The role of artificial light at night and road density in predicting the seasonal occurrence of nocturnally migrating birds

Frank A. La Sorte*, Alison Johnston, Amanda D. Rodewald, Daniel Fink, Andrew Farnsworth, Benjamin M. Van Doren, Tom Auer, Matthew Strimas‐Mackey, Ana Benítez López (Editor)

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)
1 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Aim: Artificial light at night (ALAN) and roads are known threats to nocturnally migrating birds. How associations with ALAN and roads are defined in combination for these species at the population level across the full annual cycle has not been explored.

Location: Western Hemisphere.

Methods: We estimated range‐wide exposure, predictor importance and the prevalence of positive associations with ALAN and roads at a weekly temporal resolution for 166 nocturnally migrating bird species in three orders: Passeriformes (n = 104), Anseriformes (n = 27) and Charadriiformes (n = 35). We clustered Passeriformes based on the prevalence of positive associations.

Results: Positive associations with ALAN and roads were more prevalent for Passeriformes during migration when exposure and importance were highest. Positive associations with ALAN and roads were more prevalent for Anseriformes and Charadriiformes during the breeding season when exposure was lowest. Importance was uniform for Anseriformes and highest during migration for Charadriiformes. Our cluster analysis identified three groups of Passeriformes, each having similar associations with ALAN and roads. The first occurred in eastern North America during migration where exposure, prevalence, and importance were highest. The second wintered in Mexico and Central America where exposure, prevalence and importance were highest. The third occurred throughout North America where prevalence was low, and exposure and importance were uniform. The first and second were comprised of dense habitat specialists and long‐distance migrants. The third was comprised of open habitat specialists and short distance migrants.

Main conclusions: Our findings suggest ALAN and roads pose the greatest risk during migration for Passeriformes and during the breeding season for Anseriformes and Charadriiformes. Our results emphasise the close relationship between ALAN and roads, the diversity of associations dictated by taxonomy, exposure, migration strategy and habitat and the need for more informed and comprehensive mitigation strategies where ALAN and roads are treated as interconnected threats.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages18
JournalDiversity and Distributions
VolumeEarly View
Early online date2 Mar 2022
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2 Mar 2022

Keywords

  • Community science
  • eBird
  • Full annual cycle
  • Light pollution
  • Nocturnal migration
  • Road density
  • Seasonal bird migration

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'The role of artificial light at night and road density in predicting the seasonal occurrence of nocturnally migrating birds'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this