M.Sc. Student- University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Location: Northeastern Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico
Research: Evaluation of Habitat Associations, Disturbance Impacts, and Population Trends of EndemicYucatan Birds via Bioacoustic Monitoring
Species/Topic: Endemic Yucatan bird species
Abstract: The Yucatan Peninsula supports a highly dynamic and diverse bird community including many endemic species, which are vulnerable to disturbance due to their narrow distributions and specialized habitat requirements. Currently, no long-term monitoring schemes are in place to evaluate population trends of endemic birds and the impacts of human and natural disturbances. This project proposes to describe species' habitat associations, assess impacts of human habitat disturbance, and generate baseline estimates of bird density that can be used to evaluate the effect of future human and natural disturbances on birds with particular emphasis on endemic species. Birds will be surveyed using a novel bioacoustic monitoring technique with the assistance of local people. I previously collected one year of data on the distribution of bird species using bioacoustic monitoring to evaluate the effectiveness of the technique. I now propose to expand the monitoring in order to address pressing ecological and conservation questions.