Literature list( March-May, 2019 )

The EAAFP Science Unit is highlighting some key journal publications in the flyway. The publications would be divided into 4 categories:

1) Biology & ecology: focus on science of single species as well as waterbird assemblages;

2) Monitoring & assessment: focus on technical aspects and methods related to EAAF;

3) Conservation & management: focus on outputs of conservation gaps, conservation management and startegies, etc.;

4) Others, e.g, bird influenza, CEPA

The abstract of each journal article is placed following the literature list below.

 

 1) Biology & ecology

  • Seasonal dynamics of waterbird assembly mechanisms revealed by patterns in phylogenetic and functional diversity in a subtropical wetland

Xianli Che, Daojian Chen, Min Zhang, Qing Quan, Anders Pape Møller, Fasheng Zou

  • Changing Abundance and Distribution of the Wintering Swan Goose Anser cygnoides in the Middle and Lower Yangtze River Floodplain: An Investigation Combining a Field Survey with Satellite Telemetry

An, An; Cao, Lei; Jia, Qiang; Wang, Xin; Zhu, Qin; Zhang, Junjian; Ye, Xueqin; Gao, Dali

  • Morphological and digestive adjustments buffer performance: How staging shorebirds cope with severe food declines

Shou‐Dong Zhang, Zhijun Ma, Chi‐Yeung Choi, He‐Bo Peng, David S. Melville, Tian‐Tian Zhao, Qing‐Quan Bai, Wen‐Liang Liu, Ying‐Chi Chan, Jan A. van Gils, Theunis Piersma

  • Distinguishing local and global correlates of population change in migratory species

Dhanjal-Adams, Kiran L.; Fuller, Richard A.; Murray, Nicholas J.; Studds, Colin E.; Wilson, Howard B.; Milton, David A.; Kendall, Bruce E.

  • The relationship between seasonal water level fluctuation and habitat availability for wintering waterbirds at Shengjin Lake, China

Chunlin Li, Yang Yang, Zhen Wang, Ling Yang, Dongmei Zhang And Lizhi Zhou

 

2) Conservation & management

  • Industrial rice farming supports fewer waterbirds than traditional farming on Chongming Island, China

Xie, Hanbin; Zhang, Wei; Li, Ben; Ma, Qiang; Wang, Tianhou

  • Bird Satellite Tracking Revealed Critical Protection Gaps in East Asian-Australasian Flyway

Lei, Jialin; Jia, Yifei; Zuo, Aojie; Zeng, Qing; Shi, Linlu; Zhou, Yan; Zhang, Hong; Lu, Cai; Lei, Guangchun; Wen, Li

  • Crucial sites and environmental variables for wintering migratory waterbird population distributions in the natural wetlands in East Dongting Lake, China

Ye-Ai Zou, Ping-Yang Zhang, Si-Qi Zhang, Xin-Sheng Chen, Feng Li, Zheng-Miao Deng, Sheng Yang, Hong Zhang, Fei-Yun Li, Yong-Hong Xie

  • Mapping wader biodiversity along the East Asian—Australasian flyway

Jia Li, Alice C. Hughes , David Dudgeon

  • Waterbird Communities in Subsidence Wetlands Created by Underground Coal Mining in China: Effects of Multi-Scale Environmental and Anthropogenic Variables

Li, Chunlin; Yang, Sen; Zha, Daode; Zhang, Yong; de Boer, Willem F.

  • Roost selection of the endangered Spotted Greenshank (Tringa guttifer) in critical habitat in the Inner Gulf of Thailand

Chenxing Yu, Dusit Ngoprasert, Philip D. Round, Andrew J. Pierce, Tommaso Savini, George A. Gale

  • Multiple habitat use by declining migratory birds necessitates joined‐up conservation

Micha V. Jackson, Luis R. Carrasco, Chi‐Yeung Choi, Jing Li, Zhijun Ma, David S. Melville, Tong Mu, He‐Bo Peng, Bradley K. Woodworth, Ziyou Yang, Lin Zhang, Richard A. Fuller.

