Saturday, April 22, 2017

Songbird migrants in East Asia: new publications

Negative trends of ringed Emberiza buntings at Muraviovka Park (Heim 2017)
Last year we published our study on the drastic decline of the Rustic Bunting Emberiza rustica, and in the following the species was added to the IUCN Red List as "Vulnerable". One of the major drawbacks of our study was the lack of long-term data from Russia. A very recent paper by Marina Yakovleva and Alexander Sukhov now fills this gap: based on more than 30 years of transect counts they were able to analyze the population trend of breeding Rustic Buntings in the Kivach Nature Reserve. Sadly, they found the same pattern - a strong decline since the late 1990´s.
A first published analysis of our autumn ringing data from Muraviovka Park supported this decline, but not only for Rustic Bunting - several more Emberiza species might suffer as well.
One potential impact factor is illegal hunting. A recent study from China demonstrates the scale and number of species involved.
But there are not only bad news: last year we found two species at Muraviovka Park which were new for the Amurland - you can find this paper here.

Very soon you can expect more exciting publications - since February 2017 I´m part of the working group of Prof. Norbert Hölzel and Dr. Johannes Kamp at the Institute of Landscape Ecology in Münster/Germany. Together we will work on the migration ecology of Asian land birds

Our field work starts next week - so stay tuned for regular updates from far East Russia! And by the way: our blog was listed as one of the 80 best bird blogs worldwide.