21 Works

Point count survey data for birds in the east of England, UK, in 2013

K.E. Plummer & G.M. Siriwardena
This dataset comprises bird abundance data collected using point count methods in Bedford, Luton and Milton Keynes in the summer of 2013. The purpose of the study was to characterise the variation in breeding bird fauna across a range of urban forms. As well as measuring the birds that were 'really' present, the survey aimed to investigate the birds detectable at times of day when people were more active and more likely to have casual...

UK Checklist of freshwater species

I.D.M. Gunn, L. Carvalho, C.E. Davies, F.K. Edwards, M.T. Furse, P.S. Maitland, C. Raper, G.M. Siriwardena & I.J. Winfield
The UK Checklist of Freshwater Species is a collation of all the species (apart from algae) known to be found in association with fresh waters in the United Kingdom. The following eight major groups were identified as being associated with fresh waters in the UK: algae, amphibians, birds, fish, invertebrates, macrophytes, mammals and reptiles. Algae (except stoneworts) were not included in the UK Checklist of Freshwater Species as they are currently undergoing a major revision....

Data from: Breeding bird species diversity across gradients of land use from forest to agriculture in Europe

Matti J. Koivula, Dan E. Chamberlain, Robert J. Fuller, Stephen C. F. Palmer, Attila Bankovics, Fintan Bracken, Tom Bolger, Eduardo De Juana, Marc Montadert, Renato Neves, Rui Rufino, Angel Sallent, Luís Lopes Da Silva, Pedro J. Leitão, Manfred Steffen & Allan D. Watt
Loss, fragmentation and decreasing quality of habitats have been proposed as major threats to biodiversity world-wide, but relatively little is known about biodiversity responses to multiple pressures, particularly at very large spatial scales. We evaluated the relative contributions of four landscape variables (habitat cover, diversity, fragmentation and productivity) in determining different components of avian diversity across Europe. We sampled breeding birds in multiple 1-km2 landscapes, from high forest cover to intensive agricultural land, in eight...

Data from: A national-scale model of linear features improves predictions of farmland biodiversity

Martin J. P. Sullivan, James W. Pearce-Higgins, Stuart E. Newson, Paul Scholefield, Tom Brereton & Tom H. Oliver
1. Modelling species distribution and abundance is important for many conservation applications, but it is typically performed using relatively coarse-scale environmental variables such as the area of broad land-cover types. Fine-scale environmental data capturing the most biologically-relevant variables have the potential to improve these models. For example, field studies have demonstrated the importance of linear features, such as hedgerows, for multiple taxa, but the absence of large-scale datasets of their extent prevents their inclusion in...

Data from: Can observation skills of citizen scientists be estimated using species accumulation curves?

Steve Kelling, Alison Johnston, Wesley M. Hochachka, Marshall Iliff, Daniel Fink, Jeff Gerbracht, Carl Lagoze, Frank A. La Sorte, Travis Moore, Andrea Wiggins, Weng-Keen Wong, Chris Wood & Jun Yu
Volunteers are increasingly being recruited into citizen science projects to collect observations for scientific studies. An additional goal of these projects is to engage and educate these volunteers. Thus, there are few barriers to participation resulting in volunteer observers with varying ability to complete the project’s tasks. To improve the quality of a citizen science project’s outcomes it would be useful to account for inter-observer variation, and to assess the rarely tested presumption that participating...

Data from: Drivers of climate change impacts on bird communities

James W. Pearce-Higgins, Sarah M. Eglington, Blaise Martay & Dan E. Chamberlain
1. Climate change is reported to have caused widespread changes to species’ populations and ecological communities. Warming has been associated with population declines in long-distance migrants and habitat specialists, and increases in southerly distributed species. However, the specific climatic drivers behind these changes remain undescribed. 2. We analysed annual fluctuations in the abundance of 59 breeding bird species in England over 45 years to test the effect of monthly temperature and precipitation means upon population...

Data from: Effects of tracking devices on individual birds – a review of the evidence

Graham R. Geen, Robert A. Robinson & Stephen R. Baillie
We review long-term patterns of tracking device use and the reporting of the effects of such devices on individual birds. We assessed >3,400 primary references including >1,500 containing information as to whether effects were looked for and reported. Numbers of papers published increased at 4.4% per year. Research on foraging and energetics focussed on seabirds while work on habitat use and dispersal was focussed mainly on landbirds. Migration was the most common study topic overall...

