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Climate anomalies affect annual survival rates of swifts wintering in sub-Saharan Africa

Boano, Giovanni ; Pellegrino, Irene ; Ferri, Mauro ; Cucco, Marco ; Minelli, Fausto and Åkesson, Susanne LU (2020) In Ecology and Evolution 10(14). p.7916-7928
Abstract

Several species of migratory swifts breed in the Western Palearctic, but they differ in reproductive traits and nonbreeding areas explored in Africa. We examined survival and recapture probabilities of two species of swifts by capture–mark–recapture data collected in northern Italy (Pallid Swift Apus pallidus in Carmagnola, Turin, and Common Swift Apus apus in Guiglia, Modena) in the breeding season (May–July). Apparent survival rates were relatively high (>71%), comparable to other studies of European swifts, but showed marked annual variations. We used geolocators to establish the exact wintering areas of birds breeding in our study colonies. Common Swifts explored the Sahel zone during migration and spent the winter in SE Africa,... (More)

Several species of migratory swifts breed in the Western Palearctic, but they differ in reproductive traits and nonbreeding areas explored in Africa. We examined survival and recapture probabilities of two species of swifts by capture–mark–recapture data collected in northern Italy (Pallid Swift Apus pallidus in Carmagnola, Turin, and Common Swift Apus apus in Guiglia, Modena) in the breeding season (May–July). Apparent survival rates were relatively high (>71%), comparable to other studies of European swifts, but showed marked annual variations. We used geolocators to establish the exact wintering areas of birds breeding in our study colonies. Common Swifts explored the Sahel zone during migration and spent the winter in SE Africa, while the Pallid Swifts remained in the Sahel zone for a longer time, shifting locations southeast down to Cameroun and Nigeria later in winter. These movements followed the seasonal rains from north to south (October to December). In both species, we found large yearly differences in survival probabilities related to different climatic indices. In the Pallid Swift, wintering in Western Africa, the Sahel rainfall index best explained survival, with driest seasons associated with reduced survival. In the Common Swift, wintering in SE Africa, the El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) cycle performed significantly better than Sahel rainfall or North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO). Extreme events and precipitation anomalies in Eastern Africa during La Niña events resulted in reduced survival probabilities in Common Swifts. Our study shows that the two species of swifts have similar average annual survival, but their survival varies between years and is strongly affected by different climatic drivers associated with their respective wintering areas. This finding could suggest important ecological diversification that should be taken into account when comparing survival and area use of similar species that migrate between temperate breeding areas and tropical wintering areas.

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author
; ; ; ; and
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Annual survival rate, Apus apus, Apus pallidus, capture-mark-recapture data, climatic anomalies, drought, rainfall, ringing recoveries, wintering area
in
Ecology and Evolution
volume
10
issue
14
pages
13 pages
publisher
Wiley-Blackwell
external identifiers
  • pmid:32760574
  • scopus:85087490767
ISSN
2045-7758
DOI
10.1002/ece3.6525
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
c4a64258-fde9-4159-ab3b-2cd69fdcb7f1
date added to LUP
2020-07-20 09:37:29
date last changed
2021-04-13 01:22:56
@article{c4a64258-fde9-4159-ab3b-2cd69fdcb7f1,
  abstract     = {<p>Several species of migratory swifts breed in the Western Palearctic, but they differ in reproductive traits and nonbreeding areas explored in Africa. We examined survival and recapture probabilities of two species of swifts by capture–mark–recapture data collected in northern Italy (Pallid Swift Apus pallidus in Carmagnola, Turin, and Common Swift Apus apus in Guiglia, Modena) in the breeding season (May–July). Apparent survival rates were relatively high (&gt;71%), comparable to other studies of European swifts, but showed marked annual variations. We used geolocators to establish the exact wintering areas of birds breeding in our study colonies. Common Swifts explored the Sahel zone during migration and spent the winter in SE Africa, while the Pallid Swifts remained in the Sahel zone for a longer time, shifting locations southeast down to Cameroun and Nigeria later in winter. These movements followed the seasonal rains from north to south (October to December). In both species, we found large yearly differences in survival probabilities related to different climatic indices. In the Pallid Swift, wintering in Western Africa, the Sahel rainfall index best explained survival, with driest seasons associated with reduced survival. In the Common Swift, wintering in SE Africa, the El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) cycle performed significantly better than Sahel rainfall or North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO). Extreme events and precipitation anomalies in Eastern Africa during La Niña events resulted in reduced survival probabilities in Common Swifts. Our study shows that the two species of swifts have similar average annual survival, but their survival varies between years and is strongly affected by different climatic drivers associated with their respective wintering areas. This finding could suggest important ecological diversification that should be taken into account when comparing survival and area use of similar species that migrate between temperate breeding areas and tropical wintering areas.</p>},
  author       = {Boano, Giovanni and Pellegrino, Irene and Ferri, Mauro and Cucco, Marco and Minelli, Fausto and Åkesson, Susanne},
  issn         = {2045-7758},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {07},
  number       = {14},
  pages        = {7916--7928},
  publisher    = {Wiley-Blackwell},
  series       = {Ecology and Evolution},
  title        = {Climate anomalies affect annual survival rates of swifts wintering in sub-Saharan Africa},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ece3.6525},
  doi          = {10.1002/ece3.6525},
  volume       = {10},
  year         = {2020},
}