Cagan H Sekercioglu

Cagan H Sekercioglu
University of Utah | UOU · Department of Biology

Harvard University, A.B.; Stanford University, Ph.D.

About

319
Publications
381,268
Reads
How we measure 'reads'
A 'read' is counted each time someone views a publication summary (such as the title, abstract, and list of authors), clicks on a figure, or views or downloads the full-text. Learn more
13,617
Citations
Introduction
My lab focuses on threatened biodiversity and ecosystems, causes and consequences of bird extinctions, including meta-analyses of a world bird ecology database we have compiled. We also study conservation ecology of carnivorous mammals in eastern Turkey and conduct community-based conservation and restoration projects. Twitter: sekercioglu Instagram: @cagansekercioglu scholar.google.com/citations?user=VbCSmRMAAAAJ&hl www.nationalgeographic.com/explorers/bios/cagan-sekercioglu/
Additional affiliations
January 2015 - present
Koc University
Position
  • Distinguished Visiting Fellow
September 2003 - September 2010
Stanford University
Position
  • Senior Researcher
September 1993 - June 1997
Harvard University
Position
  • Curatorial Assistant
Description
  • Undergraduate in Biology and Anthropology Thesis: The effects of logging-based habitat modification on the vegetation structure and forest bird communities of the Kibale Forest National Park, Uganda
Education
September 1998 - August 2003
Stanford University
Field of study
  • Biology
September 1993 - June 1997
Harvard University
Field of study
  • Biology
September 1993 - June 1997
Harvard University
Field of study
  • Biological Anthropology

Publications

Publications (319)
Article
Full-text available
Birds are integral to many environmental monitoring schemes. However, there has been little research on the ecological basis of utilizing bird species as indicators of their respective communities and habitats. We used point counts to survey 72 landbird species, 16 of conservation concern, in the Dadia Nature Reserve, Greece, in order to understand...
Article
Full-text available
In this study, we evaluated the potential impact of climate change on the distributions of Turkey's songbirds in the 21st century by modelling future distributions of 20 resident and nine migratory species under two global climate change scenarios. We combined verified data from an ornithological citizen science initiative (www.kusbank.org) with ma...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Human dimensions of wildlife management are critical to the success of a wildlife management program. The input of stakeholders at the local level can help determine how governments or conservation organizations can mitigate potential human-wildlife conflicts. In the Sarıkamış-Allahuekber Mountains National Park and surrounding forests in eastern T...
Article
Full-text available
Wetland-dependent migratory songbirds represent one of the most vulnerable groups of birds on the planet, with .67% of wetland-obligate species threatened with extinction. One of the major hurdles for conservation efforts is determining the migration routes, stopover sites, and wintering sites of these species. We describe an annual migration cycle...
Article
Full-text available
The importance of volunteer-based environmental organizations is increasing throughout the world and in Turkey. Globally, there is a large number of NGOs operating in the field of environmental conservation. KuzeyDoga Society operating in Kars since 2007 is one of these institutions. The purpose of this paper is to examine the KuzeyDoga Society in...
Article
Full-text available
Managing wildlife populations in the face of global change requires regular data on the abundance and distribution of wild animals but acquiring these over appropriate spatial scales in a sustainable way has proven challenging. Here we present the data from Snapshot USA 2020, a second annual national mammal survey of the United States of America. T...
Article
Full-text available
Human development and roads threaten wildlife through distinct mechanisms and understanding the influence of these elements can better inform mitigation and conservation strategies. We used camera traps to quantify the effects of major roads, environmental factors, and human development on the mammalian community composition between sites north and...
Article
Full-text available
Wildlife are under continuous pressure to adapt to new environments as more land area is converted for human use and human populations continue to concentrate in suburban and exurban areas. This is especially the case for terrestrial mammals, which are forced to navigate these habitat matrices on foot. One way in which mammals may occupy urbanized...
Article
Scavenging is an important ecological process. By quickly locating and consuming carrion, vertebrate scavengers cycle nutrients, stabilize food webs, and may help mitigate disease transmission to humans. Across Africa, many scavengers feed at abattoirs (i.e. slaughterhouses), thereby aiding in waste removal. Little information exists on the scaveng...