4) Others

  • Two novel reassortant H11N8 avian influenza viruses occur in wild birds found in East Dongting Lake, China

Jing Liu, Lichen Zhou, Jiamin Lv, Yeai Zou, Tianhou Wang

  • Isolation of H8N4 avian influenza virus from wild birds in Shanghai, China

Tang, W.; Li, X.; Hu, C. H.; Zhu, C.; Li, Z.; Wu, D.; Wang, T.; He, G.

 


  1. Biology & ecology

Seasonal dynamics of waterbird assembly mechanisms revealed by patterns in phylogenetic and functional diversity in a subtropical wetland

Xianli Che, Daojian Chen, Min Zhang, Qing Quan, Anders Pape Møller, Fasheng Zou

Abstract

Despite growing interest in using phylogenetic and functional methods to understand community assembly, few studies have examined how these methods can be used to assess seasonal variation in assembly mechanisms among migrant species. Migration can rapidly alter the relative influence of stochastic processes, species interactions, or environmental factors in shaping communities across seasons. Here, we describe seasonal dynamics in the phylogenetic and functional diversity of waterbirds in Mai Po Wetland, a subtropical region with significant and predictable temporal variation in climate and migratory bird density. Phylogenetic alpha diversity varied seasonally, exhibiting a clustered structure (indicative of environmental filtering) in summer, and over-dispersed structure (indicative of biotic filtering) in winter. Phylogenetic diversity in spring and autumn exhibited a more intermediate, random structure, consistent with stochastic arrivals and departures of migrants. Functional diversity was clustered in spring but showed over-dispersion in the other three seasons. Phylogenetic beta diversity in summer and winter assemblages was characterized by two distinct groups, while spring and autumn assemblages were mixed. Our results suggest that waterbird assemblages were primarily shaped by interspecific competition in winter, while random processes tended to shape assemblages in spring and fall. Environmental factors played a more important role in summer, during periods of high heat stress. In addition, species co-occurrence patterns were significantly more strongly related to phylogenetic similarity in winter than in summer. Our results suggest that the relative importance of assemblage mechanisms can vary seasonally in response to changing environmental conditions, suggesting that studies attempting to infer a single dominant assembly mechanism may ignore important assembly processes. Temporal shifts in assembly mechanisms may play an important role in maintaining diversity in subtropical and temperate wetlands and perhaps also in other dynamic systems.

 

Changing Abundance and Distribution of the Wintering Swan Goose Anser cygnoides in the Middle and Lower Yangtze River Floodplain: An Investigation Combining a Field Survey with Satellite Telemetry

An, An; Cao, Lei; Jia, Qiang; Wang, Xin; Zhu, Qin; Zhang, Junjian; Ye, Xueqin; Gao, Dali

Abstract

Migratory waterbird communities are quick to respond to ecosystem degradation, and they are widely considered to be important bioindicators of complex environmental changes. The Swan Goose (Anser cygnoides) has been listed as a globally vulnerable species in the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species. This species currently winters almost exclusively in China and is mostly concentrated on lakes in the middle and lower catchment of the Yangtze River floodplain, especially in Poyang Lake, Jiangxi province and some sites in Anhui province. In the past few years, the population of A. cygnoides has fluctuated. To protect this fragile Anatidae species, long-term and accurate population estimation is both necessary and urgent. In this study, we evaluated the change in numbers and distribution of A. cygnoides by comparing surveys conducted in 2004 and 2005 with more recent ones conducted in 2015 and 2016. A reduction in the count number of this species occurred in the survey sites. After a statistical Mann-Whitney U test, the count numbers of A. cygnoides decreased significantly at the survey sites in Anhui province and the abundance decrease at the survey sites in Poyang Lake was only marginally significant. The inaccessibility of the new sites revealed by satellite tracking impeded a more prudent and comprehensive estimate of the population change. Satellite tracking technology may be a tool to consider for increasing the efficiency of data acquisition. Information transmitted from satellite tracking devices can help us to better understand the species’ behavior and wintering habitat. This technology has the potential to substitute costly and time-consuming field surveys. Conservation designs and management plans must be created for specific national nature reserves and key wintering sites. A more efficient long-term species monitoring system with improved spatial coverage should be conducted to safeguard wintering A. cygnoides.

