Despite the wealth of natural historical research conducted on migration over decades, there is still a dearth of hypothesis-driven studies that fully integrate theory and empirical analyses to understand the causes and consequences of migration, and a taxonomic bias towards birds in much migration research. This book takes a comparative, integrated view of animal migration, linking evolution with ecology and management, theory with empirical research, and embracing all the major migratory taxa (including human pastoralists). The scope extends beyond the target organism to consider the ecosystem-level dynamics of migration. The emphasis is on exciting new research avenues that are now opening up, whether due to advances in our understanding of migration as a biological phenomenon or through the availability of a range of new technologies. Broad themes that emerge include integrating migration into the broad spectrum of movement behaviour, the need for a comparative and cross-taxonomic approach that considers migration at a range of temporal and spatial scales, and examination of the key roles of resource uncertainty and spatial heterogeneity in driving migratory behaviour.
The book identifies the potential for new tools to revolutionise the study of migration, including satellite-tracking technology, genomics, and modelling - all of which are linked to increasing computing power. We are now on the verge of a breakthrough in migration research, which is crucial given the multiple threats that face the conservation of migration as a phenomenon, including climate change.
Anthony Sinclair has conducted research in Serengeti, Tanzania, since 1965, mainly on the problem of what determines the size of animal populations, particularly vertebrates, and the mechanisms of regulation. This work has expanded to look at the whole ecosystem, documenting how the different components of soils, plants, herbivores and predators interact. In particular, he is interested in how to provide scientific advice for conservation. In Canada he was part of the Kluane Boreal Forest Ecosystem project in the Yukon. This large-scale experiment examined the workings of the northern spruce forests, in particular what caused the 10-year cycle of snowshoe hare numbers. Between 1992 and 2002 Dr. Sinclair collaborated with colleagues in the CSIRO, Sustainable Ecosystems division, Commonwealth Government of Australia in experiments on the conservation of endangered marsupial prey and their exotic predators, the red fox and feral cats.
1. Introduction ; THEME 1: THE EVOLUTION OF MIGRATION ; 2. Understanding the evolution of migration through empirical examples ; 3. Theoretical reflections on the evolution of migration ; THEME 2: HOW TO MIGRATE ; 4. Mechanistic principles of locomotion performance in migrating animals ; 5. Energy gain and use during animal migration ; 6. Cues and Decision rules in animal migration ; THEME 3: MIGRATION IN TIME AND SPACE ; 7. Uncertainty and predictability: the niches of migrants and nomads ; 8. Migration quantified: Constructing models and linking them with data ; THEME 4: BROADER CONTEXTS ; 9. Migration impacts on communities and ecosystems: empirical evidence and theoretical insights ; 10. Pastoral migration: Mobile systems of animal husbandry ; 11. Conservation and management of migratory species ; 12. Conclusion ; References ; Index
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