Breeding productivity and adult survival in nongame birds

By: , and 
Edited by: Edward T. LaRoeGaye S. FarrisCatherine E. PuckettPeter D. Doran, and Michael J. Mac



Populations of many North American land-birds, including forest-inhabiting species that winter in the Neotropics, seem to be declining (Robbins et al. 1989; Terborgh 1989). These declines have been identified through broad-scale, long-term survey programs that identify changes in abundance pf species, but provide little information about causes of changes in abundance or the health of specific populations in different geographic locations.

Population health is a measure of a population's ability to sustain itself over time as determined by the balance between birth and death rates. Indices of population size do not always provide an accurate measure of population health because population size can be maintained in unhealthy populations by immigration of recruits from health populations (Pulliam 1988). Poor population health across many populations in a species eventually results in the decline of that species. Early detection of population declines allows managers to correct problems before they are critical and widespread.

Demographic data (breeding productivity and adult survival) provide the kind of early warning signal that allows detection of unhealthy populations in terms of productivity or survival problems (Martin and Guepel 1993). In addition, demographic data can help determine whether population declines are the result of low breeding productivity or low survival in migration or winter. Breeding productivity data also can help identify habitat conditions associated with successful and failed breeding attempts. Such information is critical for developing habitat- and land-management practices (Martin 1992). Here, we provide examples of the kinds of information that can be obtained by broad-scale demographic studies.

Publication type Book chapter
Publication Subtype Book Chapter
Title Breeding productivity and adult survival in nongame birds
Year Published 1995
Language English
Publisher National Biological Service
Publisher location Washington, D.C.
Description 4 p.
Larger Work Type Book
Larger Work Subtype Monograph
Larger Work Title Our living resources: A report to the nation on the distribution, abundance, and health of U.S. plants, animals, and ecosystems
First page 23
Last page 26
Country United States
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N
Google Analytic Metrics Metrics page
Additional publication details