Kamran Safi

Kamran Safi
Max Planck Institute of Animal Behavior · Department of Migration

PhD

About

174
Publications
65,140
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
6,833
Citations
Introduction
I am interested in understanding how individuals, populations and species in interaction with their environments and their evolutionary history have shaped the current biological patterns. I study biological phenomena across scales from animal movement based on individual trajectories over migration of populations and species to macroecology and macroevolutionary processes.
Additional affiliations
June 2019 - present
Max Planck Institute of Animal Behavior
Position
  • Head of Department
January 2011 - December 2012
Max-Planck-Institut für Ornithologie, Teilinstitut Radolfzell
January 2011 - present
Zoological Society of London
Education
January 2003 - July 2007
University of Zurich
Field of study
  • Behavioural Ecology
January 2001 - January 2003
University of Zurich
Field of study
  • Behavioural Ecology

Publications

Publications (174)
Article
Full-text available
Partial migration is one of the most widespread migratory strategies among taxa. Investigating the trade-off between environmental/social factors — fitness and energetic consequences — is essential to understand the coexistence of migratory and resident behaviours. Here, we compiled field monitoring data of wintering population size and telemetry d...
Article
Full-text available
Background Bio-logging and animal tracking datasets continuously grow in volume and complexity, documenting animal behaviour and ecology in unprecedented extent and detail, but greatly increasing the challenge of extracting knowledge from the data obtained. A large variety of analysis methods are being developed, many of which in effect are inacces...
Article
Full-text available
Migratory species have a limited time for habitat selection upon arrival at the breeding grounds. This is especially evident in arctic migrants, which are restricted by a narrow window of opportunity when environmental conditions are favorable for breeding. This general time constraint is amplified in rough-legged buzzards (Buteo lagopus) who, as m...
Preprint
Full-text available
The global biodiversity crisis threatens the natural world and its capacity to provide benefits to humans into the future. The conservation of evolutionary history, captured by the measure phylogenetic diversity (PD), is linked to the maintenance of these benefits and future options. The Evolutionarily Distinct and Globally Endangered (EDGE) metric...
Preprint
Full-text available
Flying seabirds are adapted for windy environments 1,2 . Despite this, storms can cause widespread strandings and wrecks, demonstrating that these seabirds are not always able to avoid or compensate for extreme conditions 3,4,5,6,7 . The maximum wind speeds that birds can operate in should vary with morphology and flight style ⁸ , but this has been...
Article
Full-text available
Birds rely on precise navigational mechanisms, especially for long-distance migrations. One debated mechanism is their use of the geomagnetic field. It is unclear if and how different species of birds are using intensity or inclination (or both) for navigation. Previous geomagnetic modelling research is based on static geomagnetic data despite a te...
Article
Full-text available
Life-history theory predicts that parents should balance their limited resources to maximize lifetime fitness, limiting their investment in current reproduction when the fitness value of current progeny is lower than that gained by producing offspring in the future. Here, we examined whether male barn owls (Tyto alba) breeding in low-quality habita...
Chapter
This comprehensive species-specific chapter covers all aspects of the mammalian biology, including paleontology, physiology, genetics, reproduction and development, ecology, habitat, diet, mortality, and behavior. The economic significance and management of mammals and future challenges for research and conservation are addressed as well. The chapt...
Article
Full-text available
Space-based tracking technology using low-cost miniature tags is now delivering data on fine-scale animal movement at near-global scale. Linked with remotely sensed environmental data, this offers a biological lens on habitat integrity and connectivity for conservation and human health; a global network of animal sentinels of environmental change.
Preprint
Full-text available
Understanding how animals develop their ability to perform complex behaviors is fundamental to understanding their fitness and plasticity under global change. Migration can be a costly behavior in terms of time, energy, and mortality, and minimizing these costs is key to survival and reproduction. Thermal soaring birds rely on airflow to offset the...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background Bio-logging and animal tracking datasets continuously grow in volume and complexity, documenting animal behaviour and ecology in unprecedented extent and detail, but greatly increasing the challenge of extracting knowledge from the data obtained. A large variety of analysis methods are being developed, many of which in effect are inacces...
Article
Quantifying movement and demographic events of free‐ranging animals is fundamental to studying their ecology, evolution and conservation. Technological advances have led to an explosion in sensor‐based methods for remotely observing these phenomena. This transition to big data creates new challenges for data management, analysis and collaboration....
Preprint
Full-text available
Bio-logging devices play a fundamental and indispensable role in movement ecology studies, particularly in the wild. However, researchers are becoming increasingly aware of the potential effects that attaching devices can have on animals, particularly on their behaviour, energy expenditure and survival. The way a device is attached to an animal's b...
Article
Full-text available
Background Different theories suggest birds may use compass or map navigational systems associated with Earth’s magnetic intensity or inclination, especially during migratory flights. These theories have only been tested by considering properties of the Earth’s magnetic field at coarse temporal scales, typically ignoring the temporal dynamics of ge...
