Migrating Birds Vary in Their Navigational Response to Human Population Density

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  • Long-distance migratory species often cross a range of human-modified landscapes. A key question is how animal populations are responding to these human-induced changes. Here, we use community science data to model the spring migration dynamics of 63 bird species in North America with the goal of understanding how migration is associated with variation in human population density (HPOP). We find that most migrating bird species demonstrate a negative navigational response to HPOP, yet nearly all bird species experience much greater HPOP during migration as compared to breeding. We show that species differ repeatably in their navigational response to HPOP, and that this variation can be explained by variation in breeding ecology and the pace of migration. These findings underscore how birds may be particularly vulnerable to the effects of HPOP during migration, as the average level of HPOP experienced during migration is 2.7-fold greater than that of breeding.

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  • Copyright © 2022 the author(s). Theses may be used for non-commercial research, educational, or related academic purposes only. Such uses include personal study, research, scholarship, and teaching. Theses may only be shared by linking to Carleton University Institutional Repository and no part may be used without proper attribution to the author. No part may be used for commercial purposes directly or indirectly via a for-profit platform; no adaptation or derivative works are permitted without consent from the copyright owner.
Date Created
  • 2022


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