Breeding Areas (breeding + area)

Distribution by Scientific Domains
Distribution within Life Sciences

Selected Abstracts

Non-breeding behaviour of Magenta Petrels Pterodroma magentae at Chatham Island, New Zealand

IBIS, Issue 4 2005
Magenta Petrels Pterodroma magentae were caught at light-attraction stations on southwest Chatham Island, New Zealand, and most were fitted with transmitters. Of 52 captured since 1993, 71% were males, and all 36 tracked adequately proved to be non-breeders in the breeding season of capture. Our data indicated no sex bias in their probability of being captured at lights. Males provided 86% of trackings, and 87% of trackings of birds flying over the breeding area were males. Males landed 118 times; females 13 times. Only males were found on the ground, by night and day, apparently unassociated with burrows (three with and ten without transmitters), but subsequently digging burrows (n = 8). Of 19 birds banded as fledglings up to 2000, males were first recaptured nearing 4 years old (at lights and on the ground) and a female nearing 6 years old (in burrow). Among 37 fledglings, the sex ratio was even. Nine tracked males occupied burrows, as did two females, but the latter were older recaptures (10+ and 25+ years old). It appears that only males claimed existing, or dug new, burrows. They then attracted a mate to the burrow by means unknown, but from among females frequenting an inshore courtship area near the colony, or occasionally flying over the colony, at night. Females established in burrows, but then losing their mate, were able to re-mate there, by calling from near the burrow or by attracting a mate in flight or from the postulated inshore courtship area. Both sexes sometimes took years to pair or re-mate, possibly reflecting the dearth of available mates. [source]

Non-random distribution of ring recoveries from trans-Saharan migrants indicates species-specific stopover areas

Thord Fransson
Many long-distance migrant birds regularly have to pass ecological barriers, like the Saharan desert, where fuelling is very difficult, and large fuel loads have to be stored in advance. In this paper, we have investigated how seven species of birds are distributed in autumn close to the Saharan desert in the eastern Mediterranean area by using ring recoveries from northern Europe. The result clearly shows that the species included are not randomly distributed at this point, about 3,000 km from the breeding area. Birds from rather large breeding areas were shown to converge in confined areas, which in several cases completely differ between species. This means that birds of the same species have to follow different migratory directions depending on the location of their starting point. The observed pattern support earlier findings indicating that birds, in combination with a clock-and-compass orientation procedure, must use some external cues in order to find confined species-specific areas. The possibility for birds to use information from the Earth's magnetic field as an external cue in this area is discussed. [source]

Abundance of Snowy and Wilson's Plovers in the lower Laguna Madre region of Texas

