Migratory connectivity magnifies the consequences of habitat loss

Figure from Iwamura et al. (2013)

Migratory flyway of the eastern curlew showing breeding (dark blue), non-breeding (light blue), and migratory staging (white) nodes. (a) Current flyway capacity. (b) Predicted future flyway capacity after sea level rise. See Iwamura et al. (2013) for more information.

Full-life cycle dynamics provide insight for this interesting study from Iwamura et al. The authors look at shorebird vulnerability from sea level rise and include factors throughout the annual cycle –like migratory connectivity.

They state that “because many coastal species are migratory, the impact of habitat loss will depend not only on its extent, but also on where it occurs.”

One of their main findings is that the effect of habitat loss on population flow is affected by migratory connectivity and the presence of a bottleneck, leading them to conclude that “migratory species are at greater risk than previously realized.”

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