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Both short and long distance migrants use energy-minimizing migration strategies in North American herring gulls.

https://arctichealth.org/en/permalink/ahliterature305580
Source
Mov Ecol. 2020; 8:26
Publication Type
Journal Article
Date
2020
Author
Christine M Anderson
H Grant Gilchrist
Robert A Ronconi
Katherine R Shlepr
Daniel E Clark
David A Fifield
Gregory J Robertson
Mark L Mallory
Author Affiliation
Department of Biology, Acadia University, 33 Westwood Ave, Wolfville, NS B4P 2R6 Canada.
Source
Mov Ecol. 2020; 8:26
Date
2020
Language
English
Publication Type
Journal Article
Abstract
Recent studies have proposed that birds migrating short distances migrate at an overall slower pace, minimizing energy expenditure, while birds migrating long distances minimize time spent on migration to cope with seasonal changes in environmental conditions.
We evaluated variability in the migration strategies of Herring Gulls (Larus argentatus), a generalist species with flexible foraging and flight behaviour. We tracked one population of long distance migrants and three populations of short distance migrants, and compared the directness of their migration routes, their overall migration speed, their travel speed, and their use of stopovers.
Our research revealed that Herring Gulls breeding in the eastern Arctic migrate long distances to spend the winter in the Gulf of Mexico, traveling more than four times farther than gulls from Atlantic Canada during autumn migration. While all populations used indirect routes, the long distance migrants were the least direct. We found that regardless of the distance the population traveled, Herring Gulls migrated at a slower overall migration speed than predicted by Optimal Migration Theory, but the long distance migrants had higher speeds on travel days. While long distance migrants used more stopover days overall, relative to the distance travelled all four populations used a similar number of stopover days.
When taken in context with other studies, we expect that the migration strategies of flexible generalist species like Herring Gulls may be more influenced by habitat and food resources than migration distance.
PubMed ID
32549986 View in PubMed
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Winter home range and habitat selection differs among breeding populations of herring gulls in eastern North America.

https://arctichealth.org/en/permalink/ahliterature298867
Source
Mov Ecol. 2019; 7:8
Publication Type
Journal Article
Date
2019
Author
Christine M Anderson
H Grant Gilchrist
Robert A Ronconi
Katherine R Shlepr
Daniel E Clark
D V Chip Weseloh
Gregory J Roberston
Mark L Mallory
Author Affiliation
1Department of Biology, Acadia University, 33 Westwood Ave, Wolfville, NS B4P 2R6 Canada.
Source
Mov Ecol. 2019; 7:8
Date
2019
Language
English
Publication Type
Journal Article
Abstract
Recognizing the factors influencing migratory individuals throughout their annual cycle is important for understanding the drivers of population dynamics. Previous studies have found that Herring Gulls (Larus argentatus) in the Atlantic region have lower survival rates than those in the Great Lakes and the Arctic. One possible explanation for divergent survival rates among these populations is differences in their non-breeding habitats.
We tracked Herring Gulls from five populations, breeding in the eastern Arctic, the Great Lakes, Newfoundland, Sable Island, and the Bay of Fundy. We assessed the extent of migratory connectivity between breeding and wintering sites, and tested if there were differences in home range size or habitat selection among these populations during the winter.
The tracked Herring Gulls had strong migratory connectivity between their breeding and wintering areas. We found that Herring Gulls from the Arctic spent most of the winter in marine habitats, while the other populations used a wider variety of habitats. However, the Newfoundland and Sable Island populations selected for urban habitats, and almost all individuals the specialized in urban habitats came from one of the three Atlantic populations.
Our results suggest that there could potentially be a link between urban habitat use during the winter and reduced adult survival in Atlantic Canada Herring Gulls.
Notes
ErratumIn: Mov Ecol. 2019 Apr 12;7:13 PMID 31044077
PubMed ID
30891245 View in PubMed
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