Scott Wilson

Scott Wilson
Environment and Climate Change Canada · Wildlife Research Division

PhD

About

120
Publications
18,645
Reads
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1,560
Citations
Citations since 2017
71 Research Items
1061 Citations
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2017201820192020202120222023050100150200250
2017201820192020202120222023050100150200250
2017201820192020202120222023050100150200250
Additional affiliations
September 2001 - July 2008
University of British Columbia - Vancouver
Position
  • PhD Student

Publications

Publications (120)
Article
Full-text available
Migratory species are rapidly declining but we rarely know which periods of the annual cycle are limiting for most species. This knowledge is needed to effectively allocate conservation resources to the periods of the annual cycle that best promote species recovery. We examined demographic trends and response to human footprint for Canada warblers...
Article
Full-text available
Macroecological approaches can provide valuable insight into the epidemiology of globally distributed, multi-host pathogens. Toxoplasma gondii is a zoonotic protozoan that infects any warm-blooded animal, including humans, in almost every ecosystem worldwide. There is substantial geographical variation in T. gondii prevalence in wildlife population...
Article
Full-text available
The tropical Andes are characterized by extreme topographic and climatic complexity, which has likely contributed to their outstanding current species diversity, composed of many range-restricted species. However, little is known about how the distribution and abundance of highly mobile organisms, like long-distance migratory birds, varies across d...
Article
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1. Neotropical countries receive financing and effort from temperate nations to aid the conservation of migratory species that move between temperate and tropical regions. If allocated strategically, these resources could simultaneously contribute to other conservation initiatives. In this study, we use novel distribution maps to show how those res...
Preprint
Full-text available
Effective conservation planning often requires difficult decisions when at-risk species inhabit economically valuable landscapes or if the needs of multiple threatened species do not align. In the agriculture-dominated landscape of eastern Ontario and southwestern Quebec, Canada, conflicting habitat requirements exist between threatened grassland b...
Article
Protected areas are a key instrument for conservation. Despite this, they are vulnerable to risks associated with weak governance, land use intensification, and climate change. Using a novel hierarchical optimization approach, we identified priority areas for expanding the global protected area system to explicitly account for such risks whilst max...
Preprint
Full-text available
Protected areas are a key instrument for conservation. Despite this, they are vulnerable to risks associated with weak governance, land use intensification, and climate change. Using a novel hierarchical optimization approach, we identified priority areas for expanding the global protected area system to explicitly account for such risks whilst max...
Article
Full-text available
Nuanced understanding of seasonal movements of partially migratory birds is paramount to species and habitat conservation. Using nascent statistical methods, we identified migratory strategies of birds outfitted with radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags detected at RFID feeders in two sites in California, USA. We quantified proportions of mig...
Preprint
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Identifying strategies that offer co-benefits for biodiversity protection, forest restoration and human well-being are important for successful conservation outcomes. In this study, we identified opportunities where forest restoration and rehabilitation programs in Colombia also align with priority areas for the conservation of Neotropical migrator...
Article
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Domestic animals can serve as consequential conveyors of zoonotic pathogens across wildlife-human interfaces. Still, there has been little study on how different domestic species and their behaviors influence the zoonotic risk to humans. In this study, we examined patterns of bat encounters with domestic animals that resulted in submission for test...
Article
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Migratory connectivity describes the spatial linkage among migrating individuals through time. Accounting for it is necessary for full annual cycle conservation planning, to avoid uneven protection leading to overall population declines. However, conventional methods used to study migratory connectivity usually demand substantial fiscal and human r...
Article
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Background In North America, up to one billion birds are estimated to die annually due to collisions with glass. The transparent and reflective properties of glass present the illusion of a clear flight passage or continuous habitat. Approaches to reducing collision risk involve installing visual cues on glass that enable birds to perceive glass as...
Article
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Common Tern (Sterna hirundo) breeding populations in inland North America have declined significantly since the 1970s. A 2012 survey of the large Manitoba lakes, previously the largest known inland population stronghold, reported a 57–67% decline in 20 years. A further 38% decline by 2017 highlights the urgent need for research and management. We u...