Data from: Estimating national population sizes: methodological challenges and applications illustrated in the common nightingale, a declining songbird in the UK

Chris M. Hewson, Mark Miller, Alison Johnston, Greg J. Conway, Richard Saunders, John H. Marchant & Robert J. Fuller
1. Estimation of national population size can be important for setting conservation priorities but its methodology has received little critical attention. Sites for highly aggregated species are often prioritised if they contain 1% of national or biogeographical populations but the utility of this approach for other species is unclear. 2. To make recommendations for study design, we present methods used to estimate the UK population size of the common nightingale Luscinia megarhynchos. We assess the...

Data from: Attributing changes in the distribution of species abundance to weather variables using the example of British breeding birds

Cornelia S. Oedekoven, David A. Elston, Philip J. Harrison, Mark J. Brewer, Steve T. Buckland, Alison Johnston, Simon Foster, James W. Pearce-Higgins & Stephen T. Buckland
1. Modelling spatio-temporal changes in species abundance and attributing those changes to potential drivers such as climate, is an important but difficult problem. The standard approach for incorporating climatic variables into such models is to include each weather variable as a single covariate whose effect is expressed through a low-order polynomial or smoother in an additive model. This, however, confounds the spatial and temporal effects of the covariates. 2. We developed a novel approach to...

Data from: Effects of deer on woodland structure revealed through terrestrial laser scanning

Markus P. Eichhorn, Joseph Ryding, Martin J. Smith, Robin M. A. Gill, Gavin M. Siriwardena & Robert J. Fuller
Terrestrial laser scanning (TLS) captures the three-dimensional structure of habitats. Compared to traditional methods of forest mensuration, it allows quantification of structure at increased resolution, and the derivation of novel metrics with which to inform ecological studies and habitat management. Lowland woodlands in the UK have altered in structure over the last century due to increased abundance of deer and a decline in management. We compared whole-canopy profiles between woodlands with high (>10 deer km−2)...

Data from: Potential for coupling the monitoring of bush-crickets with established large-scale acoustic monitoring of bats

Stuart E. Newson, Yves Bas, Ashley Murray & Simon Gillings
1. Monitoring biodiversity over large spatial and temporal scales is crucial for assessing the impact of global changes and environmental mitigation measures. However, large-scale monitoring of invertebrates remains poorly developed despite the importance of these organisms in ecosystem functioning. Exciting possibilities applicable to professional and citizen science are offered by new recording techniques and methods of semi-automated species recognition based on sound detection. 2. Static broad-spectrum detectors deployed to record throughout whole nights have been...

Data from: Modelling flight heights of lesser black-backed gulls and great skuas from GPS: a Bayesian approach

Viola H. Ross-Smith, Chris B. Thaxter, Elizabeth A. Masden, Judy Shamoun-Baranes, Niall H. K. Burton, Lucy J. Wright, Mark M. Rehfisch & Alison Johnston
Wind energy generation is increasing globally, and associated environmental impacts must be considered. The risk of seabirds colliding with offshore wind turbines is influenced by flight height, and flight height data usually come from observers on boats, making estimates in daylight in fine weather. GPS tracking provides an alternative and generates flight height information in a range of conditions, but the raw data have associated error. Here, we present a novel analytical solution for accommodating...

Data from: Winter wren populations show adaptation to local climate

Catriona A. Morrison, Robert A. Robinson & James W. Pearce-Higgins
Most studies of evolutionary responses to climate change have focused on phenological responses to warming, and provide only weak evidence for evolutionary adaptation. This could be because phenological changes are more weakly linked to fitness than more direct mechanisms of climate change impacts, such as selective mortality during extreme weather events which have immediate fitness consequences for the individuals involved. Studies examining these other mechanisms may be more likely to show evidence for evolutionary adaptation....

Data from: Supplemental food alters nest defence and incubation behaviour of an open-nesting wetland songbird

Jim O. Vafidis, Richard J. Facey, David Leech & Robert J. Thomas
Climate-driven increases in spring temperatures are expected to result in higher prey availability earlier in the breeding season for insectivorous birds breeding in wetland habitats. Predation during the incubation phase is a major cause of nesting failure in open-nesting altricial birds such as the Eurasian reed warbler. The nest predation rate in this species has recently been shown to be substantially reduced under conditions of experimentally elevated invertebrate prey availability. Food availability near the nest...

Data from: Effects of winter food provisioning on the phenotypes of breeding blue tits

Kate E. Plummer, Stuart Bearhop, David I. Leech, Dan E. Chamberlain & Jonathan D. Blount
Throughout the Western World huge numbers of people regularly supply food for wild birds. However, evidence of negative impacts of winter feeding on future reproduction has highlighted a need to improve understanding of the underlying mechanisms shaping avian responses to supplementary food. Here, we test the possibility that carry-over effects are mediated via their impact on the phenotypes of breeding birds, either by influencing the phenotypic structure of populations through changes in winter survival and/or...

