Survival fluctuation is linked to precipitation variation during staging in a migratory shorebird

Authors: Vojtěch Brlík, Veli‑Matti Pakanen, Tuomo Jaakkonen, Heikki Arppe, Jaakko Jokinen, Johanna Lakka, Donald Blomqvist, Steffen Hahn, Jari Valkama & Kari Koivula

Year: 2022

Publication: Scientific Reports

Publication Link:

Abstract: Understanding how weather conditions affect animal populations is essential to foresee population
changes in times of global climate shifts. However, assessing year-round weather impacts on
demographic parameters is hampered in migratory animals due to often unknown occurrence in space
and time. We addressed this by coupling tracking and weather data to explain extensive variation in
apparent survival across 19 years in a northern European population of little ringed plovers (Charadrius
dubius). Over 90% (n = 21) of tracked individuals followed migration routes along the Indo-European
flyway to south India. Building on capture–recapture histories of nearly 1400 individuals, we found
that between-year variation in precipitation during post-breeding staging in northern South Asia
explained 47% of variation in apparent adult survival. Overall, the intensity of the monsoon in South
Asia explained 31–33% of variability in apparent survival. In contrast, weather conditions in breeding,
final non-breeding and pre-breeding quarters appeared less important in this species. The integration
of multi-source data seems essential for identifying key regions and periods limiting population
growth, for forecasting future changes and targeting conservation efforts.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *