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Weekly Citation Summary 2017 - Week 31

Weekly Citation Summary 2017 - Week 31

The following summary has been circulated to members of the Animal Navigation Forum; the full paper is available in the ANG Resources directory at the link below (available to non-members).

Meyburg, B.-U., Bergmanis, U., Langgemach, T., Graszynski, K., Hinz, A., Börner, I., Meyburg, C. & Vansteelant, W. M. G. 2017 Orientation of native versus translocated juvenile lesser spotted eagles (Clanga pomarina) on the first autumn migration. The Journal of Experimental Biology 220, 2765-2776. doi: 10.1242/jeb.148932. Meyburg19 2017

The ontogeny of migration routines used by wild birds remains unresolved. Here we investigated the migratory orientation of juvenile lesser spotted eagles (LSE; Clanga pomarina) based on translocation and satellite tracking.

Between 2004 and 2016, 85 second-hatched juveniles (Abels) were reared in captivity for release into the declining German population, including 50 birds that were translocated 940 km from Latvia. In 2009, we tracked 12 translocated juveniles, as well as eight native juveniles and nine native adults, to determine how inexperienced birds come to use strategic migration routes.

Native juveniles departed around the same time as the adults and six of eight used the eastern flyway around the Mediterranean, which was used by all adults. In contrast, translocated juveniles departed on average 6 days before native LSEs, and five travelled southward and died in the central Mediterranean region. Consequently, fewer translocated juveniles (4/12) than native juveniles (7/8) reached Africa.

We conclude that juvenile LSEs have a much better chance of learning the strategic southeastern flyway if they leave at an appropriate time to connect with experienced elders upon departure. It is not clear why translocated juveniles departed so early. Regardless, by the end of the year, most juveniles had perished, whether they were translocated (10/12) or not (6/8). The small number of surviving translocated juveniles thus still represents a significant increase in the annual productivity of the German LSE population in 2009.

  • 07 August 2017
  • Animal Navigation Group

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