Format

Send to

Choose Destination
Nat Commun. 2017 Apr 13;8:14895. doi: 10.1038/ncomms14895.

Rapid population decline in migratory shorebirds relying on Yellow Sea tidal mudflats as stopover sites.

Author information

1
School of Biological Sciences, University of Queensland, St. Lucia, 4072 Queensland, Australia.
2
Department of Geography and Environmental Systems, University of Maryland, Baltimore County, Baltimore, Maryland 21250, USA.
3
Migratory Bird Centre, Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute, Washington, District Of Columbia 20008, USA.
4
Bren School of Environmental Science &Management, University of California, Santa Barbara, California 93106, USA.
5
Centre for Ecosystem Science, School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of New South Wales, Sydney, 2052 New South Wales, Australia.
6
Arthur Rylah Institute for Environmental Research, Heidelberg, 3034 Victoria, Australia.
7
Victorian Wader Study Group, 165 Dalgetty Rd., Beaumaris, 3193 Victoria, Australia.
8
Global Flyway Network, PO Box 3089, Broome, 6725 Western Australia, Australia.
9
Phillip Island Nature Park, PO Box 97 Cowes, 3922 Victoria, Australia.
10
Ornithological Society of New Zealand, 1261 Dovedale Road, RD 2 Wakefield, Nelson 7096, New Zealand.
11
Queensland Wader Study Group, c/o CSIRO Oceans and Atmosphere, PO Box 2583, Brisbane, 4001 Queensland, Australia.
12
Department of Life Sciences, Imperial College London, Silwood Park, Ascot SL5 7PY, UK.
13
Ornithological Society of New Zealand, 231 Forest Hill Road, Waiatarua, Auckland 0612, New Zealand.
14
Avifauna Research and Services Pty Ltd, PO Box 2006, Rockdale, 2216 New South Wales, Australia.
15
Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies, University of Tasmania, Sandy Bay, 7001 Tasmania, Australia.

Abstract

Migratory animals are threatened by human-induced global change. However, little is known about how stopover habitat, essential for refuelling during migration, affects the population dynamics of migratory species. Using 20 years of continent-wide citizen science data, we assess population trends of ten shorebird taxa that refuel on Yellow Sea tidal mudflats, a threatened ecosystem that has shrunk by >65% in recent decades. Seven of the taxa declined at rates of up to 8% per year. Taxa with the greatest reliance on the Yellow Sea as a stopover site showed the greatest declines, whereas those that stop primarily in other regions had slowly declining or stable populations. Decline rate was unaffected by shared evolutionary history among taxa and was not predicted by migration distance, breeding range size, non-breeding location, generation time or body size. These results suggest that changes in stopover habitat can severely limit migratory populations.

PMID:
28406155
PMCID:
PMC5399291
DOI:
10.1038/ncomms14895
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Nature Publishing Group Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center