Insights into the migration of the European Roller from ring recoveries

Finch, T, Dunning, J, Kiss, O, Račinskis, E, Schwartz, T, Sniauksta, L, Szekeres, O, Tokody, B, Franco, A and Butler, SJ 2016, 'Insights into the migration of the European Roller from ring recoveries' , Journal of Ornithology, 158 (1) , pp. 83-90.

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AbstractDespite recent advances in avian tracking technology, archival devices still present several limitations. Traditional ring recoveries provide a complementary method for studying migratory movements, particularly for cohorts of birds with a low return rate to the breeding site. Here we provide the first international analysis of ring recovery data in the European Roller Coracias garrulus, a long-distance migrant of conservation concern. Our data comprise 58 records of Rollers ringed during the breeding season and recovered during the non-breeding season. Most records come from Eastern Europe, half are of juveniles and over three quarters are of dead birds. Thus, ring recoveries provide migration data for cohorts of Rollers—juveniles and unsuccessful migrants—for which no information currently exists, complementing recent tracking studies. Qualitatively, our results are consistent with direct tracking studies, illustrating a broad-front migration across the Mediterranean Basin in autumn and the use of the Arabian Peninsula by Rollers from eastern populations in spring. Autumn movements were, on average, in a more southerly direction for juveniles than adults, which were more easterly. Juvenile autumn recovery direction also appeared to be more variable than in adults, though this difference was not statistically significant. This is consistent with juveniles following a naïve vector-based orientation program, and perhaps explains the ‘moderate’ migratory connectivity previously described for the Roller. In the first (qualitative) analysis of Roller non-breeding season mortality, we highlight the high prevalence of shooting. The recovery age ratio was juvenile-biased in autumn but adult-biased in spring. Although not statistically significant, this difference points towards a higher non-breeding season mortality of juveniles than adults. Our study demonstrates the complementarity of ring recoveries to direct tracking, providing an insight into the migration of juvenile Rollers and non-breeding season mortality.

Item Type: Article
Schools: Schools > School of Environment and Life Sciences
Journal or Publication Title: Journal of Ornithology
Publisher: Springer
ISSN: 2193-7192
Related URLs:
Funders: National Environmental Research Council (NERC)
SWORD Depositor: Publications Router
Depositing User: Publications Router
Date Deposited: 11 Aug 2017 07:40
Last Modified: 15 Feb 2022 22:20

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