Sharyn L. Hood
ABSTRACT Snowy Plovers (Charadrius alexandrinus) and Wilson's Plovers (C. wilsonia) are shorebird species of increasing conservation concern, with populations apparently declining in North America. However, estimates of current populations are needed before initiating long-term monitoring or planning. In 2004, we estimated abundance of breeding Snowy and Wilson's plovers in the lower Laguna Madre region of Texas using occupancy abundance estimation. We made repeated visits to survey plots from April to June, recording the number of adults of both species observed and the amount of suitable breeding habitat within each plot. We considered Bayesian occupancy abundance models with and without habitat covariates to explain the abundance of both species. For both Snowy and Wilson's plovers, the number of birds counted in each plot was influenced by the amount of suitable breeding habitat within the plot (Snowy Plover ,habitat= 0.52, SD = 0.10, 95% CI = 0.33,0.71; Wilson's Plover ,habitat= 0.48, SD = 0.12, 95% CI = 0.24,0.71). Using the habitat covariate models for each species, we estimated that 416 adult Snowy Plovers (95% CI = 394,438) and 279 adult Wilson's Plovers (95% CI = 262,296) were present in our study area. Our results illustrate the use of a relatively new method for abundance estimation, and indicate that the lower Laguna Madre region of Texas is an important breeding area for both Snowy and Wilson's plovers. Given the documented and suspected population declines for Snowy and Wilson's plovers, we recommend protection of their breeding habitats along the coast of Texas from development and degradation resulting from unregulated use. SINOPSIS Charadrius alexandrinus y C. wilsonia son dos especies de playeros que son objeto de preocupación porque sus poblaciones parecen estar disminuyendo en Norte América. Sin embargo, se necesitan estimados poblacionales antes de se comience con su monitoreos a largo alcance o la planificación de su conservación. En el 2004, estimamos la abundancia de ambas especies en la parte baja de la Laguna Madre en Texas utilizando estimados de abundancia. Hicimos visitas repetidas para hacer encuestas en parcelas de abril a junio, contando el número de adultos de ambas especies y la cantidad de hábitat adecuado para cada especie entre cada parcela. Consideramos un modelo de abundancia Bayesiano con y sin covariantes de hábitat para explicar la abundancia de ambas especies. Para ambas especies el número de aves contadas en cada parcela fue influenciado por la cantidad de hábitat reproductivo apropiado dentro de la parcela (C. alexandrinus,habitat= 0.52, SD = 0.10, 95% CI = 0.33 , 0.71; C. wilsonia,habitat= 0.48, SD = 0.12, 95% CI = 0.24 , 0.71). Utilizando el modelo de covarianza para cada especie, estimamos un total de 416 individuos de C. alexandrinus (95% CI = 394 , 438) y de 279 adultos de C. wilsonia (95% CI = 262 , 296) en nuestra área de estudio. Nuestros resultados ilustran el uso de un método relativamente nuevo para estimar la abundancia. Este indica que la región estudiada en Laguna Madre es de importancia para la reproducción de ambas especies. Dada la documentación y la sospecha fundamentada de la reducción en número de ambas especies, recomendamos la protección de su hábitat reproductivo, del desarrollo urbano y de la degradación resultante del uso sin regulación de la costa en Texas. [source]

Changes in productivity and contaminants in bald eagles nesting along the lower Columbia River, USA

Jeremy A. Buck
Abstract Previous studies documented poor productivity of bald eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) in the lower Columbia River (LCR), USA, and elevated p,p,-dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene (DDE), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), dioxins, and furans in eagle eggs. From 1994 to 1995, we collected partially incubated eggs at 19 of 43 occupied territories along the LCR and compared productivity and egg contaminants to values obtained in the mid-1980s. We found higher productivity at new nesting sites along the river, yet productivity at 23 older breeding territories remained low and was not different (p = 0.713) between studies. Eggshell thickness at older territories had not improved (p = 0.404), and eggshells averaged 11% thinner than shells measured before dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane use. Decreases in DDE (p = 0.022) and total PCBs (p = 0.0004) in eggs from older breeding areas occurred between study periods. Productivity was not correlated to contaminants, but DDE, PCBs, and dioxin-like chemicals exceeded estimated no-effect values. Some dioxin-like contaminants in eggs were correlated to nest location, with highest concentrations occurring toward the river's mouth where productivity was lowest. Although total productivity increased due to the success of new nesting pairs in the region, egg contaminants remain high enough to impair reproduction at older territories and, over time, may alter productivity of new pairs nesting near the river's mouth. [source]


