Breeding range shift of the red-crowned crane (Grus japonensis) under climate change.
ABSTRACT: The red-crowned crane (Grus japonensis) is an endangered species listed by International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) HARRIS J (2013). The largest population of this species is distributed mainly in China and Russia, which is called continental population SU L (2012)-Curt D (1996). This population is migratory, which migrates from its breeding range located in Northeast China and Southern Russia, to the wintering range in the south of China to spend the winter every year. The breeding range of this species is critical for red-crowned crane to survive and maintain its population. Previous studies showed the negative effects of habitat loss and degradation on the breeding area of red-crowned crane Ma Z (1998), Claire M (2019). Climate change may also threat the survival of this endangered species. Previous studies investigated the impacts of climate change on the breeding range or wintering range in China Wu (2012), . However, no study was conducted to assess the potential impacts of climate change on the whole breeding range of this species. Here, we used bioclimatic niche modeling to predict the potential breeding range of red-crowned crane under current climate conditions and project onto future climate change scenarios. Our results show that the breeding range of the continental population of red-crowned crane will shift northward over this century and lose almost all of its current actual breeding range. The climate change will also change the country owning the largest portion of breeding range from China to Russia, suggesting that Russia should take more responsibility to preserve this endangered species in the future.
Project description:The red-crowned crane (Grus japonensis) is an endangered, large-bodied crane native to East Asia. It is a traditional symbol of longevity and its long lifespan has been confirmed both in captivity and in the wild. Lifespan in birds is known to be positively correlated with body size and negatively correlated with metabolic rate, though the genetic mechanisms for the red-crowned crane's long lifespan have not previously been investigated. Using whole genome sequencing and comparative evolutionary analyses against the grey-crowned crane and other avian genomes, including the long-lived common ostrich, we identified redcrowned crane candidate genes with known associations with longevity. Among these are positively selected genes in metabolism and immunity pathways (NDUFA5, NDUFA8, NUDT12, SOD3, CTH , RPA1, PHAX, HNMT , HS2ST1 , PPCDC , PSTK CD8B, GP9, IL-9R, and PTPRC). Our analyses provide genetic evidence for low metabolic rate and longevity, accompanied by possible convergent adaptation signatures among distantly related large and long-lived birds. Finally, we identified low genetic diversity in the red-crowned crane, consistent with its listing as an endangered species, and this genome should provide a useful genetic resource for future conservation studies of this rare and iconic species.
Project description:The Endangered Red-crowned Crane (Grus japonensis) is one of the most culturally iconic and sought-after species by wildlife tourists. Here we investigate how the presence of tourists influence the vigilance behaviour of cranes foraging in Suaeda salsa salt marshes and S. salsa/Phragmites australis mosaic habitat in the Yellow River Delta, China. We found that both the frequency and duration of crane vigilance significantly increased in the presence of wildlife tourists. Increased frequency in crane vigilance only occurred in the much taller S. salsa/P. australis mosaic vegetation whereas the duration of vigilance showed no significant difference between the two habitats. Crane vigilance declined with increasing distance from wildlife tourists in the two habitats, with a minimum distance of disturbance triggering a high degree of vigilance by cranes identified at 300?m. The presence of wildlife tourists may represent a form of disturbance to foraging cranes but is habitat dependent. Taller P. australis vegetation serves primarily as a visual obstruction for cranes, causing them to increase the frequency of vigilance behaviour. Our findings have important implications for the conservation of the migratory red-crowned crane population that winters in the Yellow River Delta and can help inform visitor management.
Project description:Identifying climatic drivers of an animal population's vital rates and locating where they operate steers conservation efforts to optimize species recovery. The population growth of endangered whooping cranes (Grus americana) hinges on juvenile recruitment. Therefore, we identify climatic drivers (solar activity [sunspots] and weather) of whooping crane recruitment throughout the species' life cycle (breeding, migration, wintering). Our method uses a repeated cross-validated absolute shrinkage and selection operator approach to identify drivers of recruitment. We model effects of climate change on those drivers to predict whooping crane population growth given alternative scenarios of climate change and solar activity. Years with fewer sunspots indicated greater recruitment. Increased precipitation during autumn migration signified less recruitment. On the breeding grounds, fewer days below freezing during winter and more precipitation during breeding suggested less recruitment. We predicted whooping crane recruitment and population growth may fall below long-term averages during all solar cycles when atmospheric CO2 concentration increases, as expected, to 500 ppm by 2050. Species recovery during a typical solar cycle with 500 ppm may require eight times longer than conditions without climate change and the chance of population decline increases to 31%. Although this whooping crane population is growing and may appear secure, long-term threats imposed by climate change and increased solar activity may jeopardize its persistence. Weather on the breeding grounds likely affects recruitment through hydrological processes and predation risk, whereas precipitation during autumn migration may influence juvenile mortality. Mitigating threats or abating climate change should occur within ≈30 years or this wild population of whooping cranes may begin declining.
