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Philopatry and natal dispersal of Montagu's harriers (Circus pygargus) breeding in Spain: a review of existing data

AuthorsLimiñana, Rubén CSIC ORCID; García, Jesús T. CSIC ORCID; Surroca, Martín; Arroyo, Beatriz CSIC ORCID
Tagging methods
Juvenile dispersal
Issue Date2012
CitationEuropean Journal of Wildlife Research 58(3): 549-555 (2012)
AbstractNatal dispersal is an important component of bird ecology, plays a key role in many ecological and evolutionary processes, and has important conservation implications. Nevertheless, detailed knowledge on natal dispersal is still lacking in many bird species, especially raptors. We review and compile existing information from five tagging programmes of juvenile Montagu's harriers (Circus pygargus) in different Spanish regions, with PVC rings or wing tags, to provide an assessment of philopatry and natal dispersal of the species in Spain. Only 7% of all tagged harriers were observed as breeders in subsequent years. The percentage of philopatric (i. e. breeding within 10 km of the natal site) males and females was lower that 5%. Overall, there were no sexual differences in percentage of philopatric birds or dispersal distances, but we found study area differences. The low philopatry observed suggests a high capacity for natal dispersal in this species, for both sexes, and therefore high genetic mixing between populations. Differences in philopatry between study areas may be influenced by the different observation effort or detectability, or else reflect different philopatric strategies among populations. Finally, we found no significant differences in philopatry rate or dispersal distances related to tagging method, suggesting that tagging technique has a smaller effect than monitoring effort or observation ease on observation probability. Developing tagging programmes at a small scale and without procuring very large-scale and intensive subsequent monitoring is not worthwhile for evaluating philopatry and natal dispersal in this species.
Descriptionet al.
Publisher version (URL)
Identifiersdoi: 10.1007/s10344-011-0602-2
issn: 1612-4642
e-issn: 1439-0574
Appears in Collections:(IREC) Artículos

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