EVOLUTION, Issue 3 2005
Dylan J. Fraser
Abstract Ecological processes clearly contribute to population divergence, yet how they interact over complex life cycles remains poorly understood. Notably, the evolutionary consequences of migration between breeding and nonbreeding areas have received limited attention. We provide evidence for a negative association between interpopulation differences in migration (between breeding and feeding areas, as well as within each) and the amount of gene flow (m) among three brook charr (Salvelinus fontinalis) populations inhabitingMistassini Lake, Quebec, Canada. Individuals (n=1166) captured throughout lake feeding areas over two consecutive sampling years were genotyped (10 microsatellites) and assigned to one of the three populations. Interpopulation differences in migration were compared based on spatial distribution overlap, habitat selection, migration distance within feeding areas, and morphology. We observed a temporally stable, heterogeneous spatial distribution within feeding areas among populations, with the extent of spatial segregation related to differential habitat selection (represented by littoral zone substrate). Spatial segregation was lowest and gene flow highest (m=0.015) between two populations breeding in separate lake inflows. Segregation was highest and gene flow was lowest (mean m=0.007) between inflow populations and a third population breeding in the outflow. Compared to outflow migrants, inflow migrants showed longer migration distances within feeding areas(64,70 km vs. 22 km). After entering natal rivers to breed, inflow migrants also migrated longer distances (35,75 km) and at greater elevations (50,150 m) to breeding areas than outflow migrants (0,15 km; ,10,0 m). Accordingly, inflow migrants were more streamlined with longer caudal regions, traits known to improve swimming efficiency. There was no association between the geographic distance separating population pairs and the amount of gene flow they exchanged. Collectively, our results are consistent with the hypothesis that reduced gene flow between these brook charr populations results from divergent natural selection leading to interpopulation differences in migration. They also illustrate how phenotypic and genetic differentiation may arise over complex migratory life cycles. [source]

Is there a connection between weather at departure sites, onset of migration and timing of soaring-bird autumn migration in Israel?

GLOBAL ECOLOGY, Issue 6 2006
Judy Shamoun-Baranes
ABSTRACT Aims, Different aspects of soaring-bird migration are influenced by weather. However, the relationship between weather and the onset of soaring-bird migration, particularly in autumn, is not clear. Although long-term migration counts are often unavailable near the breeding areas of many soaring birds in the western Palaearctic, soaring-bird migration has been systematically monitored in Israel, a region where populations from large geographical areas converge. This study tests several fundamental hypotheses regarding the onset of migration and explores the connection between weather, migration onset and arrival at a distant site. Location, Globally gridded meteorological data from the breeding areas in north-eastern Europe were used as predictive variables in relation to the arrival of soaring migrants in Israel. Methods, Inverse modelling was used to study the temporal and spatial influence of weather on initiation of migration based on autumn soaring-bird migration counts in Israel. Numerous combinations of migration duration and temporal influence of meteorological variables (temperature, sea-level pressure and precipitable water) were tested with different models for meteorological sensitivity. Results, The day of arrival in Israel of white storks, honey buzzards, Levant sparrowhawks and lesser spotted eagles was significantly and strongly related to meteorological conditions in the breeding area days or even weeks before arrival in Israel. The cumulative number of days or cumulative value above or below a meteorological threshold performed significantly better than other models tested. Models provided reliable estimates of migration duration for each species. Main conclusions, The meteorological triggers of migration at the breeding grounds differed between species and were related to deteriorating living conditions and deteriorating migratory flight conditions. Soaring birds are sensitive to meteorological triggers at the same period every year and their temporal response to weather appears to be constrained by their annual routine. [source]

Do voles make agricultural habitat attractive to Montagu's Harrier Circus pygargus?

IBIS, Issue 3 2007
Loss and degradation of habitat threatens many bird populations. Recent rural land-use changes in the Netherlands have led to a shift in habitat use by breeding Montagu's Harriers Circus pygargus. Since the 1990s, unprecedented numbers of this species have bred in farmland compared with numbers in natural habitat. Destruction of nests by agricultural operations, however, compromises breeding success. Between 1992 and 2005, the number of breeding pairs in the northeastern Netherlands was positively, though weakly, correlated with previous-year estimated abundance of voles, mostly Microtus arvalis. In good vole years, the onset of laying was earlier and mean clutch size was larger. Vole abundance was relatively higher in set-aside land and in high and dense vegetation. We suggest that agri-environmental schemes aimed at increasing the availability of voles in agricultural breeding areas may be an effective management tool for the conservation of Montagu's Harriers in the northeastern Netherlands. [source]

Pedigree analysis in the Austrian Noriker draught horse: genetic diversity and the impact of breeding for coat colour on population structure

