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New insight in raptor migration

CAnMove Yannis Vardanis, Thomas Alerstam and collegues recently published a new study in Animal Behaviour, comparing repeatability for routes and timing across two migratory raptors. Their findings suggest that individuality in space and time is not a shared trait complex among migrants, but may show adaptive variation depending on the species' life history and ecology.
Female marsh herrier
Photo: Raymond Klaassen

As the evolutionary responses to environmental change depend on selection acting on individual differences, disentangling within- and between-individual variation becomes imperative. In animal migration research, multiyear tracks are thus needed to estimate the individual consistency of phenotypic traits. Avian telemetry studies have recently provided the first evidence of individuality across space and time in animal migration.

In this study, Vardanis et al. compare repeatability patterns of routes and timing between two migratory birds, the marsh harrier, Circus aeruginosus, and the osprey, Pandion haliaetus, as recorded by satellite tracking.

To the paper in Animal Behaviour: "Consistency in long-distance bird migration: contrasting patterns in time and space for two raptors"

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Centre for Animal Movement Research
Evolutionary Ecology, Department of Biology
Ecology building S-223 62 Lund Sweden