Combining remote sensing and tracking data to quantify species’ cumulative exposure to anthropogenic change
Author(s): Buchan, C., Gilroy, J.J., Catry, I., Hewson, C.M., Atkinson, P.W. & Franco, A.M.A
Published: October 2023
Journal: Global Change Biology
Digital Identifier No. (DOI): 10.1111/gcb.16974
The results showed that although the actual amount of change had been greatest on the breeding grounds, cumulative exposure to changes in direct mortality risk and climate were highest during the Cuckoos’ autumn migration through Europe and the period on their wintering grounds, due to the longer duration of these phases.
There were no clear between-flyway differences in overall exposure during European migration stages but more easterly autumn migratory routes were significantly associated with lower subsequent exposure to anthropogenic impacts in the winter stage, which included migration through tropical Africa to the forests of central Africa and from there through West Africa in spring
This study demonstrates the value of integrating tracking data with remote-sensing data in providing detailed insights on the potential impacts of environmental change and pressures for vulnerable migratory species. Further work is required, however, to establish how exposure to change relates to impacts on birds, since relationships are unlikely to be either linear or proportional.
NotesThe BTO Cuckoo Tracking Project was funded by the A. G. Leventis Foundation, BBC Wildlife Fund, Dulverton Trust, BTO including from much appreciated gifts in Wills, Ernest Kleinwort Charitable Trust, Essex and Suffolk Water, Mark Constantine, Tobit Trust and ‘Cuckoo Sponsors and Champions’. The authors thank everyone who provided assistance in the field, Paul and Russell Howey for assistance with PTTs, and BTO Fundraising and Communications teams for vital contributions to the project. CB was funded by a PhD studentship from the Natural Environment Research Council, grant number NE/L002582/1. IC was funded by contract 2021.03224.CEECIND from FCT (Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia).
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