Publications for Alison Beresford

Post-breeding migration of adult Spoon-billed Sandpipers

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 with solar-powered Platform Transmitting Terminals (PTTs) on the breeding grounds and a further seven adults tagged at a post-breeding moulting site in Jiangsu Province, China. We identified 28 clusters of sites in all, of which nine appeared to be of special importance for refuelling for onward migration, or the post-breeding moult of flight feathers. In particular, we identified three sites in Russia that were used by tagged birds for prolonged periods of time prior to long migratory movements to the moulting grounds (Perevalochni Bay, Moroshechnaya River and Tyk Bay), three sites used during the period of flight-feather moult (Rongmae Mudflat in DPRK; Tiaozini and Yangkou in Jiangsu Province, China) and three stopover sites used for long periods followed by long onward flights after the moult of flight feathers (Shanghai Chongming Dongtan and Nandu Estuary, Leizhou in China; Ha Nam Island in Vietnam). In addition, wintering areas of eight tagged birds were identified, of which three were in China (Xitou Yangxi, Guankoudu Zhaoan and Xichang Hepu), one in Vietnam (Ha Nam Island), one in Myanmar (Gulf of Mottama), two in Bangladesh (Jahajja Char North and an area nearby) and one in Indonesia (Northern Sumatra). Ten of the 28 stopover and wintering sites identified have statutory protection.

Date
01 December 2020
RSPB Authors
Alison Beresford
Authors
Chang, Qing Syroechkovskiy, Evgeny E Anderson, Guy QA Aung, Pyaw-Phyo Beresford, Alison E Brides, Kane Chowdhury, Sayam U Clark, Nigel A Clark, Jacquie A Howey, Paul Hughes, Baz Insua-Cao, Paul Jia, Yifei Lappo, Elena Leung, Katherine KS Loktionov, Egor Y Martinez, Jonathan Melville, David S Phillips, James Putra, Chairunas Adha Tomkovich, Pavel Weston, Wean Weston, Jenny Yakushev, Nikolay Green, Rhys
Published in
Wader Study
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Modelling the potential non-breeding distribution of Spoon-billed Sandpiper Calidris pygmaea

The Spoon-billed Sandpiper Calidris pygmaea is a ‘Critically Endangered’ migratory shorebird. The species faces an array of threats in its non-breeding range, making conservation intervention essential. However, conservation efforts are reliant on identifying the species’ key stopover and wintering sites. Using Maximum Entropy models, we predicted Spoon-billed Sandpiper distribution across the non-breeding range, using data from recent field surveys and satellite tracking. Model outputs suggest only a limited number of stopover sites are suitable for migrating birds, with sites in the Yellow Sea and on the Jiangsu coast in China highlighted as particularly important. All the previously known core wintering sites were identified by the model including the Ganges-Brahmaputra Delta, Nan Thar Island and the Gulf of Mottama. In addition, the model highlighted sites subsequently found to be occupied, and pinpointed potential new sites meriting investigation, notably on Borneo and Sulawesi, and in parts of India and the Philippines. A comparison between the areas identified as most likely to be occupied and protected areas showed that very few locations are covered by conservation designations. Known sites must be managed for conservation as a priority, and potential new sites should be surveyed as soon as is feasible to assess occupancy status. Site protection should take place in concert with conservation interventions including habitat management, discouraging hunting, and fostering alternative livelihoods.

Date
04 September 2020
RSPB Authors
Alison Beresford
Authors
Bradfer-Lawrence, Tom Beresford, Alison E Anderson, Guy QA Aung, Pyae Phyo Chang, Qing Chowdhury, Sayam U Clark, Nigel A Gerasimov, Yuri N Green, Rhys E Hilton, Geoff M
Published in
Bird Conservation International
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Repeatable and standardised monitoring of threats to Key Biodiversity Areas in Africa using Google Earth Engine

Key Biodiversity Areas (KBAs) are sites that make significant contributions to the global persistence of biodiversity, but identification of sites alone is not sufficient to ensure their conservation. Monitoring is essential if pressures on these sites are to be identified, priorities set and appropriate responses developed. Here, we describe how analysis of freely available data on a cloud-processing platform (Google Earth Engine) can be used to assess changes in three example remotely sensed threat indicators (fire frequency, tree loss and night-time lights) over time on KBAs in Africa. We develop easily repeatable methods with shared code that could be applied across any geographic area and could be adapted and applied to other datasets as they become available. Fire frequency was found to have increased significantly on 12.4% of KBAs and 15.9% of ecoregions, whilst rates of forest loss increased significantly on 24.3% of KBAs and 22.6% of ecoregions. There was also evidence of significant increases in night-time lights on over half (53.3%) of KBAs and 39.6% of ecoregions between 1992 and 2013, and on 11.6% of KBAs and 53.0% of ecoregions between 2014 and 2018.

