Wednesday, July 15, 2015



Symposium: Offshore wind power and birds.
Chairs: Wing Goodale and Iain Stenhouse

Symposium: Updates on Loon ecology and conservation.
Chair: Jim Paruk

Contributed paper session. Shorebird migration.
Chair: Caz Taylor
Contributed paper session: Conservation.
Chair: Katherine Parsons


Jennifer Arnold and Stephen Oswald, Pennsylvania State University (Berks campus) 

Abstract: Interregional comparisons of Common Tern (Sterna hirundo) ecology and life history: The tools, the data, and implications for conservation and management
Motivated by declining populations in the North American Great Lakes, we have intensively studied breeding colonies of Common Terns in Lake Ontario and across the region since 2008. Discovering unanticipated differences in ecology and life history of species at inland colonies, we also undertook studies of regional population genetics and pioneered an expedition to assess the status and ecology of supposed large inland populations in the lakes of Manitoba. Here we report comparative ecological and demographic studies between Common Terns nesting in inland North America and those from coastal colonies of North America and Europe. We present novel findings for age at first reproduction, population structure, condition-specific survival, breeding success, chick development, habitat selection, and responses to heat stress, disease, predation and human disturbance. In the process, we detail a range of novel and remote field technology for waterbird research that we developed to minimize researcher disturbance and obtain difficult-to-get data. These include automated perches for resighting of banded birds without need for trapping or handling, leg-mounted temperature sensors to quantify thermal stress and behavior at the microhabitat level, and nest-based temperature and heart-rate monitors to elucidate the behavioral and physiological impacts of disturbance. Our results are put in the context of appropriate conservation strategies and how management approaches can and should be tailored to account for site specific differences and intraspecific variability across regions. 

The current version of the Scientific Program for the meeting can be found here: DraftProgram07122015

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