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Defining the key wintering habitats in the Sahel for declining African-Eurasian migrants using expert assessment

Defining the key wintering habitats in the Sahel for declining African-Eurasian migrants using expert assessment

Atkinson, Philip W., Adams, William M., Brouwer, Joost, Buchanan, Graham, Cheke, Robert A. ORCID: 0000-0002-7437-1934, Cresswell, Will, Hewson, Chris M., Hulme, Mark F., Manvell, Adam, Sheehan, Danae K., Small, Robert D.S., Sutherland, William J. and Vickery, Juliet A. (2014) Defining the key wintering habitats in the Sahel for declining African-Eurasian migrants using expert assessment. Bird Conservation International, 24 (4). pp. 477-491. ISSN 0959-2709 (Print), 1474-0001 (Online) (doi:10.1017/S0959270913000531)

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Abstract

The Sahel in West Africa is a major wintering area for many western Palearctic migrants. The breeding populations of many of these have declined over the past 50 years. However, there have been few intensive field studies on migrant ecology in the Sahel and these were generally within a very restricted area. Consequently our knowledge of the distribution of species within this extensive area and the habitat associations of these species is limited. Understanding these habitat associations is essential for the effective conservation management of populations. We brought together a group of experts and consulted a wider group by email to assess the main Sahelian habitat types used by 68 African-Eurasian migrant bird species. Those species that showed strongest declines during 1970–1990 were associated with more open habitats than those newly declining during 1990–2000, when declining species were associated with habitats with more shrubs and trees. Populations of species that winter in the Sahel are generally stable or increasing now as rainfall has increased and is now near the long-term average for the Sahel. Those which use the Sahel only as a staging area are, in many cases, in rapid decline at present.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: [1] The official journal of BirdLife International.
Uncontrolled Keywords: birds, Sahel, habitats, environmental change
Subjects: Q Science > QH Natural history
Q Science > QL Zoology
Faculty / Department / Research Group: Faculty of Engineering & Science
Faculty of Engineering & Science > Natural Resources Institute
Faculty of Engineering & Science > Natural Resources Institute > Agriculture, Health & Environment Department
Related URLs:
Last Modified: 02 Sep 2015 13:52
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
URI: http://gala.gre.ac.uk/id/eprint/11203

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