Biological Invasions: Consequences For Native Birds In a Changing World (S02)

Friday morning/afternoon, 17 April 2009

Organizer: Yvette K. Ortega, U.S. Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station

Synopsis: Increased connectivity of human populations has amplified the frequency and effect of biological invasions, and invasive species are the second leading cause of species extinction and endangerment in the United States after human population growth and associated activities.  These invaders, from pathogens to predators, become entangled in our ecosystems, establishing novel interactions with native species and the processes affecting them.  We need better knowledge of the interactions between invaders and native birds, as influenced by mediating factors such as land use and climate change, to better understand the consequences of these invasions and how best to mitigate them. 

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Conservation Biology and Evolutionary Genetics of Aphelocoma Jays (S03)

Friday afternoon, 17 April 2009

Organizers: John W. Fitzpatrick (Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY) and Reed Bowman (Archbold Biological Station, Lake Placid, FL)

Synopsis: The genus Aphelocoma is arguably the most socially diverse and phylogeographically interesting of all New World jay genera. Widespread across western North America and Mexico, the genus also includes isolated species with tiny distributions, a few of which are endangered or extremely vulnerable. A spate of ongoing studies of Aphelocoma species are revealing previously unknown histories and patterns important to evolutionary and ecological theory generally, to biogeography of western North America and Mexico, and to conservation practice.

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Climate Change: Consequences For Birds (S04)

Saturday afternoon, 18 April 2009

Organizer: Karen Bagne and Deborah Finch, Rocky Mountain Research Station

Synopsis: Global climate change has the potential to affect habitats and species worldwide within a relatively short period of time and there is strong evidence that ecosystems are already being altered. Some of the best examples of contemporary effects are from birds including changes in migration timing and distributions. Changes in temperature and rainfall patterns not only will have direct effects on avian survival and reproduction, but will have far-reaching impacts on habitats, food resources, and interacting species. We hope this symposium fosters interest in this important topic and encourages innovative future work towards effective management and conservation practices.

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Current Conservation Issues For Birds of Semi-Arid Regions (S05)

Saturday morning, 18 April 2009

Organizer: Elisabeth Ammon, Great Basin Bird Observatory

Synopsis: In this symposium, we will explore in some depth the effects of two major current land management issues in the Intermountain West, the removal of pinyon-juniper woodlands encroaching into other priority habitats, and increased fire frequency in southwestern riparian areas. In a summary of the challenges of a comprehensive bird conservation planning effort in Nevada, we will discuss the range of current conservation issues in that region and techniques for synthesizing and communicating critical bird conservation research to resource managers. Finally, we will explore the challenges of designing and implementing large-scale riparian bird monitoring in the southwest. A short panel discussion will conclude the symposium.

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