Article
As the world urbanizes, identifying traits that allow some species to thrive in cities will be key to predicting which species will likely remain common, and which may require conservation attention. Large, diverse, widely‐distributed, and readily‐documented, raptors represent an ideal taxonomic group to understand how species persist and thrive in...
Article
Full-text available
Predator-prey interactions and human presence are among the key factors shaping large mammal activity patterns. In human-dominated landscapes, large carnivores must balance their activity rhythms between optimizing their feeding opportunities and avoiding encounters with humans. In north-eastern Turkey, the Caucasian lynx (Lynx lynx dinniki), a thr...
Article
Full-text available
Protected areas are highly heterogeneous in their effectiveness at buffering human pressure, which may hamper their ability to conserve species highly sensitive to human activities. Here, we use 60 million bird observations from eBird to estimate the sensitivity to human pressure of each bird species breeding in the Americas. Concerningly, we find...
Article
Riparian corridors are critical refuges for biodiversity in arid regions like the southwestern US. Birds in particular rely on these habitats for breeding and as migratory stopover sites within a resource-scarce landscape. Climate change is likely to affect the distribution of resources across such landscapes and how birds use riparian zones. In th...
Article
Full-text available
The widely held assumption that any important scientific information would be available in English underlies the underuse of non-English-language science across disciplines. However, non-English-language science is expected to bring unique and valuable scientific information, especially in disciplines where the evidence is patchy, and for emergent...
Article
Full-text available
Due to the increasing popularity of websites specializing in nature documentation, there has been a surge in the number of people enthusiastic about observing and documenting nature over the past 2 decades. These citizen scientists are recording biodiversity on unprecedented temporal and spatial scales, rendering data of tremendous value to the sci...
Article
Full-text available
Vulture populations are in severe decline across Africa and prioritization of geographic areas for their conservation is urgently needed. To do so, we compiled three independent datasets on vulture occurrence from road-surveys, GPS-tracking, and citizen science (eBird), and used maximum entropy to build ensemble species distribution models (SDMs)....
Article
Full-text available
The majority of the world’s biodiversity occurs in the tropics, but human actions in these regions have precipitated an extinction crisis due to habitat degradation, overexploitation, and climate change. Understanding which ecological, biogeographical, and life-history traits predict extinction risk is critical for conserving species. The Philippin...
Preprint
Full-text available
The widely held assumption that any important scientific information would be available in English underlies the underuse of non-English-language science across disciplines. However, non-English-language science is expected to bring unique and valuable scientific information, especially in disciplines where the evidence is patchy, and for emergent...
Article
Full-text available
The global lockdown to mitigate COVID-19 pandemic health risks has altered human interactions with nature. Here, we report immediate impacts of changes in human activities on wildlife and environmental threats during the early lockdown months of 2020, based on 877 qualitative reports and 332 quantitative assessments from 89 different studies. Hundr...
Article
Full-text available
The recognized gap between research and implementation in avian conservation can be overcome with translational ecology, an intentional approach in which science producers and users from multiple disciplines work collaboratively to co-develop and deliver ecological research that addresses management and conservation issues. Avian conservation natur...
Article
The recognized gap between research and implementation in avian conservation can be overcome with translational ecology, an intentional approach in which science producers and users from multiple disciplines work collaboratively to co-develop and deliver ecological research that addresses management and conservation issues. Avian conservation natur...
Article
Full-text available
1. To be effective, the next generation of conservation practitioners and managers need to be critical thinkers with a deep understanding of how to make evidence-based decisions and of the value of evidence synthesis. 2. If, as educators, we do not make these priorities a core part of what we teach, we are failing to prepare our students to make an...
Article
Full-text available
An estimated 17% of migratory bird species are threatened or near threatened with extinction. This represents an enormous potential loss of biodiversity and cost to human societies due to the economic benefits that birds provide through ecosystem services and ecotourism. Conservation of migratory bird species presents many unique challenges, as the...
Article
Tropical mountains are global hotspots for birdlife. However, there is a dearth of baseline avifaunal data along eleva-tional gradients, particularly in Africa, limiting our ability to observe and assess changes over time in tropical montane avian communities. In this study, we undertook a multi-year assessment of understory birds along a 1,750 m e...
Article
Human activity and land use change impact every landscape on Earth, driving declines in many animal species while benefiting others. Species ecological and life history traits may predict success in human-dominated landscapes such that only species with "winning" combinations of traits will persist in disturbed environments. However, this link betw...
