Encontros Scientia

Encontro Scientia | Identifying important sites for migratory waterbirds from a connectivity perspective: a case study in the East Atlantic Flyway

Encontro Scientia with Martin Beal (Conservation in Socio-Ecological Systems)

2 June 2023 . 12h00 (GMT+1)
2.2.14 Room, Faculty of Sciences of the University of Lisbon

Online access: LINK; password - 990097

Waterbirds are declining globally, making the effective identification and protection of wetland sites crucial to improving their conservation status. For migratory species, conservation action in one part of their range may be compromised by un-mitigated threats occurring elsewhere. Despite this, when quantifying site importance, the connectivity of sites created by the long-distance movements of migratory birds is rarely considered.

Here, we define an approach to quantify site importance based on direct evidence of individual bird movements between sites. Our approach considers the contribution of three different data sources to defining movement networks based on graph theory: metal ring recoveries, colour ring resightings, and electronic tracking. We illustrate the approach by building movement networks and defining important sites for the population of Black-tailed Godwits (Limosa limosa) in the East Atlantic Flyway. To highlight how including bird movements into analyses of site importance adds valuable information, we assess the degree of protection already afforded to these top connectivity sites, to inform future priorities. Our approach can help improve the ecological representativeness of important site networks for migratory waterbirds and thereby contribute towards improving the coordination of conservation efforts for these species and their wetland habitats.


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