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David S. Melville

David S. Melville

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111
Publications
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Publications

Publications (111)
Book
Full-text available
Bird records from northern Antrim and Londonderry
Article
Migratory birds generally use one or more stopover sites for rest and/or refuelling during long-distance migration where a large abundance of diverse species can concentrate into temporary assemblages. Habitat loss at stopover sites has resulted in population declines for many species, in particular shorebirds along the East Asian-Australasian Flyw...
Article
Full-text available
Background Despite an increasing number of surveys and a growing interest in birdwatching, the population and distribution of Asian Dowitcher ( Limnodromus semipalmatus ), a species endemic to the East Asian–Australasian and Central Asian Flyways, remains poorly understood, and published information about the species is largely outdated. In boreal...
Article
Supplemental feeding to mitigate the effects of food shortages may in some cases provide critical help to species conservation. However, supplemental feeding may have both positive and negative effects on wildlife and the environment. A scientifically designed feeding project helps to achieve conservation targets and reduces adverse effects. Here,...
Article
Full-text available
Aim Molluscs are important grazers, filter and deposit feeders, scavengers and predators, which in turn are food for shorebirds, fish and people. Some species, targeted as human food, have been cultured along the Chinese coast for hundreds of years. To examine whether aquacultural practices have meanwhile affected biodiversity gradients, we measure...
Article
Article Impact Statement: Protecting natural areas and improving the quality of anthropogenic landscapes as habitat are both needed to achieve effective conservation. Abstract: Anthropogenic impacts have reduced natural areas but increased the area of anthropogenic landscapes. There is debate about whether anthropogenic landscapes (e.g., farmland...
Article
A single formal estimate of the size of the world population of the Critically Endangered Spoon-billed Sandpiper Calidris pygmaea has been published. This used a Lincoln-Petersen method, which combined a global mark-resighting analysis with a scan survey to estimate the proportion of birds with individual marks observed at a post-breeding moult and...
Article
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During southward migration from Alaska in 2006, a satellite-tracked female bar-tailed godwit (Limosa lapponica baueri) encountered adverse weather and stayed between 19 September and about 28 September 2006 at Ouvéa (Loyalty Islands, New Caledonia), where she apparently died. Ouvéa was visited between 27 September and 7 October 2007 to look for god...
Article
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China's coastal wetlands are critically important to shorebirds. Substantial loss of tidal flats, shorebirds' primary foraging grounds, has occurred from land claim and other processes, and is driving population declines in multiple species. Smooth cordgrass Spartina alterniflora was intentionally introduced to the coast of China in 1979 to promote...
Article
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Bar-tailed godwits (Limosa lapponica) were counted throughout New Zealand and on the east coast of Australia during the 2019-2020 austral summer, in the first attempt to assess the total population of the subspecies baueri on the southern hemisphere non-breeding grounds. Survey coverage in New Zealand was nationwide (158 sites surveyed); surveys in...
Article
Critically Endangered Spoon-billed Sandpipers Calidris pygmaea migrate from their breeding grounds in Arctic and subarctic Russia along the East Asian-Australasian Flyway to winter in coastal habitats in south-east Asia. To describe the use of migration stopover and wintering sites during the post-breeding migration, we tracked six adults equipped...
Article
Full-text available
The extent of intertidal flats in the Yellow Sea region has declined significantly in the past few decades, resulting in severe population declines in several waterbird species. The Yellow Sea region holds the primary stopover sites for many shorebirds during their migration to and from northern breeding grounds. However, the functional roles of th...
Article
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While avian migration timing is clearly influenced by both breeding and non-breeding geography, it is challenging to identify the relative and interdependent roles of endogenous programs, early-life experience, and carry-over effects in the development of adult annual schedules. Bar-tailed godwits Limosa lapponica baueri migrate northward from New...
Article
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Coordinated counts of waders across New Zealand have been undertaken in November and June since 1983; the consistent timing of counts aimed to reduce variation from the effect of seasonal changes in bird numbers. The Australian Shorebird census and the wider Asian Waterbird Census, however, are conducted in January, making direct comparison with th...
Article
Especially in birds, it is widely found that the size of individual prey items follows the size of the instruments of prey capture, handling and processing, i.e. bill size. In fact, this is the natural history basis of major discoveries on adaptative evolution in the face of changing food resources. In some birds, e.g. the molluscivore shorebirds i...
Article
Coastal wetlands are rapidly disappearing worldwide, which is posing a substantial threat to the integrity of coastal ecosystems. In addition to the direct area reduction caused by reclamation, coastal wetlands experience natural changes due to sediment transport in coastal regions. Arguably, the reclamation rates must be less than the net accretio...
Article
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Organisms cope with environmental stressors by behavioral, morphological, and physiological adjustments. Documentation of such adjustments in the wild provides information on the response space in nature and the extent to which behavioral and bodily adjustments lead to appropriate performance effects. Here we studied the morphological and digestive...
Article
Full-text available
Many species depend on multiple habitats at different points in space and time. Their effective conservation requires an understanding of how and when each habitat is used, coupled with adequate protection. Migratory shorebirds use intertidal and supratidal wetlands, both of which are affected by coastal landscape change. Yet the extent to which sh...
Research
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The widespread distribution of many Threatened and At Risk coastal bird species highlights the need for a precautionary approach when considering future coastal management issues within the Tasman/Nelson Region.
Article
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Nature reserves (NR) are the cornerstone of biodiversity conservation. Over the past 60 years, the rapid expansion of NRs in China, one of the world's megadiverse countries, has played a critical role in slowing biodiversity loss. Yet we show that despite the continuing increase in the number of NRs, the total area of China's NR declined by 3% from...
Conference Paper
