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Flexibility of Continental Navigation and Migration in European Mallards

van Toor, Marielle L. ; Hedenström, Anders LU ; Waldenstrom, Jonas ; Fiedler, Wolfgang ; Holland, Richard A. ; Thorup, Kasper and Wikelski, Martin (2013) In PLoS ONE 8(8).
Abstract
The ontogeny of continent-wide navigation mechanisms of the individual organism, despite being crucial for the understanding of animal movement and migration, is still poorly understood. Several previous studies, mainly conducted on passerines, indicate that inexperienced, juvenile birds may not generally correct for displacement during fall migration. Waterbirds such as the mallard (Anas platyrhynchos, Linnaeus 1758) are more flexible in their migration behavior than most migratory songbirds, but previous experiments with waterbirds have not yet allowed clear conclusions about their navigation abilities. Here we tested whether immature mallard ducks correct for latitudinal displacement during fall migration within Europe. During two... (More)
The ontogeny of continent-wide navigation mechanisms of the individual organism, despite being crucial for the understanding of animal movement and migration, is still poorly understood. Several previous studies, mainly conducted on passerines, indicate that inexperienced, juvenile birds may not generally correct for displacement during fall migration. Waterbirds such as the mallard (Anas platyrhynchos, Linnaeus 1758) are more flexible in their migration behavior than most migratory songbirds, but previous experiments with waterbirds have not yet allowed clear conclusions about their navigation abilities. Here we tested whether immature mallard ducks correct for latitudinal displacement during fall migration within Europe. During two consecutive fall migration periods, we caught immature females on a stopover site in southeast Sweden, and translocated a group of them ca. 1,000 km to southern Germany. We followed the movements of the ducks via satellite GPS-tracking and observed their migration decisions during the fall and consecutive spring migration. The control animals released in Ottenby behaved as expected from banding recoveries: they continued migration during the winter and in spring returned to the population's breeding grounds in the Baltics and Northwest Russia. Contrary to the control animals, the translocated mallards did not continue migration and stayed at Lake Constance. In spring, three types of movement tactics could be observed: 61.5% of the ducks (16 of 26) stayed around Lake Constance, 27% (7 of 26) migrated in a northerly direction towards Sweden and 11.5% of the individuals (3 of 26) headed east for ca. 1,000 km and then north. We suggest that young female mallards flexibly adjust their migration tactics and develop a navigational map that allows them to return to their natal breeding area. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
in
PLoS ONE
volume
8
issue
8
article number
e72629
publisher
Public Library of Science
external identifiers
  • wos:000323880200024
  • scopus:84883352263
  • pmid:24023629
ISSN
1932-6203
DOI
10.1371/journal.pone.0072629
project
Centre for Animal Movement Research
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
1aa2b9c3-ce73-4ce3-84a5-1b784ec03a0f (old id 4062420)
date added to LUP
2016-04-01 13:10:33
date last changed
2020-01-12 11:17:21
@article{1aa2b9c3-ce73-4ce3-84a5-1b784ec03a0f,
  abstract     = {The ontogeny of continent-wide navigation mechanisms of the individual organism, despite being crucial for the understanding of animal movement and migration, is still poorly understood. Several previous studies, mainly conducted on passerines, indicate that inexperienced, juvenile birds may not generally correct for displacement during fall migration. Waterbirds such as the mallard (Anas platyrhynchos, Linnaeus 1758) are more flexible in their migration behavior than most migratory songbirds, but previous experiments with waterbirds have not yet allowed clear conclusions about their navigation abilities. Here we tested whether immature mallard ducks correct for latitudinal displacement during fall migration within Europe. During two consecutive fall migration periods, we caught immature females on a stopover site in southeast Sweden, and translocated a group of them ca. 1,000 km to southern Germany. We followed the movements of the ducks via satellite GPS-tracking and observed their migration decisions during the fall and consecutive spring migration. The control animals released in Ottenby behaved as expected from banding recoveries: they continued migration during the winter and in spring returned to the population's breeding grounds in the Baltics and Northwest Russia. Contrary to the control animals, the translocated mallards did not continue migration and stayed at Lake Constance. In spring, three types of movement tactics could be observed: 61.5% of the ducks (16 of 26) stayed around Lake Constance, 27% (7 of 26) migrated in a northerly direction towards Sweden and 11.5% of the individuals (3 of 26) headed east for ca. 1,000 km and then north. We suggest that young female mallards flexibly adjust their migration tactics and develop a navigational map that allows them to return to their natal breeding area.},
  author       = {van Toor, Marielle L. and Hedenström, Anders and Waldenstrom, Jonas and Fiedler, Wolfgang and Holland, Richard A. and Thorup, Kasper and Wikelski, Martin},
  issn         = {1932-6203},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {8},
  publisher    = {Public Library of Science},
  series       = {PLoS ONE},
  title        = {Flexibility of Continental Navigation and Migration in European Mallards},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0072629},
  doi          = {10.1371/journal.pone.0072629},
  volume       = {8},
  year         = {2013},
}