Migratory linkages of Pacific Golden-Plovers Pluvialis fulva breeding in Chukotka, Russian Far East
33 – 34
1 April 17
Oscar W. Johnson, Pavel S. Tomkovich, Ronald R. Porter, Egor Y. Loktionov, Roger H. Goodwill
Oscar W. Johnson
Dept. of Ecology, Montana State University, Bozeman, MT 59717, USA
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For the first time, we have tracked the annual migrations of Pacific Golden-Plovers nesting in northern Russia. We used geolocators to determine the timing and migration routes of four male plovers trapped at one site in SE Chukotka. Before leaving the north in autumn, each bird moved from nesting grounds and made one or two pre-migratory stopovers of 13–22 days (presumably on coastal tundra) in either Russia (Kamchatka and Khabarovsk Krai) or the USA (St. Matthew Island and the Pribilof Islands). After departing these sites, three birds traveled southward via eastern Asia and Japan to non-breeding grounds in the Philippine Islands, and one bird followed an oceanic route to Majuro Atoll in the Marshall Islands. All of these linkages were previously unknown. Two birds made nonstop flights of 4–6 days directly to non-breeding grounds, whereas two made additional stopovers en route (16 d in Japan and 18 d in China, respectively). In spring, return migrations from the Philippines variously included stopovers in South Korea, Taiwan, and China; the bird migrating from Majuro stopped-over only in Japan. Mean minimum flight speed on all legs in both autumn (after premigratory stopovers) and spring was 53 kph. On average, plovers spent 24 days at stopovers during the autumn journey, and 36 days at stopovers during the spring passage. Stopover sites and also non-breeding grounds probably included agricultural lands, most likely rice fields. While the migrations of these four birds shed light on migratory connectivity of Pacific Golden-Plovers nesting in Chukotka, additional studies are needed to: (1) further explore the non-breeding range of plovers breeding there and elsewhere in northern Russia, (2) better define important stopover sites including pre-migratory sites in the north, and (3) more fully understand the relationships between plovers and trophic resources associated with agriculture.