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Consensus weightings of evidence for inferring breeding success in broad-scale bird studies

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Abstract

Abstract  Ideally, one seeks to assess landscapes for their capacity to sustain viable populations of all local species. This applies to much-affected landscapes and also to restored landscapes. In most circumstances, it is prohibitive to conduct full demographic and dispersal studies of many species of birds (or other taxa) at many sites, which typifies many conservation problems. Here I report upon outcomes of elicitations of views of expert ornithologists on how they would weight a range of breeding behaviours and evidence for success of breeding in remnants or replanted sites. Such consensus results potentially could be used by workers to assess how alternative conservation and management actions affect breeding success. While the data are tailored specifically to Australian woodland birds, the method can be adapted easily for other taxa and habitats. I also summarize some of the experts' main caveats on weightings.

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