Neotropical migratory birds are declining across the Western Hemisphere, but conservation efforts have been hampered by the inability to assess where migrants are most limited – the breeding grounds, migratory stopover sites, or wintering areas. A major challenge has been the lack of an efficient, reliable, and broadly applicable method for measuring the strength of migratory connections between populations across the annual cycle. Here we show how high-resolution genetic markers can be used to identify...
Automated bird sound classifications of long-duration recordings produce occupancy model outputs similar to manually annotated dataJerry Cole, Nicole Michel, Shane Emerson & Rodney Siegel
Occupancy modeling is used to evaluate avian distributions and habitat associations, yet it typically requires extensive survey effort because a minimum of three repeat samples are required for accurate parameter estimation. Autonomous recording units (ARUs) can reduce the need for surveyors on site, yet ARUs utility were limited by hardware costs and the time required to manually annotate recordings. Software that identifies bird vocalizations may reduce expert time needed, if classification is sufficiently accurate. We...
An emerging hypothesis in fire ecology is that pyrodiversity increases species diversity. We test whether pyrodiversity—defined as the standard deviation of fire severity—increases avian biodiversity at two spatial scales, and whether and how this relationship may change in the decade following fire. We use a dynamic Bayesian community model applied to a multi-year dataset of bird surveys at 1106 points sampled across 97 fires in montane California. Our results provide strong support for a positive...
Drought stress is an important consideration for wildlife in arid and semi-arid regions under climate change. Drought can impact plant and animal populations directly, through effects on their physiology, as well as indirectly through effects on vegetation productivity and resource availability, and by creating conditions conducive to secondary disturbance, such as wildfire. We implemented a novel approach to understanding community-level demographic responses of birds and their habitats to these stressors in the context of climate...
Conditional natal dispersal provides a mechanism for populations tracking resource pulses after fireAndrew Stillman, Teresa Lorenz, Rodney Siegel, Robert Wilkerson, Matthew Johnson & Morgan Tingley
Animals that persist in spatially structured populations face the challenge of tracking the rise and fall of resources across space and time. To combat these challenges, theory predicts that species should use conditional dispersal strategies that allow them to emigrate from patches with declining resources and colonize new resource patches as they appear. We studied natal dispersal movements in the black-backed woodpecker (Picoides arcticus), a species known for its strong association with recent post-fire forests...
We explored adaptive factors affecting the preformative molt in the passerine family Cardinalidae, and concluded that the ancestor inhabited forest habitats and underwent a partial preformative molt that included wing coverts but not primaries. Later radiations within the family appeared to be characterized by transitions from forests toward more open habitats, and such transitions also correlated positively with increased preformative molt investment, plumage signaling, and flight. While previous studies had highlighted the role of time...
1. Pyrodiversity, defined as variation in fire history and characteristics, has been shown to catalyze post-fire biodiversity in a variety of systems. However, the demographic and behavioral mechanisms driving the responses of individual species to pyrodiversity remain largely unexplored. 2. We used a model post-fire specialist, the black-backed woodpecker (Picoides arcticus), to examine the relationship between fire characteristics and juvenile survival while controlling for confounding factors. 3. We radio-tracked fledgling black-backed woodpeckers in burned forests...
Data from: Age‐dependent habitat relationships of a burned forest specialist emphasise the role of pyrodiversity in fire managementAndrew N. Stillman, Rodney B. Siegel, Robert L. Wilkerson, Matthew Johnson & Morgan W. Tingley
1. Variation in fire characteristics, termed pyrodiversity, plays an important role in structuring post-fire communities, but little is known about the importance of pyrodiversity for individual species. The availability of diverse post-fire habitats may be key for fire-associated species if they require different resources at different life history stages. 2. We tested for age-specific habitat relationships in the black-backed woodpecker, a post-fire specialist. We used radio-telemetry to track fledgling and adult woodpeckers in burned forests...
Data from: Linking vital rates of landbirds on a tropical island to rainfall and vegetation greennessJames F. Saracco, Paul Radley, Peter Pyle, Erin Rowan, Ron Taylor & Lauren Helton
Remote tropical oceanic islands are of high conservation priority, and they are exemplified by range-restricted species with small global populations. Spatial and temporal patterns in rainfall and plant productivity may be important in driving dynamics of these species. Yet, little is known about environmental influences on population dynamics for most islands and species. Here we leveraged avian capture-recapture, rainfall, and remote-sensed habitat data (enhanced vegetation index [EVI]) to assess relationships between rainfall, vegetation greenness, and...
Data from: Cross-scale occupancy dynamics of a post-fire specialist in response to variation across a fire regimeMorgan W. Tingley, Andrew N. Stillman, Robert L. Wilkerson, Christine A. Howell, Sarah C. Sawyer & Rodney B. Siegel
1. Fire creates challenges and opportunities for wildlife through rapid destruction, modification, and creation of habitat. Fire has spatially variable effects on landscapes, however, and for species that benefit from the ephemeral resource patches created by fire, it is critical to understand characteristics of fires that promote post-fire colonization and persistence, and the spatial scales on which they operate. 2. Using a model post-fire specialist, the black-backed woodpecker (Picoides arcticus), we examined how colonization and...
Data from: An integrated occupancy and space-use model to predict abundance of imperfectly detected, territorial vertebratesMorgan W. Tingley, Robert L. Wilkerson, Christine A. Howell & Rodney B. Siegel
It is often highly desirable to know not only where species are likely to occur (i.e., occupancy) but also how many individuals are supported by a given habitat (i.e., density). For many animals, occupancy and density may be determined by distinct ecological processes. Here we develop a novel abundance model as the product of landscape-scale occupancy probability and habitat-scale density given occupancy. One can conceptualize our model as fully packing a landscape with home ranges...
Data from: Overwintering strategies of migratory birds: a novel approach for estimating seasonal movement patterns of residents and transientsViviana Ruiz-Gutierrez, William L. Kendall, James F. Saracco & Gary C. White
1. Our understanding of movement patterns in wildlife populations has played an important role in current ecological knowledge, and can inform landscape conservation decisions. Direct measures of movement can be obtained using marked individuals, but this requires tracking individuals across a landscape or multiple sites. 2. We demonstrate how movements can be estimated indirectly using single-site, capture–mark–recapture (CMR) data with a multistate open robust design with state uncertainty model (MSORD-SU). We treat residence and transience...
The Institute for Bird Populations12
University of Connecticut6
United States Department of Agriculture3
National Park Service3
University of California Los Angeles3
US Forest Service2
Department of Lands and Natural Resources1
University of California System1
California Department of Parks and Recreation1
Los Alamos National Laboratory1