Clements T.,Wildlife Conservation Society |
Gilbert M.,Wildlife Conservation Society |
Rainey H.J.,Wildlife Conservation Society |
Cuthbert R.,Conservation science |
And 5 more authors.
Bird Conservation International | Year: 2013
Summary Asian vultures have undergone dramatic declines of 90-99% in the Indian Subcontinent, as a consequence of poisoning by veterinary use of the drug diclofenac, and are at a high risk of extinction. Cambodia supports one of the only populations of three species (White-rumped Vulture Gyps bengalensis, Slender-billed Vulture G. tenuirostris and Red-headed Vulture Sarcogyps calvus) outside of South Asia where diclofenac use is not widespread. Conservation of the Cambodian sub-populations is therefore a global priority. This study analyses the results of a long-term research programme into Cambodian vultures that was initiated in 2004. Population sizes of each species are estimated at 50-200+ individuals, ranging across an area of approximately 300 km by 250 km, including adjacent areas in Laos and Vietnam. The principal causes of vulture mortality were poisoning (73%), probably as an accidental consequence of local hunting and fishing practices, and hunting or capture for traditional medicine (15%). This represents a significant loss from such a small population of long-lived, slow breeding, species such as vultures. Cambodian vultures are severely food limited and are primarily dependent on domestic ungulate carcasses, as wild ungulate populations have been severely depleted over the past 20 years. Local people across the vulture range still follow traditional animal husbandry practices, including releasing livestock into the open deciduous dipterocarp forest areas when they are not needed for work, providing the food source. Reducing threats through limiting the use of poisons (which are also harmful for human health) and supplementary food provisioning in the short to medium-term through 'vulture restaurants' is critical if Cambodian vultures are to be conserved. Copyright © BirdLife International 2012.
Bagchi R.,Durham University |
Bagchi R.,Universitatstrasse 16 |
Crosby M.,BirdLife International |
Huntley B.,Durham University |
And 11 more authors.
Global Change Biology | Year: 2013
We forecasted potential impacts of climate change on the ability of a network of key sites for bird conservation (Important Bird Areas; IBAs) to provide suitable climate for 370 bird species of current conservation concern in two Asian biodiversity hotspots: the Eastern Himalaya and Lower Mekong. Comparable studies have largely not accounted for uncertainty, which may lead to inappropriate conclusions. We quantified the contribution of four sources of variation (choice of general circulation models, emission scenarios and species distribution modelling methods and variation in species distribution data) to uncertainty in forecasts and tested if our projections were robust to these uncertainties. Declines in the availability of suitable climate within the IBA network by 2100 were forecast as 'extremely likely' for 45% of species, whereas increases were projected for only 2%. Thus, we predict almost 24 times as many 'losers' as 'winners'. However, for no species was suitable climate 'extremely likely' to be completely lost from the network. Considerable turnover (median = 43%, 95% CI = 35-69%) in species compositions of most IBAs were projected by 2100. Climatic conditions in 47% of IBAs were projected as 'extremely likely' to become suitable for fewer priority species. However, no IBA was forecast to become suitable for more species. Variation among General Circulation Models and Species Distribution Models contributed most to uncertainty among forecasts. This uncertainty precluded firm conclusions for 53% of species and IBAs because 95% confidence intervals included projections of no change. Considering this uncertainty, however, allows robust recommendations concerning the remaining species and IBAs. Overall, while the IBA network will continue to sustain bird conservation, climate change will modify which species each site will be suitable for. Thus, adaptive management of the network, including modified site conservation strategies and facilitating species' movement among sites, is critical to ensure effective future conservation. © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
Alstrom P.,Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences |
Alstrom P.,Swedish Museum of Natural History |
Davidson P.,Wildlife Conservation Society |
Davidson P.,Pacific Wildlife Research Center |
And 7 more authors.
Ibis | Year: 2010
A new species of Phylloscopus warbler, which we name Phylloscopus calciatilis Limestone Leaf Warbler, is described from central and northern Vietnam and central and northern Laos; it probably also breeds in southernmost China. In morphology, the new species is very similar to Sulphur-breasted Warbler Phylloscopus ricketti, but it is smaller with a proportionately larger bill and rounder wing. Its song and calls are diagnostic. Based on mitochondrial and nuclear DNA, the new species is most closely related to P. ricketti and Yellow-vented Warbler Phylloscopus cantator, and it is inferred to be sister to the latter. The mitochondrial divergences between these three species are at the low end of the variation found in other species of Phylloscopus and Seicercus warblers, but greater than in other taxa generally treated as subspecies. Possible introgressive hybridization between the new species and P. ricketti is discussed, but more data are needed to establish whether it does occur and, if it does, to what extent. The new species appears to have a restricted breeding range in limestone karst environments, where it is locally common and therefore not under any immediate threat. In view of the recognition of the new species, all previous records of P. ricketti sensu lato need to be re-evaluated. © 2009 British Ornithologists' Union.
Hla H.,Biodiversity and Nature Conservation Association |
Shwe N.M.,Ministry of Forestry |
Win Htun T.,Biodiversity and Nature Conservation Association |
Zaw S.M.,Biodiversity and Nature Conservation Association |
And 3 more authors.
Bird Conservation International | Year: 2011
Concerns for the long-term survival of vulture populations on the Indian Subcontinent, owing to widespread poisoning by the veterinary drug diclofenac, have led to increased conservation focus on South-East Asian countries where diclofenac is not used and relict populations of vultures occur. We document here how White-rumped, Slender-billed and Red-headed Vultures have declined substantially in abundance and contracted in range in Myanmar over the last 50 years. Using a vulture restaurant method we determined that the population of vultures in Myanmar is at least 136 individuals, made up of at least: 62 White-rumped Vultures, 21 Slender-billed Vultures, 51 Himalayan Vultures and two Red-headed Vultures. The decline in the resident Gyps species is most likely due to declines in wild ungulate populations. Our population estimates are provisional and the survey covered only a proportion of the possible vulture range within Myanmar. Himalayan Vultures were not recorded in Myanmar in historical times, and possible reasons for the recent upsurge in records are discussed. Myanmar presents an opportunity of global significance for vulture conservation, due to the persistence of three Critically Endangered vulture species in a country where diclofenac is not used. © 2011 BirdLife International.
Pilgrim J.D.,BirdLife International in Indochina |
Eames J.C.,BirdLife International in Indochina |
Vorsak B.,BirdLife International Cambodia Programme |
Anh P.T.,BirdLife International in Indochina
ORYX | Year: 2011
Building local civil society constituencies for conservation is a particularly high priority in Indochina given the regional prevalence of weak and highly-centralized government institutions with an inability or lack of will to enforce protection on the ground. BirdLife International has developed and piloted a small-scale, community-based Local Conservation Group approach to site-based conservation globally. In Indochina a number of important lessons have been learned, particularly related to the need for participatory project and activity planning, increased attention to provision of tangible benefits that clearly meet both conservation and development objectives and are tailored to heterogeneous communities, increased support for awareness-raising activities, clear monitoring of activities and impacts, and truly committed partner support for implementation. © 2011 Fauna & Flora International.