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Declining adult survival of New Zealand Bar-tailed Godwits during 2005–2012 despite apparent population stability
Conklin, J.R.; Lok, T.; Melville, D.S.; Riegen, A.C.; Schuckard, R.; Piersma, T.; Battley, P.F. (2016). Declining adult survival of New Zealand Bar-tailed Godwits during 2005–2012 despite apparent population stability. Emu 116: 147-157. dx.doi.org/10.1071/MU15058
In: Emu: journal of the Royal Australasian Ornithologists Union. CSIRO Publishing (Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization): Melbourne. ISSN 0158-4197, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keywords
    Aves [WoRMS]; Limosa lapponica baueri
Author keywords
    East Asian–Australasian Flyway; Limosa lapponica baueri; mark–recapture; shorebirds

Authors  Top 
  • Conklin, J.R.
  • Lok, T.
  • Melville, D.S.
  • Riegen, A.C.
  • Schuckard, R.
  • Piersma, T., more
  • Battley, P.F.

Abstract
    Like many migratory shorebird populations using the East Asian–Australasian Flyway, Bar-tailed GodwitsLimosa lapponica baueri in New Zealand have significantly declined since the mid-1990s, but census data indicate arelatively stable population since 2004. The demographic drivers of both the decline and stabilisation remain unknown.We estimated annual survival from mark–recapture data of adult godwits in New Zealand during 2005–2014. Annualadult survival declined over the study period from 0.89–0.96 in 2005–2010 to 0.83–0.84 in 2011–2012. The simultaneousdecline in annual survival found in a separate study of Bar-tailed Godwits L. l. menzbieri in north-west Australia suggestsa common effect of their high dependence on threatened migratory staging sites in the Yellow Sea; the more extreme declinein L. l. menzbieri may reflect ecological differences between the populations, such as timing and extent of use of these sites.At current apparent recruitment rates, persistent adult survival of ~0.84 would lead to a population decline of 5–6% per yearin L. l. baueri. Our study implies that the demographic precursors to a population decline developed during a period ofapparent population stability; this suggests that monitoring a single index of population stability is insufficient for predictingfuture trends.

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