Publications by authors named "Jocelyn Champagnon"

6 Publications

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The future for Mediterranean wetlands: 50 key issues and 50 important conservation research questions.

Reg Environ Change 2021 21;21(2):33. Epub 2021 Mar 21.

Mediterranean Small Islands Initiative (PIM), Lycée des Calanques, 89 Traverse Parangon, 13008 Marseille, France.

Wetlands are critically important for biodiversity and human wellbeing, but face a range of challenges. This is especially true in the Mediterranean region, where wetlands support endemic and threatened species and remain integral to human societies, but have been severely degraded in recent decades. Here, in order to raise awareness of future challenges and opportunities for Mediterranean wetlands, and to inform proactive research and management, we identified (a) 50 key issues that might affect Mediterranean wetlands between 2020 and 2050, and (b) 50 important research questions that, if answered, would have the greatest impact on the conservation of Mediterranean wetlands between 2020 and 2050. We gathered ideas through an online survey and review of recent literature. A diverse assessment panel prioritised ideas through an iterative, anonymised, Delphi-like process of scoring, voting and discussion. The prioritised issues included some that are already well known but likely to have a large impact on Mediterranean wetlands in the next 30 years (e.g. the accumulation of dams and reservoirs, plastic pollution and weak governance), and some that are currently overlooked in the context of Mediterranean wetlands (e.g. increasing desalination capacity and development of antimicrobial resistance). Questions largely focused on how best to carry out conservation interventions, or understanding the impacts of threats to inform conservation decision-making. This analysis will support research, policy and practice related to environmental conservation and sustainable development in the Mediterranean, and provides a model for similar analyses elsewhere in the world.

Supplementary Information: The online version contains supplementary material available at 10.1007/s10113-020-01743-1.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10113-020-01743-1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7982080PMC
March 2021

Reliability of animal counts and implications for the interpretation of trends.

Ecol Evol 2021 Mar 27;11(5):2249-2260. Epub 2021 Jan 27.

Tour du Valat Research institute for the conservation of Mediterranean wetlands Arles France.

Population time series analysis is an integral part of conservation biology in the current context of global changes. To quantify changes in population size, wildlife counts only provide estimates because of various sources of error. When unaccounted for, such errors can obscure important ecological patterns and reduce confidence in the derived trend. In the case of highly gregarious species, which are common in the animal kingdom, the estimation of group size is an important potential bias, which is characterized by high variance among observers. In this context, it is crucial to quantify the impact of observer changes, inherent to population monitoring, on i) the minimum length of population time series required to detect significant trends and ii) the accuracy (bias and precision) of the trend estimate.We acquired group size estimation error data by an experimental protocol where 24 experienced observers conducted counting simulation tests on group sizes. We used this empirical data to simulate observations over 25 years of a declining population distributed over 100 sites. Five scenarios of changes in observer identity over time and sites were tested for each of three simulated trends (true population size evolving according to deterministic models parameterized with declines of 1.1%, 3.9% or 7.4% per year that justify respectively a "declining," "vulnerable" or "endangered" population under IUCN criteria).We found that under realistic field conditions observers detected the accurate value of the population trend in only 1.3% of the cases. Our results also show that trend estimates are similar if many observers are spatially distributed among the different sites, or if one single observer counts all sites. However, successive changes in observer identity over time lead to a clear decrease in the ability to reliably estimate a given population trend, and an increase in the number of years of monitoring required to adequately detect the trend.Minimizing temporal changes of observers improve the quality of count data and help taking appropriate management decisions and setting conservation priorities. The same occurs when increasing the number of observers spread over 100 sites. If the population surveyed is composed of few sites, then it is preferable to perform the survey by one observer. In this context, it is important to reconsider how we use estimated population trend values and potentially to scale our decisions according to the direction and duration of estimated trends, instead of setting too precise threshold values before action.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ece3.7191DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7920765PMC
March 2021

Effects of research disturbance on nest survival in a mixed colony of waterbirds.

PeerJ 2019 11;7:e7844. Epub 2019 Oct 11.

Tour du Valat, Research Institute for Conservation of Mediterranean Wetlands, Arles, France.

Background: Long-term research is crucial for the conservation and development of knowledge in ecology; however, it is essential to quantify and minimize any negative effects associated with research to gather reliable and representative long-term monitoring data. In colonial bird species, chicks are often marked with coded bands in order to assess demographic parameters of the population. Banding chicks in multi-species colonies is challenging because it involves disturbances to species that are at different stages of progress in their reproduction.

Methods: We took advantage of a long term banding program launched on Glossy Ibis () breeding in a major mixed colony of herons in Camargue, southern France, to assess the effect of banding operation disturbance on the reproductive success of the three most numerous waterbirds species in the colony. Over two breeding seasons (2015 and 2016), 336 nests of Glossy Ibis, Little Egrets () and Cattle Egrets () were monitored from a floating blind in two zones of the colony: one zone disturbed twice a year by the banding activities and another not disturbed (control zone). We applied a logistic-exposure analysis method to estimate the daily survival rate (DSR) of nests and chicks aged up to three weeks.

