Continental-scale decreases in shorebird populations in Australia

Clemens, Robert S., Rogers, Danny I., Hansen, Birgita D., Gosbell, Ken, Minton, Clive D.T., Straw, Phil, Bamford, Mike, Woehler, Eric J., Milton, David A., Weston, Michael A., Venables, Bill, Weller, Dan, Hassell, Chris, Rutherford, Bill, Onton, Kimberly, Herrod, Ashley, Studds, Colin E., Choi, Chi-Yeung, Dhanjal-Adams, Kiran L., Murray, Nicholas J., Skilleter, Gregory A. and Fuller, Richard A. 2016, Continental-scale decreases in shorebird populations in Australia, Emu, vol. 116, no. 2, pp. 119-135, doi: 10.1071/MU15056.

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Title Continental-scale decreases in shorebird populations in Australia
Author(s) Clemens, Robert S.
Rogers, Danny I.
Hansen, Birgita D.
Gosbell, Ken
Minton, Clive D.T.
Straw, Phil
Bamford, Mike
Woehler, Eric J.
Milton, David A.
Weston, Michael A.ORCID iD for Weston, Michael A. orcid.org/0000-0002-8717-0410
Venables, Bill
Weller, Dan
Hassell, Chris
Rutherford, Bill
Onton, Kimberly
Herrod, Ashley
Studds, Colin E.
Choi, Chi-Yeung
Dhanjal-Adams, Kiran L.
Murray, Nicholas J.
Skilleter, Gregory A.
Fuller, Richard A.
Journal name Emu
Volume number 116
Issue number 2
Start page 119
End page 135
Total pages 17
Publisher CSIRO Publishing
Place of publication Melbourne, Vic.
Publication date 2016
ISSN 0158-4197
Summary Decreases in shorebird populations are increasingly evident worldwide, especially in the East Asian–Australasian Flyway (EAAF). To arrest these declines, it is important to understand the scale of both the problem and the solutions. We analysed an expansive Australian citizen-science dataset, spanning the period 1973 to 2014, to explore factors related to differences in trends among shorebird populations in wetlands throughout Australia. Of seven resident Australian shorebird species, the four inland species exhibited continental decreases, whereas the three coastal species did not. Decreases in inland resident shorebirds were related to changes in availability of water at non-tidal wetlands, suggesting that degradation of wetlands in Australia’s interior is playing a role in these declines. For migratory shorebirds, the analyses revealed continental decreases in abundance in 12 of 19 species, and decreases in 17 of 19 in the southern half of Australia over the past 15 years. Many trends were strongly associated with continental gradients in latitude or longitude, suggesting some large-scale patterns in the decreases, with steeper declines often evident in southern Australia. After accounting for this effect, local variables did not explain variation in migratory shorebird trends between sites. Our results are consistent with other studies indicating that decreases in migratory shorebird populations in the EAAF are most likely being driven primarily by factors outside Australia. This reinforces the need for urgent overseas conservation actions. However, substantially heterogeneous trends within Australia, combined with declines of inland resident shorebirds indicate effective management of Australian shorebird habitat remains important.
Language eng
DOI 10.1071/MU15056
Field of Research 050202 Conservation and Biodiversity
0502 Environmental Science And Management
0602 Ecology
0608 Zoology
Socio Economic Objective 960805 Flora
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2016, CSIRO Publishing
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30082854

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