Research Task: 8327CM9.2.0
Task Manager: Susan Skagen
Tens of millions of migratory birds are dependent on wetland and riparian stopovers in arid and semiarid regions of North America during migration. Under current conditions, these habitats are declining in quantity and quality. Global climate change would superimpose even greater stress to these ecosystems, as indicated by global climate model predictions of higher temperatures and less precipitation in the southwestern U.S. Climate changes predicted for these regions thus may alter the spacing and quality of these critical wetland and riparian stopover habitats and thereby influence the survival and reproduction of migratory birds. This study investigates how these changes would influence the survival and reproduction of migratory birds. The research addresses specific questions that include (1) How will climate change alter the spacing and quality of critical wetland stopover habitats? (2) What are the long-term demographic consequences of climate change on sandpipers? (3) What are the sensitivities of migrating songbirds to loss of riparian forests due to global change and water-use patterns? and (4) What is the relative sensitivity to climate change of guilds of wetland birds? To answer these questions, FORT scientists will evaluate current and new global climate model predictions of temperature, precipitation, and storm intensity; analyze existing data sets; and draw heavily from the published scientific literature and climate, hydrology, and population models. Results of this study will assist wildlife managers within the Department of the Interior and other resource management agencies that are concerned with protection of migratory species and habitats critical for migration and breeding success.
For more information contact Susan Skagen