Rapid climate-driven loss of breeding habitat for Arctic migratory birds

Wauchope, Hannah S. , Shaw, Justine D. , Varpe, Oystein, Lappo, Elena G. , Boertmann, David, Lanctot, Richard B. and Fuller, Richard A. (2017) Rapid climate-driven loss of breeding habitat for Arctic migratory birds. Global Change Biology, 23 3: 1085-1094. doi:10.1111/gcb.13404

Author Wauchope, Hannah S.
Shaw, Justine D.
Varpe, Oystein
Lappo, Elena G.
Boertmann, David
Lanctot, Richard B.
Fuller, Richard A.
Title Rapid climate-driven loss of breeding habitat for Arctic migratory birds
Journal name Global Change Biology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1365-2486
Publication date 2017-03-01
Year available 2016
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/gcb.13404
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 23
Issue 3
Start page 1085
End page 1094
Total pages 10
Place of publication Chichester, West Sussex, United Kingdom
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell Publishing
Language eng
Subject 2306 Global and Planetary Change
2304 Environmental Chemistry
2303 Ecology
2300 Environmental Science
Abstract Millions of birds migrate to and from the Arctic each year, but rapid climate change in the High North could strongly affect where species are able to breed, disrupting migratory connections globally. We modelled the climatically suitable breeding conditions of 24 Arctic specialist shorebirds and projected them to 2070 and to the mid-Holocene climatic optimum, the world's last major warming event ~6000 years ago. We show that climatically suitable breeding conditions could shift, contract and decline over the next 70 years, with 66–83% of species losing the majority of currently suitable area. This exceeds, in rate and magnitude, the impact of the mid-Holocene climatic optimum. Suitable climatic conditions are predicted to decline acutely in the most species rich region, Beringia (western Alaska and eastern Russia), and become concentrated in the Eurasian and Canadian Arctic islands. These predicted spatial shifts of breeding grounds could affect the species composition of the world's major flyways. Encouragingly, protected area coverage of current and future climatically suitable breeding conditions generally meets target levels; however, there is a lack of protected areas within the Canadian Arctic where resource exploitation is a growing threat. Given that already there are rapid declines of many populations of Arctic migratory birds, our results emphasize the urgency of mitigating climate change and protecting Arctic biodiversity.
Keyword Beringia
Protected areas
Species distribution modelling
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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