Results: Daily survival rate of Glossy Ibis was reduced in the disturbed zone while DSR increased for Little and Cattle Egrets in the disturbed zone. Nevertheless, DSR was not reduced on the week following the banding, thus discarding a direct effect of handling on breeding success of Glossy Ibis. The protocol and statistical analysis presented here are robust and can be applied to any bird species to test for the effect of a research disturbance or other short and repeated temporal events that may affect reproductive success over one or more breeding seasons.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.7717/peerj.7844DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6791343PMC
October 2019

Pacific Decadal and El Niño oscillations shape survival of a seabird.

Ecology 2018 05;99(5):1063-1072

Department of Biology, Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, North Carolina, 27109, USA.

Understanding and modeling population change is urgently needed to predict effects of climate change on biodiversity. High trophic-level organisms are influenced by fluctuations of prey quality and abundance, which themselves may depend on climate oscillations. Modeling effects of such fluctuations is challenging because prey populations may vary with multiple climate oscillations occurring at different time scales. The analysis of a 28-yr time series of capture-recapture data of a tropical seabird, the Nazca Booby (Sula granti), in the Galápagos, Ecuador, allowed us to test for demographic effects of two major ocean oscillations occurring at distinct time-scales: the inter-annual El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and inter-decadal oscillations. As expected for a tropical seabird, survival of fledgling birds was highly affected by extreme ENSO events; by contrast, neither recruitment nor breeding participation were affected by either ENSO or decadal oscillations. More interesting, adult survival, a demographic trait that canalizes response to environmental variations, was unaffected by inter-annual ENSO oscillations yet was shaped by the Pacific Decadal Oscillation and small pelagic fish regime. Adult survival decreased during oceanic conditions associated with higher breeding success, an association probably mediated in this species by costs of reproduction that reduce survival when breeding attempts end later. To our knowledge, this is the first study suggesting that survival of a vertebrate can be vulnerable to a natural multidecadal oscillation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ecy.2179DOI Listing
May 2018

High influenza a virus infection rates in Mallards bred for hunting in the Camargue, South of France.

PLoS One 2012 27;7(8):e43974. Epub 2012 Aug 27.

Centre de Recherche de Tour du Valat, Arles, France.

During the last decade, the role of wildlife in emerging pathogen transmission to domestic animals has often been pointed out. Conversely, far less attention has been paid to pathogen transmission from domestic animals to wildlife. Here, we focus on the case of game restocking, which implies the release of millions of animals worldwide each year. We conducted a 2-year study in the Camargue (Southern France) to investigate the influence of hand-reared Mallard releases on avian influenza virus dynamics in surrounding wildlife. We sampled Mallards (cloacal swabs) from several game duck facilities in 2009 and 2010 before their release. A very high (99%) infection rate caused by an H10N7 strain was detected in the game bird facility we sampled in 2009. We did not detect this strain in shot ducks we sampled, neither during the 2008/2009 nor the 2009/2010 hunting seasons. In 2010 infection rates ranged from 0 to 24% in hand-reared ducks. The 2009 H10N7 strain was fully sequenced. It results from multiple reassortment events between Eurasian low pathogenic strains. Interestingly, H10N7 strains had previously caused human infections in Egypt and Australia. The H10 and N7 segments we sequenced were clearly distinct from the Australian ones but they belonged to the same large cluster as the Egyptian ones. We did not observe any mutation linked to increased virulence, transmission to mammals, or antiviral resistance in the H10N7 strain we identified. Our results indicate that the potential role of hand-reared Mallards in influenza virus epizootics must be taken into account given the likely risk of viral exchange between game bird facilities and wild habitats, owing to duck rearing conditions. Measures implemented to limit transmission from wildlife to domestic animals as well as measures to control transmission from domestic animals to wild ones need to be equally reinforced.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0043974PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3428329PMC
February 2013

Wintering French mallard and teal are heavier and in better body condition than 30 years ago: effects of a changing environment?

Ambio 2010 Mar;39(2):170-80

French Hunting and Wildlife Service.

Animal populations are exposed to large-scale anthropogenic impact from, e.g., climate change, habitat alteration and supplemental stocking. All of these may affect body condition in wintering dabbling ducks, which in turn may affect an individual's survival and reproductive success. The aim of this study was to assess whether there have been morphometric changes in Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) and Teal (Anas crecca) over the last 30 years at a major wintering site. Body mass and condition increased from the 1950s-1960s to the 2000s in both species. The increase in body mass amounted to as much as 11.7%, with no corresponding change in body size. Improved body condition was maintained from early to mid-winter, but then converged with historical values for late winter. Our interpretation is that increasingly benign ambient winter conditions permit ducks to maintain better energetic "safety margins" throughout winter, and that converging spring departure values may be related to evolutionary flight energetic optima. The observed changes are consistent with large-scale climate amelioration and local/regional habitat improvement (both anthropogenic).
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http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3357686PMC
http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s13280-010-0020-9DOI Listing
March 2010
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