African and Asian Houbara Bustards in the face of global change

In collaboration with Anne-Christine Monnet, Frédéric Jiguet and Yves Hingrat


Migratory species, including long-distance migrants, meet additional complications in the face of global change. The breeding and wintering may indeed not be exposed in the same way to global changes: changes can be of different types and direction.

We studied the cases of population reinforcement at large scale of two endangered bustard species, the sedentary African Houbara and the migratory Asian Houbara. We modelled the current and future distributions of these species at the horizon 2070 under two socio-economic scenarios using a multi-modelling approach.

Projections of the future distribution of the African and Asian Houbaras highlighted potential conservation conflicts between predicted range shifts and human development. They raise potential concerns for translocation programs when selecting adequate release sites to initiate populations that would thrive under future environmental conditions. To address the trade-off between current and future suitability, experimental releases could be further performed through long-term monitoring of tagged birds.

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