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Thursday, 13 November 2014

Using ring records and field surveys to predict the winter distribution of a migratory passerine. Bird Study Vol 61, 2014

Bird Study

Using ring records and field surveys to predict the winter distribution of a migratory passerine.


Volume 61, Issue 4, 2014, pages 527-536

José Luis Tellería 1*, Javier Fernández-López 1,2 
& Guillermo Fandos 1

1) Vertebrate Biology and Conservation Group. Departamento de Zoología y Antropología Física, Facultad de Ciencias Biológicas, Universidad Complutense, Madrid 28040, Spain

2) Real Jardín Botánico de Madrid, Plaza de Murillo, 2, Madrid 28014, Spain

Capsule Ring records can be used to predict spatial changes in habitat suitability in wintering grounds of migratory birds as shown by a case study with the Meadow Pipit (Anthus pratensis).

Aims To forecast the winter distribution of the Meadow Pipit in the Iberian Peninsula and the Maghreb (1 700 000 km2) by combining ring records and fields surveys.

Methods We processed winter ring records with Maxent, a popular machine-learning technique used to predict the occurrence probability of species. We then tested whether the occurrence probabilities predicted by the model were significantly positively related to the actual abundance of the Pipit in Spain and Morocco.

Results Occurrence probabilities provided by Maxent explained 6% of Pipit abundance distribution in partial least squares regression analyses. There was, in addition, a weak effect of geographical location (1.5%) and a strong effect of local vegetation (17.6%) on Pipit distribution. The occurrence probabilities were used to classify the winter range of the Meadow Pipit in sectors of high, medium and low suitability. The most suitable sector occupied 9% of the region (153 000 km2) and was restricted to warm and moist lowlands where Pipits gather in grasslands.

Conclusion These results support the potential usefulness of cartographic models derived from ring records to describe the wintering range of migratory birds.

from Taylor and Francis: Bird Study: Table of Contents

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