Tracking the migration of red-necked stint Calidris ruficollis reveals marathon flights and unexpected conservation challenges

Tong Mu, Pavel S. Tomkovich, Egor Y. Loktionov, Evgeny E. Syroechkovskiy, David S. Wilcove

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere02585
JournalJournal of Avian Biology
Volume51
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Animal Science and Zoology

Keywords

  • Calidris ruficollis
  • conservation
  • geolocator
  • migration
  • migratory connectivity
  • red-necked stint

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