Collaborative approaches to the evolution of migration and the development of science-based conservation in shorebirds

The Auk
By: , and 



Shorebirds are among the most highly migratory creatures on earth. Both the study of their ecology and ongoing efforts to conserve their populations must reflect this central aspect of their biology. Many species of shorebirds use migration and staging sites scattered throughout the hemisphere to complete their annual migrations between breeding areas and nonbreeding habitats (Morrison 1984). The vast distances between habitats they use pose significant challenges for studying their migration ecology. At the same time, the large number of political boundaries shorebirds cross during their epic migrations create parallel challenges for organizations working on their management and conservation.

Nebel et al. (2002) represent a collaborative effort to understand the conservation implications of Western Sandpiper (Calidris mauri) migration ecology on a scale worthy of this highly migratory species. The data sets involved in the analysis come from four U.S. states, two Canadian provinces, and a total of five nations. Only by collaborating on this historic scale were the authors able to assemble the information necessary to understand important aspects of the migration ecology of this species, and the implications for conservation of the patterns they discovered.

Collaborative approaches to shorebird migration ecology developed slowly over several decades. The same period also saw the creation of large-scale efforts to monitor and conserve shorebirds. This overview first traces the history of the study of migration ecology of shorebirds during that fertile period, and then describes the monitoring and protection efforts that have been developed in an attempt to address the enormous issues of scale posed by shorebird migration ecology and conservation.

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Collaborative approaches to the evolution of migration and the development of science-based conservation in shorebirds
Series title The Auk
DOI 10.1642/0004-8038(2002)119[0914:CATTEO]2.0.CO;2
Volume 119
Issue 4
Year Published 2002
Language English
Publisher American Ornithological Society
Contributing office(s) Forest and Rangeland Ecosystem Science Center
Description 8 p.
First page 914
Last page 921
Google Analytic Metrics Metrics page
Additional publication details