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Seasonal movements, winter range use, and migratory connectivity of the Black Oystercatcher

The Condor

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Abstract

The Black Oystercatcher (Haematopus bachmani) is an intertidal obligate along North America's Pacific coast and a species of high conservation concern (population size 8900–11 000 individuals). Understanding birds' movements and space use throughout the annual cycle has become paramount in the face of changing environmental conditions, and intertidal species may be particularly vulnerable to habitat change due to anticipated sea-level rise associated with climate change and increasing coastal development. Conservation of the Black Oystercatcher is hindered by a lack of information on the species' nonbreeding distribution, seasonal movements, and habitat connectivity. Using satellite (n = 19) and VHF (n = 19) radio transmitters, we tracked Black Oystercatchers from five breeding sites (Vancouver Island, British Columbia; Kodiak Island, Prince William Sound, Middleton Island, and Juneau, Alaska) through one and one half annual cycles (May 2007–Dec 2008). We documented medium- to long-distance migration (range of migration distance 130–1667 km) in three populations (Prince William Sound, Middleton Island, and Juneau) and year-round residency in two others (Kodiak and Vancouver Island). We observed variation in the timing and length of migration by study site, and individual birds demonstrated fidelity to breeding and nonbreeding sites. We did not observe strong migratory connectivity. Migratory oystercatchers distributed themselves widely along the coasts of British Columbia and southeast Alaska during winter. Results provide baseline information on the Black Oystercatcher's movements and space use throughout the annual cycle.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Seasonal movements, winter range use, and migratory connectivity of the Black Oystercatcher
Series title:
The Condor
Volume
112
Issue:
4
Year Published:
2010
Language:
English
Publisher:
Cooper Ornithological Society
Publisher location:
Waco, TX
Contributing office(s):
Forest and Rangeland Ecosystem Science Center
Description:
13 p.
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
The Condor
First page:
731
Last page:
743
Time Range Start:
2007-05-01
Time Range End:
2008-12-31
Country:
United States;Canada
State:
Alaska
City:
Juneau
Other Geospatial:
British Columbia;Vancouver Island;Kodiak Island;Prince William Sound;Middleton Island