Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Protected areas provide African birds with stepping stones to survival

Date:
June 20, 2013
Source:
University of York
Summary:
The protected area network in Tanzania is playing a vital role in the survival of savannah bird species as they move west in response to climate and environmental changes, according to new research.

The protected area network in Tanzania is playing a vital role in the survival of savannah bird species as they move west in response to climate and environmental changes, according to new research led by the University of York.

Related Articles


Using data on savannah birds from the Tanzanian Bird Atlas project -- which has documented Tanzanian bird distributions over recent decades -- the researchers found that they are using protected areas as stepping stones as they move to areas further west where dry seasons are getting longer, with movements of up to 300km noted.

Much debate has centred on the effectiveness of the current protected area network to protect biodiversity in the face of climate and environmental changes.

However, the new study, which is published in Ecology Letters, not only provides the first evidence of climate-driven shifts for an African bird community, but suggests that continued maintenance of existing protected areas -- which include national parks and game reserves -- remains an appropriate response to the challenge of climate and environmental changes.

Lead author Dr Colin Beale, from York's Department of Biology, said: "Although the protected area network was set up for mammals, our research shows it is assisting dry bush species of birds to respond to land degradation, caused by over-grazing, conversion to crops and the loss of trees, as well as climate change.

"We discovered that rather than declining in value as birds move in response to climate changes, protected areas in Tanzania are becoming increasingly valuable as land degradation exerts pressures elsewhere. Our research suggests that protected areas are buffering the bird community against extinction due to land degradation and offer stepping stones for species that are altering their distribution in response to climate change."

The study, which also involved researchers from Queens University Belfast and Biomathematics and Statistics Scotland, compared data for 139 Tanzanian savannah bird species, such as hornbills, francolins, the Rufous-tailed Weaver, Fischer's Sparrowlark and the Pangani Longclaw. Data from 1960 to 1989 was compared to data post 2000.

Unlike previous assessments of the efficiency of the protected area network in the face of climate change, the new study is based on observed changes rather than modelling.

Neil Baker, from Tanzania Bird Atlas, said: "This study once again emphasises the value of the long term collection of reliable, meaningful data and the vital role of the citizen scientist. Indeed, with so few professionals in the Afrotropics this is the only way to collect this information. With the accuracy of satellite derived variables improving and with widespread use of hand held GPS units, georeferenced observations will allow even more accurate assessments of population movements in the near future."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of York. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Colin M. Beale, Neil E. Baker, Mark J. Brewer, Jack J. Lennon. Protected area networks and savannah bird biodiversity in the face of climate change and land degradation. Ecology Letters, 2013; DOI: 10.1111/ele.12139

Cite This Page:

University of York. "Protected areas provide African birds with stepping stones to survival." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 June 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/06/130620071523.htm>.
University of York. (2013, June 20). Protected areas provide African birds with stepping stones to survival. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/06/130620071523.htm
University of York. "Protected areas provide African birds with stepping stones to survival." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/06/130620071523.htm (accessed December 22, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Earth & Climate News

Monday, December 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Lava Inches Closer to Highway

Raw: Lava Inches Closer to Highway

AP (Dec. 21, 2014) Officials have opened a new road on Hawaii's Big Island for drivers to take care of their daily needs if encroaching lava from Kilauea Volcano crosses a highway and cuts them off from the rest of the island. (Dec. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Scuba Diving Santa Off Florida Keys

Raw: Scuba Diving Santa Off Florida Keys

AP (Dec. 20, 2014) A scuba diving Santa Claus explored the waters of the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. Dive shop owner Spencer Slate makes the dive each year to help raise money for charity. (Dec. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama: Better Ways to Create Jobs Than Keystone Pipeline

Obama: Better Ways to Create Jobs Than Keystone Pipeline

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) US President Barack Obama says that construction of the Keystone pipeline would have 'very little impact' on US gas prices and believes there are 'more direct ways' to create construction jobs. Duration: 00:47 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Lava on Track to Hit Hawaii Market

Raw: Lava on Track to Hit Hawaii Market

AP (Dec. 19, 2014) Lava from an active volcano on Hawaii's Big Island slowed slightly but stayed on track to hit a shopping center in the small town of Pahoa. (Dec. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins