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Covariation in population trends and demography reveals targets for conservation action

Morrison, Catriona A. ; Butler, Simon J. ; Robinson, Robert A. ; Clark, Jacquie A. ; Arizaga, Juan ; Aunins, Ainars ; Baltà, Oriol ; Cepák, Jaroslav ; Chodkiewicz, Tomasz and Escandell, Virginia , et al. (2021) In Proceedings. Biological sciences 288(1946). p.20202955-20202955
Abstract

Wildlife conservation policies directed at common and widespread, but declining, species are difficult to design and implement effectively, as multiple environmental changes are likely to contribute to population declines. Conservation actions ultimately aim to influence demographic rates, but targeting actions towards feasible improvements in these is challenging in widespread species with ranges that encompass a wide range of environmental conditions. Across Europe, sharp declines in the abundance of migratory landbirds have driven international calls for action, but actions that could feasibly contribute to population recovery have yet to be identified. Targeted actions to improve conditions on poor-quality sites could be an... (More)

Wildlife conservation policies directed at common and widespread, but declining, species are difficult to design and implement effectively, as multiple environmental changes are likely to contribute to population declines. Conservation actions ultimately aim to influence demographic rates, but targeting actions towards feasible improvements in these is challenging in widespread species with ranges that encompass a wide range of environmental conditions. Across Europe, sharp declines in the abundance of migratory landbirds have driven international calls for action, but actions that could feasibly contribute to population recovery have yet to be identified. Targeted actions to improve conditions on poor-quality sites could be an effective approach, but only if local conditions consistently influence local demography and hence population trends. Using long-term measures of abundance and demography of breeding birds at survey sites across Europe, we show that co-occurring species with differing migration behaviours have similar directions of local population trends and magnitudes of productivity, but not survival rates. Targeted actions to boost local productivity within Europe, alongside large-scale (non-targeted) environmental protection across non-breeding ranges, could therefore help address the urgent need to halt migrant landbird declines. Such demographic routes to recovery are likely to be increasingly needed to address global wildlife declines.

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@article{0bd72767-aacc-490e-a237-6bd7c0d5d6dd,
  abstract     = {<p>Wildlife conservation policies directed at common and widespread, but declining, species are difficult to design and implement effectively, as multiple environmental changes are likely to contribute to population declines. Conservation actions ultimately aim to influence demographic rates, but targeting actions towards feasible improvements in these is challenging in widespread species with ranges that encompass a wide range of environmental conditions. Across Europe, sharp declines in the abundance of migratory landbirds have driven international calls for action, but actions that could feasibly contribute to population recovery have yet to be identified. Targeted actions to improve conditions on poor-quality sites could be an effective approach, but only if local conditions consistently influence local demography and hence population trends. Using long-term measures of abundance and demography of breeding birds at survey sites across Europe, we show that co-occurring species with differing migration behaviours have similar directions of local population trends and magnitudes of productivity, but not survival rates. Targeted actions to boost local productivity within Europe, alongside large-scale (non-targeted) environmental protection across non-breeding ranges, could therefore help address the urgent need to halt migrant landbird declines. Such demographic routes to recovery are likely to be increasingly needed to address global wildlife declines.</p>},
  author       = {Morrison, Catriona A. and Butler, Simon J. and Robinson, Robert A. and Clark, Jacquie A. and Arizaga, Juan and Aunins, Ainars and Baltà, Oriol and Cepák, Jaroslav and Chodkiewicz, Tomasz and Escandell, Virginia and Foppen, Ruud P.B. and Gregory, Richard D. and Husby, Magne and Jiguet, Frédéric and Kålås, John Atle and Lehikoinen, Aleksi and Lindström, Åke and Moshøj, Charlotte M. and Nagy, Károly and Nebot, Arantza Leal and Piha, Markus and Reif, Jiří and Sattler, Thomas and Škorpilová, Jana and Szép, Tibor and Teufelbauer, Norbert and Thorup, Kasper and van Turnhout, Chris and Wenninger, Thomas and Gill, Jennifer A.},
  issn         = {1471-2954},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {1946},
  pages        = {20202955--20202955},
  publisher    = {Royal Society},
  series       = {Proceedings. Biological sciences},
  title        = {Covariation in population trends and demography reveals targets for conservation action},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2020.2955},
  doi          = {10.1098/rspb.2020.2955},
  volume       = {288},
  year         = {2021},
}