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Title: Migratory stopover timing is predicted by breeding latitude, not habitat quality, in a long-distance migratory songbird

Abstract

The timing of migration can have important survival impacts, as birds must synchronize their movements with favourable environmental conditions to reach their destination. The timing of arrival at and duration of migratory stopover may be largely governed by environmental conditions experienced en route as well as by endogenous factors, but our understanding of these processes is limited. We used light-level geolocators to collect start-to-finish spatio-temporal migration data for a declining aerial insectivore, the Purple Martin ( Progne subis), that travels seasonally between North and South America. Using data obtained for birds originating from range-wide breeding populations, our objectives were to test intrinsic and extrinsic hypotheses for migration stopover duration as well as to identify important stopover regions during fall migration. We examined whether breeding latitude, fall migration timing, age, sex or habitat quality at stopover sites (measured using Normalized Difference Vegetation Index) influenced the duration of stopovers. We found that most individuals rely on the eastern coast of the Yucatan Peninsula, Honduras, and Nicaragua for stopovers during fall migration, where duration ranged from 1 to 36 days (average 6.8 ± 8.2). Stopovers in these regions were later and of longer duration for more northern breeding populations. Only breeding latitude predictedmore » stopover duration, and not habitat quality at stopovers, lending support to the hypothesis that duration is prescribed by endogenous factors. Lastly, the important core stopover regions we documented could be targeted for conservation efforts, particularly for steeply-declining, more northern breeding populations that have greater stopover duration in these areas.« less

Authors:
 [1];  [2];  [3];  [3];  [3];  [3];  [4];  [5];  [6];  [7];  [1]
  1. Univ. of Manitoba, Winnipeg (Canada)
  2. Consolidated Nuclear Security, LLC, Amarillo, TX (United States)
  3. Disney's Animals Science and Environment, Lake Buena Vista, FL (United States)
  4. Ellis Bird Farm, Lacombe (Canada)
  5. Univ. of Alberta, Camrose (Canada)
  6. Woodbridge (United States)
  7. Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe, Onamia, MN (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Pantex Plant (PTX), Amarillo, TX (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
1410338
Report Number(s):
PX-2209
Journal ID: ISSN 2193-7192
Grant/Contract Number:
NA0001942
Resource Type:
Journal Article: Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Journal of Ornithology
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 158; Journal Issue: 3; Journal ID: ISSN 2193-7192
Publisher:
Journal of Ornithology
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; migration phenology; migration behavior; aerial insectivore; direct tracking; geolocator