Article
Eurasian Thick-knee (Burhinus oedicnemus) is a widespread wading bird that occurs throughout much of Europe, the Middle East, and northern Africa. We captured a juvenile specimen at the Aras River Ornithological Research Station, Turkey in October 2019, fitted it with a GPS-GSM transmitter, and tracked its migration. The bird migrated from Turkey i...
Article
Full-text available
Globally, birds have been shown to respond to climate change by shifting their elevational distributions. This phenomenon is especially prevalent in the tropics, where elevational gradients are often hotspots of diversity and endemism. Empirical evidence has suggested that elevational range shifts are far from uniform across species, varying greatl...
Article
Aim Species delimitation is fundamental to biology, but disagreement in species concepts and the application of those concepts can lead to substantial variation in species lists, with important implications for conservation. For birds, there are four widely used global checklists that vary in length and application. Here, we investigate the biogeog...
Article
Full-text available
The Red Sea Flyway is the most important route for soaring birds migrating between Eurasia and Africa. The Bab el-Mandeb strait in Djibouti is the narrowest water crossing of the Red Sea and as such, acts as a critical migratory bottleneck at the entrance point into the Horn of Africa. Despite the global significance of this flyway, very limited ob...
Article
Full-text available
With the accelerating pace of global change, it is imperative that we obtain rapid inventories of the status and distribution of wildlife for ecological inferences and conservation planning. To address this challenge, we launched the SNAPSHOT USA project, a collaborative survey of terrestrial wildlife populations using camera traps across the Unite...
Article
Full-text available
Turkey is the only country in the world that is almost entirely covered by three global biodiversity hotspots (Caucasus, Iran-Anatolian and Mediterranean), and yet its biodiversity and ecosystems are greatly threatened. Nevertheless in the northeast, where the human population is declining, there is still some potential for the conservation of larg...
Article
Full-text available
1. Long-distance migrations are among the most physically demanding feats animals perform. Understanding the potential costs and benefits of such behaviour is a fundamental question in ecology and evolution. A hypothetical cost of migration should be outweighed by higher productivity and/or higher annual survival, but few studies on migratory speci...
Article
Full-text available
Global warming is predicted to result in upslope shifts in the elevational ranges of bird species in montane habitats. Yet few studies have examined changes over time in the eleva-tional distribution of species along fragmented gradients in response to global warming. Here, we report on a resurvey of an understory bird community in the Usambara Mou...
Preprint
Full-text available
Protected areas, the most prevalent international policy mechanism for biodiversity conservation, are highly heterogeneous in their effectiveness at buffering ecosystems and species' habitats from human pressure. Protected areas with intense human pressure cannot protect species that are highly sensitive to human activities. Here, we use 60 million...
Article
Tropical mountains harbor globally significant levels of biodiversity and endemism. Climate change threatens many tropical montane species, yet little research has assessed the effects of climate change on the demographic rates of tropical species, particularly in the Afrotropics. Here, we report on the demographic rates of 21 Afrotropical bird spe...
Article
Full-text available
1. To be effective, the next generation of conservation practitioners and managers need to be critical thinkers with a deep understanding of how to make evidence‐based decisions and of the value of evidence synthesis. 2. If, as educators, we do not make these priorities a core part of what we teach, we are failing to prepare our students to make an...
Article
Full-text available
Biodiversity impacts caused by alien species can be severe, including those caused by alien birds. In order to protect native birds, we aimed to identify factors that influence their vulnerability to the impacts of alien birds. We first reviewed the literature to identify native bird species sustaining such impacts. We then assigned impact severity...
Article
COVID-19 has altered many aspects of everyday life. For the scientific community, the pandemic has called upon scientists to continue their work in novel ways, curtailing field and lab research. However, this unprecedented situation also offers an opportunity for researchers to optimize and further develop available field methods. Camera traps are...
Article
Full-text available
Camera traps have become an important research tool for both conservation biologists and wildlife managers. Recent advances in spatially explicit capture-recapture (SECR) methods have increasingly put camera traps at the forefront of population monitoring programs. These methods allow for benchmark analysis of species density without the need for i...
Article
Full-text available
Variations in stable hydrogen and oxygen isotope ratios in terrestrial animal tissues are used to reconstruct origin and movement. An underlying assumption of these applications is that tissues grown at the same site share a similar isotopic signal, representative of the location of their origin. However, large variations in tissue isotopic composi...
