44 Works

Data from: Using molecular and crowd-sourcing methods to assess breeding ground diet of a migratory brood parasite of conservation concern

Lowell Mills, Jeremy D. Wilson, Anke Lange, Karen Moore, Barry Henwood, Hazel Knipe, Dominique Chaput & Charles Tyler
Breeding ground food availability is critical to the survival and productivity of adult birds. The common cuckoo Cuculus canorus is a brood-parasitic Afro-Palearctic migrant bird exhibiting long-term (breeding) population declines in many European countries. Variation in population trend between regions and habitats suggests breeding ground drivers such as adult food supply. However, cuckoo diet has not been studied in detail since before the most significant population declines in Europe began in the mid-1980s. 20th century...

Data from: Bayesian inference reveals positive but subtle effects of experimental fishery closures on marine predator demographics

Richard B. Sherley, Barbara J. Barham, Peter J. Barham, Kate J. Campbell, Robert J.M. Crawford, Jennifer Grigg, Catharine Horswill, Alistair McInnes, Taryn L. Morris, Lorien Pichegru, Antje Steinfurth, Florian Weller, Henning Winker, Stephen C. Votier & Cat Horswill
Global forage-fish landings are increasing, with potentially grave consequences for marine ecosystems. Predators of forage fish may be influenced by this harvest, but the nature of these effects is contentious. Experimental fishery manipulations offer the best solution to quantify population-level impacts, but are rare. We used Bayesian inference to examine changes in chick survival, body condition and population growth rate of endangered African penguins Spheniscus demersus in response to eight years of alternating time-area closures...

Data from: The use of an unsupervised learning approach for characterizing latent behaviors in accelerometer data

Marianna Chimienti, Thomas Cornulier, Ellie Owen, Mark Bolton, Ian M. Davies, Justin M. J. Travis, Beth E. Scott & Justin M.J. Travis
The recent increase in data accuracy from high resolution accelerometers offers substantial potential for improved understanding and prediction of animal movements. However, current approaches used for analysing these multivariable datasets typically require existing knowledge of the behaviors of the animals to inform the behavioral classification process. These methods are thus not well-suited for the many cases where limited knowledge of the different behaviors performed exist. Here, we introduce the use of an unsupervised learning algorithm....

Data from: A prioritised list of invasive alien species to assist the effective implementation of EU legislation

Carles Carboneras, Piero Genovesi, Montserrat Vila, Tim Blackburn, Martina Carrete, Miguel Clavero, Bram D'hondt, Jorge F. Orueta, Belinda Gallardo, Pedro Geraldes, Pablo González-Moreno, Richard D. Gregory, Wolfgang Nentwig, Jean-Yves Paquet, Petr Pysek, Wolfgang Rabitsch, Iván Ramírez, Riccardo Scalera, Jose Tella, Paul Walton, Robin Wynde & Tim M. Blackburn
1. Effective prevention and control of invasive species generally relies on a comprehensive, coherent and representative list of species that enables resources to be used optimally. European Union (EU) Regulation 1143/2014 on invasive alien species (IAS) aims to control or eradicate priority species, and to manage pathways to prevent the introduction and establishment of new IAS; it applies to species considered of Union concern and subject to formal risk assessment. So far, 49 species have...

Data from: A comprehensive large-scale assessment of fisheries bycatch risk to threatened seabird populations

Thomas A. Clay, Cleo Small, Geoffrey N. Tuck, Deborah Pardo, Ana P.B. Carneiro, Andrew G. Wood, John P. Croxall, Glenn T. Crossin & Richard A. Phillips
1. Incidental mortality (bycatch) in fisheries remains the greatest threat to many large marine vertebrates and is a major barrier to fisheries sustainability. Robust assessments of bycatch risk are crucial for informing effective mitigation strategies, but are hampered by missing information on the distributions of key life-history stages (adult breeders and non-breeders, immatures and juveniles). 2. Using a uniquely comprehensive biologging dataset (1697 tracks, 790 individuals), we assessed spatial overlap of four threatened seabird populations...

Tree and shrub vegetation surveys in Monks Wood National Nature Reserve, Cambridgeshire, England, 2005-2006

R.K. Broughton, P.E. Bellamy & S.A Hinsley
Vegetation surveys from 35 transects in 2005 and 34 transects in 2006, focusing on tree and shrub abundance and sizes, in Monks Wood National Nature Reserve (Cambridgeshire, England). The transects were located in occupied territories of Marsh Tits, and also unoccupied areas of the wood used as controls, in order to sample the birds' habitat. However, the surveys also provide representative and widespread sampling of the overall woodland. The surveys include all woody tree and...

