Submit a preprint

Direct submissions to PCI Ecology from are possible using the B2J service


Reassessment of French breeding bird population sizes using citizen science and accounting for species detectabilityuse asterix (*) to get italics
Jean Nabias, Luc Barbaro, Benoit Fontaine, Jérémy Dupuy, Laurent Couzi, Clément Vallé, Romain LorrillièrePlease use the format "First name initials family name" as in "Marie S. Curie, Niels H. D. Bohr, Albert Einstein, John R. R. Tolkien, Donna T. Strickland"
<p style="text-align: justify;">Higher efficiency in large-scale and long-term biodiversity monitoring can be obtained through the use of Essential Biodiversity Variables, among which species population sizes provide key data for conservation programs. Relevant estimations and assessment of actual population sizes are critical for species conservation, especially in the current context of global biodiversity erosion. However, knowledge on population size varies greatly, depending on species conservation status and ranges.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">While the most threatened or restricted-range species generally benefit from exhaustive counts and surveys, monitoring common and widespread species population size tends to be neglected or is simply more challenging to achieve. In such a context, citizen science (CS) is a powerful tool for the long-term monitoring of common species through the engagement of various volunteers, permitting data acquisition on the long term and over large spatial scales. Despite this substantially increased sampling effort, detectability issues imply that even common species may remain unnoticed at suitable sites. The use of structured CS schemes, including repeated visits, enables to model the detection process, permitting reliable inferences of population size estimates.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Here, we relied on a large French structured CS scheme (EPOC-ODF) comprising 27 156 complete checklists over 3 873 sites collected during the 2021-2023 breeding seasons to estimate the population size of 63 common bird species using Hierarchical Distance Sampling (HDS). These population size estimates were compared to the previous expert-based French breeding bird atlas estimations, which did not account for detectability issues.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">We found that population size estimates from the former French breeding bird atlas were lower than those estimated using HDS for 65% of species. Such a prevalence of lower estimations is likely due to more conservative estimates inferred from semi-quantitative expert-based assessments used for the previous atlas. We also found that species with long-range songs such as the Common Cuckoo (<em>Cuculus canorus</em>), Eurasian Hoopoe (<em>Upupa epops</em>) or the Eurasian Blackbird (<em>Turdus merula</em>) had, in contrast, higher estimated population sizes in the previous atlas than in our HDS models.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Our study highlights the need to rely on sound statistical methodology to ensure reliable ecological inferences with adequate uncertainty estimation and advocates for a higher reliance on structured CS in support of long-term biodiversity monitoring.</p> should fill this box only if you chose 'All or part of the results presented in this preprint are based on data'. URL must start with http:// or https:// should fill this box only if you chose 'Scripts were used to obtain or analyze the results'. URL must start with http:// or https:// should fill this box only if you chose 'Codes have been used in this study'. URL must start with http:// or https://
Bird atlases ; Biogeography ; Breeding Bird Surveys ; Citizen Science ; Detectability ; Hierarchical Distance Sampling
NonePlease indicate the methods that may require specialised expertise during the peer review process (use a comma to separate various required expertises).
Biogeography, Macroecology, Spatial ecology, Metacommunities & Metapopulations, Species distributions, Statistical ecology
No need for them to be recommenders of PCIEcology. Please do not suggest reviewers for whom there might be a conflict of interest. Reviewers are not allowed to review preprints written by close colleagues (with whom they have published in the last four years, with whom they have received joint funding in the last four years, or with whom they are currently writing a manuscript, or submitting a grant proposal), or by family members, friends, or anyone for whom bias might affect the nature of the review - see the code of conduct
e.g. John Doe []
2024-02-26 18:10:27
Nigel Yoccoz