Date
01 February 2020
RSPB Authors
Alison Beresford, Dr Graeme Buchanan
Authors
Beresford, Alison E Donald, Paul F Buchanan, Graeme M
Published in
Ecological Indicators
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Phenology and climate change in Africa and the decline of Afro-Palearctic migratory bird populations

The populations of many Afro-Palearctic migratory bird species have declined over the last 50 years, for reasons that remain poorly understood, but which could include major environmental changes in Africa.

Date
04 March 2019
RSPB Authors
Alison Beresford, Dr Fiona Sanderson, Dr Paul Donald, Prof Juliet Vickery, Dr Graeme Buchanan
Authors
Beresford, A. E. Sanderson, F. J. Donald, P. F. Burfield, I. J. Butler, A. Vickery, J. A. Buchanan, G. M.
Published in
Remote Sensing in Ecology and Conservation 5(1): 55-69.
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Correlates of long-term land-cover change and protected area performance at priority conservation sites in Africa

The loss of natural habitats is a major threat to biodiversity, and protected area designation is one of the standard responses to this threat. However, greater understanding of the drivers of habitat loss and of the circumstances under which protected areas succeed or fail is still needed. We use visual assessment ...

Date
01 March 2018
RSPB Authors
Alison Beresford, Dr Graeme Buchanan
Authors
Beresford, A. E., Buchanan, G. M., Phalan, B., Eshiamwata, G. W., Balmford, A., Brink, A. B., Fishpool, L. D. C., Donald, P. F.
Published in
Environmental Conservation 45: 49-57
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The contributions of the EU Nature Directives to the CBD and other multilateral environmental agreements

Through a review of published studies and new analyses of publicly available data, we assess how the European Union (EU) Nature Directives complements the CBD strategic goals for 2020 as set out in the 20 Aichi Targets, thereby addressing a question posed by the European Commission about the coherence of the Directives with other international biodiversity...

Date
01 June 2016
RSPB Authors
Alison Beresford, Dr Graeme Buchanan, Dr Fiona Sanderson, Dr Rebecca Jefferson
Authors
Beresford, A.E., Buchanan, G.M., Sanderson, F.J., Jefferson, R. & Donald, P.F.
Published in
Conservation Letters
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Toward quantification of the impact of 21st century deforestation on the extinction risk of terrestrial vertebrates

Conservation actions need to be prioritised, often taking into account species’ extinction risk. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List provides an accepted objective framework for the assessment of extinction risk, but field data to apply the IUCN Red List criteria ...

Date
26 May 2016
RSPB Authors
Alison Beresford, Dr Graeme Buchanan
Authors
Tracewski, L., Butchart, S.H.M., Di Marco, M., Ficetola, G.F., Rondinini, C., Symes, A., Wheatley, H., Beresford, A.E. & Buchanan, G.M.
Published in
Conservation Biology
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The winter distribution of the Spoon-billed Sandpiper Calidris pygmaeus

Declines in populations of the Critically Endangered Spoon-billed Sandpiper Calidris pygmaeus have been rapid, with the breeding population now perhaps numbering fewer than 120 pairs. The reasons for this decline remain unresolved. Whilst there is evidence ...

Date
02 May 2016
RSPB Authors
Alison Beresford, Dr Graeme Buchanan
Authors
Zockler, C., Beresford, A.E., Bunting, G., Chowdhury, S.U., Clark, N.A., Fu, V.W.K., Htin Hla, T., Morozov, V.V., Syroechkovskiy, E.E., Kashiwagi, M., Lappo, E.G., Trai Le Long, M.T., Yu, Y., Huettmann, F., Akasofu, H.K., Tomida, H. & Buchanan, G.M.
Published in
Bird Conservation International
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