Climatic Change

, 97:543 | Cite as

Are bird populations in tropical and subtropical forests of South America affected by climate change?

Article

Abstract

The tropical and subtropical moist forests of South America have been seen as remarkable for their great wealth of animals and plants and as the world leader in bird diversity. However, a problem is apparently affecting bird populations in these habitats, to the extent that most of the sites that I have studied in the last few years were practically “ornithological deserts”. Censuses conducted in the Amazon rainforest in Ecuador and Bolivia have revealed no more than 15 species and 18 individuals in 1 day. It is evident that this is not a problem of the kind usually induced by humans at a local level, such as deforestation, hunting or pesticide use. The low diversity and activity were observed not only in disturbed habitats, but also in well-preserved national parks and reserves. If it is related to human activities, then this must be more widespread. One such possibility is global warming. For ornithological studies, this is a very severe problem that must be closely examined to see whether it is also a threat to bird survival and if it is related to climate change.

References

  1. Amadon D (1973) Birds of the Congo and Amazon forests: a comparison. In: Meggers BJ et al (eds) Tropical forest ecosystems in Africa and South America: a comparative review. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, DC, pp 267–277Google Scholar
  2. Blake JG (1992) Temporal variation in point counts of birds in a lowland wet forest in Costa Rica. Condor 94:265–275CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Blake JG, Loiselle A (1991) Variation in resource abundance affects capture rates of birds in three lowland habitats in Costa Rica. Auk 108:114–130Google Scholar
  4. Borges SH, Cohn-Haft M, Pereira Carvalhaes AM, Magalli Henriques L, Pacheco JF, Whittaker A (2001) Birds of Jaú National Park, Brazilian Amazon: species check-list, biogeography and conservation. Ornitol Neotrop 12:109–149Google Scholar
  5. Collier M, Banks A, Austin G, Girling T, Hearn R, Musgrove A (2005) The wetland bird survey 2003/04 wildfowl and wader counts. British Trust for Ornithology Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust, Royal Society for the Protection of Birds & Joint Nature Conservation CommitteeGoogle Scholar
  6. Dixon JR (1979) Origin and distribution of reptiles in lowland tropical rainforests of South America. In: Duellman WW (ed) The South American Herpetofauna: its origin, evolution, and dispersal. Univ Kansas Mus Nat Hist Lawrence, pp 217–239Google Scholar
  7. Emmons LH, Feer F (1997) Neotropical rainforest mammals. University of Chicago Press, ChicagoGoogle Scholar
  8. Haffer J (1974) Avian speciation in tropical South America. Publ. Nuttall Orn. Club, No. 14. Cambridge, MassachusettsGoogle Scholar
  9. Haffer J (1978) Distribution of Amazon forest birds. Bonn Zool Beirtr 29:38–78Google Scholar
  10. Hilbert DW, Bradford M, Parker T, Westcott DA (2004) Golden bowerbird (Priondura newtonia) habitat in past, present and future climates: predicted extinction of a vertebrate in tropical highlands due to global warming. Biol Conserv 116:367–377CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Karr JR (1976) Seasonality, resource abailability, and community diversity in tropical bird communties. Am Nat 110:973–994CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Lemoine N, Böhning-Gaese K (2003) Potential impact of global climate change on species richness of long-distance migrants. Conserv Biol 17:577–586CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Loiselle BA, Blake JG (1992) Population variation in a tropical bird community. Implications for conservation. Bioscience 42:838–845CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Martin TE, Karr JR (1986) Temporal dynamics of Neotropical birds with special reference to frugivores in second-growth woods. Wilson Bull 98:38–60Google Scholar
  15. National Wildlife Federation/American Bird Conservancy (NWF/ABC) (2002) A birdwatcher’s guide to global warming. Available at ABC’s Climate Change and Birds web pageGoogle Scholar
  16. Nores M (1992) Bird speciation in subtropical South America in relation to forest expansion and retraction. Auk 109:346–357Google Scholar