Project description:BACKGROUND:South Korea conducts annual national surveillance programs to detect avian influenza (AI) in domestic poultry, live bird markets, and wild birds. In March 2017, an AIV was isolated from fecal samples in an outdoor aviary flight cage in a zoo in Korea. RESULTS:Nucleotide sequencing identified the isolate as low pathogenic avian influenza virus (LPAIV) H7N7, and DNA barcoding analysis identified the host species as red-crowned crane. This isolate was designated A/red-crowned crane/Korea/H1026/2017 (H7N7). Genetic analysis and gene constellation analysis revealed that A/red-crowned crane/Korea/H1026/2017 (H7N7) showed high similarity with four H7N7 LPAIVs isolated from wild bird habitats in Seoul and Gyeonggi in early 2017. CONCLUSIONS:Considering the genetic similarity and similar collection dates of the viruses, and the fact that zoo bird cages are vulnerable to AIV, it is likely that fecal contamination from wild birds might have introduced LPAIV H7N7 into the red-crowned crane at the zoo. Therefore, our results emphasize that enhanced biosecurity measures should be employed during the wild bird migration season, and that continued surveillance should be undertaken to prevent potential threats to avian species in zoos and to humans.
Project description:In this study, the complete mitogenome sequence of red-crowned crane (<i>G. japonensis</i>) has been decoded by next-generation sequencing and genome assembly. The assembled mitogenome, consisting of 16,727?bp, has unique 14 protein-coding genes (PCGs), 22 transfer RNAs, and two ribosomal RNAs genes. The complete mitogenome provides essential and important DNA molecular data for further phylogenetic and evolutionary analysis for red-crowned crane phylogeny.
Project description:For migratory birds that specialize on particular benthic macroinvertebrate species, the timing of migration is critical since prey availability may be temporally limited and a function of local ambient temperature. Hence, variation in local ambient temperature can influence the diet composition of migrant birds, and, consequently, they may be constrained by which stopover and wintering sites they are able to utilize during periods of colder temperatures. Here, we use fecal analysis, observer-based population counts, digital video recordings, and temperature data to test five predictions regarding the influence of local ambient temperature on the activity and availability of mudflat crabs-a key prey resource at three staging/wintering sites in eastern China, for migratory Red-crowned cranes (Grus japonensis) and how this subsequently influences crane diet and use of wetland sites. Pearson's correlations and generalized linear models revealed that mudflat crabs became significantly more surface active with increasing burrow ambient temperature. Piecewise regression analysis revealed that crab surface activity was largely limited to a burrow ambient temperature threshold between 12 and 13? after which activity significantly increased. Crab activity declining temporally during the crane's autumn migration period but increased during spring migration. Crabs accounted for a significant proportion of crane diet at two of three sites; however, the frequency of crab remains was significantly different between sites, and between autumn and spring migration. Analyses of crane count data revealed a degree of congruence between the migration timing of Red-crowned cranes with periods of warmer ambient temperature, and a significant, positive correlation between the percentage of crab remains in crane feces and site ambient temperature. Collectively, our data suggest that temperature-related mudflat crab activity may provide an important time window for migratory Red-crowned cranes to utilize critical stopover sites and the crabs' food resources.
Project description:The red-crowned crane is one of the rarest crane species, and its population is decreasing due to loss of habitat, poisoning, and infections. Using a viral metagenomics approach, we analyzed the virome of feces from wild and captive red-crowned cranes, which were pooled separately. Vertebrate viruses belonging to the families Picornaviridae, Parvoviridae, Circoviridae, and Caliciviridae were detected. Among the members of the family Picornaviridae, we found three that appear to represent new genera. Six nearly complete genomes from members of the family Parvoviridae were also obtained, including four new members of the proposed genus "Chapparvovirus", and two members of the genus Aveparvovirus. Six small circular DNA genomes were also characterized. One nearly complete genome showing a low level of sequence identity to caliciviruses was also characterized. Numerous viruses believed to infect insects, plants, and crustaceans were also identified, which were probably derived from the diet of red-crowned cranes. This study increases our understanding of the enteric virome of red-crowned cranes and provides a baseline for comparison to those of other birds or following disease outbreaks.
