Protecting stopover habitat for migratory shorebirds in East Asia

Murray, Nicholas J. and Fuller, Richard (2015) Protecting stopover habitat for migratory shorebirds in East Asia. Journal of Ornithology, 156 S217-S225. doi:10.1007/s10336-015-1225-2

Author Murray, Nicholas J.
Fuller, Richard
Title Protecting stopover habitat for migratory shorebirds in East Asia
Journal name Journal of Ornithology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0021-8375
Publication date 2015-12-01
Year available 2015
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1007/s10336-015-1225-2
Open Access Status Not Open Access
Volume 156
Start page S217
End page S225
Total pages 9
Place of publication Heidelberg, Germany
Publisher Springer
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Many migratory species depend on staging sites at which they refuel while on migration, and effective protection of such habitats is crucial to their conservation. Here we investigate the extent to which protected areas cover and ameliorate loss of tidal flats in East Asia, the key staging habitat for threatened and declining shorebirds migrating through the East Asian–Australasian Flyway. We discover rapid losses of the tidal flat ecosystem both inside (−0.42 % year−1) and outside (−0.89 % year−1) protected areas. In China, tidal flats are well represented within protected areas (22.9 % of current tidal flats occur within protected areas), but habitat loss continued despite protection (−0.55 % year−1 inside, −0.97 % year−1 outside). By contrast, in South Korea, where 12.1 % of remaining tidal flat is in protected areas, the rate of habitat loss outside protected areas was the highest in our study region (−1.83 % year−1), yet inside protected areas there was tidal flat aggradation (+1.13 % year−1), indicating either that protected area placement is biased away from vulnerable habitats, or protected areas are highly effective in South Korea. Tidal flats across our study area were lost most rapidly in internationally important sites for migratory shorebirds (−1.66 % year−1), suggesting that transformative land use change of coastal areas is occurring disproportionately in regions that are important for migratory birds. We urge (1) improved management of existing protected areas in East Asia, particularly in China, (2) targeted designation of new protected areas in sites crucial for supporting migratory birds and (3) integrated decision-making that simultaneously plans for coastal development and coastal conservation.
Keyword Protected areas
Migratory birds
South Korea
North Korea
Coastal development
Habitat loss
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2016 Collection
School of Biological Sciences Publications
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Created: Fri, 15 Jan 2016, 22:01:46 EST by Dr Richard Fuller on behalf of School of Biological Sciences