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Proximate cues to phases of movement in a highly dispersive waterfowl, anas superciliosa

McEvoy, John F., Roshier, David A., Ribot, Raoul F.H. and Bennett, Andy T.D. 2015, Proximate cues to phases of movement in a highly dispersive waterfowl, anas superciliosa, Movement ecology, vol. 3, pp. 21-33, doi: 10.1186/s40462-015-0048-3.

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Title Proximate cues to phases of movement in a highly dispersive waterfowl, anas superciliosa
Author(s) McEvoy, John F.
Roshier, David A.
Ribot, Raoul F.H.
Bennett, Andy T.D.
Journal name Movement ecology
Volume number 3
Start page 21
End page 33
Total pages 13
Publisher BioMed Central
Place of publication London, Eng.
Publication date 2015-09-01
ISSN 2051-3933
Keyword(s) Arid zone
Behavioural flexibility
Movement ecology
Random forest
Rapid environmental change
Summary BACKGROUND: Waterfowl can exploit distant ephemeral wetlands in arid environments and provide valuable insights into the response of birds to rapid environmental change, and behavioural flexibility of avian movements. Currently much of our understanding of behavioural flexibility of avian movement comes from studies of migration in seasonally predictable biomes in the northern hemisphere. We used GPS transmitters to track 20 Pacific black duck (Anas superciliosa) in arid central Australia. We exploited La Niña conditions that brought extensive flooding, so allowing a rare opportunity to investigate how weather and other environmental factors predict initiation of long distance movement toward freshly flooded habitats. We employed behavioural change point analysis to identify three phases of movement: sedentary, exploratory and long distance oriented movement. We then used random forest models to determine the ability of meteorological and remote sensed landscape variables to predict initiation of these phases. RESULTS: We found that initiation of exploratory movement phases is influenced by fluctuations in local weather conditions and accumulated rainfall in the landscape. Initiation of long distance movement phases was found to be highly individualistic with minor influence from local weather conditions. CONCLUSIONS: Our study reveals how individuals utilise local conditions to respond to changes in resource distribution at broad scales. Our findings suggest that individual movement decisions of dispersive birds are informed by the integration of multiple weather cues operating at different temporal and spatial scales.
Language eng
DOI 10.1186/s40462-015-0048-3
Field of Research 060201 Behavioural Ecology
Socio Economic Objective 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2015, BioMed Central
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