  17. Nores M (1999) An alternative hypothesis for the origin of Amazonian bird diversity. J Biogeogr 24:475–485CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Nores M (2000) Species richness in the Amazonian bird fauna from an evolutionary perspective. EMU 100:419–430CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Nores M (2004) The implications of Tertiary and Quaternary sea level rise events for avian distribution patterns in the lowlands of northern South America. Glob Ecol Biogeogr 13:149–162CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Nores M, Cerana MM, Serra DA (2005) Dispersal of forest birds and trees along the Uruguay River in southern South America. Divers Distrib 11:205–217CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. O’Neill JP, Pearson DL (1974) Estudio preliminar de las aves de Yarinacocha, Departamento de Loreto, Perú. Publ Mus Hist Nat “Javier Prado” 25:1–13Google Scholar
  22. Parmesan C (2006) Ecological and evolutionary responses to recent climatic change. Ann Rev Ecolog Syst 11:637–669Google Scholar
  23. Parmesan C, Yohe G (2003) A globally coherent fingerprint of climate change impacts across natural systems. Nature 421:37–42CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Prance GT (1987) Vegetation. In: Whitmore TC, Prance GT (eds) Biogeography and Quaternary history in tropical America. Clarendon, Oxford, pp 28–45Google Scholar
  25. Richards PW (1952) The tropical rain forest. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  26. Robinson S (1983) World record Big Day in southeastern Peru. Birding 15:14–18Google Scholar
  27. Rosenzweig ML (1995) Species diversity in space and time. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  28. Saibene CA, Castellino MA, Rey NR, Herrera J, Calo J (1996) Inventario de las aves del Parque Nacional Iguazú (Misiones, Argentina). LOLA Monogr No 9. Buenos AiresGoogle Scholar
  29. Sanderson FJ, Donald PF, Pain DJ, Burfield IJ, Van Bmmet FPJ (2006) Long term population declines in Afro-Paleartic migrant birds. Biol Conserv 131:93–105CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Shoo LP, Williams SE, Hero JM (2005) Climate warming and the rainforest birds of the Australian wet tropics: using abundance data as a sensitive predictor of change in total population size. Biol Conserv 125:335–343CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Simpson BB, Haffer J (1978) Speciation patterns in the Amazonian forest biota. Ann Rev Ecolog Syst 9:498–518CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Sorenson LG, Goldberg R, Root T, Anderson MG (1998) Potential effect of global warming on waterfowl breeding in the Northern Great Plains. Clim Change 40:343–369CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Stattersfield AJ, Crosby MJ, Long AJ, Wege DC (1998) Endemic bird areas of the world. Priorities for biodiversity conservation. BirdLife International, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  34. Stotz DF Jr, Bierregaard RO (1989) The birds of the fazendas Porto Alegre, Esteio and Dimona, north of Manaus, Amazonas, Brazil. Rev Bras Biol 49:861–872Google Scholar
  35. Terborgh J, Fitzpatrick WJW, Emmons L (1984) Annotated checklist of bird and mammal species of Cocha Cashu Biological Station, Manu National Park, Peru. Field Zool, Publication No 352. Field Museum of Natural History, ChicagoGoogle Scholar
  36. UNEP (2006) Summary of the second global biodiversity outlook. Note by the Executive Secretary. Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity, 8th Meeting, p 6Google Scholar
  37. Williams SE, Bolitho EE, Fox S (2003) Climate change in Australian tropical rainforests: an impending environmental catastrophe. Proc R Soc Lond 270:1887–1892CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Williams JW, Jckson ST, Kutzbach JE (2007) Projected distributions of novel and dissapearing climates by 2100 AD. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 103:13116–13120Google Scholar
  39. World Wildlife Fund (2000) Global warming and terrestrial biodiversity decline. Malcolm JR, Markham A. http://www.earthscape.org/r1/wwf04/wwf04.doc
  40. Wormworth J, Mallon K (2007) Bird species and climate change. Climate Risk. http://assets.panda.org/downloads/birdsclimatereportfinal.pdf
  41. Zöckler C, Lysenko I (2000) Water birds on the edge: first circumpolar assessment of climate change on Arctic-breeding water birds. United Nations Environment Programme & World Conservation Monitoring Centre. http://www.unep-wcmc.org/climate/waterbirds/report.pdf

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centro de Zoología Aplicada and ConicetCórdobaArgentina

Personalised recommendations