pacific island birds DB

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The Pacific Island Birds Database includes species occurrence data for all known land birds from 48 Pacific islands, incorporating both fossil and modern data. Only islands with at least 10 fossil specimens were included in the dataset, as a lower-bound on fossil sampling effort. The data set spanned the tropical Pacific including Melanesia (10 islands), Western Polynesia (14 islands), Eastern Polynesia (9 islands), the Marianas (5 islands), New Zealand (4 islands), and the Hawaiian Islands (6 islands).

On these islands, birds were the dominant terrestrial vertebrates due to the limited over-water dispersal abilities of non-volant mammals. We focused on the terrestrial environment, so all seabirds and shorebirds were excluded from analysis. Species lists of breeding birds for each island were primarily gathered from Worthy and Holdaway (2002) for the New Zealand region, Olson and James (1991) for the Hawaiian islands, and Steadman (2006) for other islands, but were supplemented by information from a variety of published sources (given in Boyer and Jetz, 2010, Ecography). Invasive species were excluded. The total historic and extant breeding avifauna across the study islands consists of 583 species. Physical attributes of each island, including land area (km2), maximum elevation (m), and isolation index (a composite measure incorporating distance from the nearest continent, island group, and island) were gathered from the U.N. Environment Program Islands Directory (1998). Mean annual temperature (C) and mean annual precipitation (mm) for each island were extracted from WorldClim climatic layers (Hijmans et al. 2005).

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This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 0805669. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.