Fellow João L. Guilherme gave a talk entitled Identifying Important Areas for the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Landbirds Using Tracking Data on 16 December 2021 at the 30th International Congress for Conservation Biology (ICCB 2021).
Many populations of African-Eurasian migratory birds are declining. Yet, their conservation is challenging, hinging on flyway-scale cooperation to safeguard the network of areas they depend on, from the breeding grounds, through migratory pathways, to non‐breeding areas. Remarkable advances in tracking technologies are revealing a progressively more detailed picture of how migratory birds connect areas, which is key to assess how ongoing threats, particularly land-use change, may affect migratory bird populations and prioritize conservation action. Through the collaboration of over 200 researchers, we integrate an unprecedented tracking dataset including more than 2000 tracks from 43 species of raptors and landbirds migrating along the African-Eurasian flyway to reveal important areas for their conservation. We estimate the relative importance of areas used by multiple species, highlighting those congregating more birds and for longer during migration and the non-breeding season. We assess how the network of protected areas and other important sites (e.g. Key Biodiversity Areas) overlap with the identified areas. We show that, while knowledge gaps remain, existing tracking data can already inform international conservation instruments such as the Convention on Migratory Species through, for example, identifying areas strategic for capacity building and conservation action at the flyway-scale. Furthermore, we show the value of large collaborations in maximizing the conservation value of existing tracking data and rendering it more accessible and informative to international conservation instruments targeting migratory birds.[Oral presentation] Guilherme, J.L. (2021) Identifying Important Areas for the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Landbirds Using Tracking Data, 30th International Congress for Conservation Biology, online.