Project description:Reed beds represent an important habitat for the survival of birds by providing favorable foraging and reproduction conditions. Reed management, as a traditional agricultural activity, primarily includes water level control and vegetation removal by cutting. Red-crowned crane (Grus japonensis) is one of the most endangered cranes, and their population continues to decline due to habitat loss caused by artificial activities. A lack of research relating to how reed management affects crane habitat distribution patterns throughout the wintering period hinders our ability to offer conservation recommendations. In the present study, we explored the effect of reed management on the habitat distribution patterns and analyzed the food resources of red-crowned crane in the Yancheng National Nature Reserve (YNNR). According to the reed management activities in December, we divided the wintering period into two phases: the preharvest period and the postharvest period. Throughout the wintering period, the number of cranes recorded in the common seepweed (Suaeda glauca) tidal flats remained stable, but cranes were rarely recorded in the smooth cordgrass (Spartina alterniflora) tidal flats and aquaculture fish ponds. The number of cranes, however, showed a noticeable fluctuation in the reed beds during the two periods. Before the reed harvest, only a small proportion of cranes were recorded in the reed beds (relative abundance = 2.9%). However, more cranes (relative abundance = 61.0%) were recorded after the reed harvest. Water was introduced from adjacent rivers and fish ponds to submerge the cut reed beds. Changes in potential animal food resources (items and biomass) might be one of the vital reasons for the preference of cranes to the postharvest reed beds. Our results suggest that traditional reed management in the YNNR could benefit this flagship crane species that winters in the wetland system. However, as reed harvest has been forbidden in the core zone for conservation purposes since 2016, further research is needed to verify whether forbidding the harvest of reeds is reasonable.
Project description:The black-necked crane (Grus nigricollis) is the only alpine crane species and is endemic to the Tibetan Plateau. The breeding habitats of this species are poorly understood, which greatly hampers practical research and conservation work. Using machine learning methods and the best-available data from our 7,000-kilometer mega-transect survey and open access data, we built the first species distribution model (SDM) to analyze the black-necked crane's breeding habitats. Our model showed that current conservation gaps account for 26.7% of its predicted breeding habitats. Specifically, the northern parts of the Hengduan Mountains and the southeastern Tibet Valley, the northern side of the middle Kunlun Mountains, parts of the Pamir Plateau, the northern Pakistan Highlands and the western Hindu Kush should be considered as its main potential breeding areas. Additionally, our model suggested that the crane prefers to breed in alpine meadows at an elevation over 2,800?m, a maximum temperature of the warmest month below 20.5?°C, and a temperature seasonality above 7,800 units. The identified conservation gaps and potential breeding areas can aid in clearly prioritizing future conservation and research, but more attention and study should be directed to the unassessed Western Development of China to secure this endangered crane lineage and other wildlife on the Tibetan Plateau.
Project description:Aim:Historically, the distribution of Sandhill Cranes included much of North America and extending in summer into northeast Russia. In recent years, observations of sandhill cranes in Asia during the non-breeding period have been frequently reported. However, the distribution and abundance of sandhill cranes during the non-breeding period in Asia have rarely been summarized and studied. Our study aimed to analyze the status of sandhill cranes that have spread south into East Asia during the non-breeding period and to assess the possible impacts of their potential spread. Methods:Based on opportunistic data collected in the field and occurrence data collected online over the past half century, we used Geographic Information System to visualize the spatial distribution changes and regression analysis to analyze and visualize the changes in the amount of individuals over time. Results:In the last 50 years, the distribution of sandhill cranes during the non-breeding season in Asia spanned 31 degrees in longitude to the west and 15 degrees in latitude to the south. Their distribution in Asia has expanded to 17 provinces and municipalities in China, Japan and South Korea. The amount of cranes in the non-breeding period in Asia increased significantly from 1963 to 2017. According to the historical records in East Asia, sandhill cranes were mixed with five other species of crane groups. Main conclusions:These results indicate that the range and amount of sandhill cranes have expanded. Sandhill cranes were mixed with five other crane species, which indicate their adaptability to a range of habitat types and food resources. The implications of these trends in sandhill cranes in East Asia for this and other crane species warrants further research.