Tracking data highlight the importance of human-induced mortality for large migratory birds at a flyway scale

Juan Serratosa*, Steffen Oppel, Shay Rotics, Andrea Santangeli, Stuart H.M. Butchart, Luis S. Cano-Alonso, Jose Luis Tellería, Ryno Kemp, Aaron Nicholas, Aigars Kalvāns, Aitor Galarza, Aldina M.A. Franco, Alessandro Andreotti, Alexander N.G. Kirschel, Alex Ngari, Alvaro Soutullo, Ana Bermejo-Bermejo, Andre J. Botha, Andrea Ferri, Angelos EvangelidisAnna Cenerini, Anton Stamenov, Antonio Hernández-Matías, Arianna Aradis, Atanas P. Grozdanov, Beneharo Rodríguez, Çağan H. Şekercioğlu, Catuxa Cerecedo-Iglesias, Christina Kassara, Christos Barboutis, Claire Bracebridge, Clara García-Ripollés, Corinne J. Kendall, Damijan Denac, Dana G. Schabo, David R. Barber, Dimitar V. Popov, Dobromir D. Dobrev, Egidio Mallia, Elena Kmetova-Biro, Ernesto Álvarez, Evan R. Buechley, Evgeny A. Bragin, Fabrizio Cordischi, Fadzai M. Zengeya, Flavio Monti, Francois Mougeot, Gareth Tate, Georgi Stoyanov, Giacomo Dell'Omo, Giuseppe Lucia, Gradimir Gradev, Guido Ceccolini, Guilad Friedemann, Hans Günther Bauer, Holger Kolberg, Hristo Peshev, Inês Catry, Ingar J. Øien, Isidoro Carbonell Alanís, Ivan Literák, Ivan Pokrovsky, Ivar Ojaste, Jan E. Østnes, Javier de la Puente, Joan Real, João L. Guilherme, José C. González, José M. Fernández-García, Juan Antonio Gil, Julien Terraube, Karel Poprach, Karen Aghababyan, Katharina Klein, Keith L. Bildstein, Kerri Wolter, Kjell Janssens, Kyle D. Kittelberger, Lindy J. Thompson, Mansoor H. AlJahdhami, Manuel Galán, Marcin Tobolka, Mario Posillico, Mario Cipollone, Marion Gschweng, Māris Strazds, Mark Boorman, Mark Zvidzai, Marta Acácio, Marta Romero, Martin Wikelski, Matthias Schmidt, Maurizio Sarà, Michael J. McGrady, Mindaugas Dagys, Monique L. Mackenzie, Muna Al Taq, Msafiri P. Mgumba, Munir Z. Virani, Nicolaos I. Kassinis, Nicolò Borgianni, Nikki Thie, Nikos Tsiopelas, Nili Anglister, Nina Farwig, Nir Sapir, Oddmund Kleven, Oliver Krone, Olivier Duriez, Orr Spiegel, Osama Al Nouri, Pascual López-López, Patrik Byholm, Pauline L. Kamath, Paweł Mirski, Peter Palatitz, Pietro Serroni, Rainer Raab, Ralph Buij, Ramūnas Žydelis, Ran Nathan, Rauri C.K. Bowie, Rigas Tsiakiris, Richard Stratton Hatfield, Roi Harel, Rolf T. Kroglund, Ron Efrat, Ruben Limiñana, Salim Javed, Saša P. Marinković, Sascha Rösner, Sasha Pekarsky, Shiv R. Kapila, Simeon A. Marin, Šimon Krejčí, Sinos Giokas, Siranush Tumanyan, Sondra Turjeman, Sonja C. Krüger, Steven R. Ewing, Stoycho Stoychev, Stoyan C. Nikolov, Tareq E. Qaneer, Theresa Spatz, Thomas G. Hadjikyriakou, Thomas Mueller, Todd E. Katzner, Tomas Aarvak, Tomáš Veselovský, Torgeir Nygård, Ugo Mellone, Ülo Väli, Urmas Sellis, Vicente Urios, Vladimír Nemček, Volen Arkumarev, Wayne M. Getz, Wolfgang Fiedler, Willem Van den Bossche, Yael Lehnardt, Victoria R. Jones

