Limited knowledge of the distribution, abundance, and habitat associations of migratory species hinders effective conservation actions. We use Neotropical migratory birds as a model group to compare approaches to prioritize land conservation needed to support ≥30% of the global abundances of 117 species. Specifically, we compare scenarios from spatial optimization models to achieve conservation targets by: 1) area requirements for conserving >30% abundance of each species for each week of the year independently vs. combined; 2) including vs. ignoring spatial clustering of species abundance; and 3) incorporating vs. avoiding human-dominated landscapes. Solutions integrating information across the year require 56% less area than those integrating weekly abundances, with additional reductions when shared-use landscapes are included. Although incorporating spatial population structure requires more area, geographical representation among priority sites improves substantially. These findings illustrate that globally-sourced citizen science data can elucidate key trade-offs among opportunity costs and spatiotemporal representation of conservation efforts.

Additional Metadata
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-019-09723-8
Journal Nature Communications
Citation
Schuster, R. (Richard), Wilson, S, Rodewald, A.D. (Amanda D.), Arcese, P. (Peter), Fink, D. (Daniel), Auer, T. (Tom), & Bennett, J.R. (2019). Optimizing the conservation of migratory species over their full annual cycle. Nature Communications, 10(1). doi:10.1038/s41467-019-09723-8