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Status and trends of tundra birds across the circumpolar Arctic

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  • Paul A. Smith, National Wildlife Research Centre
  • ,
  • L. McKinnon, York University Toronto
  • ,
  • Hans Meltofte
  • Anthony David Fox
  • R.B. Lanctot, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
  • ,
  • J. Leafloor, National Wildlife Research Centre
  • ,
  • M. Soloviev, Lomonosov Moscow State University
  • ,
  • A. Francke, University of Alberta
  • ,
  • K. Falk
  • ,
  • M. Golovatin, Russian Academy of Sciences
  • ,
  • M Sokolov, Russian Academy of Sciences
  • ,
  • A Sokolov, Institute of Plant and Animal Ecology
  • ,
  • A. Smith, Carleton University

Tundra-breeding birds face diverse conservation challenges, from accelerated rates of Arctic climate change to threats associated with highly migratory life histories. Here we summarise the status and trends of Arctic terrestrial birds (88 species, 228 subspecies or distinct flyway populations) across guilds/regions, derived from published sources, raw data or, in rare cases, expert opinion. We report long-term trends in vital rates (survival, reproduction) for the handful of species and regions for which these are available. Over half of all circumpolar Arctic wader taxa are declining (51% of 91 taxa with known trends) and almost half of all waterfowl are increasing (49% of 61 taxa); these opposing trends have fostered a shift in community composition in some locations. Declines were least prevalent in the African-Eurasian Flyway (29%), but similarly prevalent in the remaining three global flyways (44–54%). Widespread, and in some cases accelerating, declines underscore the urgent conservation needs faced by many Arctic terrestrial bird species.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)732-748
Number of pages17
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2020

    Research areas

  • Arctic, Birds, Demography, Monitoring, Population trend, Tundra

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