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Biology Spotlight - May 2016

BiologyResearch results from a field project by Eunbi Kwon and Brett K. Sandercock have been included in an international conservation report. For her PhD project at Nome, Alaska, Dr. Kwon marked Western Sandpipers with geolocator tags to track the annual movements of small-bodied migratory birds. Tagged sandpipers migrated along the Pacific flyway, and birds from a single breeding population used the entire nonbreeding range from San Francisco Bay to coastal areas of Colombia. Understanding such patterns of migratory connectivity is an important first step for coordination of international conservation efforts.

The new data on migratory movements from Dr. Kwon’s project were included in the recently released 2016 Report on the State of the Birds in North America (stateofthebirds.org). The annual reports are published by the North American Bird Conservation Initiative (NABCI) as an international collaboration between governmental and nongovernmental agencies in Canada, the United States and Mexico. The State of the Birds reports are widely read by policy makers, and used to set recovery goals and funding priorities for wildlife conservation.

Research funding for the field project included grants from the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, National Science Foundation (Office of Polar Programs), and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Act program).

Picture: Eunbi Kwon with a tagged sandpiper. (Photos by: B.K. Sandercock)

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