Learn more about the Bird Genoscape Project here.
Neotropical migratory birds are declining across the Western Hemisphere, but conservation efforts have been stalled by the inability to assess where migrants are most limited – the breeding grounds, migratory stopover points, or tropical wintering areas. Historically, efforts to correlate breeding, wintering, and migratory populations have relied on large – scale banding programs or small tracking devices, however, these efforts have met with limited success because recapture of small – bodied birds is rare. Thus, there is an urgent need for a tracking technology that is minimally invasive, reliable, and capable of characterizing migratory patterns on a broad scale.
CTR has developed a a high-resolution molecular tag for tracking migratory birds on hemispheric scales. We are using this approach to create genetic maps, or “genoscapes” of 10 migratory bird species, and hope to expand to 100 species.
We are working with a variety of government and non-profit partners to expand the development of high-resolution molecular tags to species and populations of conservation concern across the Western Hemisphere. The resulting information can be used to help address current and future challenges facing migratory birds.