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ESR 7:101-113 (2009)  -  DOI:

Indicators of the impact of climate change on migratory species

Stuart E. Newson1,*, Sonia Mendes2, Humphrey Q. P. Crick1, Nicholas K. Dulvy3, Jon D. R. Houghton4, Graeme C. Hays4, Anthony M. Hutson5, Colin D. MacLeod2, Graham J. Pierce2, Robert A. Robinson1

1British Trust for Ornithology, The Nunnery, Thetford IP24 2PU, UK
2School of Biological Sciences, Zoology Building, Tillydrone, University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen AB24 2TZ, UK
3The Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science, Lowestoft Laboratory, Pakefield Road, Lowestoft NR33 0HT, UK and Simon Fraser University, Biological Sciences, Burnaby, Victoria V5A 1S6, Canada
4Department of Biological Sciences, Swansea University, Swansea SA2 8PP, UK
5Winkfield, Station Road, Plumpton Green BN7 3BU, UK

ABSTRACT: The Bonn Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals adopted a Resolution in 2005 recognising the impacts of climate change on migratory species. It called on Contracting Parties to undertake more research to improve our understanding of these impacts and to implement adaptation measures to reduce foreseeable adverse effects. Given the large diversity of taxa and species affected by climate change, it is impossible to monitor all species and effects thereof. However, it is likely that many of the key ecological and physical processes through which climate change may impact wildlife could be monitored using a suite of indicators, each comprising parameters of species/populations or groups of species as proxies for wider assemblages, habitats and ecosystems. Herein, we identify a suite of 17 indicators whose attributes could reveal negative impacts of climate change on the global status of migratory species:  4 for birds, 4 for marine mammals, 2 for sea turtles, 1 for fish, 3 for land mammals and 3 for bats. A few of these indicators would be relatively straightforward to develop, but most would require additional data collation, and in many cases methodological development. Choosing and developing indicators of the impacts of climate change on migratory species is a challenge, particularly with endangered species, which are subject to many other pressures. To identify and implement conservation measures for these species, indicators must account for the full ensemble of pressures, and link to a system of alerts and triggers for action.

KEY WORDS: Conservation · Management · Birds · Fish · Mammals · Turtles · Bats · Climate change · Migration

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Cite this article as: Newson SE, Mendes S, Crick HQP, Dulvy N and others (2009) Indicators of the impact of climate change on migratory species. Endang Species Res 7:101-113.

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