Project Description

Projections from global circulation models predict an increase in aridity and major climatic changes in the arid southwestern United States and northern Mexico. Nesting phenology and reproductive success of species like Rufous-winged Sparrow (Peucaea carpalis) and other native desert birds could be used as early indicators of the climate change in the region. The objective of this project is to continue a nesting success monitoring program to detect the cumulative effects of climate change on Sonoran Desert biota. We will search and locate nests of Rufous-winged Sparrow and other desert passerines in two habitat types (native shrubland and buffelgrass prairies) in central Sonora. We will estimate population density and monitor nest status until the success or failure of the each clutch, as well as temperature, precipitation and vegetation condition. We will employ logistic exposure models to develop predictive models that link environmental conditions to daily nest survival. Our results will provide relevant information for prediction and mitigation of the effects of climate change in Sonoran Desert biota.

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Alberto Macias-Duarte

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