Researchers develop an effective tool for reducing mammalian predation at nests of critically endangered Florida Grasshopper Sparrows Predation is a common cause of nest failure for many birds, but sometimes predation rates can be high enough to warrant action by managers tasked with protecting imperiled species. Discovering new ways to prevent or decrease predation may be a critical step towards recovering endangered populations. New research just published in The Journal of Field Ornithology reveals how the installation of predator exclusion fences at the nests of critically endangered Florida Grasshopper Sparrows substantially decreased predation by mammals. Researchers hope that increasing nest survival rates with fences will contribute towards the recovery of this endemic songbird.... continue reading.
Member notes from the field: David Millican Entry 1 It’s early October, “springtime” in Namibia. This is not the cool Blacksburg spring to which I’m accustomed. This “springtime” is dry, dehydrating, and desiccating; the discovery of true damnation. The moisture evaporates off my tongue as if it were splashed on a frying pan, the last bit of medicine from your Nalgene. The thrush does not sit outside my window and call, for it too sees the futility in displaying in this heat. Nor does the sweet smell of flowers fill the air. A few sporadic trees are budding, leaving purple, yellow, and white carpets beneath their canopies; but most are waiting for the rains, which are still a couple... continue reading.
Using radios and models to assess extinction risk in a Neotropical highland Cinclodes What do the patterns of space use tell us about the risk of extinction of a species? This relationship is certainly strong. The number of individuals (population size) and the geographical range are among the main criteria for assessing the conservation status of a species by the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature), and the knowledge about the habitats used is crucial for protecting the natural resources their need to survive.... continue reading.
Researchers use thermal cameras to detect roosting birds Where do small birds sleep? Mostly in trees is the short answer, but as so often occurs in ecology, there is more to the story…... continue reading.
Recommendations for selecting an arthropod sampling method Since many birds are insectivorous, their study often requires an accurate understanding of the arthropod prey community, including studies into resource selection, dietary overlap, and drivers of population density. However, ornithologists struggle to properly apply arthropod sampling techniques for a variety of reasons. First, there are many different arthropod sampling methods to choose from, each with their own problems and biases. Secondly, some habitats, such as forests, are structurally complex, with many different microhabitats that likely have different arthropod communities. Therefore, the central problem for ornithologists selecting a sampling method is that the arthropod community sampled by the selected method must align with the community of arthropods available to the study species.... continue reading.