T. Druml
Summary The pedigree of the current Austrian Noriker draught horse population comprising 2808 horses was traced back to the animals considered as founders of this breed. In total, the number of founders was 1991, the maximum pedigree length was 31 generations, with an average of 12.3 complete generations. Population structure in this autochthonous Austrian draught horse breed is defined by seven breeding regions (Carinthia, Lower Austria, Salzburg, Styria, Tyrol, Upper Austria and Vorarlberg) or through six coat colour groups (Bay, Black, Chestnut, Roan, Leopard, Tobiano). Average inbreeding coefficients within the breeding regions ranged from 4.5% to 5.5%; for the colour groups, the coefficients varied from 3.5% to 5.9%. Other measures of genetic variability like the effective number of founders, ancestors and founder genomes revealed a slightly different genetic background of the subpopulations. Average coancestries between and within breeding areas showed that the Salzburg population may be considered as the nucleus or original stock whereas all other subpopulations showed high relationship to horses from Salzburg. The target of draught horse breeding in the 21st century does not meet the breeding concept of maximizing genetic gains any more. Stabilizing selection takes place. In this study, we show that demographic factors as well as structure given by different coat colours helped to maintain genetic diversity in this endangered horse breed. [source]

Breeding latitude and timing of spring migration in songbirds crossing the Gulf of Mexico

Kathryn M. Langin
Each spring, millions of songbirds migrate across the Gulf of Mexico on their way to breeding sites in North America. Data from radar and migration monitoring stations have revealed broad patterns in the spatial and temporal course of trans-Gulf migration. Unfortunately, we have limited information on where these birds have previously spent the winter and where they are migrating to breed. Here we measure stable-hydrogen isotopes in feathers (,Df) to infer the breeding latitude of five species of songbirds , hooded warblers Wilsonia citrina, American redstarts Setophaga ruticilla, black-and-white warblers Mniotilta varia, ovenbirds Seiurus aurocapilla, and northern waterthrushes S. noveboracensis, that were captured at a stopover site along the coast of southwestern Louisiana in spring 2004. Values of ,Df across all species ranged from ,163 to ,35, (n=212), and within most species the range was consistent with the latitudinal extent of known breeding sites in central and eastern North America. Individuals that arrived first along the northern Gulf coast had ,Df values indicative of southerly breeding sites in hooded warblers, American redstarts, black-and-white warblers, and ovenbirds, but no relationship was found between passage timing and ,Df for northern waterthrushes. Our findings suggest that spring passage is often timed to coincide with the emergence of suitable conditions on breeding areas, with southern breeding birds migrating first. [source]

Intraspecific genetic analysis of the summer tanager Piranga rubra: implications for species limits and conservation

Tiffany M. Shepherd
The summer tanager Piranga rubra is a Neotropical migrant that has experienced noted declines in the southwestern United States caused by extensive habitat loss of native riparian woodlands. This species is composed of two morphologically and behaviorally distinct taxa that traditionally have been recognized as subspecies, each occupying unique habitats in the southern part of North America. Genetic analyses of intraspecific variation are important in studies of threatened or endangered species because they can indicate whether smaller management units exist below the species level and they also provide estimates of within population variability. Using a mitochondrial DNA marker, the intraspecific genetic variation of this species is explored to determine whether the morphologically and behaviorally distinct subspecies are also genetically unique. By using traditional phylogenetic methods and building haplotype networks, results from this study indicate that the subspecies represent two phylogenetic species and should be managed as separate units. In addition, the level of gene flow among geographically isolated populations of the western subspecies is explored using Nested Clade Phylogeographic Analysis and population genetic tests. These analyses show that populations are genetically diverse and that haplotypes are shared across populations. Newly colonized populations are as diverse as older populations. This suggests that as habitat degrades in traditional breeding areas of the summer tanager, if suitable habitat elsewhere becomes available for new populations, these new colonies should be genetically diverse. [source]

Climatic effects on timing of spring migration and breeding in a long-distance migrant, the pied flycatcher Ficedula hypoleuca