Article
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Dynamics of free‐ranging animal populations can result from complex interplays of survival, recruitment and movement. Yet incomplete understanding of demography impedes conservation strategies intended to modify population dynamics of focal species. We estimated survival and per capita production of young, as well as emigration and immigration, fro...
Article
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Rufous hummingbirds ( Selasphorus rufus ) have shown consistent declines in abundance since 1970, with an acceleration in this trend starting in the mid-2000s. Demographic data is needed to isolate possible drivers. We employ mark-recapture data to calculate sex-specific adult apparent annual survival, accounting for residency probability, within t...
Article
Full-text available
Effective conservation planning often requires difficult decisions when at-risk species inhabit economically valuable landscapes or if the needs of multiple threatened species do not align. In the agriculture-dominated landscape of eastern Ontario and southwestern Quebec, Canada, conflicting habitat requirements exist between threatened grassland b...
Article
Full-text available
Knowledge of demographic processes is essential for understanding population dynamics and developing appropriate conservation strategies under global change. However, it is often challenging to collect the necessary population and demographic data to understand population dynamics. Integrated population modeling (IPM) provides an opportunity to com...
Article
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Céspedes et al.-Aves migratorias en los Andes 1 ___________________________________________________________________________________ Modelos de comunidad revelan la importancia de la elevación y la cobertura de suelo en moldear la abundancia de aves migratorias en los Andes Una traducción de Céspedes et al. (2021) Community modeling reveals the impo...
Article
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As pollinators, hummingbirds play a critical role for both the function of ecological communities and in providing ecosystem services for people. To examine the conservation status of North American hummingbirds, we analyzed Breeding Bird Survey data for 8 species and 3 genera from 1970 to 2019 (long-term) and from 2009 to 2019 (short-term, approxi...
Article
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Aim Cold‐adapted species are considered vulnerable to climate change. However, our understanding of how climate‐induced changes in habitat and weather patterns will influence habitat suitability remains poorly understood, particularly for species at high latitudes or elevations. Here, we assessed potential future distributions for a climate‐sensiti...
Article
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Mountains are excellent systems for studying biodiversity as they promote rapid species turnover across relatively short elevational distances. Most research on biogeographic patterns in mountains has focused on tropical regions; far less is known about diversity across elevational gradients and their relative contribution to conservation in temper...
Article
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Neotropical migratory songbirds overwintering at mid elevations in the Andes of northern South America depend on remnants of native forest and shade-grown coffee plantations. The quality of such habitats is one of the primary ecological factors limiting survival of migratory birds during the non-breeding season. We assessed the relative quality of...
Article
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Management of colonial waterbirds at regional, national, and continental scales requires up-to-date monitoring information on breeding locations, population sizes, and trends. The large lakes of southern Manitoba, Canada (Winnipeg, Winnipegosis, and Manitoba), and the inter-lake region host nationally and continentally significant populations of co...
Article
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1. Accurate biodiversity and population monitoring is a requirement for effective conservation decision making. Survey method bias is therefore a concern, particularly when research programs face logistical and cost limitations. 2. We employed point counts (PCs) and autonomous recording units (ARUs) to survey avian biodiversity within comparable,...
Preprint
Full-text available
As pollinators, hummingbirds play a critical role for both the function of ecological communities and in providing ecosystem services for people. Throughout North America, this diverse family of birds is experiencing impacts of transformations to their habitat. To examine the conservation status of North American hummingbirds, we analyzed Breeding...
Preprint
Full-text available
1. Accurate biodiversity and population monitoring is a requirement for effective conservation decision-making. Survey method bias is therefore a concern, particularly when research programs face logistical and cost limitations. 2. We employed point counts (PCs) and autonomous recording units (ARUs) to survey avian biodiversity across elevational g...
Article
Full-text available
The prairie region of Canada is a dynamically changing landscape in relation to past and present anthropogenic activities and recent climate change. Improving our understanding of the rate, timing, and distribution of landscape change is needed to determine the impact on wildlife populations and biodiversity, ultimately leading to better-informed m...
