Drivers of Golden-winged Warbler Population Decline
You can support this important research by donating to the Forest Wildlife Research Fund below!
The Golden-winged Warbler, a neotropical migrant experiencing significant range-wide population decline, is currently under consideration for listing under the Endangered Species Act. However, more information is needed on overall population trends before a listing decision can be made. One gap in our knowledge is of annual survival of female Golden-winged Warblers. Females are typically more elusive than males, and are rarely ever resighted or recaptured after initial banding. This leaves us with a lot of questions – Where do they go? How does their survival compare to that of males? Previously, we were unable to address these questions with visual observations alone, but with the development of new VHF-coded NanoTags that are small enough to be safely carried on the backs of Golden-winged Warblers and powerful enough to transmit frequencies for over a year, we hope to catch a glimpse of how well these females are surviving and where exactly they disperse to over time. Our goal is to return to the same deployment locations in subsequent breeding seasons and use radio telemetry to track, and hopefully visually detect, our tagged warblers.
Since this species has two distinct breeding regions, the Great Lakes and the Appalachian Mountains, Amber Roth and the Golden-winged Warbler Working Group has amassed close to a dozen collaborators who will be deploying the same NanoTags throughout their range. Through our collaborative research, we aim to discover the return rates of both male and female Golden-winged Warblers across their breeding range, and in turn identify their annual survival and specific drivers of their population decline.
Due to the urgency and the size of this collaborative work, we are currently focusing our efforts on securing enough funding to allow this project to expand and continue. Donate to our UMaine Gift Account to help equip our small team of researchers with the gear and resources needed to help complete a successful spring in the field!
Primary Funding Sources
University of Maine
University of Tennessee
Indiana University of Pennsylvania
Fort Drum, US Army
University of Minnesota-Duluth Natural Resources Research Institute
US Fish & Wildlife Service
Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources
North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission
University of North Carolina-Wilmington
Audubon North Carolina
Virginia Commonwealth University
Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources
University of Massachusetts-Amherst
University of Cincinnati