1932

Abstract

Hummingbirds share biologically distinctive traits: sustained hovering flight, the smallest bird body size, and high metabolic rates fueled partially by nectar feeding that provides pollination to plant species. Being insectivorous and sometimes serving as prey to larger birds, they fulfill additional important ecological roles. Hummingbird species evolved and radiated into nearly every habitat in the Americas, with a core of species diversity in South America. Population declines of some of their species are increasing their risk of extinction. Threats to population health and genetic diversity are just beginning to be identified, including diseases and hazards caused by humans. We review the disciplines of population health, disease ecology, and genomics as they relate to hummingbirds. We appraise knowledge gaps, causes of morbidity and mortality including disease, and threats to population viability. Finally, we highlight areas of research need and provide ideas for future studies aimed at facilitating hummingbird conservation.

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2024-02-15
2024-04-13
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