The role of protected areas in facilitating colonisation of the UK by new breeding species
Many commentators argue that climate change will make reserves and protected areas redundant, because species might shift range and so vacate sites which were designated for them. Conversely, the particular habitats and management at these sites might be particularly attractive as new locations for other species which are also on the move. This PhD project assesses the latter phenomenon, using rich datasets on recent UK colonisation by a range of breeding birds.
- To determine a methodology for controlling for observer effort within and outside protected areas.
- To assess whether vagrant individuals have a greater probability, when controlling for observer effort, of being found in protected areas than outside protected areas.
- To determine whether, once arrived, vagrant individuals have a greater probability of breeding successfully in protected areas than outside protected areas.
Key dates so far
This PhD is in its early days, with the part-time student (Jonathan Hiley, York University) starting in October 2011. Nevertheless, Jonathan has made great progress, with a first paper published in the prestigious journal 'Proceedings of the Royal Society' (http://rspb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/280/1760/20122310.short)
Work planned or underway
4 years of research is planned.
Species affected (not UK birds)
Various rare breeders which have colonised in recent decades.
The percentages of Cetti's warblers breeding in protected areas each year in (a) Norfolk, and (b) Hampshire
Who to contact
Dr Richard Bradbury
Head of Environmental Research
Jonathan Hiley and Professor Chris Thomas, York University