Christiaan Both
Climate change has advanced the breeding dates of many bird species, but for few species we know whether this advancement is sufficient to track the advancement of the underlying levels of the food chain. For the long-distance migratory pied flycatcher Ficedula hypoleuca the advancement in breeding time has been insufficient to maintain the synchrony with their main food sources. The timing of arrival in the breeding areas from their African wintering grounds is likely to constrain the advancement of breeding date. We hypothesise that this is because in Africa they cannot predict the advancement of spring in their breeding habitat. However, long-distance migrants may advance their arrival time by migrating faster when circumstances en route are favourable. In this study we show that both arrival and breeding date depend on temperatures at their main North African staging grounds, as well as on temperature at the breeding grounds. Male arrival and average laying date were not correlated, but the positive effect of temperature in North Africa on breeding dates suggests that breeding date is indeed constrained by arrival of females. Long-distance migrants thus are able to adjust arrival and hence breeding by faster spring migration, but the degree of adjustment is probably limited as timing schedules in spring are tight. Furthermore, as climate change is affecting temperatures differently along the migratory flyway and the breeding areas, it is unlikely that arrival dates are advanced at the same rate as the timing of breeding should advance, given the advancement of the underlying levels of the food chain. [source]

Non-random distribution of ring recoveries from trans-Saharan migrants indicates species-specific stopover areas

Thord Fransson
Many long-distance migrant birds regularly have to pass ecological barriers, like the Saharan desert, where fuelling is very difficult, and large fuel loads have to be stored in advance. In this paper, we have investigated how seven species of birds are distributed in autumn close to the Saharan desert in the eastern Mediterranean area by using ring recoveries from northern Europe. The result clearly shows that the species included are not randomly distributed at this point, about 3,000 km from the breeding area. Birds from rather large breeding areas were shown to converge in confined areas, which in several cases completely differ between species. This means that birds of the same species have to follow different migratory directions depending on the location of their starting point. The observed pattern support earlier findings indicating that birds, in combination with a clock-and-compass orientation procedure, must use some external cues in order to find confined species-specific areas. The possibility for birds to use information from the Earth's magnetic field as an external cue in this area is discussed. [source]

Nest-site selection by Common Black-Hawks in southwestern New Mexico

Giancarlo Sadoti
ABSTRACT Despite the interest of resource managers and conservationists in the status of Common Black-Hawk (Buteogallus anthracinus) populations in the southwestern United States, little is known about their nesting success and habitat requirements. Because such information is essential for effective population and habitat management, I examined the nesting success and nest-site selection of Common Black-Hawks in southwestern New Mexico during 2000 and 2001. Of the 37 nesting attempts in 21 territories, ,1 young fledged from 25 nests (68%). Comparison of nest-sites and nonused sites suggested that breeding Common Black-Hawks selected nest-sites in areas with a sparser and shorter subcanopy tree layer and in trees with a smaller trunk diameter and a greater minimum crown diameter. These differences appear to be related to variation in forest ages within territories, with nonused sites having fewer, but older, canopy trees than nest-sites. Sites with younger, smaller subcanopy trees may provide forest structure for more effective foraging, whereas the characteristics of younger nest tree canopies may reduce the risk of nest predation or offer more protection from inclement weather. Due to the limited range of this species in the southwestern United States, efforts to encourage the establishment and maturation of riparian forests in Common Black-Hawk breeding areas could be important in sustaining available nesting habitat and, in turn, maintaining or expanding current population levels. SINOPSIS Aunque existe interés de parte de profesionales en manejo de recursos y conservacionistas en el estatus de las poblaciones de Buteogallus anthracinus en el sudoeste de los Estados Unidos, poco se conoce sobre su éxito de anidamiento y requerimientos de hábitat. Por la razón que esta información es esencial para el éxito del manejo poblacional y del hábitat para esta especie, examiné el éxito de anidamiento y la selección del lugar de anidamiento de Buteogallus anthracinus en el sudeste del estado de Nueva México durante el 2000 y el 2001. De los 37 intentos de anidamiento en 21 territorios, ,1 de los polluelos volaron de 25 nidos (68%). Una comparación entre lugares donde se ubicaban los nidos y sitios no utilizados para anidar indica que individuos seleccionaron lugares para anidar en áreas con una menor cobertura y una menor altura del sub-dosel. Adicionalmente, los nidos fueron ubicados en árboles con un menor diámetro del tronco y con un mayor diámetro mínimo de la corona. Estas diferencias parecen ser relacionadas a la variación en la edad del bosque dentro de los territorios, con sitios no utilizados caracterizados por un número menor de árboles del dosel pero las cuales tienen una edad mayor que los árboles del dosel en los sitios donde se ubicaron los nidos. Sitios con árboles en el sub-dosel de menor edad y de menor tamaño podrían proveer la estructura del bosque necesaria para un forrajeo mas efectivo, mientras que las características de las coronas de los árboles de menor edad en la cual se encuentra el nido podrían reducir el riesgo de la depredación del nido o proveer mas protección de mal tiempo. Dado el rango limitado de esta especie en el sudeste de los Estados Unidos, los esfuerzos para animar el establecimiento y la maduración de los bosques riparios en las áreas de anidamiento de esta especie podrían ser importantes para mantener el hábitat disponible para anidar y a la vez mantener o expandir los tamaños actuales de las poblaciones. [source]