 

Morphological and digestive adjustments buffer performance: How staging shorebirds cope with severe food declines

Shou‐Dong Zhang, Zhijun Ma, Chi‐Yeung Choi, He‐Bo Peng, David S. Melville, Tian‐Tian Zhao, Qing‐Quan Bai, Wen‐Liang Liu, Ying‐Chi Chan, Jan A. van Gils, Theunis Piersma

Abstract

Organisms cope with environmental stressors by behavioral, morphological, and physiological adjustments. Documentation of such adjustments in the wild provides information on the response space in nature and the extent to which behavioral and bodily adjustments lead to appropriate performance effects. Here we studied the morphological and digestive adjustments in a staging population of migrating Great Knots Calidris tenuirostris in response to stark declines in food abundance and quality at the Yalu Jiang estuarine wetland (northern Yellow Sea, China). At Yalu Jiang, from 2011 to 2017 the densities of intertidal mollusks, the food of Great Knots, declined 15-fold. The staple prey of Great Knots shifted from the relatively soft-shelled bivalve Potamocorbula laevis in 2011-2012 to harder-shelled mollusks such as the gastropod Umbonium thomasi in 2016-2017. The crushing of the mollusks in the gizzard would require a threefold to 11-fold increase in break force. This was partially resolved by a 15% increase in gizzard mass which would yield a 32% increase in shell processing capacity. The consumption of harder-shelled mollusks was also accompanied by reliance on regurgitates to excrete unbreakable parts of prey, rather than the usual intestinal voidance of shell fragments as feces. Despite the changes in digestive morphology and strategy, there was still an 85% reduction in intake rate in 2016-2017 compared with 2011-2012. With these morphological and digestive adjustments, the Great Knots remaining faithful to the staging site to a certain extent buffered the disadvantageous effects of dramatic food declines. However, compensation was not complete. Locally, birds will have had to extend foraging time and use a greater daily foraging range. This study offers a perspective on how individual animals may mitigate the effects of environmental change by morphological and digestive strategies and the limits to the response space of long-distance migrating shorebirds in the wild.

 

Distinguishing local and global correlates of population change in migratory species

Dhanjal-Adams, Kiran L.; Fuller, Richard A.; Murray, Nicholas J.; Studds, Colin E.; Wilson, Howard B.; Milton, David A.; Kendall, Bruce E.

Abstract

Aim Understanding the processes driving population declines in migratory species can be challenging. Not only are monitoring data spatially and temporally sparse, but conditions in one location can carry over to indirectly (and disproportionately) affect the population in another location. Here, we explore whether remote factors can sequentially, and potentially cumulatively, influence local population fluctuations in declining populations of shorebirds. Location Moreton Bay (Australia) and the East Asian-Australasian Flyway. Methods We use N-mixture models to account for variable observer effort and estimate yearly population growth rate. We then use least squares regressions to correlate population growth rates with remotely sensed climate anomalies at different migratory stages. From this, we estimate species-specific climate sensitivity indices and explore whether species which are declining more rapidly, or which rely more heavily on areas undergoing rapid habitat loss, have higher climate sensitivity indices. Results We find that species which rely more on the Yellow Sea during migratory stopover (a region which has undergone severe habitat loss) are more sensitive to rainfall anomalies in their Arctic breeding grounds, suggesting that habitat loss reduces the resilience of shorebirds to climate extremes. Furthermore, species with higher sensitivities to climatic conditions during stopover are also those which are declining quickest, suggesting that declining populations may also be less resilient to climate fluctuations at bottleneck sites. We also observed species-specific correlations between climate anomalies at all migratory stages and population growth rates, primarily for eastern curlew and lesser sand plover. Main conclusion By applying methods in combination, it is possible to use citizen science data from a single location in a flyway of over 160 sites up to 11,680 km apart, to investigate how different stressors correlate with local population dynamics.

