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  • IBP pursues science to benefit avian conservation

    Chris Merkord
    • This summer scientists from the Institute of Bird Populations and their colleagues published three scientific papers that showcase how the organization employs rigorous science in pursuit of bird conservation.

    This article originally appeared in Contact Calls, the newsletter of the Institute for Bird Populations.




    1. In a rapidly changing climate, effective bird conservation requires not only reliable information about the current vulnerability of species of conservation concern, but also credible projections of their future vulnerability. In a new paper published in the journal Avian Conservation and Ecology, IBP scientists and colleagues assess the vulnerability of 168 bird species to climate change in the Sierra Nevada mountains of California.


    Siegel, R. B., P. Pyle, J. H. Thorne, A. J. Holguin, C. A. Howell, S. Stock, and M. Tingley. 2014. Vulnerability of birds to climate change in California's Sierra Nevada.Avian Conservation and Ecology 9(1):7.

    View the paper here.




    2. The first record of Bryan's Shearwater, based on a museum specimen collected in 1963, was identified by IBP Biologist Peter Pyle as a species entirely new to science. This spring Peter and co-authors published a paper in Marine Ornithology documenting the second record of Bryan's Shearwater from Midway Atoll - through video footage of a bird captured there in 1991. Sound recordings and a highly entertaining video clip of the bird filmed in 1991 are available here.


    Pyle, P., R. David, B. D. Eilerts, A. B. Amerson, A. Borker, and M. McKown. 2014. Second record of Bryan's Shearwater Puffinus bryani from Midway Atoll, with notes on habitat selection, vocalizations, and at-sea distribution. Marine Ornithology 42:5-8.

    View the paper here.




    3. In a paper just published in The Condor: Ornithological Applications, IBP scientists and colleagues report on findings from a two-year study of home-range size and foraging habitat selection in Black-backed Woodpeckers. Our findings are already being applied by the US Forest Service to assess the effects of different habitat management scenarios on Black-backed Woodpeckers occupying the Rim Fire and other recent fire areas in California.


    Tingley, M. W., R. L. Wilkerson, M. L. Bond, C. A. Howell, and R. B. Siegel. 2014. Variation in home range size of Black-backed Woodpeckers (Picoides arcticus). The Condor: Ornithological Applications. 116:325-340. DOI: 10.1650/CONDOR-13-140.1

    View the paper here.


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