Data from: Linking isotopes and panmixia: high within-colony variation in feather δ2H, δ13C, and δ15N across the range of the American white pelican

Matthew W. Reudink, Christopher J. Kyle, Ann E. McKellar, Christopher M. Somers, Robyn L.F. Reudink, T. Kurt Kyser, Samantha E. Franks & Joseph J. Nocera
Complete panmixia across the entire range of a species is a relatively rare phenomenon; however, this pattern may be found in species that have limited philopatry and frequent dispersal. American white pelicans (Pelecanus erythrorhyncos) provide a unique opportunity to examine the role of long-distance dispersal in facilitating gene flow in a species recently reported as panmictic across its broad breeding range. This species is also undergoing a range expansion, with new colonies arising hundreds of...

Data from: An experimental evaluation of the effects of geolocator design and attachment method on between-year survival on whinchats Saxicola rubetra

Emma Blackburn, Malcolm Burgess, Benedictus Freeman, Alice Riseley, Arin Izang, Sam Ivande, Chris Hewson, Will Cresswell & Alice Risely
Data from location logging tags have revolutionised our understanding of migration ecology, but methods of tagging that do not compromise survival need to be identified. We compared resighting rates for 156 geolocator-tagged and 316 colour ringed-only whinchats on their African wintering grounds after migration to and from eastern Europe in two separate years. We experimentally varied both light stalk length (0, 5 and 10 mm) and harness material (elastic or non-elastic nylon braid tied on,...

Data from: Characterising demographic contributions to observed population change in a declining migrant bird

Jennifer A. Border, Ian G. Henderson, Dominic Ash & Ian R. Hartley
Populations of Afro-Palearctic migrant birds have shown severe declines in recent decades. To identify the causes of these declines, accurate measures of both demographic rates (seasonal productivity, apparent survival, immigration) and environmental parameters will allow conservation and research actions to be targeted effectively. We used detailed observations of marked breeding birds from a ‘stronghold’ population of whinchats Saxicola rubetra in England (stable against the declining European trend) to reveal both on-site and external mechanisms that...

Data from: Managing conflict between bats and humans: the response of soprano pipistrelles (Pipistrellus pygmaeus) to exclusion from roosts in houses

Emma Stone, Matt R. K. Zeale, Stuart E. Newson, William J. Browne, Stephen Harris & Gareth Jones
Conflict can arise when bats roost in human dwellings and householders are affected adversely by their presence. In the United Kingdom, the exclusion of bats from roosts can be licensed under exceptional circumstances to alleviate conflict, but the fate of excluded bats and the impact on their survival and reproduction is not well understood. Using radio-tracking, we investigated the effects of exclusion on the soprano pipistrelle Pipistrellus pygmaeus, a species that commonly roosts in buildings...

Data from: Bird and bat species' global vulnerability to collision mortality at wind farms revealed through a trait-based assessment

Chris B. Thaxter, Graeme M. Buchanan, Carr Jamie, Stuart H.M. Butchart, Tim Newbold, Rhys E. Green, Joseph A. Tobias, Wendy B. Foden, Sue O'Brien & James W. Pearce-Higgins
Mitigation of anthropogenic climate change involves deployments of renewable energy worldwide, including wind farms, which can pose a significant collision risk to volant animals. Most studies into the collision risk between species and wind turbines, however, have taken place in industrialized countries. Potential effects for many locations and species therefore remain unclear. To redress this gap, we conducted a systematic literature review of recorded collisions between birds and bats and wind turbines within developed countries....

Data from: Estimates of observer expertise improve species distributions from citizen science data

Alison Johnston, Daniel Fink, Wesley M Hochachka & Steve Kelling
1. Citizen science data are increasingly making valuable contributions to ecological studies. However, many citizen science surveys are also designed to encourage wide participation and therefore the participants have a range of natural history expertise, leading to variation and potentially bias in the data. 2. We assessed a recently proposed measure of observer expertise, calculated based on the average numbers of species recorded by observers. We investigated if this observer expertise score is associated with...

Registration Year

  • 2015
  • 2016
  • 2017
  • 2018
  • 2019

Resource Types

  • Dataset


  • British Trust for Ornithology
  • Centre for Ecology and Hydrology
  • University of Cambridge
  • University of St Andrews
  • Centre d'Ecologie Fonctionnelle et Evolutive
  • University of Limerick
  • University of Eastern Finland
  • University of Michigan–Ann Arbor
  • Oregon State University
  • Royal Society for the Protection of Birds
  • University of Aberdeen
  • University of Nottingham
  • Lancaster University Ghana
  • Humboldt University of Berlin
  • University of Leeds