Effective conservation of migratory species depends on understanding both migratory connectivity and migration strategy. The red-necked stint Calidris ruficollis is a small, highly migratory sandpiper of the East Asian–Australasian Flyway, which is classified as 'Near Threatened' due to ongoing population declines. We tracked the migration of three red-necked stints breeding in southern Chukotka, Russia, using geolocators, and supplemented our tracking data with re-sighting records of color-flagged individuals. The three birds, all of which bred within 2 km of each other, wintered in three different localities spanning nearly 5000 km. One individual completed its northward migration of >9400 km in two marathon flights; the second leg of that journey was completed in a nonstop flight of 5350 km. The successful conservation of just this one population requires protection of wintering sites across a vast area, coupled with key staging sites along the flyway. We suggest that other migratory species may pose similar conservation challenges.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
- Animal Science and Zoology
- Calidris ruficollis
- migratory connectivity
- red-necked stint