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What does ice cream have to do with Bicknell's Thrush conservation?

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Background on the biology and conservation issues of the rare and threatened Bicknell's Thrush with a discussion of novel conservation initiatives.

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What does ice cream have to do with Bicknell's Thrush conservation?

  1. 1. What does maple chocolate ice cream have to do with Bicknell’s Thrush conservation?
  2. 2. Marketing Survey Ice cream flavor Vanilla Maple Chocolate Extras Maple swirl Maple sugar candy Chocolate swirl Chocolate chips Chocolate-covered maple sugar candy If you were the flavor guy at Ben & Jerry’s, what kind of ice cream would you make? Include at least one form of maple and one form of chocolate.
  3. 3. Bicknell’s Thrush u Sound u No eye ring u Range u Habitat © Larry Master
  4. 4. Mt Washington
  5. 5. “Only a freak ornithologist would think of leaving the trails for more than a few feet.” - Dr. George J. Wallace, 1936
  6. 6. “Only a freak ornithologist would think of leaving the trails for more than a few feet.” - Dr. George J. Wallace, 1936 © Bryan Pfeiffer
  7. 7. Brown vs olive coloring Brighter lower mandible Purple vs flesh legs Song Gray-cheeked Thrush Bicknell’s Thrush © Jeff Nadler
  8. 8. Brown vs olive coloring Brighter lower mandible Purple vs flesh legs Song Gray-cheeked Thrush © Bill Leaman Veery Bicknell’s Thrush © Jeff Nadler
  9. 9. Studying the Elusive Bicknell’s Thrush
  10. 10. Two Territories Female ^
  11. 11. Complex Breeding Nesting Female Male Home Range Polygynandry: Males mate with multiple females and females mate with multiple males r r r r r Goetz et al. 2004
  12. 12. Cone Cycle
  13. 13. Bicknell’s Thrush Red Squirrel Cone Mast Cycle High mast Low mast More squirrels Low nestling survival Less Squirrels High nestling survival
  14. 14. 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 1 9 9 2 1 9 9 3 1 9 9 4 1 9 9 5 1 9 9 6 1 9 9 7 1 9 9 8 1 9 9 9 2 0 0 0 2 0 0 1 2 0 0 2 2 0 0 3 2 0 0 4 2 0 0 5 2 0 0 6 2 0 0 7 2 0 0 8 R e d S q u irre lA b u n d a n c e % F ir T re e s w ith C o n e M a s t RedSquirrelAbundance %Firtreeswithconemast 1992 2000 2008
  15. 15. Management Issues
  16. 16. Total Estimated Mercury Deposition Bicknell’s Thrush Habitat VT NH
  17. 17. 0 0.05 0.1 0.15 0.2 0.25 Leaf Litter (6) Balsam Fir (18) Cherry (6) Mountain Ash (18) White Birch (17) Hg (ppm dry wt.) Mercury level of trees and leaf litter 0.00 0.05 0.10 0.15 0.20 0.25 Araneae Opiliones Coleoptera Hymenoptera Diptera Lepidoptera Homoptera Orthoptera Hemiptera Order Hg (ppm dry wt) Mercury level of invertebrates
  18. 18. R2 = 0.3113 0 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 1 1.2 1.4 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Age FeatherHg(ppm) Feather Mercury of Known Age Individuals
  19. 19. High-elevation Habitat & Climate Change Northeast 0 25,000 50,000 75,000 100,000 125,000 150,000 current 1+ 2+ 3+ 4+ 5+ 6+ 7+ BITHHabitat(Ha) Vermont 12,000 10,00 20,00 30,00 40,00 35,00 Bicknell’sThrushHabitat(ha) Mean July Temperature Change (°C)
  20. 20. High-elevation Habitat & Climate Change Northeast 0 25,000 50,000 75,000 100,000 125,000 150,000 current 1+ 2+ 3+ 4+ 5+ 6+ 7+ BITHHabitat(Ha) Vermont 12,000 10,00 20,00 30,00 40,00 35,00 Bicknell’sThrushHabitat(ha) Mean July Temperature Change (°C)
  21. 21. Skewed Sex Ratio >2:1 male:female sex ratio of chicks at nest: 1:1 Fledge Post-fledging dispersal1:1 1:1 1:1? Fall Migration Winter Habitat and Territory Selection 1:1? High >3:1 Mid ~1:1 Spring Migration Breeding Grounds >2:1 ***? **Juveniles do not differ 1:1 **VT spring juveniles 2:1
  22. 22. Where is Bicknell’s Thrush experiencing problems during its annual cycle? Breeding grounds? Wintering grounds? Migration?
  23. 23. Do Males and Females Use Different Habitats on Hispaniola? Sierra de Bahoruco Loma la Canela Dominican Republic Haiti
  24. 24. Different Diets Significantly different δC13 in blood (F 41.8, p = 0.0003) dC13 -29 -28 -27 -26 -25 -24 -23 CANELA PUVI Site Fruit Arthropods (MID) (HIGH)
  25. 25. Body Condition by Site and Sex