Article
Full-text available
Flying over the open sea is energetically costly for terrestrial birds. Despite this, over-water journeys of many birds, sometimes hundreds of kilometres long, are uncovered by bio-logging technology. To understand how these birds afford their flights over the open sea, we investigated the role of atmospheric conditions, specifically wind and uplif...
Article
Full-text available
Aim The negative impacts of climate change on mammals have been largely based on assessments of total species’ assemblages or individual species at broad scales. Here, we evaluate how the predicted magnitude and velocity of climate change in the arid region of southwest Asia might affect regional functional groups of terrestrial mammals. Location...
Article
Full-text available
Physical energy defines the energy landscape and determines the species-specific cost of movement, thus influencing movement decisions. In unpredictable and dynamic environments, observing the locomotion of others increases individual certainty in the distribution of physical energy to increase movement efficiency. Beyond the physical energy landsc...
Article
Full-text available
Relative brain size has long been considered a reflection of cognitive capacities and has played a fundamental role in developing core theories in the life sciences. Yet, the notion that relative brain size validly represents selection on brain size relies on the untested assumptions that brain-body allometry is restrained to a stable scaling relat...
Article
Relative brain size has long been considered a reflection of cognitive capacities and has played a fundamental role in developing core theories in the life sciences. Yet, the notion that relative brain size validly represents selection on brain size relies on the untested assumptions that brain-body allometry is restrained to a stable scaling relat...
Article
Full-text available
Background The intensification of agricultural practices over the twentieth century led to a cascade of detrimental effects on ecosystems. In Europe, agri-environment schemes (AES) have since been adopted to counter the decrease in farmland biodiversity, with the promotion of extensive habitats such as wildflower strips and extensive meadows. Despi...
Preprint
Full-text available
Soaring birds use the energy available in the environment in the form of atmospheric uplifts, to subsidize their flight. Their dependence on soaring opportunities makes them extremely sensitive to anthropogenic wind energy development. Predictive modelling is now considered instrumental to forecast the impact of wind farms on single species of conc...
Article
During the day, flying animals exploit the environmental energy landscape by seeking out thermal or orographic uplift, or extracting energy from wind gradients.1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 However, most of these energy sources are not thought to be available at night because of the lower thermal potential in the nocturnal atmosphere, as well as the difficulty...
Article
Full-text available
Background The use of tracking technologies is key for the study of animal movement and pivotal to ecological and conservation research. However, the potential effects of devices attached to animals are sometimes neglected. The impact of tagging not only rises welfare concerns, but can also bias the data collected, causing misinterpretation of the...
Chapter
Full-text available
Ectothermic Galapagos tortoises must optimize their diet and behavioral repertoire in response to variable conditions across the Archipelago. In this chapter, data on tortoise diets, foraging behavior, social organization, and activity patterns from multiple species are summarized in the context of selection pressure on individuals that determine t...
Article
Niche partitioning among different age, breeding status or sex classes allows resource use to be maximized while reducing intraspecific competition. Individual specialization marks the finest scale of niche partitioning where, within a species, individuals differ in their realized niches. Despite having important implications in ecology, evolution...
Article
Full-text available
An amendment to this paper has been published and can be accessed via a link at the top of the paper.
Preprint
Full-text available
The open sea is considered an ecological barrier to terrestrial bird movement. However, over-water journeys of many terrestrial birds, sometimes hundreds of kilometers long, are being uncovered by bio-logging technology. To understand how these birds afford their flights over the open sea, we investigated the role of atmospheric conditions in subsi...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background The use of tracking technologies is key for the study of animal movement and pivotal to ecological and conservation research. However, the potential effects of devices attached to animals are sometimes neglected. The impact of tagging not only rises welfare concerns, but can also bias the data collected, causing misinterpretation of the...
Article
Full-text available
Aim Understanding diversity patterns and identifying the environmental factors that shape these patterns are essential for ecology and conservation. The Afro‐Arabian region comprises one of the most important biogeographic areas connecting continents. Yet, little emphasis has been put on understanding its endemic fauna in relation to its biogeograp...
Preprint
Full-text available
Animal tracking data are being collected more frequently, in greater detail, and on smaller taxa than ever before. These data hold the promise to increase the relevance of animal movement for understanding ecological processes, but this potential will only be fully realized if their accompanying location error is properly addressed. Historically, c...
Article
Full-text available
Migratory species display a range of migration patterns between irruptive (facultative) to regular (obligate), as a response to different predictability of resources. In the Arctic, snow directly influences resource availability. The causes and consequences of different migration patterns of migratory species as a response to the snow conditions re...
Article
Full-text available
