Animal Migration: A Synthesis

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Despite the wealth of natural historical research conducted on migration over decades, there is still a dearth of hypothesis-driven studies that fully integrate theory and empirical analyses to understand the causes and consequences of migration, and a taxonomic bias towards birds in much migration research. This book takes a comparative, integrated view of animal migration, linking evolution with ecology and management, theory with empirical research, and embracing all the major migratory taxa (including human pastoralists). The scope extends beyond the target organism to consider the ecosystem-level dynamics of migration. The emphasis is on exciting new research avenues that are now opening up, whether due to advances in our understanding of migration as a biological phenomenon or through the availability of a range of new technologies.

Broad themes that emerge include integrating migration into the broad spectrum of movement behavior, the need for a comparative and cross-taxonomic approach that considers migration at a range of temporal and spatial scales, and examination of the key roles of resource uncertainty and spatial heterogeneity in driving migratory behavior. The book identifies the potential for new tools to revolutionise the study of migration, including satellite-tracking technology, genomics, and modelling - all of which are linked to increasing computing power. We are now on the verge of a breakthrough in migration research, which is crucial given the multiple threats that face the conservation of migration as a phenomenon, including climate change.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"[I]nteresting, well written, and a valuable resource for anyone working with migratory species or just curious about animal migration. The text would be informative for a wide range of bioligists, whether they work in academia, governmental organizations, the private sector, or non-governmental organizations. The book also would be helpful for undergraduate and graduate courses that cover any aspect of migration ecology." —The Journal of Wildlife Management
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780199568994
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 3/8/2011
  • Pages: 304
  • Product dimensions: 7.60 (w) x 9.80 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

E.J. Milner-Gulland studied Pure and Applied Biology at Oxford University, and then did a PhD in resource management at Imperial College London, modelling the harvesting of elephants, rhinos and saiga antelopes. She held a Junior Research Fellowship at New College Oxford, was a visiting post-doctoral research at the University of British Columbia and then a Lecturer in Mathematical Ecology at the University of Warwick. After that she held a Lecturership in Resource Economics at Imperial College London, and became a Reader and then Professor in Conservation Science, also at Imperial College London. Her current research interests concern the interaction between human decision-making and the dynamics of exploited populations, as well as the ecology and conservation of the migratory saiga antelope in Central Asia.

John Fryxell obtained both his undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of British Columbia. His PhD research was on the ecology of the white-eared kob - a migratory antelope in the southern Sudan. He held a lectureship at the University of British Columbia and briefly worked with the Government of Newfoundland before assuming a faculty position at the University of Guelph, where he is currently a Professor in the Department of Integrative Biology.

Anthony Sinclair has conducted research in Serengeti, Tanzania, since 1965, mainly on the problem of what determines the size of animal populations, particularly vertebrates, and the mechanisms of regulation. This work has expanded to look at the whole ecosystem, documenting how the different components of soils, plants, herbivores and predators interact. In particular, he is interested in how to provide scientific advice for conservation. In Canada he was part of the Kluane Boreal Forest Ecosystem project in the Yukon. This large-scale experiment examined the workings of the northern spruce forests, in particular what caused the 10-year cycle of snowshoe hare numbers. Between 1992 and 2002 Dr. Sinclair collaborated with colleagues in the CSIRO, Sustainable Ecosystems division, Commonwealth Government of Australia in experiments on the conservation of endangered marsupial prey and their exotic predators, the red fox and feral cats.

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Table of Contents

1. Introduction, John Fryxell, E.J. Milner-Gulland, and Anthony Sinclair
2. Understanding the evolution of migration through empirical examples, Kate Cresswell,Will Satterthwaite, and Greg Sword
3. Theoretical reflections on the evolution of migration, Robert Holt and John Fryxell
4. Mechanistic principles of locomotion performance in migrating animals, Anders Hedenstrom, Melissa Bowlin, Ran Nathan, Bart Nolet, and Martin Wikelski
5. Energy gain and use during animal migration, Nir Sapir, Patrick J. Butler, Anders Hedenstrom, and Martin Wikelski
6. Cues and Decision rules in animal migration, Silke Bauer, Bart Nolet, Jarl Giske, Jason Chapman, Susanne Akesson, Anders Hedenstrom, and John Fryxell
7. Uncertainty and predictability: the niches of migrants and nomads, Niclas Jonzen, Endre Knudsen, Robert Holt, and Bernt-Erik Saether
8. Migration quantified: Constructing models and linking them with data, Luca Borger, Jason Matthiopoulos, Ricardo Holdo, Juan Morales, Iain Couzin, and Edward McCauley
9. Migration impacts on communities and ecosystems: empirical evidence and theoretical insights, Ricardo Holdo, Robert Holt, Anthony Sinclair, Brendan Godley, and Simon Thirgood
10. Pastoral migration: Mobile systems of animal husbandry, Roy Behnke, Maria Fernandez-Gimenez, Matthew Turner, and Florian Stammler
11. Conservation and management of migratory species, Jennifer Shuter, Annette Broderick, David Agnew, Niclas Jonzen, Brendan Godley, E.J. Milner-Gulland, and Simon Thirgood
12. Conclusion, E.J. Milner-Gulland, John Fryxell, and Anthony Sinclair
References Index

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