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Deep Bay lies in the northwest comer of Hong Kong on the border with the People's Republic of China., Part of the Inner Bay is aRamsar site, and supports internationally important waterbird populations, A cross-border environmental impact assessement (EIA) study was undertaken to assess potential impacts of a river training1 programme on the ecolog...
Article
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Background: Departure decisions and behaviors of migratory birds at stopover sites are expected to maximize fitness by trade-offs among avoiding predators, optimizing refueling (energy) capacity, and matching other life-history events. We predict that species with different body sizes and migratory destinations will exhibit different behaviors when...
Article
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Migratory species can travel tens of thousands of kilometers each year, spending different parts of their annual cycle in geographically distinct locations. Understanding the drivers of population change is vital for conserving migratory species, yet the challenge of collecting data over entire geographic ranges has hindered attempts to identify th...
Article
Full-text available
1.Our understanding of the niche concept will remain limited while the quantity and range of different food types eaten remains a dominant proxy for niche breadth, as this does not account for the broad ecological context that governs diet. Linking nutrition, physiology and behaviour are critical to predict the extent to which a species adjusts its...
Article
Full-text available
Many shorebird populations are in decline along the East Asian-Australasian Flyway. The rapid loss of coastal wetlands in the Yellow Sea, which provide critical stop-over sites during migration, is believed to be the cause of the alarming trends. The Yalu Jiang coastal wetland, a protected area in the north Yellow Sea, supports the largest known mi...
Article
Prompted by the realization that parts of the coast of southern Jiangsu Province, China, are under threat of reclamation, we here summarize evidence that loss of intertidal habitats around the Yellow Sea and at other parts along the Chinese and Korean coasts has already led to severe population declines of migratory shorebirds, including multiple e...
Article
New Zealand's endemic King Shag (Leucocarbo carunculatus) has occupied only a narrow portion of the northeastern South Island for at least the past 240years. However, pre-human Holocene fossil and archaeological remains have suggested a far more widespread distribution of the three Leucocarbo species (King, Otago, Foveaux) on mainland New Zealand a...
Article
The Yellow Sea region is of high global importance for waterbird populations, but recent systematic bird count data enabling identification of the most important sites are relatively sparse for some areas. Surveys of waterbirds at three sites on the coast of southern Jiangsu Province, China, in 2014 and 2015 produced peak counts of international im...
Article
Migratory animals are threatened by human-induced global change. However, little is known about how stopover habitat, essential for refuelling during migration, affects the population dynamics of migratory species. Using 20 years of continent-wide citizen science data, we assess population trends of ten shorebird taxa that refuel on Yellow Sea tida...
Article
Full-text available
Migratory animals are threatened by human-induced global change. However, little is known about how stopover habitat, essential for refuelling during migration, affects the population dynamics of migratory species. Using 20 years of continent-wide citizen science data, we assess population trends of ten shorebird taxa that refuel on Yellow Sea tida...
Article
Full-text available
Migratory animals are threatened by human-induced global change. However, little is known about how stopover habitat, essential for refuelling during migration, affects the population dynamics of migratory species. Using 20 years of continent-wide citizen science data, we assess population trends of ten shorebird taxa that refuel on Yellow Sea tida...
Article
Competition intensity depends on the number of competitors and the amount of resources available. Coexistence of potential competitors can be enabled through niche differentiation or high resource availability. Using diet analysis, we investigated which of these 2 mechanisms was in play for coexisting shorebirds at a major staging site in the north...
Article
Full-text available
The Numeniini is a tribe of 13 wader species (Scolopacidae, Charadriiformes) of which seven are Near Threatened or globally threatened, including two Critically Endangered. To help inform conservation management and policy responses, we present the results of an expert assessment of the threats that members of this taxonomic group face across migra...
Article
Full-text available
During the high-tide period, shorebirds that forage on intertidal flats move to sites known as high-tide roosts, which play an important role in their survival. Understanding how shorebirds use high-tide roosts at stopover sites is crucial for their effective conservation and management. As there is a lack of natural roosting habitats along much of...
Article
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Following the closure of the Saemangeum seawall in South Korea in 2006 the Yalu jiang National Nature Reserve, Liaoning, China became the most important staging site in the EAAF for Great Knots Calidris tenuirostris on northward migration. Biomass of their main bivalve prey species Potomacorbula laevis at Yalu jiang NNR has decreased greatly in rec...
Article
Full-text available
Wetlands along the Yellow Sea coast of China, which are a major staging area for shorebirds in the East Asian-Australasian Flyway, are in a state of crisis that threatens the future of this migration system. Populations of many shorebirds in the Flyway have declined in recent decades at a time when there has been widespread loss of habitat and degr...
Article
Full-text available
1. There is increasing concern about the world’s animal migrations. With many land-use and climatological changes occurring simultaneously, pinning down the causes of large-scale conservation problems requires sophisticated and data-intensive approaches. 2. Declining shorebird numbers along the East Asian–Australasian Flyway, in combination with da...
Article
Full-text available
The foraging challenge for predators is to find and capture food with adequate levels of energy and nutrients. Marine predators require particularly sophisticated foraging strategies that enable them to balance self- and offspring-feeding, and also in many circumstances simultaneously consider the nutritional constraints of their partners. Here we...
Article
Full-text available
Like many migratory shorebird populations using the East Asian–Australasian Flyway, Bar-tailed Godwits Limosa lapponica baueri in New Zealand have significantly declined since the mid-1990s, but census data indicate a relatively stable population since 2004. The demographic drivers of both the decline and stabilisation remain unknown. We estimated...
Article
Full-text available
Selection of timing to match optimal environments is crucial for migrants that breed at high latitudes where there is a narrow time window suitable for breeding. However, birds generally depart from non-breeding grounds in a broad time window. How birds adjust their migration schedule to match optimal timing of arrival at breeding grounds is largel...