  26. 26. Bahoruco: High-elevation Canela: Mid-elevation u  Male-dominated, evidence for behavioral dominance u  Little territorial overlap u  Arthropod-heavy diet u  Females in poor condition u  Equal sex ratio, no evidence for behavioral dominance u  Little territorial overlap u  Fruit-heavy diet u  Females in good condition Different Sites, Different Dynamics
  27. 27. 0.00 0.20 0.40 0.60 Oriente,Cuba (4) La Visite, Haiti (6) Pleine Boeuf, Haiti (8) Palo de Agua, DR (10) Pueblo Viejo, DR (38) El Cachote, DR (5) Valle Nuevo, DR (2) La Canela, DR (12) MeanBloodHg(ppm) Mercury (ppm)
  28. 28. Bonao Nickel-smelting Plant
  29. 29. Habitat loss and degradation is the largest and most immediate THREAT to the survival of Bicknell’s Thrush © Eladio Fernandez
  30. 30. Bicknell’s Thrush u  Habitat specialist u  Restricted range u  ~40,000 birds u  Threats Population Trend Information Mountain Birdwatch: 9.7% increase White Mountain National Forest: 7% decline High Elevation Landbird Program: 19% decline BBS Canada: 9% decline
  31. 31. Bicknell’s Thrush u  Habitat specialist u  Restricted range u  ~40,000 birds u  Threats Population Trend Information Mountain Birdwatch: 9.7% increase White Mountain National Forest: 7% decline High Elevation Landbird Program: 19% decline BBS Canada: 9% decline IUCN Red List = Vulnerable Partners In Flight = North American Watch List ABC/Audubon WatchList = Red List Canada = Candidate for Federal Listing USFWS = Special Concern ME, NH, NY, VT = Special Concern
  32. 32. www.bicknellsthrush.org International Bicknell’s Thrush Conservation Group
  33. 33. Primary IBTCG Goals Increase global population by 50% in 50 years 1.  Determine BITH population status annually 2.  Document BITH population trends over time 3.  Relate BITH population trends and demographics to limiting factors 4.  Estimate the global population of BITH
  34. 34. Wintering Grounds Conservation Actions 1.  Protect, restore, and manage current and potential winter habitat 2. Investigate overwinter survival and demography (connectivity, seasonal carry-over effects) 3. Expand resources and reach of BITH Habitat Protection Fund 4.  Clarify BITH distribution and habitat use on other Greater Antillean islands 5.  Involve and build capacity of in-country partners
  35. 35. Mountain Birdwatch 1)  Monitor populations 2)  Determine factors affecting populations 3)  Guide conservation efforts Carrigain Mtn
  36. 36. Montane Birds Winter Wren Bicknell’s ThrushBlackpoll Warbler White-throated Sparrow Swainson’s Thrush
  37. 37. 1 2 3 4 5
  38. 38. Features of Mountain Birdwatch u Cones u Wind farm u Climate change u Mercury u Calcium u International u Distribution & abundance u Population Size u Connectivity u Habitat
  39. 39. Can we get there from here? •  Publish Conservation Action Plan •  Hire a coordinator to develop an Implementation Plan •  Continually measure and evaluate outcomes •  Expand hemispheric partnerships •  Pursue funding •  Grants and contracts •  Cultivate major donors •  Creative marketing
  40. 40. What does maple chocolate ice cream have to do with Bicknell’s Thrush conservation?
  41. 41. Jesus Moreno, Helados Bon Peter Lind, Primal Ice Cream Therapist
  42. 42. Marketing Survey Top 3 flavors? Vanilla with choc-coated maple sugar candy Chocolate with choc-coated maple sugar candy Maple with chocolate chips If you were the flavor guy at Ben & Jerry’s, what kind of ice cream would you make?
  43. 43. IBTCG Partners u  American Bird Conservancy u  Atlantic Coast Joint Venture u  Audubon New York u  Bird Studies Canada u  Canadian Wildlife Service u  Cornell University u  Fornebu Lumber u  Maine Dept. Inland Fisheries & Wildlife u  National Aviary u  National Park Service u  New Brunswick Dept Natural Resources u  New Hampshire Audubon u  New Hampshire Fish & Game Dept. u  NewPage Port Hawkesbury Corp u  Parks Canada u  Plum Creek u  Regroupement QuébecOiseaux u  SUNY—Environmental Science and Forestry u  University of Massachusetts u  University of New Brunswick u  U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service u  U.S. Forest Service Intl. Program u  Vermont Center for Ecostudies u  Vermont Fish & Wildlife Dept. Stratton Mtn

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