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Animal Migration - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Animal Migration. What is migration?. Migration: Seasonal back and forth journeys between two sites Migrant vs. Resident. Which animals migrate?. Mammals Birds Amphibians Reptiles Fish Insects. Why do animals migrate?. Opportunism – exploitation of ephemeral/seasonal resources

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what is migration

What is migration?


Seasonal back and forth journeys between two sites

Migrant vs. Resident

which animals migrate
Which animals migrate?
  • Mammals
  • Birds
  • Amphibians
  • Reptiles
  • Fish
  • Insects
why do animals migrate
Why do animals migrate?
  • Opportunism – exploitation of ephemeral/seasonal resources
  • Cost benefit ratio
types of migration
Types of Migration
  • Latitudinal
  • Altitudinal
  • Reproductive
  • Seasonal
  • Irruptive
types of migration6
Types of Migration

Obligate annual migration

1. Latitudinal (north-south)

  • Short distance (within a continent)
    • Some birds, bats, and whales
  • Long distance (between continents)
    • Many species of songbirds, shorebirds, waterfowl, hawks
    • Some bats and whales

2. Elevational

  • Movement up and down mountain slopes
  • Related to weather (especially snow depth) and food conditions
  • deer, elk, Mountain Goats, Spotted Owls, some songbirds
how do animals migrate
How do animals migrate?
  • Magnetic field
  • Landmarks
  • Alignment of

stars in night


  • Olfactory cues
  • Combination
how do we know where animals go
How do we know where animals go?
  • Direct observation
    • Ex. Broad-tailed hawk

Can estimate general population trends from number of migrating individuals counted

Photo by B. Webb

how do we know where animals go11
How do we know where animals go?
  • Capture, mark, recapture
how do we know where animals go12
How do we know where animals go?
  • Radar, radio & satellite telemetry
    • Radar detection of neotropical migrant birds

Trans Gulf-migrants leaving

how do we know where animals go13
How do we know where animals go?
  • Radar, radio & satellite telemetry
    • Satellite telemetry Radio telemetry
  • Signal from transmitter to satellite
  • Location downloaded from satellite
how do we know where animals go16
How do we know where animals go?
  • Intrinsic markers
    • Stable isotopes
    • Elements vary in number of neutrons – C, N, H, O, S building blocks
bird migration
Bird Migration
  • Over 5 billion land birds of 187 species migrate between Europe and Asia to Africa
  • Over 5 billion land birds of over 200 species migrate between North America and the New World tropics
  • 75% of 650 bird species that nest in N. America migrate
neotropical migrant birds
Neotropical migrant birds
  • 80% of breeding bird spp. in N. America
  • Complex annual life cycle
    • breeding areas (2-3 mths)
    • migratory pathways (2-3 mths)
    • wintering areas (6-7 mths)
  • Declines in many spp.
    • Pattern
neotropical migrant bird conservation
Neotropical Migrant Bird Conservation
  • Many species declining
  • Loss of multiple habitats:
    • Breeding
    • Migration stopover sites
    • Wintering

3 ranges used by the

Blackpoll Warbler each year

neotropical migrant bird conservation20
Neotropical Migrant Bird Conservation

Loss and fragmentation of winter habitat (tropical forest):

  • slash and burn agriculture
  • pasture land for livestock production
  • commercial and illegal logging
how declines have been measured
How declines have been measured
  • Breeding Bird Survey
  • species-specific studies
    • population estimates on breeding and wintering grounds

Western meadowlark

Painted bunting

Cerulean warbler

Population trends: 1996-2003

linkages between annual stages
Linkages between annual stages
  • American redstart
    • link condition on wintering grounds to breeding success
  • Stable isotope analyses: ratios of C13:C12
  • High quality winter habitat (coastal mangroves and lowland forests): wetter and C13 depleted
  • Birds from high quality winter habitat
    • earlier on breeding grounds
    • earlier breeding = more

chicks fledged


1.3 million wildebeest

350,000 Thompson’s gazelles

200,000 plains zebra

dangers serengeti migration
Dangers: Serengeti migration
  • Predation
    • Land and water
  • Rinderpest
  • Human population growth
    • Land conversion
    • Poaching esp. resident animals
sea turtle migration
Sea Turtle Migration
  • Juveniles hatch on shore and migrate to the open ocean
  • After years in the open sea, juvenile turtles move to specific coastal feeding grounds
  • Young loggerhead sea turtles in the North Atlantic cover more than 9,000 miles before returning to the North American coast!
  • Adult turtles migrate between specific feeding areas and then back to nesting beaches
juvenile loggerhead migration
Juvenile Loggerhead Migration
  • Orientation during migration
  • A variety of navigational cues are used
  • Must stay in North Atlantic Gyre for several years to grow and develop
  • Detect subtle differences in the earth’s magnetic fields to use as navigational markers
adult green turtle migration
Adult Green Turtle Migration
  • Adult Green Turtles captured by fishermen at feeding grounds off coast of Nicaragua and branded
  • Some turtles escaped after boat capsized at FL Keys
  • Several months later same turtles recaptured in same area in Nicaragua
  • Turtles use a magnetic compass and have map sense
whale migration
Whale Migration
  • Pacific Gray Whales
  • Longest known migration for any mammal: 10,000-12,000 miles annually!
  • Raise calves in nurseries (lagoons) of Baja California
  • Migrate to feed in the cold arctic seas
  • Nearshore migration route allows for easy observation, but harassment by whale-watching boats may be pushing whales off shore
butterfly migration
Butterfly Migration
  • Monarch Butterflies
  • Fly up to 3,000 miles each way
  • Return to the same winter roosts, often to the exact same trees
  • Preferred conditions found in oyamel fir forests, which occur in a small area of mountain tops in central Mexico
conservation strategies
Conservation Strategies
  • International cooperation (Partners in Flight)
  • Incentives for developing countries to protect migratory wildlife and habitat
  • Public education: consumer choices