Proactive conservation to prevent habitat losses to agricultural expansion

David Williams, Michael Clark, Graeme M. Buchanan, G. Francesco Ficetola, Carlo Rondinini & David Tilman
The projected loss of millions of square kilometres of natural ecosystems to meet future demand for food, animal feed, fibre, and bioenergy crops is likely to massively escalate threats to biodiversity. Reducing these threats requires a detailed knowledge of how and where they are likely to be most severe. We developed a geographically explicit model of future agricultural land clearance based on observed historic changes and combine the outputs with species-specific habitat preferences for 19,859...

Data from: Demographic history of a recent invasion of house mice on the isolated Island of Gough

Melissa M. Gray, Daniel Wegmann, Ryan J. Haasl, Michael A. White, Sofia I. Gabriel, Jeremy B. Searle, Richard J. Cuthbert, Peter G. Ryan & Bret A. Payseur
Island populations provide natural laboratories for studying key contributors to evolutionary change, including natural selection, population size, and the colonization of new environments. The demographic histories of island populations can be reconstructed from patterns of genetic diversity. House mice (Mus musculus) inhabit islands throughout the globe, making them an attractive system for studying island colonization from a genetic perspective. Gough Island, in the central South Atlantic Ocean, is one of the remotest islands in the...

A framework for mapping the distribution of seabirds by integrating tracking, demography and phenology

Ana P. B. Carneiro, Elizabeth J. Pearmain, Steffen Oppel, Thomas A. Clay, Richard A. Phillips, Anne-Sophie Bonnet-Lebrun, Ross M. Wanless, Edward Abraham, Yvan Richard, Joel Rice, Jonathan Handley, Tammy E. Davies, Ben J. Dilley, Peter G. Ryan, Cleo Small, Javier Arata, John P. Y. Arnould, Elizabeth Bell, Leandro Bugoni, Letizia Campioni, Paulo Catry, Jaimie Cleeland, Lorna Deppe, Graeme Elliott, Amanda Freeman … & Maria P. Dias
1. The identification of geographic areas where the densities of animals are highest across their annual cycles is a crucial step in conservation planning. In marine environments, however, it can be particularly difficult to map the distribution of species, and the methods used are usually biased towards adults, neglecting the distribution of other life-history stages even though they can represent a substantial proportion of the total population. 2. Here we develop a methodological framework for...

Data from: Resource stability and geographic isolation are associated with genome divergence in western Palearctic crossbills

Thomas L. Parchman, Pim Edelaar, Kathryn Uckele, Eduardo T. Mezquida, Daniel Alonso, Joshua P. Jahner, Ron W. Summers & Craig W. Benkman
While many conifers produce annually variable seed crops, serotinous species (which hold seeds in cones for multiple years) represent unusually stable food resources for seed predators. Such stability is conducive to residency and potentially population divergence of consumers as exemplified by the Cassia crossbill (Loxia sinesciuris) in North America. We used genotyping-by-sequencing to test whether three Mediterranean subspecies of common crossbills (L. curvirostra) associated with the serotinous Aleppo pine (Pinus halepensis) were more genetically distinct...

Data from: Are agri-environment schemes successful in delivering conservation grazing management on saltmarsh?

Lucy R. Mason, Alastair Feather, Nick Godden, Chris C. Vreugdenhil & Jennifer Smart
1.Grasslands occur around the globe and, in temperate regions, their natural management by fire, drought and wild herbivores has largely been replaced by grazing with domestic livestock. Successful management for agriculture is not always suitable for conservation and can have a detrimental effect on biodiversity. Conservation grazing of saltmarshes, delivered through agri‐environment schemes, may provide a solution to counteract biodiversity loss by providing farmers with financial incentives to graze these internationally important coastal wetlands more...

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....

What is our power to detect device effects in animal tracking studies?

Ian Cleasby
The use of bio-logging devices to track animal movement continues to grow as technological advances and device miniaturisation allow researchers to study animal behaviour in unprecedented detail. Balanced against the remarkable data that bio-loggers can provide is a need to understand the impact of devices on animal behaviour and welfare. Recent meta-analyses have demonstrated impacts of device attachment on animal behaviour, but there is concern about the frequency and clarity with which device effects are...

