The talk was given by Dr. Mu, Tong (Princeton School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University)
Migratory species are declining worldwide due to a suite of anthropogenic threats; these declines, in turn, have led to the deterioration of crucial ecosystem functions at a global scale. Unlike resident species, for which threats are usually local in nature and can therefore be addressed by local conservation measures, many migratory species travel across vast areas and may face multiple threats at different sites or life history stages. As a result, identifying the sites, stages, and threats that have the most significant impact on the population growth or size of migratory species is more challenging yet critical to effectively conserving populations of migrants. The loss or degradation of stopover sites, indispensable links during the annual movement cycles of migratory species, has been repeatedly identified as a major cause of the declines of various species. However, the effect of habitat changes on migrant populations is usually less evident compared to those of other threats, and quantifying such effects can be particularly challenging.
To address such need and challenges, we will first present a theoretical framework that may facilitate both research and on-ground conservation focusing on migratory birds at stopover sites, through (a) quantifying the present habitat use intensity as an index for relative importance of each stopover site in supporting migrant populations and (b) evaluating the carrying capacity of stopover sites to identify the potential population bottleneck that may have contributed or will lead to the decline of migratory birds. The speaker will then demonstrate the feasibility of the proposed framework using a field study focusing on shorebirds migrating along the EAAF.
P.S. Based on the author’s request, we are not posting the second talk on the internet.