WCS 3-Sentence Science
Satellite Data helps Predict U.S. Wintering Bird Abundance
November 22, 2019
Each year, Wildlife Conservation Society scientists publish more than 300 peer-reviewed studies and papers. “WCS 3-Sentence Science” is a regular tip-sheet — in bite sized helpings — of some of this published work.
Here we present work by WCS’s Paul Elsen using satellite data to predict winter bird abundance.
- Researchers used temperature data directly from satellites to develop two new metrics of the thermal environment: relative temperature (related to spatial temperature gradients) and thermal heterogeneity (related to the spatial patterning of temperature).
- The variables were then used to predict patterns of winter bird richness across the conterminous U.S., and the authors hypothesized that the thermal metrics would be particularly important for predicting species that are sensitive to temperature.
- The authors found that their thermal metrics could predict winter bird richness patterns and that these metrics were more important for thermally sensitive species, which suggests that they have promise in guiding conservation planning.
Study and Journal: “Landsat 8 TIRS-derived relative temperature and thermal heterogeneity predict winter bird species richness patterns across the conterminous United States” from Remote Sensing of Environment
WCS Co-Author(s): Paul Elsen (Lead), WCS Conservation Science and Solutions
For more information, contact: Stephen Sautner, 718–220–3682, email@example.com.