Data

Data from: Long-term changes in populations of rainforest birds in the Australia Wet Tropics bioregion: a climate-driven biodiversity emergency

James Cook University
Williams, Stephen
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ctx_ver=Z39.88-2004&rft_val_fmt=info%3Aofi%2Ffmt%3Akev%3Amtx%3Adc&rfr_id=info%3Asid%2FANDS&rft_id=info:doi10.25903/3tmd-sw18&rft.title=Data from: Long-term changes in populations of rainforest birds in the Australia Wet Tropics bioregion: a climate-driven biodiversity emergency &rft.identifier=10.25903/3tmd-sw18&rft.publisher=James Cook University&rft.description=Abstract [Related Publication]: Previous studies, based on species distribution modelling approaches, predicted significant declines and the potential for catastrophic levels of species extinctions in the upland vertebrate species in the rainforests of the Australian Wet Tropics bioregion in north-east Queensland. Here we use standardised bird surveys across the latitudinal/elevational gradients of the bioregion to assess the changes in abundance and total population size of rainforest birds over a 17-year period (2000-2016). We used measures of relative abundance in 1977 surveys across 62 different locations ranging from 0 to 1500 meters above sea level and utilised a trend analysis approach (TRIM) to investigate elevational shifts in abundance of species over time. Our aim was to determine if bird populations and assemblages were moving uphill as predicted in earlier studies. The data clearly demonstrate that bird species and assemblages are moving up. The local abundance of most mid and high elevation species has declined at the lower edges of their distribution by more than 40% while lowland species have increased dramatically by up to 190% into higher elevation areas. Upland, specialised species and regional endemics have undergone the most dramatic declines with overall declines of almost 50%. The species declines and the potential for species extinctions previously predicted is supported by the rapid and ongoing changes in populations and elevational distribution shifts demonstrated here. The “Outstanding Universal Value” of the Australian Wet Tropics World Heritage Area, one of the most irreplaceable biodiversity hotspots on Earth, is rapidly degrading. These observed trends truly represent a climate/biodiversity emergency requiring immediate action to protect this unique ecosystem. This Data Publication includes: Survey data (.csv file) from long-term monitoring conducted by Prof. Stephen E. Williams Shiny application developed by Alejandro de la Fuente Piñero. The app includes 5 interactive tables (S1-S5) and figures (S1, S1.1(A), S2-S4) to accompany the publication, and is available from the link provided.  Code archived on GitHub and available from the link provided. The full methodology is available in the Open Access publication from the Related Publications link below.&rft.creator=Williams, Stephen &rft.date=2021&rft.coverage=east=145.704393; north=-17.85329; projection=WGS84&rft.coverage=&rft_rights=&rft_rights=CC BY 4.0: Attribution 4.0 International http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0&rft_subject=biodiversity&rft_subject=rainforest&rft_subject=climate change&rft_subject=Wet Tropics&rft.type=dataset&rft.language=English Access the data

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CC BY 4.0: Attribution 4.0 International
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Abstract [Related Publication]: Previous studies, based on species distribution modelling approaches, predicted significant declines and the potential for catastrophic levels of species extinctions in the upland vertebrate species in the rainforests of the Australian Wet Tropics bioregion in north-east Queensland. Here we use standardised bird surveys across the latitudinal/elevational gradients of the bioregion to assess the changes in abundance and total population size of rainforest birds over a 17-year period (2000-2016). We used measures of relative abundance in 1977 surveys across 62 different locations ranging from 0 to 1500 meters above sea level and utilised a trend analysis approach (TRIM) to investigate elevational shifts in abundance of species over time. Our aim was to determine if bird populations and assemblages were moving uphill as predicted in earlier studies. The data clearly demonstrate that bird species and assemblages are moving up. The local abundance of most mid and high elevation species has declined at the lower edges of their distribution by more than 40% while lowland species have increased dramatically by up to 190% into higher elevation areas. Upland, specialised species and regional endemics have undergone the most dramatic declines with overall declines of almost 50%. The species declines and the potential for species extinctions previously predicted is supported by the rapid and ongoing changes in populations and elevational distribution shifts demonstrated here. The “Outstanding Universal Value” of the Australian Wet Tropics World Heritage Area, one of the most irreplaceable biodiversity hotspots on Earth, is rapidly degrading. These observed trends truly represent a climate/biodiversity emergency requiring immediate action to protect this unique ecosystem.

This Data Publication includes:

  • Survey data (.csv file) from long-term monitoring conducted by Prof. Stephen E. Williams
  • Shiny application developed by Alejandro de la Fuente Piñero. The app includes 5 interactive tables (S1-S5) and figures (S1, S1.1(A), S2-S4) to accompany the publication, and is available from the link provided. 
  • Code archived on GitHub and available from the link provided.

The full methodology is available in the Open Access publication from the Related Publications link below.

Created: 2021-11-19

Data time period: 2000 to 2017

Data time period: 17 Years

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145.704393,-17.85329

145.704393,-17.85329

dcmiPoint: east=145.704393; north=-17.85329; projection=WGS84

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Other Information
Stephen Williams

orcid : https://orcid.org/0000-0002-2510-7408

Identifiers
  • Local : https://research.jcu.edu.au/data/published/0c223480428311ec8178bfe67171bb3e
  • DOI : 10.25903/3tmd-sw18