Article
Efforts to conserve migratory species have been challenged by a poor understanding of their temporally-dynamic distributions over large geographies. Consequently, most conservation plans have focused on the stationary periods despite the importance of migratory periods for overall population dynamics and fitness. Strategies that identify stopover s...
Article
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Governments worldwide are releasing data into the public domain via open government data initiatives. Many such data sets are directly relevant to environmental science and complement data collected by academic researchers to address complex and challenging environmental problems. The Government of Canada is a leader in open data among Organisation...
Article
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Mountains produce distinct environmental gradients that may constrain or facilitate both the presence of avian species and/or specific combinations of functional traits. We addressed species richness and functional diversity to understand the relative importance of habitat structure and elevation in shaping avian diversity patterns in the south tem...
Article
The impact of agriculture on biodiversity depends on the extent and types of agriculture and the degree to which agricultural land contrasts with the natural ecosystem. Most research on the latter comes from studies on the influence of different agricultural types within a single ecosystem with far less study on how the natural ecosystem context sh...
Preprint
Full-text available
Mountains produce distinct environmental gradients that may constrain or facilitate both the presence of avian species and/or specific combinations of functional traits. We addressed species richness and functional diversity to understand the relative importance of habitat structure and elevation in shaping avian diversity patterns in the south tem...
Article
Full-text available
Joint encounter (JE) models estimate demographic rates using live recapture and dead recovery data. The extent to which limited recapture or recovery data can hinder estimation in JE models is not completely understood. Yet limited data are common in ecological research. We designed a series of simulations using Bayesian multistate JE models that s...
Article
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Agricultural expansion and intensification are some of the leading drivers of biodiversity loss globally. Effective conservation and management strategies for threatened species in agroecosystems require information on how these species are affected by (1) the amount and configuration of natural habitats, and (2) the type and extent of agricultural...
Cover Page
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"On the cover: A Canada Warbler in Central Park, New York, returning from its winter grounds in the Andean mountains of South America. Over 60% of the Canada Warbler breeding population has been lost during the last 50 years and this decline is linked to winter habitat loss. In this issue, González et al. compared the quality of shade-grown coffee...
Preprint
The impact of agriculture on biodiversity depends on the extent and types of agriculture and the degree to which agricultural land contrasts with the natural ecosystem. Most research on the latter comes from studies on the influence of different agricultural types within a single ecosystem with far less study on how the natural ecosystem context sh...
Article
For migratory landbird species, large expanses of open water or inhospitable areas provide unique challenges during migration. Research on the strategies that species use to navigate barriers can yield insights into the factors shaping the evolution of migration and facilitate the identification of critical staging areas prior to barrier crossing....
Article
Full-text available
Aim Free‐ranging wildlife are valuable sentinels for zoonotic, multi‐host pathogens, and new insight into parasite transmission patterns is possible through a macroecological approach. Toxoplasma gondii is a protozoan capable of infecting all warm‐blooded animals, including humans, primarily through a free‐living oocyst and/or tissue cyst life stag...
Article
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In the Neotropics, coffee production occurs on a large scale in some of the planet’s most biodiverse regions: tropical mountains. Coffee production systems involving shade trees are considered to have a lower impact on biodiversity than alternative sun coffee. To date, the majority of evidence for the value of shade coffee plantations has not taken...
Article
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Inclusive fitness theory predicts that parental care will vary with relatedness between potentially caring parents and offspring, potentially shaping mating system evolution. Systems with extra-pair paternity (EPP), and hence variable parent-brood relatedness, provide valuable opportunities to test this prediction. However, existing theoretical and...
Article
Stemming biodiversity loss requires strategic conservation guided by well articulated targets, whether they be proactive (e.g., protect biodiverse areas) or reactive (e.g., protect threatened species). Both types of targets can be effective, but there are trade-offs, especially for broadly distributed taxa such as migratory species, a group for whi...
Article
Full-text available
Context Agricultural expansion is a principal driver of biodiversity loss, but the impacts on community assembly in agro-ecosystems are less clear, especially across regional scales at which agricultural policies are applied. Objectives Using forest-breeding birds, we (1) tested whether increased agricultural coverage resulted in species communiti...