 

The relationship between seasonal water level fluctuation and habitat availability for wintering waterbirds at Shengjin Lake, China

Chunlin Li, Yang Yang, Zhen Wang, Ling Yang, Dongmei Zhang And Lizhi Zhou

Abstract

Conservation plans for waterbirds in periodically flooded wetlands should be based on a deep understanding of the relationship between habitat availability and the hydrological regime. Using waterbird surveys and remotely sensed images, we investigated how habitat availability for wintering waterbirds was regulated by seasonal water level fluctuation at Shengjin Lake in the lower Yangtze River floodplain, which is an important wintering area along the East Asian-Australasian Flyway. We recorded 52 waterbird species during three field surveys, and categorised them into four groups based on their foraging preferences: grassland, mudflats, shallow water, or deep water. Habitat availability for the four groups was significantly influenced by fluctuations in water level. Habitat for deep-water feeders dominated the lake throughout the year, despite contracting during the wintering season. Water recession during winter exposed more diverse riparian habitats that showed high spatial heterogeneity at the landscape level, with the Upper Lake providing the most suitable habitats for the most diverse and abundant waterbirds. It is worth noting that the water level was regulated highly for aquaculture during the early wintering period, impeding access to suitable habitats for the early-arriving waterbirds that foraged in the riparian mudflats and grassland. Furthermore, rapid water recession from the opening of a sluice gate allowed the exposed moist mudflats to dry up quickly, reducing its suitability for shorebirds and cranes. For effective wintering waterbird conservation in the ephemeral lacustrine wetlands in the Yangtze River floodplain, we suggest stepwise water recession plans, together with the recovery of the aquatic vegetation community and reduction in high-density aquaculture, to synchronise the exposure of foraging habitats with the migration phenology of different waterbird species.


2. Monitoring & assessment

N.A.

 


3) Conservation & management

Industrial rice farming supports fewer waterbirds than traditional farming on Chongming Island, China

Xie, Hanbin; Zhang, Wei; Li, Ben; Ma, Qiang; Wang, Tianhou

Abstract

Natural wetlands in coastal areas have been reclaimed in China and other regions of Asia. The reclaimed lands have been used for large-scale industrial farming, replacing traditional farming methods, especially in rice fields. To understand the impact of land-use conversion on biodiversity, particularly of coastal migratory waterbirds, we selected two study sites in Chongming Island, China, representing traditional rice fields versus industrial rice farms. At each site, we carried out waterbird population surveys, measured the environmental factors hypothesized to be important in determining waterbird abundance, and analyzed the effects of the different farming patterns on waterbird populations. Over two annual cycles (from August 2013 to May 2015), 39 waterbird species were observed, with a mean density of 29.35.4/ha, on traditional rice fields, compared with 16 species with a mean density of 2.8 +/- 0.4/ha on large-scale industrial rice farms. Our results demonstrated that waterbird diversity was higher on traditional rice fields than on industrial rice farms. Analyses of habitat characteristics and waterbird populations showed that traditional rice fields had more preferred habitats for waterbirds, such as more open-water cover areas, lower bare mud cover areas, lower rice plant density, no concrete-covered areas and flooding in the winter. The results suggested that the replacement of traditional rice fields with large-scale industrial rice farms has had a significantly negative impact on migratory waterbirds using the East Asian-Australasian Flyway; such a change could also have detrimental effects on waterbird conservation efforts in China and other countries along this important migration route.

The article suggested that the replacement of traditional rice fields with large-scale industrial rice farms has had a significantly negative impact on migratory waterbirds using the East Asian-Australasian Flyway; such a change could also have detrimental effects on waterbird conservation efforts in China and other countries along this important migration route.