Background Global positioning systems (GPS) and altimeters are increasingly used to monitor vertical space use by aerial species, a key aspect of their ecological niche, that we need to know to manage our own use of the airspace, and to protect those species. However, there are various sources of error in flight height data (“height” above ground,...
Article
Full-text available
1. Visualizing movement data is challenging: While traditional spatial data can be sufficiently displayed as two‐dimensional plots or maps, movement trajectories require the representation of time in a third dimension. To address this, we present moveVis, an R package, which provides tools to animate movement trajectories, overlaying simultaneous u...
Article
Full-text available
Thermal soaring birds extract energy from the atmosphere to achieve energetically low-cost movement. When encountering regions that are energetically costly to fly over, such as open seas, they should attempt to adjust the spatio-temporal pattern of their passage to maximize energy extraction from the atmosphere over these ecological barriers. We a...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background Global positioning systems (GPS) and altimeters are increasingly used to monitor vertical space use by aerial species, a key aspect of their niche that we need to know to understand their ecology and conservation needs, and to manage our own use of the airspace. However, there are various sources of error in flight height data (“height”...
Article
Full-text available
Land cover is a key variable in monitoring applications and new processing technologies made deriving this information easier. Yet, classification algorithms remain dependent on samples collected on the field and field campaigns are limited by financial, infrastructural and political boundaries. Here, animal tracking data could be an asset. Looking...
Article
Aim: In recent years, novel approaches have been proposed to improve current bi-oregionalization methods, but these have not been thoroughly compared. We assessed the applicability of the recently developed network-based clustering method (Infomap algorithm) in bioregionalization analysis at regional spatial scales and compared the results with com...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background: Soaring birds extract energy from the atmosphere to achieve energetically low-cost movement. Species that fly over ecological barriers, such as open seas, need to adjust the spatio-temporal patterns of their passage to extract the highest possible energy from the atmosphere over the barrier. We introduce the concept of “energy seascapes...
Article
Full-text available
Variation in neocortex size is one of the defining features of mammalian brain evolution. The paramount assumption has been that neocortex size indicates a monotonic allometric relationship with brain size. This assumption holds the concomitant neurodevelopmental assumption that the ontogenetic trajectory of neocortex size is so stable across speci...
Article
Full-text available
Atmospheric conditions impact how animals use the aerosphere, and birds and bats should modify their flight to minimise energetic expenditure relative to changing wind conditions. To investigate how free-ranging straw-coloured fruit bats (Eidolon helvum) fly with changing wind support, we use data collected from bats fit with GPS loggers and an int...
Article
1.Passive acoustic telemetry provides the opportunity to monitor and contextualize the movements of diverse aquatic animals. Despite depth being an essential dimension along which many processes are organized, the Eulerian structure of the acoustic telemetry data (movements perceived from fixed locations) and the consequences of sound propagation i...
Article
Full-text available
1.Remote sensing data is a valuable tool in movement ecology. However, the way it's combined with animal movement data is far from optimal as most studies overlook differences in the spatial, temporal and thematic resolutions between both data types. 2.rsMove uses a pixel‐based approach to link animal tracking and remote sensing data that bridge th...
Article
Full-text available
Understanding the movement of animals is important for a wide range of scientific interests including migration, disease spread, collective movement behaviour and analysing motion in relation to dynamic changes of the environment such as wind and thermal lifts. Particularly, the three-dimensional (3D) spatial-temporal nature of bird movement data,...
Article
Full-text available
Long-distance seed dispersal is an important ecosystem service provided by migratory animals. Plants inhabiting discrete habitats, like lakes and wetlands, experience dispersal limitation, and rely heavily on zoochory for their spatial population dynamics. Granivorous waterbirds may disperse viable seeds of wetland plants over long distances during...
Article
Located at the crossroad of the Palearctic, Saharo-Arabian, and Oriental zoogeographic realms, and with its great environmental diversity, Iran harbors a high complexity and richness of fauna and flora. Knowledge about the Iranian mammal fauna has greatly increased over recent years thanks to the growing availability of molecular tools, which broug...
Article
Full-text available
For 107 endemic mammal species in the Afro-Arabian region, Sahara-Sahel and Arabian Desert, we used ensemble species distribution models to: (1) identify the hotspot areas for conservation, (2) assess the potential impact of the projected climate change on the distribution of the focal species, and (3) assign IUCN threat categories for the focal sp...
Article
Full-text available
Soaring flight is a remarkable adaptation to reduce movement costs by taking advantage of atmospheric uplifts. The movement pattern of soaring birds is shaped by the spatial and temporal availability and intensity of uplifts, which result from an interaction of local weather conditions with the underlying landscape structure. We used soaring flight...
Article
Full-text available
Background Increases in landscape connectivity can improve a species’ ability to cope with habitat fragmentation and degradation. Wildlife corridors increase landscape connectivity and it is therefore important to identify and maintain them. Currently, corridors are mostly identified using methods that rely on generic habitat suitability measures....