Setting conservation priorities for migratory networks under uncertainty

Dhanjal-Adams, Kiran L. , Klaassen, Marcel, Nicol, Sam, Possingham, Hugh P. , Chades, Iadine and Fuller, Richard A. (2017) Setting conservation priorities for migratory networks under uncertainty. Conservation Biology, 31 3: 646-656. doi:10.1111/cobi.12842

Author Dhanjal-Adams, Kiran L.
Klaassen, Marcel
Nicol, Sam
Possingham, Hugh P.
Chades, Iadine
Fuller, Richard A.
Title Setting conservation priorities for migratory networks under uncertainty
Journal name Conservation Biology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1523-1739
Publication date 2017-01-31
Year available 2017
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/cobi.12842
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 31
Issue 3
Start page 646
End page 656
Total pages 11
Place of publication Malden, MA, United States
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell Publishing
Language eng
Abstract Conserving migratory species requires protecting connected habitat along the pathways they travel. Despite recent improvements in tracking animal movements, migratory connectivity remains poorly resolved at a population level for the vast majority of species, thus conservation prioritization is hampered. To address this data limitation, we developed a novel approach to spatial prioritization based on a model of potential connectivity derived from empirical data on species abundance and distance traveled between sites during migration. We applied the approach to migratory shorebirds of the East Asian-Australasian Flyway. Conservation strategies that prioritized sites based on connectivity and abundance metrics together maintained larger populations of birds than strategies that prioritized sites based only on abundance metrics. The conservation value of a site therefore depended on both its capacity to support migratory animals and its position within the migratory pathway; the loss of crucial sites led to partial or total population collapse. We suggest that conservation approaches that prioritize sites supporting large populations of migrants should, where possible, also include data on the spatial arrangement of sites.
Keyword Charadriiformes
Conservation planning
Decision making
Maximum flow
Migratory species
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Grant ID LP150101059
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
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School of Biological Sciences Publications
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