 

Bird Satellite Tracking Revealed Critical Protection Gaps in East Asian-Australasian Flyway

Lei, Jialin; Jia, Yifei; Zuo, Aojie; Zeng, Qing; Shi, Linlu; Zhou, Yan; Zhang, Hong; Lu, Cai; Lei, Guangchun; Wen, Li

Abstract

Most migratory birds depend on stopover sites, which are essential for refueling during migration and affect their population dynamics. In the East Asian-Australasian Flyway (EAAF), however, the stopover ecology of migratory waterfowl is severely under-studied. The knowledge gaps regarding the timing, intensity and duration of stopover site usages prevent the development of effective and full annual cycle conservation strategies for migratory waterfowl in EAAF. In this study, we obtained a total of 33,493 relocations and visualized 33 completed spring migratory paths of five geese species using satellite tracking devices. We delineated 2,192,823 ha as the key stopover sites along the migration routes and found that croplands were the largest land use type within the stopover sites, followed by wetlands and natural grasslands (62.94%, 17.86% and 15.48% respectively). We further identified the conservation gaps by overlapping the stopover sites with the World Database on Protected Areas (PA). The results showed that only 15.63% (or 342,757 ha) of the stopover sites are covered by the current PA network. Our findings fulfil some key knowledge gaps for the conservation of the migratory waterbirds along the EAAF, thus enabling an integrative conservation strategy for migratory water birds in the flyway.

 

 Crucial sites and environmental variables for wintering migratory waterbird population distributions in the natural wetlands in East Dongting Lake, China

Ye-Ai Zou, Ping-Yang Zhang, Si-Qi Zhang, Xin-Sheng Chen, Feng Li, Zheng-Miao Deng, Sheng Yang, Hong Zhang, Fei-Yun Li, Yong-Hong Xie

Abstract

Dongting Lake is the second largest freshwater lake in China and is one of the globally important wintering sites for migratory waterbirds in the East Asian–Australasian Flyway. Crucial sites and environmental variables for wintering migratory waterbirds are of great concern in the Dongting Lake wetlands. In this research, based on annual (2003/2004–2016/2017) waterbird and habitat census data, we recognized the crucial sites for waterbirds during wintering seasons by comparing the difference of waterbird populations at the community, foraging guild and species levels in different natural wetlands within East Dongting Lake, and then identified the crucial environmental variables affecting waterbird distributions by analyzing the relationship between waterbird populations and the environmental variables, including vegetation area, mudflat area, water area with the depth of 0–20 cm, water area with the depth of 20–50 cm, water area with the depth of 50–100 cm, water area with the depth >100 cm, growth status of vegetation (Min, Mean and Max NDVI), and the human disturbance. Results indicated that five natural wetlands, i.e., Daxiaoxi, Chunfeng, Baihu lakes, Dingzi dyke and Tanjiaweizi, were recognized as the crucial wintering sites for migratory waterbirds in the East Dongting Lake. Among the ten selected environmental variables, water areas with the depth of 0–20 cm, 20–50 cm and >100 cm, human disturbance, Min and Mean NDVIs were identified as the crucial environmental variables overall. Waterbirds at different levels exhibited significant linear relationship with certain environmental variables, with the exception of Bean goose and Lesser White-fronted goose at the species level, which showed Gaussian distribution with changes in mean NDVI. The crucial environmental variables appeared to be foraging guild- and species-specific. These findings provide significant information for managers to understand the differences of wetlands and waterbird populations within East Dongting Lake, and to make more targeted conservation efforts.

 

