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Hann Endowed Lecture: "Estimating the magnitude of direct bird mortality caused by anthropogenic threats in the United States"

Tuesday, July 2, 2013
4:00 AM
Gates Lecture Hall, UMBS, 9133 Biological Rd., Pellston, MI 49769

Billions of North American birds are killed annually by direct sources of human-caused mortality, including collisions with man-made structures, predation by free-roaming cats, poisoning, and pollution.  Because these mortality sources are increasingly abundant and because some can cause large bird die-offs, they have received increased scientific attention and extensive coverage by the popular media.  However, quantification of mortality from different direct sources has remained simplistic, and approaches to determine whether mortality results in biologically significant population effects remain underdeveloped.  

Dr. Marra's talk will highlight his lab's analytical approaches to advance the state of knowledge about anthropogenic mortality’s effects, including quantification of the uncertainty of the mortality estimates and inference of population effects by incorporating mortality estimates into full life cycle population models.  Implementation of these advances will lead to more effective regulations that reduce avian mortality and minimize population-level impacts.

Dr. Peter Marra is a Research Scientist with the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center in Washington, DC. Urban ecology is a key focus of his research.  He created the Smithsonian's "Neighborhood Nestwatch" citizen science program.  The program collects data on bird survival and productivity around the nation's capital.  Dr. Marra also studies migratory biology and emerging infectious diseases among birds. He earned his PhD from Dartmouth College.

This lecture is free and open to the public.