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Human-induced direct mortality affects huge numbers of birds each year, threatening hundreds of species worldwide. Tracking technologies can be an important tool to investigate temporal and spatial patterns of bird mortality as well as their drivers. We compiled 1704 mortality records from tracking studies across the African-Eurasian flyway for 45 species, including raptors, storks, and cranes, covering the period from 2003 to 2021. Our results show a higher frequency of human-induced causes of mortality than natural causes across taxonomic groups, geographical areas, and age classes. Moreover, we found that the frequency of human-induced mortality remained stable over the study period. From the human-induced mortality events with a known cause (n = 637), three main causes were identified: electrocution (40.5 %), illegal killing (21.7 %), and poisoning (16.3 %). Additionally, combined energy infrastructure-related mortality (i.e., electrocution, power line collision, and wind-farm collision) represented 49 % of all human-induced mortality events. Using a random forest model, the main predictors of human-induced mortality were found to be taxonomic group, geographic location (latitude and longitude), and human footprint index value at the location of mortality. Despite conservation efforts, human drivers of bird mortality in the African-Eurasian flyway do not appear to have declined over the last 15 years for the studied group of species. Results suggest that stronger conservation actions to address these threats across the flyway can reduce their impacts on species. In particular, projected future development of energy infrastructure is a representative example where application of planning, operation, and mitigation measures can enhance bird conservation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number110525
JournalBiological Conservation
Volume293
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2024