Mapping wader biodiversity along the East Asian—Australasian flyway

Jia Li, Alice C. Hughes , David Dudgeon

Abstract:The study is conducted to facilitate conservation of migratory wader species along the East Asian-Australasian Flyway, particularly to 1) Identify hotspots of wader species richness along the flyway and effectively map how these might change between breeding, non-breeding and migratory phases; 2) Determine if the existing network of protected areas (PA) is sufficient to effectively conserve wader biodiversity hotspots along the EAAF; 3) Assess how species distribution models can provide complementary distribution estimates to existing BirdLife range maps. We use a species distribution modelling (SDM) approach (MaxEnt) to develop temporally explicit individual range maps of 57 migratory wader species across their annual cycle, including breeding, non-breeding and migratory phases, which in turn provide the first biodiversity hotspot map of migratory waders along the EAAF for each of these phases. We assess the protected area coverage during each migration period, and analyse the dominant environmental drivers of distributions for each period. Additionally, we compare model hotspots to those existing range maps of the same species obtained from the BirdLife Internationals’ database. Our model results indicate an overall higher and a spatially different species richness pattern compared to that derived from a wader biodiversity hotspot map based on BirdLife range maps. Field observation records from the eBird database for our 57 study species confirm many of the hotspots revealed by model outputs (especially within the Yellow Sea coastal region), suggesting that current richness of the EAAF may have been underestimated and certain hotspots overlooked. Less than 10% of the terrestrial zones area (inland and coastal) which support waders are protected and, only 5% of areas with the highest 10% species richness is protected. The study results suggest the need for new areas for migratory wader research and conservation priorities including Yellow Sea region and Russian far-East. It also suggests a need to increase the coverage and percentage of current PA network to achieve Aichi Target 11 for Flyway countries, including giving stronger consideration to the temporal dynamics of wader migration.

 

Waterbird Communities in Subsidence Wetlands Created by Underground Coal Mining in China: Effects of Multi-Scale Environmental and Anthropogenic Variables

Li, Chunlin; Yang, Sen; Zha, Daode; Zhang, Yong; de Boer, Willem F.

Abstract

Underground coal mining in the North China Plain has created large-scale subsidence wetlands that may attract waterbirds that use them as complementary habitats. However, no study has been conducted to understand avian use of these created wetlands, inhibiting the formulation of effective management plans. Here, we carried out 12 semi-monthly surveys in 55 subsidence wetlands during the 2016-2017 migration and wintering period and performed direct multivariate analyses, combined with variance partitioning, to test the effects of multi-scale habitat variables on the waterbird assemblages. A total of 89 349 waterbirds representing 60 species were recorded, with seasonal fluctuations in species richness and bird abundance. Waterbird community structures were shaped by four groups of variables at local, landscape and human levels with different effects among seasons. Anthropogenic disturbance was the most important factor group, negatively affecting most guilds. Waterbirds in this human-dominated environment are under a variety of potential threats that should be further studied. The subsidence wetlands are still expanding, and if managed effectively, may provide important complementary habitats for a wide array of waterbird species, particularly for those migrating along the East Asian-Australasian Flyway. Our study provides key baseline data regarding the waterbird communities and may help with the designing of effective management and conservation plans.

 

Roost selection of the endangered Spotted Greenshank (Tringa guttifer) in critical habitat in the Inner Gulf of Thailand

Chenxing Yu, Dusit Ngoprasert, Philip D. Round, Andrew J. Pierce, Tommaso Savini, George A. Gale

Abstract

Roost-site quality can significantly affect the individual fitness of shorebirds, but roost sites remain poorly described for many threatened species on the East Asian-Australasian Flyway. We studied roost-site selection of the globally endangered Spotted Greenshank (Tringa guttifer) in the Inner Gulf of Thailand, an area which supports approximately 24% of their global wintering population, during two non-breeding seasons (October 2014-May 2015 and December 2015-February 2016). We measured nine variables associated with roost site characteristics including water depth, indicators of disturbance/predation risk, and associations with other shorebird species. We predicted that roost ponds with shallow water in proximity to foraging sites would receive higher usage than those further away. A total of 94 sites were measured of which 46 were used for roosts with 23 used repeatedly. All used sites were human-modified ponds, of which 44 were used for salt farming and two used for aquaculture. Roosts were on average 1.100.78 (SE) km from foraging sites and 5.8 +/- 2.4cm deep. The most supported model indicated that roost sites were negatively associated with distance to foraging sites and positively associated with the presence of Grey Plover (Pluvialis squatarola) and water depth. Traditional saltpans and other artificial wetlands near (<1km) mudflats serve as the primary high-tide roost habitat in the Inner Gulf of Thailand for this Spotted Greenshank population and perhaps seven other globally threatened or near-threatened species. Critically, all observed roost sites are on private land with no formal protection and thus will require creative public-private partnerships to manage sustainably.

