Demographic and distributional responses by long-distance migratory shorebirds to the rapid loss of staging habitat

  • Chan, Y. (Speaker)
  • Tamar Lok (Contributor)
  • Sheena Suet Wah Chung (Contributor)
  • T. L. Tibbitts (Contributor)
  • Chris J. Hassell (Contributor)
  • Piersma, T. (Contributor)
  • Shen Zhang (Contributor)

Activiteit: Academic presentationAcademic


Habitat destruction is a major threat to bird populations. Whether this leads to population declines depends on the ability of birds to cope by behavioral flexibility and redistribution. We studied this process in a long-distance migratory shorebird, the bar-tailed godwit (Limosa lapponica menzbieri), facing rapid habitat loss at their main refueling area during their migration,
which is the mudflats in the Yellow Sea. Analyses of satellite imagery showed that between 2007 and 2018, mudflats were destroyed in nine out of our 12 study sites, mainly being converted to aquaculture ponds and industrial uses, led to a total of about 40% loss of mudflat area. We compared migration route and timing of godwits satellite-tracked in 2015-2018 to those in 2008. The tracked godwits did not change their staging duration and behavior in the Yellow Sea. However, sites where almost all the mudflat was reclaimed were no longer visited in 2015-2018. At sites where substantial amounts of mudflats remained after reclamation, godwits shifted seawards into more offshore mudflats, which are exposed for shorter times allowing less time to forage. As survival rates estimated from mark-resighting data of this population declined since 2011, the shift to deeper mudflats could not fully compensate for the loss of foraging habitat. A severe population decline is expected if there is any further loss in mudflats in the Yellow Sea.
Evenementstitel137th American Ornithological Society Annual Meeting: Birds on the Edge - Dynamic Boundaries
LocatieAnchorage, United States, AlaskaToon op kaart
Mate van erkenningInternational