Funding

FundersFunder number
Latvian Ornithological Society
Llywodraeth Cymru
Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia
Natural Environment Research Council
Turkey's Ministry of Forestry and Water Affairs General Directorate of Nature Conservation
SEO
Gambian Department of Parks and Wildlife Management, Endangered Wildlife Trust
Northern England Raptor Forum
Fundació Catalunya-La Pedrera and Diputación de Barcelona
National Geographic Society
Egyptian vulture project in Israel
Iğdır University
Lothian and Borders Raptor Study Group
Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife
Ethiopia Wildlife and Natural History Society
Lucia Deutschová
Kenya Wildlife Service
North Carolina Zoo and Wildlife Conservation Society
Endangered Wildlife Trust
Sigrid Rausing Trust
Tuscan Archipelago National Park
Jozef Chavko
Wildlife Conservation Society
Far East University
University of Utah School of Biological Sciences
Global Innovation Fund
Latvijas Vides Aizsardzības Fonda Administrācijas
Whitley Fund for Nature
Faruk Yalçın Zoo
Max-Planck Institute of Animal Behavior
American University of Armenia
Haridus- ja Teadusministeerium
Israeli Nature and Parks Authority
Iğdır Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry
BAND foundation
German Air and Space Administration
U.S. Government
NSF-BSF
Environment Authority of Oman
Regione Calabria
Environment Society of Oman
Consejo Nacional de Humanidades, Ciencias y Tecnologías
Saving Animals From Extinction
Disney Conservation Fund
Ethiopia Wildlife Conservation Authority
Narok County Council
Norwich Research Park Translational Fund
FWFF-Fund for Wild Flora and Fauna
Neurosciences Foundation
University of Utah
Maremma Regional Park
Matira Safaris
Office for Conservation of the Environment, Diwan of Royal Court
Leiden Conservation Foundation
NorthStar Science and Technology
Miljødirektoratet
Hawk Mountain Sanctuary Association
MAVA Foundation
NOP Birds of Prey Working Group
Environment Agency-Abu Dhabi
Turkey's Department of Nature Conservation
Dipartimento Ambiente
BirdLife International
World Wildlife Fund
Princeton University
Tanzania Wildlife Research Institute
Taronga Conservation Society Australia
Christensen Fund
Scottish and Southern Energy
IREC
Ben-Gurion University of the Negev
Lush
WWF Orti-Bottagone Marsh Natural Reserve
Narok County Government
Natural Resources Wales
Ministerio para la Transición Ecológica y el Reto Demográfico
KuzeyDoğa Society
Pannon Eagle LIFE
Jonas Waldenström
National Museums of Kenya
Israeli Academy of Science
Association of Zoos and Aquariums
Diputación Foral de Gipuzkoa
Jon Masek
German-Israeli Foundation for Scientific Research and Development
Mohamed bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund
Servei de Biodiversitat de la Generalitat de Catalunya
Parco Regionale Gallipoli Cognato e Piccole Dolomiti Lucane
Wallace Research Foundation
Wildlife Research and Training Institute
U.S. Department of Agriculture
Fundación Iberdrola España
Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities and Red Eléctrica de España SAU
Ministero dell'Ambiente e della Sicurezza Energetica
Shay Rotics
Carabinieri Forestali
Programa Operacional Temático Factores de Competitividade
National Parks
A.G. Leventis Foundation
Green Fund and ‘Survey and Conservation of Seabirds
Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt
European Regional Development Fund
José Luis Tellería and Ryno Kemp
Tuscany Region administration
Falco cherrug in NE Bulgaria
Iğdır Directorate of Nature Conservation and National Parks
Horizon 2020
Estonian Environmental Board
AZA SAFE
HawkWatch International
Wyss Foundation
Mara Conservancy
Whitley Fund
Montagu's HarrierCZ.05.4.27/0.0/0.0/19_130/0010743
LIFE programmeLIFE04NAT /EE/000072, LIFE18 NAT/AT/000048
LIFE programme
Estonian Environmental Investments Centre15432, 15632
Engineering and Physical Sciences Research CouncilNE/K006312
Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council
European CommissionLIFE13 NAT/UK/000258, LIFE07 NAT/BG/000068, 2021.03224, CZ.05.4.27/0.0/0.0/19_130/0010743
European Commission
H2020 Marie Skłodowska-Curie ActionsLIFE16/NAT/IT/000659, 101027534, 766417
H2020 Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions
Narodowe Centrum Nauki2016/23/D/NZ8/01902
Narodowe Centrum Nauki
Eesti MaaülikoolP180271
Eesti Maaülikool
British Skin Foundation2015904
British Skin Foundation
LIFE11/NAT/HU/000926
Tanzania Commission for Science and Technology, Tanzania National Parks and Tanzania Wildlife AuthorityNCST/5/002/R/817
RSPB's Hen HarrierLIFE13 NAT/UK/000258
Large European Vultures in BulgariaLIFE08 NAT/BG/000278
Pannon Eagle LIFE projectLIFE15/NAT/HU/000902
Foundation for Science and TechnologyPOCI-01-0145-FEDER-028176
Foundation for Science and Technology
Deutsche ForschungsgemeinschaftIUT21-1, EXC 2117–422037984
Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft
Project Greater chance for Lesser KestrelLIFE11 NAT/BG/360
Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs79-2017
Wilson KilongNCST/5/002/R/448
Hellenic Ministry of Environment and Energy6ΧΨΑ0-ΟΚΤ, Ψ9Θ24653Π8-ΡΤ3
Hellenic Ministry of Environment and Energy
Bright Future for Black Vulture in BulgariaLIFE14 NAT/BG/000649
University of Veterinary SciencesLIFE10 NAT/BG/000152, LIFE16 NAT/BG/000874
Dutch Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food QualityI-1465-413.13/2018
National Institute of Food and AgricultureME021908, ME022402
National Institute of Food and Agriculture
Nature-Inclusive SocietyKB36-5200044844
Scottish Raptor Study GroupsLIFE07 NAT/BG/000068
National Science Foundation1617982
National Science Foundation
InterregEFA 089/15
Interreg
Ministerio de Transición ecológica of SpainMCIN/AEI/10.13039/501100011033, PID2020-117909RBI00
United States-Israel Binational Science Foundation904/2015
United States-Israel Binational Science Foundation
LIFE for Lesser KestrelLIFE19 NAT/BG/001017
Instituto Nacional de Biomarcadores em NeuropsiquiatriaUID/BIA/50027/2013, POCI-01-0145-FEDER-006821
Instituto Nacional de Biomarcadores em Neuropsiquiatria
University of KwaZulu-Natal Animal Ethics SubcommitteeZA/LP/HO/2937, AREC/094/015PD

    Keywords

    • Bird conservation
    • Energy infrastructure
    • Illegal killing
    • Mortality
    • Poisoning
    • Renewable energy
    • Tracking technologies

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