Migratory connectivity of american woodcock using band return data

Journal of Wildlife Management
By:  and 



American woodcock (Scolopax minor) are managed as a Central and an Eastern population in the United States and Canada based on band return data showing little crossover between populations or management regions. The observed proportion of crossover between management regions, however, depends on the criteria used to subset the band return data. We analyzed the amount of crossover between management regions using only band return records that represent complete migrations between the breeding and wintering grounds by using only band return records in which the capture took place during the breeding season and the band recovery took place during the wintering season or vice versa (n = 224). Additionally, we applied spatial statistics and a clustering algorithm to investigate woodcock migratory connectivity using this subset of migratory woodcock band return records. Using raw counts, 17.9% of records showed crossover between management regions, a higher proportion than the <5% crossover reported in studies that did not use only migratory band returns. Our results showed woodcock from the breeding grounds in the Central Region largely migrate to destinations within the Central Region, whereas woodcock from the breeding grounds in the Eastern Region migrate to destinations across the entire wintering range and mix with individuals from the Central Region. Using the division coefficient, we estimated that 54% of woodcock from the breeding grounds of the Eastern Region migrate to the Central Region wintering grounds. Our result that many woodcock from separate regions of the breeding grounds mix on the wintering grounds has implications for the 2-region basis for woodcock management. Elucidating finer scale movement patterns among regions provides a basis for reassessing the need for separate management regions to ensure optimal conservation and management of the species.

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Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Migratory connectivity of american woodcock using band return data
Series title Journal of Wildlife Management
DOI 10.1002/jwmg.21269
Volume 81
Issue 6
Year Published 2017
Language English
Publisher The Wildlife Society
Contributing office(s) Coop Res Unit Atlanta
Description 12 p.
First page 1063
Last page 1072
Country Canada, United States
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