Migration in the balance: tight ecological margins and the changing fortunes of shorebird populations

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Dependent as they are on rare and remote open habitats for breeding and survival, shorebirds connect continents and hemispheres with their individual movements. Although many of the wetland systems on which shorebirds rely, especially in the rich West, have now some form of protection, two case studies on man-induced declines of Red Knots Calidris canutus in The Netherlands and the USA demonstrate that despite the legislation in these countries, the responsible authorities have tragically failed to provide the necessary safeguards. At the same time, these examples indicate how instructive shorebirds can be in elucidating ecosystem changes at local, and at global, scales. I advocate continued close scientific scrutiny of complementary sets of shorebird species so that we can be informed about their fate, and about the fate of ecosystems world-wide that are so effectively connected by their movements.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationWaterbirds around the world
Subtitle of host publication A global overview of the conservation, management and research of the world's waterbird flyways
EditorsG.C. Boere, C.A. Galbraith, D.A. Stroud
Place of PublicationEdinburgh, UK
PublisherThe Stationary Office
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 2006

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