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Migration of the Little Ringed Plover Charadrius dubius breeding in South Sweden tracked by geolocators

Author:
  • Anders Hedenström
  • Raymond Klaassen
  • Susanne Åkesson
Publishing year: 2013
Language: English
Pages: 466-474
Publication/Series: Bird Study
Volume: 60
Issue: 4
Document type: Journal article
Publisher: British Trust for Ornithology

Abstract english

Capsule Little Ringed Plovers breeding in South Sweden migrate towards the southeast in the autumn, via the Middle East, to winter in Saharan and sub-Saharan locations or in India, while the spring migration is more directly towards the north.Aims To study the migration routes and wintering area of Little Ringed Plovers (Charadrius dubius) breeding in South Sweden, and to investigate the migration strategy and speed for this little studied shorebird.Methods We use light-level geolocators to track the year-round movements of Little Ringed Plovers breeding in South Sweden.Results Autumn migration proceeded towards the southeast, in three birds via lengthy stopovers in the Middle East, followed by movements towards the west and southwest to final winter destinations in Africa, while one male made a long stopover in northwestern Iran before migrating to India. The birds wintering in Africa probably stayed at freshwater locations in the Sahara or just south or north of the Sahara. Spring migration was more directly back to the breeding area. Overall migration speeds were similar during autumn and spring migration at about 189 and 209km/day, respectively. The migration was carried out mainly as many short flights between stopovers. In particular, autumn migration was longer than the direct distance between breeding and wintering sites.Conclusions This study shows that the geolocator method can successfully be used with relatively small (40g) shorebirds. We found that a local population of Little Ringed Plover may have widely differing wintering sites (low connectivity), from sub-Saharan Africa to the Indian subcontinent. The migration strategy of the Little Ringed Plover, with multiple short flights, deviates from that of many other long-distance migrating shorebirds that, instead, make one or a few long flights.

Keywords

  • Biological Sciences

Other

Published
  • ISSN: 0006-3657
Susanne Åkesson
E-mail: susanne [dot] akesson [at] biol [dot] lu [dot] se

Professor

Evolutionary ecology

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