This manuscript describes a mechanistic model of bird migration based on a bio-energetic approach is designed to be used widely by bird conservation partnerships. The unique aspect of this approach is that it allows us to understand how local actions (e.g., acquisition or restoration) affect flyway or continental populations. Most non-breeding bird habitat conservation efforts are thought to influence populations by increasing over-winter survival rate, a demographic parameter that is difficult to measure in the field, but this model provides a direct measure of how conservation actions impact survival rate during migration. The output of this model can be used in a decision support tool to focus where our conservation actions (acquisition, restoration or land management decisions) for waterfowl and shorebirds should occur.
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