Indicators of the impact of climate change on migratory species

S.E. Newson, H.Q.P. Crick, R.A. Robinson, S. Mendes, C.D. MacLeod, G.J. Pierce, N.K. Dulvy, J.D.R. Houghton, G.C. Hays, A.M. Hutson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

75 Citations (Scopus)


The Bonn Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals adopted a Resolution in 2005 recognising the impacts of climate change on migratory species. It called on Contracting Parties to undertake more research to improve our understanding of these impacts and to implement adaptation measures to reduce foreseeable adverse effects. Given the large diversity of taxa and species affected by climate change, it is impossible to monitor all species and effects thereof. However, it is likely that many of the key ecological and physical processes through which climate change may impact wildlife could be monitored using a suite of indicators, each comprising parameters of species/populations or groups of species as proxies for wider assemblages, habitats and ecosystems. Herein, we identify a suite of 17 indicators whose attributes could reveal negative impacts of climate change on the global status of migratory species: 4 for birds, 4 for marine mammals, 2 for sea turtles, 1 for fish, 3 for land mammals and 3 for bats. A few of these indicators would be relatively straightforward to develop, but most would require additional data collation, and in many cases methodological development. Choosing and developing indicators of the impacts of climate change on migratory species is a challenge, particularly with endangered species, which are subject to many other pressures. To identify and implement conservation measures for these species, indicators must account for the full ensemble of pressures, and link to a system of alerts and triggers for action.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)101-113
Number of pages13
JournalEndangered Species Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2009


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