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Predicting the Consequences of Habitat Loss for Migratory Populations

William J. Sutherland
Proceedings: Biological Sciences
Vol. 263, No. 1375 (Oct. 22, 1996), pp. 1325-1327
Published by: Royal Society
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/50490
Page Count: 3
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Predicting the Consequences of Habitat Loss for Migratory Populations
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Abstract

For many migratory species the area of wintering or breeding habitat is changing or is likely to change as a result of processes such as habitat destruction or global environmental change. I show that the ratio of population decline to loss of typical wintering habitat equals d/(d+b), where d is the slope of relation between per capita winter mortality and population density and b is the slope of the relation between per capita net breeding output and population density. Similarly the ratio of population decline to loss of typical breeding habitat equals b/(b+d). Game theory models can be used to predict the values of b and d. For example, incorporating values of d and b from such models for the oystercatcher Haematopus ostralegus shows that a loss of 1% of wintering habitat will result in a population decline of 0.69% while a loss of 1% of breeding habitat will result in a population decline of 0.31%.

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