Data from: Environmental heterogeneity decreases reproductive success via effects on foraging behaviour

Alice Trevail, Jonathan Green, Jonathan Sharples, Jeff Polton, Peter Miller, Francis Daunt, Ellie Owen, Mark Bolton, Kendrew Colhoun, Stephen Newton, Gail Robertson & Samantha Patrick
Environmental heterogeneity shapes the uneven distribution of resources available to foragers, and is ubiquitous in nature. Optimal foraging theory predicts that an animal’s ability to exploit resource patches is key to foraging success. However, the potential fitness costs and benefits of foraging in a heterogeneous environment are difficult to measure empirically. Heterogeneity may provide higher quality foraging opportunities, or alternatively could increase the cost of resource acquisition because of reduced patch density or increased competition....

Evaluating spatially explicit sharing-sparing scenarios for multiple environmental outcomes

Tom Finch, Brett Day, Dario Massimino, John Redhead, Rob Field, Andrew Balmford, Rhys Green & Will Peach
1. Understanding how to allocate land for the sustainable delivery of multiple, competing objectives is a major societal challenge. The land sharing-sparing framework presents a heuristic for understanding the trade-off between food production and biodiversity conservation by comparing region-wide land use scenarios which are equivalent in terms of overall food production. 2. Here, for two contrasting regions of lowland England (The Fens and Salisbury Plain), we use empirical data and predictive models to compare a...

Consistent concentrations of critically endangered Balearic shearwaters in UK waters revealed by at-sea surveys

Jessica Ann Phillips, Alex N. Banks, Mark Bolton, Tom Brereton, Pierre Cazenave, Natasha Gillies, Oliver Padget, Jeroen Van Der Kooij, James Waggit & Tim Guilford
Aim: Europe’s only globally critically endangered seabird, the Balearic shearwater (Puffinus mauretanicus), is thought to have expanded its post-breeding range northwards into UK waters, though its distribution there is not yet well understood. This study aims to identify environmental factors associated with the species’ presence, and map the probability of presence of the species across the western English Channel and southern Celtic Sea, and estimate the number of individuals in this area. Location: The western...

Data from: Combined bottom-up and top-down pressures drive catastrophic population declines of Arctic skuas in Scotland

Allan Perkins, Norman Ratcliffe, Dave Suddaby, Brian Ribbands, Claire Smith, Pete Ellis, Eric Meek & Mark Bolton
1. Understanding drivers of population change is critical for effective species conservation. In the northeast Atlantic Ocean, recent changes amongst seabird communities are linked to human and climate change impacts on foodwebs. Many species have declined severely, with food shortages and increased predation reducing productivity. Arctic skua Stercorarius parasiticus, a kleptoparasite of other seabirds, is one such species. 2. The aim of the study was to determine relative effects of bottom-up and top-down pressures on...

Data from: Sex-specific patterns of reproductive senescence in a long-lived reintroduced raptor

Megan Murgatroyd, Staffan Roos, Richard Evans, Alex Sansom, D. Philip Whitfield, David Sexton, Robin Reid, Justin Grant & Arjun Amar
1) For many species there is evidence that breeding performance changes as an individual ages. In iteroparous species, breeding performance often increases through early-life and is expected to level out or even decline (senesce) later in life. Furthermore, an individual’s sex and conditions experienced in early-life can affect breeding performance and how this changes with age. 2) Long-term monitoring of individuals from reintroduced populations can provide unique opportunities to explore age-related trends in breeding performance...

Data from: Local-scale tree and shrub diversity improves pollination services to shea trees in tropical West African parklands

Aoife Delaney, Assita Dembele, Issa Nombre, Franck Gnane Lirasse, Elaine Marshall, Adama Nana, Juliet Vickery, Cath Tayleur & Jane Stout
Shea (Vitellaria paradoxa) trees bear fruit and seeds of considerable economic, nutritional and cultural value in the African Sudano-Sahelian zone. In much of West Africa, shea exists within an agroforestry system referred to as “Parkland”, where social changes, including migration, have resulted in expanding areas of crop cultivation, reductions in both the area of fallow land and the duration of fallow periods, and reduced diversity of habitats and woody species. Shea benefits strongly from pollination...

