UBC Undergraduate Research

Generalists and specialists warblers and their conservation statuses in North America Huang, Andy Hsin-Hsiang


Habitat degradation and fragmentation are key processes leading to population decline of many bird species, including several North American warblers (Parulidae). Threatened and endangered species are especially vulnerable to habitat change owing to the fact that their populations are small relative to those of least concern. I conducted a comparative analysis using the Birds of North America (BNA) and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species. To do so, I classified the feeding, breeding and wintering habits of 50 Parulidae in North America and then compared these traits to their current conservation status according to the IUCN Redbook. A score describing Diet, Habitat, and Migration/ Wintering range were compiled for each species based on criteria consistently identified in Birds of North America. My results show that species possessing specialist diets, and summer or wintering habitat preferences are most likely to be those now identified as threatened, endangered or extinct species, or those that are currently declining in abundance.

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