Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds




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Agreement on the Conservation of

African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds

Doc: AEWA/MOP 4.27

Agenda item: 25

Original: English
Date: 18 August 2008

4th Session of the Meeting of the Parties

15 – 19 September 2008, Antananarivo, Madagascar



Flyway Conservation at Work – Review of the Past, Vision for the Future"





REPORT ON THE EFFECTS OF CLIMATE CHANGE ON MIGRATORY WATERBIRDS WITHIN THE AFRICAN-EURASIAN FLYWAYS
Introduction
In its resolution 3.17 the Meeting of the Parties instructed the Technical Committee to assess on the basis of current evidence the effects of climate change on migratory waterbirds and review implications of modelled future patterns of climate change on waterbirds. Under a grant provided by UK on the implementation of resolution 3.17 and after a call for tenders the Secretariat commissioned the compilation of a report to the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO). BTO was also commissioned to produce guidelines on measures to help waterbirds adapt to the conditions of changing climate.
The first draft of this comprehensive report was commented by the Technical Committee in late 2007. The second draft was approved by the Technical Committee at its 8th meeting in March 2008 and was endorsed by the Standing Committee at its 5th meeting in June 2008 for submission to MOP4. Conclusions and recommendation from the report served as a basis for draft Resolution 4.15.

Action requested from the Meeting of the Parties
The Meeting of the Parties is invited to note the Report on the effects of climate change on migratory waterbirds within the African-Eurasian flyways and take its conclusions and recommendations into account in the decision making process.




BTO Research Report No. 486


Photo: © Rob Martin


The Effects of Climate Change on Migratory Waterbirds within the African-Eurasian Flyways
Authors

Ilya M.D. Maclean1, Mark M. Rehfisch1, Simon Delany2 & Robert A. Robinson1

October 2007
1 British Trust for Ornithology, The Nunnery, Thetford, Norfolk IP24 2PU

2 Wetlands International, PO Box 471, 6700 AL Wageningen, The Netherlands

Report of work carried out by The British Trust for Ornithology

under contract to the AEWA Secretariat

British Trust for Ornithology

Registered Charity No. 216652

CONTENTS


CONTENTS 2

List of Tables 5

1 List of Figures 5

2 List of Appendices 6

3 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY 8

1. INTRODUCTION 12

2. CLIMATE CHANGE WITHIN THE AEWA AGREEMENT AREA 14

2.1 Temperature change 14

2.1.1. Global 14

2.1.2. Africa 15

2.1.3. Europe and the eastern Nearctic 15

2.1.4. Middle East and Asia Minor 16

2.2 Rainfall change and drought 16

2.2.1 Global 16

2.2.2. Africa 17

2.2.3. Europe and the north-eastern Nearctic 17

2.2.4. Middle East and Asia Minor 18

2.3 Global changes in wind patterns 18

2.4 Global large-scale climate circulation patterns 18

2.5 Sea-level rise 19

3. Current effect of climate change on waterbirds 21

3.1 Changes in range and distribution 21

3.1.1. Changes in breeding range 21

3.1.2. Changes in wintering range 22

3.1.3. Changes in migratory routes 24

3.2.1. Timing of migration 26

3.2.2. Timing of breeding 26

3.2.3. Mechanisms, evolutionary traps and constraints 27

3.3 Changes in demography 28

3.3.1. Survival 28

3.3.2. Productivity 29

3.3.3. Population impacts 31

3.4 Effects of changing rainfall patterns 32

3.4.1. The Sahel region and crucial stop-over sites 32

3.5 Effects of sea-level rise 33

3.6 Wind, Storms and Hurricanes 34

3.7 Indirect impacts of climate change 34

3.7.1. Climate change and land-use change 34

3.7.2. Climate change and water-use change 35

3.7.3. Climate change and flood-defences 35

3.7.4. Climate change and tourism and recreation 35

4. Future effects of climate change on waterbirds 36

4.1 A framework for modelling future changes: approaches and limitations 36

4.1.1.Extrapolation 36

4.1.2.Experiments 36

36


4.1.3.Phenomenological models 36

4.1.4.Behaviour-based models 37

4.1.5. Expert opinion 37

4.1.6. Outcome-driven models 37

4.1.7. Scenarios 37

4.2 Future distribution and range changes 38

4.3 Future changes in timing of biological events 40

4.4 Future changes in predation and parasitism 40

4.5 Future changes in demography 41

4.6 Future effects of changing rainfall patterns 41

4.7 Future effects of sea-level rise 42

4.8 Future indirect impacts of climate change 43

4.8.1. Future climate change and land-use change 43

4.8.2. Future climate change and water-use change 44

4.8.3. Future climate change and flood-defences 44

4.8.4. Future climate change and recreational disturbance 45

5. Possible means of adapting to climate change 47

5.1 Site management 47

5.2 Protected area networks 47

5.3 Management of the wider countryside 48

5.4 Minimising other impacts 48

6. species especially vulnerable to climate change 50

6.1 Criteria used to assess vulnerability 50

6.1.1. Population size 50

6.1.2. Range score 51

6.1.3. Fragmentation score 51

6.1.4. Habitat score 52

6.1.5. Food score 52

6.2 List of vulnerable species 52

6.2.1. Cape Gannet 53

6.2.2 Crowned Cormorant 54

6.2.3. Bank Cormorant 54

6.2.4. Slaty Egret 55

6.2.5. Northern Bald Ibis 55

6.2.6. White-winged Flufftail 56

6.2.7. Madagascar Pratincole 57

6.2.8. Slender-billed Curlew 58

6.2.9. Damara Tern 59

6.3 List of vulnerable populations 59

6.3.1. White Stork – Southern Africa population 59

6.3.2. Northern Bald Ibis – South-west Asia South Asia wintering population 61

6.3.3. Northern Bald Ibis – Morocco population 61

6.3.4. Cape Teal - Lake Chad basin population 61

6.3.5. White-headed Duck - Algeria & Tunisia population 62

6.3.6. Common Crane – Turkey & Georgia breeding population 63

6.3.7Siberian Crane – Iran wintering population 63

6.3.8. Demoiselle Crane –Turkey breeding population 64

6.3.9. Demoiselle Crane – Black Sea (Ukraine) / North-east Africa population 64

6.3.10. White-winged Flufftail – Ethiopia & Southern Africa 65

6.3.11. Chestnut-banded Plover – venustus - Eastern Africa population 65

6.3.12. Slender-billed Curlew – entire population 66

7. International research needs 67

7.1 Can birds evolve fast enough to keep pace with climate change? 67

7.2 Does climate change affect population sizes? 67

7.3 Climate change and migration cues 68

7.4 Climate variability in early spring 69

7.5 Sea-level rise and risk of nest flooding 69

8. CONCLUSIONS 70

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS 71

APPENDICES 72

APPENDIX 1 – SPECIES VULNERABILITY TO CLIMATE CHANGE 72

APPENDIX 2 – POPULATION VULNERABILITY TO CLIMATE CHANGE 78

4 REFERENCES 80

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