Article
Full-text available
Climate change threatens to push species to higher elevations and eventual extinction. Birds, in particular, are shown to be shifting upslope in the Neo-tropics and Southeast Asia. Yet previous studies have lacked the temporal resolution to investigate distributional dynamics over time in relation to climatic fluctuations, especially in the underst...
Article
Full-text available
Insectivorous birds reach their highest diversity in the tropics and represent a striking variety of morphological and behavioral specializations for foraging, yet explanations for these patterns are inadequate because of both our limited understanding of the drivers of ecological diversification within and among clades and of coexistence mechanism...
Article
Full-text available
The decomposition of carrion is carried out by a suite of macro-and microorganisms who interact with each other in a variety of ecological contexts. The ultimate result of carrion decomposition is the recycling of carbon and nutrients from the carrion back into the ecosystem. Exploring these ecological interactions among animals and microbes is a c...
Article
Full-text available
The raccoon dog (Nyctereutes procyonoides) was recorded for the first time in Turkey on May 10, 2019, and June 5, 2019, in the same location after 4668 nights of camera trapping in the forests of the Sarıkamış region and Allahuekber Mountains in eastern Turkey. It was recorded in a Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris) forest at 2340 m above sea level with...
Article
The Amazon has a long history of disturbance under subsistence agriculture, but slash-and-burn agriculture is small in scale and has relatively low impact on resident avifauna. More recently, the Amazon has suffered extensive deforestation in favor of cattle ranching and other modern systems of agriculture. Cattle pastures, mechanized agriculture,...
Article
Full-text available
Abstract Invasive alien species are a major threat to biodiversity and human activities, providing a strong incentive to understand the processes by which alien invasion occurs. While it is important to understand the determinants of success at each of several invasion stages—transport, introduction, establishment, and spread—few studies have explo...
Article
Full-text available
To understand the mechanisms shaping global species diversity patterns, we focused on species assembly of bird communities on islands, which are ideal for detecting ecological and historical processes. We tested the hypotheses that species traits and island environments interactively shape the phylogenetic structure of island bird assemblages throu...
Article
Full-text available
By involving the public, citizen science runs against the grain of an idealized science that leaves out the human element, and thus provides new opportunities for ecological research and society. We classify the goals of citizen science in ecology and environment into four broad categories: (1) scientific, (2) participant benefits, (3) community, a...
Article
Birds have been comprehensively assessed on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List more times than any other taxonomic group. However, to date, generation lengths have not been systematically estimated to scale population trends when undertaking assessments, as required by the criteria of the IUCN Red List. We compiled i...
Article
Human land use has caused substantial declines in global species richness. Evidence from different taxonomic groups and geographic regions suggests that land use does not equally impact all organisms within terrestrial ecological communities, and that different functional groups of species may respond differently. In particular, we expect large car...
Article
Full-text available
Disentangling individual-and population-level variation in migratory movements is necessary for understanding migration at the species level. However, very few studies have analyzed these patterns across large portions of species' distributions. We compiled a large telemetry dataset on the globally endangered Egyptian Vulture Neophron percnopterus...
Preprint
Full-text available
The decomposition of carrion is carried out by a suite of macro- and micro-organisms who interact with each other in a variety of ecological contexts. The ultimate result of carrion decomposition is the recycling of carbon and nutrients from the carrion back into the ecosystem. Exploring these ecological interactions among animals and microbes is a...
Article
Full-text available
Sugarcane and cattle pastures are two of the most widespread and economically important agricultural landscapes. However, in Brazil, they have not been properly investigated for their importance to native birds and wildlife conservation. Thus, we aim to characterize and compare bird assemblages of sugarcane and cattle pastures; and understand how l...
Article
Full-text available
Human-mediated translocation of species to areas beyond their natural distribution (which results in ‘alien’ populations¹) is a key signature of the Anthropocene², and is a primary global driver of biodiversity loss and environmental change³. Stemming the tide of invasions requires understanding why some species fail to establish alien populations,...
Article
Full-text available
Aim Raptors serve critical ecological functions, are particularly extinction‐prone and are often used as environmental indicators and flagship species. Yet, there is no global framework to prioritize research and conservation actions on them. We identify for the first time the factors driving extinction risk and scientific attention on raptors and...