Data from: Large birds travel farther in homogeneous environments

Marlee A. Tucker, Olga Alexandrou, , Keith L. Bildstein, Katrin Böhning-Gaese, Chloe Bracis, John N. Brzorad, Evan R. Buechley, David Cabot, Justin M. Calabrese, Carlos Carrapato, André Chiaradia, Lisa C. Davenport, Sarah C. Davidson, Mark Desholm, Christopher R. DeSorbo, Robert Domenech, Peter Enggist, William F. Fagan, Nina Farwig, Wolfgang Fiedler, Christen H. Fleming, Alastair Franke, John M. Fryxell, Clara García-Ripollés … & João Paulo Silva
Aim: Animal movement is an important determinant of individual survival, population dynamics, and ecosystem structure and function. Yet it is still unclear how local movements are related to resource availability and the spatial arrangement of resources. Using resident bird species and migratory bird species outside of the migratory period, we examined how the distribution of resources affect the movement patterns of both large terrestrial birds (e.g., raptors, bustards, hornbills) and waterbirds (e.g., cranes, storks, ducks,...

Data from: Upland rush management advocated by agri-environment schemes increases predation of artificial wader nests

Leah Kelly, David Douglas, Mike Shurmer & Karl Evans
Farmland birds, including breeding waders, have declined across Europe. One frequently advocated strategy to facilitate population recovery is using agri-environment schemes (AES) to improve vegetation structure. A key example is cutting dense rush Juncus to open the sward which aims to increase the abundance of wading birds, for example by improving foraging conditions. Effects on breeding success are, however, unknown. This is a critical knowledge gap as high nest and chick predation rates are a...

Data from: Climatic effects on niche evolution in a passerine bird clade depend on paleo-climate reconstruction method

Alison Eyres
Climatic niches describe the climatic conditions in which species can persist. Shifts in climatic niches have been observed to coincide with major climatic change, suggesting that species adapt to new conditions. We test the relationship between rates of climatic niche evolution and paleo-climatic conditions through time for 71 Old-World flycatcher species (Aves: Muscicapidae). We combine niche quantification for all species with dated phylogenies to infer past changes in the rates of niche evolution rates for...

Data from: Nest fidelity is driven by multi-scale information in a long-lived seabird

Alexandre Robert, Vítor H. Paiva, Mark Bolton, Frédéric Jiguet & Joël Bried
Although the reproductive success of most organisms depends on factors acting at several spatial scales, little is known about how organisms are able to synthesize multi-scale information to optimize reproduction. Using longitudinal data from a long-lived seabird, Monteiro's storm-petrel, we show that average breeding success is strongly related to oceanic conditions at the population level, and we postulate that (i) individuals use proximal information (their own reproduction outcome in year t) to assess the qualities...

Data from: Understanding the mechanisms of anti-tropical divergence in the seabird White-faced Storm-petrel (Procellariiformes: Pelagodroma marina) using a multi-locus approach

Monica C. Silva, Rafael Matias, Ross M. Wanless, Peter G. Ryan, Brent Stephenson, Mark Bolton, Nuno Ferrand & M. Manuela Coelho
Analytical methods that apply coalescent theory to multilocus data have improved inferences of demographic parameters that are critical to understanding population divergence and speciation. In particular, at the early stages of speciation, it is important to implement models that accommodate conflicting gene trees, and benefit from the presence of shared polymorphisms. Here, we employ eleven nuclear loci and the mitochondrial control region to investigate the phylogeography and historical demography of the pelagic seabird White-faced Storm-petrel...

Data from: Evolutionary factors affecting the cross-species utility of newly developed microsatellite markers in seabirds

Yoshan Moodley, Juan F. Masello, Gopi K. Munimanda, Theresa L. Cole, Marco R. Thali, Rachael Alderman, Richard J. Cuthbert, Manuel Marin, Melanie Massaro, Joan Navarro, Richard A. Phillips, Peter G. Ryan, Cristián G. Suazo, Yves Cherel, Henri Weimerskirch, Petra Quillfeldt & Luciano Calderon
Microsatellite loci are ideal for testing hypotheses relating to genetic segregation at fine spatio-temporal scales. They are also conserved among closely related species, making them potentially useful for clarifying interspecific relationships between recently diverged taxa. However, mutations at primer binding sites may lead to increased nonamplification, or disruptions that may result in decreased polymorphism in nontarget species. Furthermore, high mutation rates and constraints on allele size may also with evolutionary time, promote an increase in...

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