Article
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For migratory animals, events at one stage of the annual cycle can produce constraints or benefits that carry over to subsequent stages. Differing life-history strategies among individuals can influence the expression of these carry-over effects, leading to pronounced within-population variation in migration. For example, reproductive roles can dri...
Article
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Context Species that use open patches in forested landscapes often select clearcuts. However, it is unknown whether local associations with clearcuts translate to an effect of clearcut amount in the surrounding landscape on occupancy or abundance at local sites. This question is important because forest management decisions are made at landscape sc...
Article
Full-text available
Limited knowledge of the distribution, abundance, and habitat associations of migratory species hinders effective conservation actions. We use Neotropical migratory birds as a model group to compare approaches to prioritize land conservation needed to support ≥30% of the global abundances of 117 species. Specifically, we compare scenarios from spat...
Article
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The delineation of intraspecific units that are evolutionarily and demographically distinct is an important step in the development of species-specific management plans. Neutral genetic variation has served as the primary data source for delineating “evolutionarily significant units,” but with recent advances in genomic technology, we now have an u...
Preprint
Full-text available
Limited knowledge of the distribution, abundance, and habitat associations of migratory species introduces uncertainty about the most effective conservation actions. We used Neotropical migratory birds as a model group to evaluate contrasting approaches to land prioritization to support ≥30% of the global abundances of 117 species throughout the an...
Preprint
Stemming biodiversity loss requires strategic conservation guided by well-articulated and achievable targets, whether they be proactive (e.g., protect diverse places) or reactive (e.g., protect threatened or declining species). Both types of targets can be effective, but there are trade-offs, especially for broadly-distributed ecosystems or taxa, s...
Article
Full-text available
The absence of a rigorous mechanism for prioritizing investment in endangered species management is a major implementation hurdle affecting recovery. Here, we present a method for prioritizing strategies for endangered species management based on the likelihood of achieving species’ recovery goals per dollar invested. We demonstrate our approach fo...
Article
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Aim The joint threats of climate and land‐use change require an understanding of how environmental variation influences species abundance and distribution. However, most species distribution models use static data and methods without considering how species respond over multiple temporal and spatial scales. Using a novel analytical approach, we sho...
Article
Agriculture is a primary factor underlying world-wide declines in biodiversity. However, different agricultural systems vary in their effects depending on their resemblance to the natural ecosystem, coverage across the landscape, and operational intensity. We combined data from the North American Breeding Bird Survey with remotely sensed measures o...
Article
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Identifying causes and consequences of variation in species life history has the potential to improve predictions about how climate and land-use change may affect the demography and distribution of species in future. Sooty Fox Sparrows (Passerella unalaschcensis (J.F. Gmelin, 1789); or commonly grouped within the Fox Sparrow, Passerella iliaca (Mer...
Article
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We examined the impact of daily and severe multiday weather events on nest survival of Horned Larks (Eremophila alpestris) and Savannah Sparrows (Passerculus sandwichensis) breeding sympatrically in alpine habitat. The two species' thermal regimes varied. The breeding season of Horned Larks was ∼2°C colder and had more precipitation and more storms...
Article
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The spatial structure of populations determines the relative importance of reproduction, survival and movement on population dynamics. However, the mechanisms by which local individuals and immigrants interact and the subsequent effects of immigrants on productivity are poorly known. We developed an integrated population model (IPM) to study the ex...
Article
Arctic wildlife can be exposed to high mercury (Hg) levels, and are also naturally exposed to gastrointestinal parasites that can reduce condition and negatively affect reproductive output and/or survival in similar ways. Importantly, both Hg and parasites are increasing in wildlife in some Arctic regions. We studied the northern common eider duck...
Article
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Nest care is an important parental contribution to offspring. In woodpeckers, males often have an equal or greater contribution to parental care, including nest sanitation. The Black-backed Woodpecker (Picoides arcticus) is a North American boreal woodpecker for which both parents are highly involved in parental care. By modifying their territory s...