abstract

There are approximately 550 migratory passerines that are either full or altitudinal migrants within the Americas, and many of these birds are in rapid decline. A large majority of these birds depend on forest habitats for survival and are suffering from a lack of resources due to deforestation in both their wintering and breeding ranges. The amount of forest coverage across the Americas has been declining throughout the last few decades. The “Forest Resources Assessment 2005” conducted by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations states that from 2000-2005 over 4.5 billion hectors of forest cover has been lost, of which 95% is in Central and South America where most migratory birds spend their winters. Many of the 550 birds observed are territorial during the winter and breeding times, and with such low forest coverage available this has increased the rate of migratory decline by minimizing winter survival. The forests provide different resources for the migrating birds, such as many of their diets. During winter these diets allow the birds to produce their spectacular colouration used as a mating display during breeding time and provide energy for the spring migration. These forests are a major form of protection for many of these species that are preyed upon by larger birds and mammals that live in or around the forest.

The data used in this study was acquired from a shared data set of global Passeriformes using a collection of data from papers and online. Resources such as birdlife international, IUCN redlist, birdtree, Barcante et al., and Wilman et al. provided the information we used to compose the collection of global passerines. I focused on the specific factors that are relevant to migration decline in these species. Forestry dependency was a large contributor to my research as it is one of the major reasons for migratory decline that was discussed in other studies. Robbins et al. have studied population declines in migrating North American birds, by comparing the breeding bird surveys (BBS) to forest occupancy in the Quintana Roo state of Mexico. This study supports the decline of migrants over 9 years, although some showed an increased population trend there was a larger number of negative trends occurring.

The purpose for this research is to further study the causes of migratory decline and whether there are any relevant trends across a large list of species. Deforestation has been the main focus on migratory decline however, I want to determine the underlying factors to why deforestation is a cause. Not all migrating species are suffering from deforestation, so why are only some of these species affected and others aren’t. My plan is to determine if there are other risk factors that are connected to forestry dependency, such as diet, temperature, and competition.

Department

Biological Sciences

Faculty Advisor

Matt Reudink

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Decline of Migratory Passerines and the Specific Risk Factors

There are approximately 550 migratory passerines that are either full or altitudinal migrants within the Americas, and many of these birds are in rapid decline. A large majority of these birds depend on forest habitats for survival and are suffering from a lack of resources due to deforestation in both their wintering and breeding ranges. The amount of forest coverage across the Americas has been declining throughout the last few decades. The “Forest Resources Assessment 2005” conducted by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations states that from 2000-2005 over 4.5 billion hectors of forest cover has been lost, of which 95% is in Central and South America where most migratory birds spend their winters. Many of the 550 birds observed are territorial during the winter and breeding times, and with such low forest coverage available this has increased the rate of migratory decline by minimizing winter survival. The forests provide different resources for the migrating birds, such as many of their diets. During winter these diets allow the birds to produce their spectacular colouration used as a mating display during breeding time and provide energy for the spring migration. These forests are a major form of protection for many of these species that are preyed upon by larger birds and mammals that live in or around the forest.

The data used in this study was acquired from a shared data set of global Passeriformes using a collection of data from papers and online. Resources such as birdlife international, IUCN redlist, birdtree, Barcante et al., and Wilman et al. provided the information we used to compose the collection of global passerines. I focused on the specific factors that are relevant to migration decline in these species. Forestry dependency was a large contributor to my research as it is one of the major reasons for migratory decline that was discussed in other studies. Robbins et al. have studied population declines in migrating North American birds, by comparing the breeding bird surveys (BBS) to forest occupancy in the Quintana Roo state of Mexico. This study supports the decline of migrants over 9 years, although some showed an increased population trend there was a larger number of negative trends occurring.

The purpose for this research is to further study the causes of migratory decline and whether there are any relevant trends across a large list of species. Deforestation has been the main focus on migratory decline however, I want to determine the underlying factors to why deforestation is a cause. Not all migrating species are suffering from deforestation, so why are only some of these species affected and others aren’t. My plan is to determine if there are other risk factors that are connected to forestry dependency, such as diet, temperature, and competition.