Saddle-billed Stork Ephippiorhynchus senegalensis Scientific name definitions
Version: 2.0 — Published June 25, 2021
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Priorities for Future Research
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First and foremost, basic population surveys are needed from across its range to provide a better idea of its conservation status and establish a baseline with which to assess trends in subsequent surveys. There is also much information lacking on rudimentary life history, especially the breeding cycle. While environmental niche modeling has provided a starting point for understanding its ecological requirements (JG, in prep), field research on ecological interactions and habitat requirements at a smaller scale will provide more useful information for management. Currently, a telemetry study is in progress that will shed light on spatial use for the first time. However, similar studies from across the range would help address questions about population dynamics, too.
Metapopulations in West Africa should be considered a priority for research due to recent declines and ongoing threats. A study of genetic connectivity across Africa would also be a valuable first step in assessing the susceptibility of West African populations to demographic issues related to their small and rather isolated nature, especially given that it is the range periphery (JG, in prep.). Investigating population dynamics in this region is also of critical importance for understanding the future of storks in the region.