Shorebirds are model organisms for illustrating the principles of ecology and excellent subjects for research. Their mating systems are as diverse as any avian group, their migrations push the limits of endurance, and their foraging is easily studied in the open habitats of estuaries and freshwater wetlands. This comprehensive text explores the ecology, conservation, and management of these fascinating birds. Beginning chapters examine phylogenetic relationships between shorebirds and other birds, and cover shorebird morphology, anatomy, and physiology. A section on breeding biology looks in detail at their reproductive biology. Because shorebirds spend much of their time away from breeding areas, a substantial section on non-breeding biology covers migration, foraging ecology, and social behavior. The text also covers shorebird demography, population size, and management issues related to habitat, predators, and human disturbances. Throughout, it emphasizes applying scientific knowledge to the conservation of shorebird populations, many of which are unfortunately in decline.
Mark A. Colwell, Professor in the Wildlife Department at Humboldt State University, has been studying shorebirds for nearly thirty years.
Preface and Acknowledgments Part I Evolutionary Relationships, Anatomy and Morphology, and Breeding Biology 1 INTRODUCTION Diversity and Distribution Varied Ecomorphology Diverse Social Systems Globe- Trotting Migrants Wetland Dependence Conservation and Management Rationale for and Organization of this book 2 SYSTEMATICS, PHYLOGENY, AND PHYLOGEOGRAPHY Fossil History A Brief History of Shorebird Systematics Phylogeography Hybridization in Shorebirds Biogeography and Communities Conservation Implications 3 MORPHOLOGY, ANATOMY, AND PHYSIOLOGY Skeletal and Muscle System Integumentary System Sensory Apparatus, Foraging, and Digestion Digestive System Energetics and Thermoregulation Osmoregulation Reproductive System Conservation Implications 4 MATING SYSTEMS Defining a Mating System The Role of Ecological Factors Social versus Gene tic Relationships Parental Care Patterns Evolution of Polyandry Variance in Reproductive Success Size Dimorphism Sex Ratios Conservation Implications 5 BREEDING BIOLOGY Philopatry, Breeding Site Fidelity, and Dispersal Spring Arrival Schedules Courtship Behavior Breeding Densities Selection of a Breeding Site Eggs Incubation Hatching Chick Growth and Development Conservation Implications Part II Nonbreeding Ecology and Demography 6 MIGRATION Origins and Evolution Migration Strategies Physiology of Migration Hop, Skip, and Jump Populations and Flyways Conservation Implications 7 FORAGING ECOL OGY AND HABITAT USE Diets Foraging Maneuvers and Habitat Use Acquiring Energy Food Availability Individual Variation Conservation Implications 8 SHOREBIRDS AS PREDATORS Shorebird Predators and Their Prey Predicting Wetland Use Competition and Food Limitation Prey Reduction Community Ecology Conservation Implications 9 SPATIAL ECOLOGY AND WINTER SOCIAL ORGANIZATION Quantifying Spatial Distributions A Range of Social Organization Roosts Conservation Implications 10 POPULATION BIOLOGY Demography Survival Productivity Population Sizes and Trends Monitoring Programs Limiting Factors Human Impacts Conservation Implications Part III Management and Conservation 11 HABITAT CONSERVATION AND MANAGEMENT Decision Making in Wildlife Management Wetland Conservation Conservation Planning and Implementation Wetland Management Agricultural Lands Salt Ponds Sandy, Ocean- Fronting Beaches Conservation Implications 12 MANAGING PREDATORS Ethical Considerations and Decision Making Do Predators Limit Shorebird Populations? Methods of Control Conservation Implications 13 MANAGING HUMAN DISTURBANCE Definitions of Human Disturbance Characterizing Disturbance Responses to Disturbance Managing Disturbance Conservation Implications 14 EDUCATION AND OUTREACH Professional Groups Environmental Education Ecotourism and Birding Festivals Books and Online Resources Conservation Implications Appendix Index