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Conservation of Tropical Birds

ISBN: 978-1-4443-3482-1
312 pages
May 2011, Wiley-Blackwell
Conservation of Tropical Birds (1444334824) cover image


Conservation of Tropical Birds has been written by four conservation biologists whose expertise spans all the tropical regions of the world. It is the first book to cover all the major issues in tropical bird conservation. Current problems faced by tropical bird conservationists are summarised and potential solutions outlined based on the results of case studies.

Birds are key indicators of ecosystem health, and such a well-studied group of organisms, that they provide an excellent lens through which to examine global conservation problems caused by phenomena such as climate change, declines in ecosystem services, habitat loss, fires, overexploitation, and invasive species. Therefore, the book also provides an engaging synopsis of the general issues in conservation and the problems faced by other wildlife.

This book serves as an important resource and companion to all people interested in observing and conserving birds in the tropics and elsewhere.

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Table of Contents


1 The State of Tropical Bird Biodiversity.

1.1 Imperiled bird biodiversity.

1.2 Drivers of endangerment.

1.3 The enigmatic.

2 Effects of Habitat Fragmentation on Tropical Birds.

2.1 Introduction.

2.2 Theoretical premises of fragmentation.

2.3 Area effects in tropical birds.

2.4 Edge effects.

2.5 Fragment isolation and the importance of connectivity.

2.6 Temporal change in forest fragments.

2.7 Conclusion.

3 Tropical Bird Extinctions.

3.1 Extinctions over time.

3.2 Extinction debt.

3.3 Are birds the most endangered taxa?

3.4 Case studies of recent bird extinctions.

3.5 Drivers of extinctions.

3.6 Extinction vulnerability.

3.7 Ecosystem resonance of bird extinctions.

3.8 Extinction resistence.

4 Ecological Functions of Birds in the Tropics.

4.1 Birds as mobile links.

4.2 Seed dispersal.

4.3 Pollination.

4.4 Predation and pest control – insectivores.

4.5 Predation and pest control – raptors.

4.6 Scavenging.

4.7 Nutrient deposition.

4.8 Ecosystem engineers and other ecological actors.

4.9 Birds and humanity.

5 Fire and the Conservation of Tropical Birds.

5.1 Introduction.

5.2 Direct effects of fire.

5.3 Indirect effects of fire and altered fire regimes.

5.4 Altered fire regimes in fire-dependent ecosystems.

5.5 Altered fire regimes in fire-sensitive ecosystems.

5.6 Interaction between fires and other threats to tropical birds.

5.7 Managing fire for bird conservation.

5.8 Birds and post-fire regeneration.

5.9 Conclusion.

6 Biotic Invasions and Tropical Birds.

6.1 Effects of invasive species on tropical birds.

6.2 Avian invasions.

6.3 Pathology of avian invasions.

6.4 Tropical avian invaders.

6.5 Management of avian invaders.

7 Harvesting of Tropical Birds.

7.1 The volume of bird extraction.

7.2 Utilization of birds.

7.3 Effects of harvesting on birds.

7.4 Sustainable harvesting.

7.5 Curtailing the bird harvesting and trade.

8 Climate Change Effects on Tropical Birds.

8.1 Future projections and models.

8.2 Where will climate change hit?

8.3 Protected areas.

8.4 Effects of life history.

8.5 Mobility and migration.

8.6 Evolution.

8.7 Interspecific interactions and indirect effects.

8.8 Deadly synergies.

8.9 Seasonality in tropics.

8.10 Lack of knowledge.

8.11 Conclusion.

9 Conservation of Migratory Birds in the Tropics.

9.1 Migration – an imperiled phenomenon.

9.2 The natural history of migratory birds.

9.3 Conservation problems faced by migratory birds in the tropics.

9.4 Towards a comprehensive strategy for migratory bird conservation.

10 Conservation Prospects for Tropical Birds.

10.1 Protection and triage.

10.2 Bird conservation in human-dominated landscapes.

10.3 Population augmentation.

10.4 Livelihoods and bird conservation.

10.5 Education and capacity building.

10.6 Enhancing knowledge of tropical birds.



Color plates.

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Author Information

Navjot S. Sodhi is a Professor at the National University of Singapore. He is an editor of the journals, Conservation Biology, Biological Conservation, and Tropical Conservation Science. He has written and edited several books on conservation in the tropics.

Cagan Sekercioglu is an assistant professor at the Department of Biology, University of Utah. His work includes the compilation of the most comprehensive database on the ecology of the world’s birds and he is among the most cited 1% of scientists of the past decade in ecology and environmental science. He received the 2008 Whitley Gold Award for grassroots conservation and was chosen Turkey's 2010 Scientist of the Year.

Jos Barlow is an RCUK Academic Fellow and Lecturer at Lancaster University, UK. He is an Associate Editor of the Journal of Applied Ecology and Conservation Letters.

Scott K. Robinson is Ordway Professor of Ecosystem Conservation at the Florida Museum of Natural History. He has published more than 100 scientific papers on the ecology, behavior and conservation of  birds.

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“This book is written in a style that is suitable as a resource for advanced undergraduate and graduate students, as well as people interested in observing and conserving birds in the tropics and elsewhere.”  (Austral Ecology, 19 May 2014)

“The volume is thus likely to be of particular use to early-career researchers, but also to fill a useful role on many other bookshelves as a quick reference guide.”  (The Quarterly Review of Biology, 1 March2013)

“In general, the book is a remarkable achievement, with all chapters providing a succinct, factual, well-referenced, and state-of-the-art review of all relevant topics.” (The Auk, 2012)

“If you want to learn a lot about bird ecology and conservation research in the tropics, this is a good place to start.”  (The International Journal of Avian Science, 2012)

"Summing Up: Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through professionals." (Choice, 1 November 2011)

"This book serves as an important resource and companion to all people interested in observing and conserving birds in the tropics and elsewhere". (The Birdbooker Report, 10 May 2011)

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