Citation Formats

Loon, A. Van, Ray, J. D., Savage, A., Mejeur, J., Moscar, L., Pearson, M., Pearman, M., Hvenegaard, G. T., Mickle, N., Applegate, K., and Fraser, Kevin C.. Migratory stopover timing is predicted by breeding latitude, not habitat quality, in a long-distance migratory songbird. United States: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.1007/s10336-017-1435-x.
Loon, A. Van, Ray, J. D., Savage, A., Mejeur, J., Moscar, L., Pearson, M., Pearman, M., Hvenegaard, G. T., Mickle, N., Applegate, K., & Fraser, Kevin C.. Migratory stopover timing is predicted by breeding latitude, not habitat quality, in a long-distance migratory songbird. United States. doi:10.1007/s10336-017-1435-x.
Loon, A. Van, Ray, J. D., Savage, A., Mejeur, J., Moscar, L., Pearson, M., Pearman, M., Hvenegaard, G. T., Mickle, N., Applegate, K., and Fraser, Kevin C.. Mon . "Migratory stopover timing is predicted by breeding latitude, not habitat quality, in a long-distance migratory songbird". United States. doi:10.1007/s10336-017-1435-x. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1410338.
@article{osti_1410338,
title = {Migratory stopover timing is predicted by breeding latitude, not habitat quality, in a long-distance migratory songbird},
author = {Loon, A. Van and Ray, J. D. and Savage, A. and Mejeur, J. and Moscar, L. and Pearson, M. and Pearman, M. and Hvenegaard, G. T. and Mickle, N. and Applegate, K. and Fraser, Kevin C.},
abstractNote = {The timing of migration can have important survival impacts, as birds must synchronize their movements with favourable environmental conditions to reach their destination. The timing of arrival at and duration of migratory stopover may be largely governed by environmental conditions experienced en route as well as by endogenous factors, but our understanding of these processes is limited. We used light-level geolocators to collect start-to-finish spatio-temporal migration data for a declining aerial insectivore, the Purple Martin (Progne subis), that travels seasonally between North and South America. Using data obtained for birds originating from range-wide breeding populations, our objectives were to test intrinsic and extrinsic hypotheses for migration stopover duration as well as to identify important stopover regions during fall migration. We examined whether breeding latitude, fall migration timing, age, sex or habitat quality at stopover sites (measured using Normalized Difference Vegetation Index) influenced the duration of stopovers. We found that most individuals rely on the eastern coast of the Yucatan Peninsula, Honduras, and Nicaragua for stopovers during fall migration, where duration ranged from 1 to 36 days (average 6.8 ± 8.2). Stopovers in these regions were later and of longer duration for more northern breeding populations. Only breeding latitude predicted stopover duration, and not habitat quality at stopovers, lending support to the hypothesis that duration is prescribed by endogenous factors. Lastly, the important core stopover regions we documented could be targeted for conservation efforts, particularly for steeply-declining, more northern breeding populations that have greater stopover duration in these areas.},
doi = {10.1007/s10336-017-1435-x},
journal = {Journal of Ornithology},
number = 3,
volume = 158,
place = {United States},
year = {Mon Feb 06 00:00:00 EST 2017},
month = {Mon Feb 06 00:00:00 EST 2017}
}

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  • Migratory aerial insectivores are among the fastest declining avian group, but our understanding of these trends has been limited by poor knowledge of migratory connectivity and the identification of critical habitat across the vast distances they travel annually. Using new, archival GPS loggers, we tracked individual purple martins ( Progne subis) from breeding colonies across North America to determine precise (<10m) locations of migratory and overwintering roost locations in South America and to test hypotheses for fine-scale migratory connectivity and habitat use. We discovered weak migratory connectivity at the roost scale, and extensive, fine-scale mixing of birds in the Amazonmore » from distant (>2000 km) breeding sites, with some individuals sharing the same roosting trees. Despite vast tracts of contiguous forest in this region, birds occupied a much more limited habitat, with most (56%) roosts occurring on small habitat islands that were strongly associated with water. Only 17% of these roosts were in current protected areas. As a result, these data reflect a critical advance in our ability to remotely determine precise migratory connectivity and habitat selection across vast spatial scales, enhancing our understanding of population dynamics and enabling more effective conservation of species at risk.« less
  • In general, diadromous (and particularly amphidromous and catadromous) freshwater fishes decline in frequency of occurrence, change age/size structure, and probability also decline in abundance with increasing elevation and distance upstream from the sea. In freshwater fish faunas with a high proportion of migratory species, as in New Zealand, these changes in occurrence and abundance result in a breakdown of the relationship between fish abundance and habitat quality, making application of the index of biotic integrity (IBI) as a measure of habitat quality problematical since the index depends on the relationship between population metrics and habitat quality. An alternative approach applicablemore » to assessing temporal changes in habitat quality and that uses a large database on fish distributions, involves analysis of the distribution of species across their natural distributions. In this paper, the authors generate curves of occurrence of species across ranges of altitude and distance inland and show, through comparisons of data subsets, that the curves are consistent estimators of species' occurrence and therefore useful as indicators of habitat quality.« less
  • Past nuclear activities at SRS have resulted in low level contamination in various wetlands. The wetlands and reservoirs serve a major wintering ground for migratory waterfowl. American coots have the highest level of cesium accumulation among the birds. The concentration has decreased exponentially with a four year half-life. The current levels pose no threat to human consumption.