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Research Spending & Results

Award Detail

Doing Business As Name:University of South Carolina at Columbia
  • Nathan R Senner
  • (803) 777-4254
Award Date:08/03/2021
Estimated Total Award Amount: $ 349,864
Funds Obligated to Date: $ 349,864
  • FY 2021=$349,864
Start Date:09/01/2021
End Date:08/31/2023
Transaction Type:Grant
Awarding Agency Code:4900
Funding Agency Code:4900
CFDA Number:47.074
Primary Program Source:040100 NSF RESEARCH & RELATED ACTIVIT
Award Title or Description:Climate Change, community dynamics, and long-distance migratory birds
Federal Award ID Number:2126004
DUNS ID:041387846
Parent DUNS ID:041387846
Program:Population & Community Ecology
Program Officer:
  • Carla D'Antonio
  • (703) 292-4947

Awardee Location

Street:Sponsored Awards Management
Awardee Cong. District:06

Primary Place of Performance

Organization Name:University of South Carolina at Columbia
Street:Sponsored Awards Management
Cong. District:06

Abstract at Time of Award

In an era of rapid environmental change, conservationists, ecologists and resource managers are faced with two fundamental questions: (1) Which species are most vulnerable to environmental change? and, (2) What mechanisms will enable individuals and populations to respond to these environmental changes and thus avoid extinction? Some wildlife species migrate thousands of miles each year and thus face environmental changes in many different parts of their life cycle. These species may thus be especially susceptible to environmental change. To address these important conservation questions, the proposed research will follow individual long-distance migratory birds, in particular Hudsonian Godwits (Limosa haemastica), throughout their entire lives, from their breeding grounds in Alaska to their nonbreeding grounds in southern Chile using novel miniaturized tracking devices and on-the-ground efforts by an international team of collaborators. Following individual birds throughout their lives will provide insights into how changes occurring during different time periods or in different locations may act separately or synergistically to influence the ability of entire populations to successfully survive and reproduce. Then, to aid the conservation of migratory species such as Hudsonian Godwits and deepen engagement with local communities, this project will focus on developing K12 curricula in collaboration with local schools in rural Alaska and established educational media producers, facilitating international collaborations by holding online scientific symposia, and revising existing conservation plans to incorporate recent findings. Global environmental changes driven my human activities are diverse and ubiquitous. Wildlife species migrate thousands of miles each year thus face environmental changes in many different parts of their life cycle. These species populations may thus be especially vulnerable to environmental change. This study will utilize a study site that has been maintained since 2009 in Beluga River, Alaska, to address the simultaneous effects of biotic and abiotic pressures acting throughout the life cycle of the long-lived, long-distance migratory bird, the Hudsonian Godwit (Limosa haemastica). Godwits face multiple separate, and potentially synergistic, environmental changes throughout the year as they migrate from southern Chile to Alaska. In this study, individual-level information on the ability of godwits to alter their migration timing over the course of their lives will be coupled with population-level information about how godwit chicks may be forced to trade off foraging and safety to help inform a species-level assessment of how well godwits will be able to respond to future environmental changes occurring throughout their annual cycle. As a consequence, this project’s results have the potential to illuminate not only long-held questions in migration ecology, but fundamental questions about how individuals, populations, and species are able to respond to environmental change. Ultimately, the project’s aim is to provide critical, broadly applicable information to inform assessments of species’ vulnerability to future global change. The PI will work with the USFWS to advice on species vulnerability and with local villagers to educate and engage local citizens in conservation and management. This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

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