Projected direct and indirect effects of climate change on the swift parrot, an endangered migratory species
Porfirio, LL and Harris, RMB and Stojanovic, D and Webb, MH and Mackey, B, Projected direct and indirect effects of climate change on the swift parrot, an endangered migratory species, Emu, 116, (3) pp. 273-283. ISSN 0158-4197 (2016) [Refereed Article]
Journal compilation copyright BirdLife Australia 2016
Assessing future changes in the suitability of the climate niche for interacting species across different trophic levels can identify direct and indirect effects of climate change that may be missed using single-species approaches. We use ensembles of species distribution models based on a dynamically down-scaled regional climate model to project the future suitability of climate for the Swift Parrot (Lathamus discolor), its primary food and habitat resources (Tasmanian Blue Gum (Eucalyptus globulus) and Swamp Gum (E. ovata)), and an introduced nest predator, the Sugar Glider (Petaurus breviceps). These results are combined with layers representing mature forest and fire danger to identify locations that may act as refuges for the Swift Parrot from fire, deforestation and predation under baseline and future climates. Almost a quarter of the nesting habitat of Swift Parrots is projected to become climatically unsuitable by the end of the 21st century, but large areas may remain climatically suitable for both Swift Parrots and their food trees. However, loss of forests and the presence of Sugar Gliders are likely to limit the availability of high-quality habitat. Offshore islands that the Sugar Glider is unable to colonise or where future climate is not projected to be suitable for the Sugar Glider may be the only places, in the near future, where the Swift Parrot will be protected from nest predation by this introduced species.
climate change, endangered species, Tasmania, swift parrot, eucalypts, migratory bird, model ensemble, refugia, species distribution models, species interactions, sugar glider, trophic level