Rose J. Swift is a Research Ecologist with the USGS Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center in Jamestown, North Dakota.
Dr. Swift works with the federally threatened Piping Plover (Charadrius melodus) building a demographic life-cycle model to understand metapopulation dynamics of plovers breeding in the northern Great Plains. A primary focus of her work is with the Great Plains Least Tern and Piping Plover Research Team to understand population dynamics and effects of management actions on Least Terns and Piping Plovers on large-river and depressional-wetland systems.
Research Ecologist, USGS Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Education and Certifications
Ph.D. Natural Resources & Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Cornell University, 2018
M.S. Natural Resources & Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Cornell University, 2016
B.S. Wildlife, Fish and Conservation Biology, University of California, Davis, 2010
Science and Products
Implications of habitat-driven survival and dispersal on recruitment in a spatially structured piping plover population
Dynamic sensitivity to resource availability influences population responses to mismatches in a shorebird
Behavioural adjustments in the social associations of a precocial shorebird mediate the costs and benefits of grouping decisions
Experimental evaluation of predator exclosures on nest, chick, and adult survival of piping plovers
Dispersal distance is driven by habitat availability and reproductive success in Northern Great Plains piping plovers
Impacts of extreme environmental disturbances on piping plover survival are partially moderated by migratory connectivity
Spatial variation in population dynamics of northern Great Plains piping plovers
Asymmetric benefits of a heterospecific breeding association vary with habitat, conspecific abundance and breeding stage
Low renesting propensity and reproductive success make renesting unproductive for the threatened Piping Plover (Charadrius melodus)
Technical comment on “Global pattern of nest predation is disrupted by climate change in shorebirds”
Demographic responses of least terns and piping plovers to the 2011 Missouri River flood—A large-scale case study
Least tern and piping plover responses to the 2011 Missouri River flood: Nest, chick, and adult datasets
Science and Products
Implications of habitat-driven survival and dispersal on recruitment in a spatially structured piping plover populationNatal survival and dispersal have important consequences for populations through the movement of genes and individuals. Metapopulation theory predicts either balanced natal dispersal among regions or source–sink dynamics, which can dramatically change population structure. For species reliant on dynamic, early-successional habitats, availability and location of habitat will shift from year to year
Dynamic sensitivity to resource availability influences population responses to mismatches in a shorebirdClimate change has caused shifts in seasonally recurring biological events leading to the temporal decoupling of consumer-resource pairs – i.e., phenological mismatching. Although mismatches often affect individual fitness, they do not invariably scale up to affect populations, making it difficult to assess the risk they pose. Individual variation may contribute to this inconsistency, with changes
Behavioural adjustments in the social associations of a precocial shorebird mediate the costs and benefits of grouping decisionsAnimals weigh multiple costs and benefits when making grouping decisions. The cost-avoidance grouping framework proposes that group density, information quality and risk affect an individual’s preference for con or heterospecific groups. However, this assumes the cost–benefit balance of a particular grouping is constant spatiotemporally, which may not always be true. Investigating how spatiotempor
Experimental evaluation of predator exclosures on nest, chick, and adult survival of piping ploversSpecies of conservation concern often receive intensive management to improve vital rates and facilitate recovery. Piping plovers (Charadrius melodus) are federally listed in the United States and concerns over nest depredation have prompted widespread use of plover-permeable predator exclosures placed around nests (0.5–2-m radius). While effectiveness of exclosures for improving nest survival has
Dispersal distance is driven by habitat availability and reproductive success in Northern Great Plains piping ploversBackgroundDispersal is a critical life history strategy that has important conservation implications, particularly for at-risk species with active recovery efforts and migratory species. Both natal and breeding dispersal are driven by numerous selection pressures, including conspecific competition, individual characteristics, reproductive success, and spatiotemporal variation in habitat. Most stud
Impacts of extreme environmental disturbances on piping plover survival are partially moderated by migratory connectivityEffective conservation for listed migratory species requires an understanding of how drivers of population decline vary spatially and temporally, as well as knowledge of range-wide connectivity between breeding and nonbreeding areas. Environmental conditions distant from breeding areas can have lasting effects on the demography of migratory species, yet these consequences are often the least under
Spatial variation in population dynamics of northern Great Plains piping ploversMetapopulation dynamics are determined not only by within-patch birth and death processes but also by between-patch movements of individuals (emigration and immigration). To conserve and manage a species that has a metapopulation structure, defined by local populations that are distributed among patches of suitable habitat, we need to understand each of these vital rates. For the federally listed
Asymmetric benefits of a heterospecific breeding association vary with habitat, conspecific abundance and breeding stageHeterospecific breeding associations may benefit individuals by mitigating predation risk but may also create costs if they increase competition for resources or are more easily detectable by predators. Our understanding of the interactions among hetero‐ and conspecifics is often lacking in mixed species colonies. Here, we test how the presence of hetero‐ and conspecifics influence nest and chick
Low renesting propensity and reproductive success make renesting unproductive for the threatened Piping Plover (Charadrius melodus)Upon reproductive failure, many bird species make a secondary attempt at nesting (hereafter, “renesting”). Renesting may be an effective strategy to maximize current and lifetime reproductive success, but individuals face uncertainty in the probability of success because reproductive attempts initiated later in the breeding season often have reduced nest, pre-fledging, and post-fledging brood surv
Technical comment on “Global pattern of nest predation is disrupted by climate change in shorebirds”Kubelka et al. (Report, 9 November 2018, p. 680-683) claim that climate change has disrupted patterns of nest predation in shorebirds. They report that predation rates have increased since the 1950s, especially in the Arctic. We describe methodological problems with their analyses and argue that there is no solid statistical support for their claims.
Demographic responses of least terns and piping plovers to the 2011 Missouri River flood—A large-scale case studyA catastrophic flood event on the Missouri River system in 2011 led to substantial changes in abundance and distribution of unvegetated sand habitat. This river system is a major component of the breeding range for interior Least terns (Sternula antillarum; “terns”) and piping plovers (Charadrius melodus; “plovers”), both of which are Federally listed ground-nesting birds that prefer open, unveget
Least tern and piping plover responses to the 2011 Missouri River flood: Nest, chick, and adult datasetsThis data release includes nest, chick, and adult survival data that were analyzed to evaluate effects of the 2011 Missouri River flood on endangered least terns and threatened piping plovers.