Survival in a long-lived territorial migrant: effects of life-history traits and ecological conditions in wintering and breeding areas

OIKOS, Issue 4 2009
Juan M. Grande
Despite its key role in population dynamics and evolutionary ecology, little is known about factors shaping survival in long-lived territorial species. Here, we assessed several hypotheses that might explain variability in survival in a migratory Spanish population of a long-lived territorial species, the Egyptian vulture Neophron percnopterus, using a 16-year monitoring period and live-encounter histories of 835 individually marked birds. Cormack-Jolly-Seber capture,recapture models showed no evidence for effects of sex or nestling body condition on survival. However, the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI; an indicator of primary productivity) of natal territories had positive effects on juvenile survival, indicating that environmental conditions experienced early in life can determine survival prospects. Survival increased with age (0.73±0.02 in the first 2 years to 0.78±0.03 in years 3 and 4) to later decrease when birds were five years old (0.60±0.05), the age at which they acquire the adult plumage, abandon the communal lifestyle of juveniles, and may look for a breeding territory. At older ages, survival was higher for non-breeding (0.75±0.02) and breeding adults (0.83±0.02). Among the latter, birds that recruited into better territories had higher survival prospects. Age-specific variation in survival in this species may be related to behavioural changes linked to dispersal and recruitment into the breeding population, while survival prospects of adult birds strongly depend on breeding territory selection. These results suggest a tradeoff between recruiting soon, and thus reducing mortality costs of a long and extensive dispersal period, and trying to recruit into a good quality territory. Finally, annual survival rates for birds of all age classes were positively related with the NDVI in their African wintering grounds. Although this relationship was probably mediated by food availability, further research is needed to properly identify the limiting factors that are affecting trans-Saharan migrants, especially in light of global climate change. [source]

Winter commingling of populations of migratory species can cause breeding range underpopulation

OIKOS, Issue 12 2007
Alexander M. Mills
We build a model with large-scale demographic consequences for migratory species. The model operates where four elements co-occur, and we rely on empirical research using migratory birds to demonstrate them. First, breeding ranges have internal structure flowing from natal philopatry. Second, fecundity varies geographically. Third, populations of different breeding provenances commingle during winter. And fourth, a population-limiting carrying capacity operates during winter. In the absence of breeding season population-limitation, only the breeding population with maximum fecundity persists. Consequently, some potential breeding areas that offer suitable and productive habitat are bereft of breeding birds because of the interplay between the geographical fecundity gradient and the shared winter quarters. Where breeding season population-limitation also plays a role for at least one population, one (or more) breeding population becomes permanently depressed, resulting in a density well below the carrying capacity of the productive breeding habitat that is occupied. In either case, not all populations fare equally well, despite net positive breeding season productivity. Changes in winter carrying capacity, for example habitat degradation in winter quarters, can lead to uneven effects on geographically defined breeding populations, even though there has been no change in the circumstances of the breeding range. [source]