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Spatio-Temporal Variation in Age Structure and Abundance of the Endangered Snail Kite: Pooling across Regions Masks a Declining and Aging Population

Overview of attention for article published in PLoS ONE, September 2016
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Title
Spatio-Temporal Variation in Age Structure and Abundance of the Endangered Snail Kite: Pooling across Regions Masks a Declining and Aging Population
Published in
PLoS ONE, September 2016
DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0162690
Pubmed ID
Authors

Brian E. Reichert, William L. Kendall, Robert J. Fletcher, Wiley M. Kitchens

Abstract

While variation in age structure over time and space has long been considered important for population dynamics and conservation, reliable estimates of such spatio-temporal variation in age structure have been elusive for wild vertebrate populations. This limitation has arisen because of problems of imperfect detection, the potential for temporary emigration impacting assessments of age structure, and limited information on age. However, identifying patterns in age structure is important for making reliable predictions of both short- and long-term dynamics of populations of conservation concern. Using a multistate superpopulation estimator, we estimated region-specific abundance and age structure (the proportion of individuals within each age class) of a highly endangered population of snail kites for two separate regions in Florida over 17 years (1997-2013). We find that in the southern region of the snail kite-a region known to be critical for the long-term persistence of the species-the population has declined significantly since 1997, and during this time, it has increasingly become dominated by older snail kites (> 12 years old). In contrast, in the northern region-a region historically thought to serve primarily as drought refugia-the population has increased significantly since 2007 and age structure is more evenly distributed among age classes. Given that snail kites show senescence at approximately 13 years of age, where individuals suffer higher mortality rates and lower breeding rates, these results reveal an alarming trend for the southern region. Our work illustrates the importance of accounting for spatial structure when assessing changes in abundance and age distribution and the need for monitoring of age structure in imperiled species.

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Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 22 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
Unknown 22 100%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Master 6 27%
Researcher 5 23%
Student > Ph. D. Student 3 14%
Student > Bachelor 2 9%
Professor 1 5%
Other 4 18%
Unknown 1 5%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Agricultural and Biological Sciences 13 59%
Environmental Science 4 18%
Nursing and Health Professions 1 5%
Psychology 1 5%
Decision Sciences 1 5%
Other 1 5%
Unknown 1 5%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 1. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 30 September 2016.
All research outputs
#7,304,616
of 8,454,083 outputs
Outputs from PLoS ONE
#98,128
of 116,445 outputs
Outputs of similar age
#204,380
of 250,282 outputs
Outputs of similar age from PLoS ONE
#3,436
of 4,010 outputs
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