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Call for Papers

Thematic Series: Avian Migration

Edited by: Kasper Thorup, Lei Cao, Anthony David Fox, Zhijun Ma
Manuscript submission deadline: 28 February 2021


Two hundred and fifty years ago, the British naturalist Gilbert White was conflicted between his belief that Barn Swallows (Hirundo rustica) migrated to warmer climes in winter versus the prevailing view that they hibernated in the bottom of lake. Two hundred years later, metal leg ring recoveries revolutionised our understanding of bird migration and confirmed that White’s suspicions were correct. In the last thirty years, the application of miniaturized telemetry devices have similarly revolutionised our knowledge of the migration patterns of large-bodied birds. Technological tracking of the movements in time and space of individual birds are providing us with great insight about when, how and why birds migrate along their migration routes. Many migratory birds depend on islands of suitable habitat to navigate their way between breeding and wintering areas, but the integrity of their flyways are increasingly threatened by major environmental change (such as unsustainable harvest, habitat loss/degradation and climate change).  It is ever more urgent, therefore, that we use information from telemetry studies to inform us about flyways and population definition, the timing and flexibility of migration schedules, the physiology during migration and strategies adopted to pass between vast tracts of uninhabitable terrain between breeding, staging and wintering areas. Given our global responsibility for protecting these shared populations, we also need to exploit telemetry information to identify the key staging habitats exploited along their migration routes and to determine whether our site-safeguard networks are fit for purpose in delivering effective cohesive protected areas sufficient to provide adequate resources to safeguard these populations for future generations.

The expanding activity and increasing interest in bird telemetry has created a unique momentum in this research field, so we are proposing a Thematic Series of Avian Research that focuses on the functional benefits of modern telemetry to the research and conservation of birds, especially of waterbirds. We would like to bring together research based on different methods using different study species, to attempt to synthesize across experiences for the benefit of next generation studies. We welcome any innovative application of avian telemetry devices to, for example, defining flyway structure and population status; long versus short distance migration; annual survival and timing of mortality; impacts of landscape change, weather and other factors on timing and duration of migration, etc. 

We appeal to all researchers interested in such a Thematic Series to submit manuscripts. Submitted papers should not have been published previously or be under consideration for publication elsewhere and will be subject to normal peer review and editorial revision. Publication in Avian Research is free of page charges and ultimate publication will be open access, which means that there is no need to wait until all manuscripts have been accepted.

Submit your manuscripts

In the submission system please make sure the correct collection title is chosen from the “additional information” tab. Please also indicate in the covering letter that the manuscript is to be considered for the “Avian Migration” Thematic Series. Submissions are invited until 28 February 2021. For further information, please contact the Managing Editor.

Articles in the series will be available on this collection page upon online.

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