speaker: Dr Will Cresswell
(University of St Andrews, Centre for Biological Diversity)
building: Harold Mitchell
room: Dyers Brae Seminar Room
see also: additional details
host/contact: Dr Maria Dornelas
One third of European breeding bird species winter in Africa and most of these species are showing declines in the breeding populations relative to species that do not migrate. The suggestion is clearly that some aspect of migration or wintering ecology is contributing to the decline of migrants. I will discuss what we know and what we don’t know about migrant ecology and in particular their connectivity (linkage between breeding and wintering areas) and site fidelity (reuse of wintering sites). From what we do know, these aspects suggest that variation in the population dynamics of any migrant species is inevitable because they are pre-adapted to climate change, but this actually leads to population resilience. These pre-adaptions to climate change, however, make them more susceptible to anthropogenic habitat change leading to overall lower population resilience and the observed declines.