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Southwestern Willow Flycatcher

Habitat Modeling

Climate and Climate Modeling


    Ecological Genomics Predicts Climate Vulnerability in an Endangered Southwestern Songbird

                Ruegg et al., 2018

                A look at the potential for SWFL adaptations to rising temperatures from an ecological genomics perspective. Compared to other willow flycatcher populations results indicate small, fragmented populations of the southwestern willow flycatcher will have to adapt most to keep pace with climate change.


    Implications of Climate Change for Bird Conservation in the Southwestern U.S. Under Three Alternative Futures

                Friggens and Finch, 2015

                A Maximum Entropy presence-only habitat model developed to look at future climate-based habitat changes (2030, 2060, 2090) in the Rio Grande Corridor in NM for Lucy’s warbler, Southwestern willow flycatcher, and the Western yellow-billed cuckoo. Biophysical characteristics like distance to water proved to be more important than climate in habitat suitability predictions, but climate led to 60% declines of suitable habitat by 2090. For all species, suitable habitat tended to shrink over time within the study area leaving a few core areas of high importance. Overall, climate changes will increase habitat fragmentation and reduce breeding habitat patch size. The best strategy for conserving bird species within the Rio Grande will include measures to maintain and restore critical habitat refugia.


    Vulnerability of Species to Climate Change in the Southwest: Threatened, Endangered, and At-Risk Species at Fort Huachuca, Arizona

                Bagne and Finch, 2013

                An in-depth System for Assessing Vulnerability of Species modeling effort that looks at two dozen threatened and endangered species and how they may be affected by a changing climate. The authors provide a numerical scale of risk based on possible changes in habitat, physiology, phenology, and interactions across a scale of uncertainties. Results and discussion of the most critical factor for each species are presented.


    Southwestern Willow Flycatcher (Empidonax traillii extimus) Overview

                U.S. Forest Service, 2010

                A brief summary of three separate models run to determine SWFL future vulnerability to habitat change and fire response as well as overall adaptive capacity.

Southwestern Willow Flycatcher

    • Invasive species disturb ecosystems and threaten biodiversity. Invasive species management, such as biological control, can cause additional disturbances, so quantifying how native species respond to invasive control is important
    to inform best management practices
    • We quantifed southwestern bird communities in sites that varied in the amount of the non-native plant tamarisk (Tamarix spp.), before and after biological control efforts
    • Following biocontrol, we found significant differences in community composition and diversity, and several bird species declined by ≥30%
    • Bird declines were ameliorated in the presence of native vegetation, consistent with the hypothesis that tamarisk biocontrol decreases prey availability and alters microclimate
    • We recommend land managers monitor areas dominated by tamarisk after biocontrol, and if re-establishment of native vegetation is slow or lacking, consider the feasibility of active restoration

Monitoring and Monitoring Protocols


Parasitism and Predators


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