This week we welcome our own Matt Macpherson and Amelia Cox.
Our Hurting Herps: An update on the conservation of Ontario’s amphibian and reptiles
Long-term study of an avian aerial insectivore points to climate change as a driver of decline
Ontario is home to a diverse, albeit small array of reptile and amphibian species. However, like other species of herpetofauna around the globe, a large proportion of them are at risk of extinction. In this presentation, I will be going over the natural history, reasons for population declines, and current conservation strategies for these beautiful and fascinating animals.
Avian aerial insectivores, birds that forage on flying insects, are facing dire population declines. The primary commonality among these birds is that they forage on flying insects, suggesting that diet has exposed these birds to environmental challenges that cause their decline, but it has been unclear how. Using data from a tree swallow (Tachycineta bicolor) population that has been continuously monitored from 1975-2017, I investigated demographic and environmental causes of population decline. I suggest that tree swallows and other avian aerial insectivores be added to the growing list of species threatened by climate change