 

Multiple habitat use by declining migratory birds necessitates joined‐up conservation

Micha V. Jackson, Luis R. Carrasco, Chi‐Yeung Choi, Jing Li, Zhijun Ma, David S. Melville, Tong Mu, He‐Bo Peng, Bradley K. Woodworth, Ziyou Yang, Lin Zhang, Richard A. Fuller.

Abstract

Many species depend on multiple habitats at different points in space and time. Their effective conservation requires an understanding of how and when each habitat is used, coupled with adequate protection. Migratory shorebirds use intertidal and supratidal wetlands, both of which are affected by coastal landscape change. Yet the extent to which shorebirds use artificial supratidal habitats, particularly at highly developed stopover sites, remains poorly understood leading to potential deficiencies in habitat management. We surveyed shorebirds on their southward migration in southern Jiangsu, a critical stopover region in the East Asian Australasian Flyway (EAAF), to measure their use of artificial supratidal habitats and assess linkages between intertidal and supratidal habitat use. To inform management, we examined how biophysical features influenced occupancy of supratidal habitats, and whether these habitats were used for roosting or foraging. We found that shorebirds at four of five sites were limited to artificial supratidal habitats at high tide for ~11–25 days per month because natural intertidal flats were completely covered by seawater. Within the supratidal landscape, at least 37 shorebird species aggregated on artificial wetlands, and shorebirds were more abundant on larger ponds with less water cover, less vegetation, at least one unvegetated bund, and fewer built structures nearby. Artificial supratidal habitats were rarely used for foraging and rarely occupied when intertidal flats were available, underscoring the complementarity between supratidal roosting habitat and intertidal foraging habitat. Joined‐up artificial supratidal management and natural intertidal habitat conservation are clearly required at our study site given the simultaneous dependence by over 35,000 migrating shorebirds on both habitats. Guided by observed patterns of habitat use, there is a clear opportunity to improve habitat condition by working with local land custodians to consider shorebird habitat requirements when managing supratidal ponds. This approach is likely applicable to shorebird sites throughout the EAAF.


4) Others

Two novel reassortant H11N8 avian influenza viruses occur in wild birds found in East Dongting Lake, China

Jing Liu, Lichen Zhou, Jiamin Lv, Yeai Zou, Tianhou Wang

Abstract

During the surveillance of avian influenza viruses in East Dongting Lake, China (2014-2015), two H11N8 avian influenza viruses were detected in the Bean Goose (Anser fabalis) and the Falcated Teal (Anas falcata). Phylogenetic analysis showed that these two novel reassortant H11N8 avian influenza viruses contain genes from poultry and wild birds. This is the first report detecting the H11N8 subtype influenza virus from wild birds in Asia. These findings indicate a dissemination of avian influenza virus along the East Asian-Australian flyway. In addition, the interaction between poultry and wild birds was addressed suggesting the need for intensive surveillance of wild bird populations.

 

Isolation of H8N4 avian influenza virus from wild birds in Shanghai, China

Tang, W.; Li, X.; Hu, C. H.; Zhu, C.; Li, Z.; Wu, D.; Wang, T.; He, G.

Abstract

The H8 subtype viruses are rarely isolated from wild ducks. Shanghai is one of the important wintering or stopover sites on the East Asia-Australia Migration Flyway. An influenza virus, subtype H8N4, was firstly isolated from a Common Teal (Anas crecca) in Shanghai during 2017-2018 in this study. To clarify the genetic characteristics of the H8N4 virus, the whole genome sequences were analyzed. Phylogenetic analysis of the hemagglutinin and neuraminidase genes showed that they shared highest nucleotide identity (99.19%-99.64%) with the Japan duck-origin H8N4 virus collected in 2016 (A/duck/Aichi/231003/2016) and belonged to the Eurasian-like avian lineage. Six other genes of the H8N4 isolated virus were all highly similar to the corresponding genes of a wide range of AIV subtypes including H9N2, H5N7, H3N8, H1N2, H4N6 and H1N1. The results indicated that the H8N4 virus was a multiple reassortant virus. The study emphasized that the continuous surveillance of influenza virus in wild birds should be strengthened.

 

Prepared by EAAFP Science Unit

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