Migratory species


For centuries humanity has marveled at the movements of animals in the natural world. The grand migrations of mammals, insects, reptiles and birds is maybe the most irrefutable evidence for the incredible capacity of these organisms, some of them tiny, to adapt to different conditions at a continental and global scale.

SELVA’s research into migratory species is focused on generating information that provides the basis for proposing and leading strategies that guarantee the conservation of migratory species in the Neotropics. We seek to initiate and promote research initiatives focused on all migratory species but with a special focus on Neotropical migratory birds, and to unite efforts at the international level, given that these species know no political borders and require coordinated actions at an international scale to ensure their protection.

Currently, SELVA’s Migratory Species research area is developing the following research programs:

Neotropical Migratory Bird Program


Neotropical migratory birds are an important component of North American as well as Neotropical avifauna, where they can represent up to 50% of the species present. Being so numerous, they play crucial roles in the functionality of many ecosystems that depend on the environmental services they provide such as seed dispersal, pollination and insect control. Not only do they provide important services at the continental level, but they serve as sentinels of environmental change. No other terrestrial group uses a wider range of ecosystems or covers a larger geographical range. This is why fluctuations in migratory bird populations can be used as indicators of global change.

Many species of Neotropical migrants have shown persistent population declines over the last 40 years. To reverse these declines, we must first understand all aspects of their complex life cycles.

SELVA’s research program on Neotropical migratory birds aims to provide information about this group of organisms to guarantee their conservation, with a special focus on their ecology in the Neotropics.

PROJECTS within the Neotropical Migratory Bird program:

  1. Crossing the Caribbean
  2. Neotropical Migratory Birds in North-East Belize
  3. Bird rings/bands  aselva.co

The Manager of SELVA’s Migratory Species research area is Dr. Nicholas Bayly.