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Heavy rainfall triggers increased nocturnal flight in desert populations of the Pacific black duck (Anas superciliosa)

McEvoy, J. F., Ribot, R. F. H., Wingfield, J. C. and Bennett, A. T. D. 2017, Heavy rainfall triggers increased nocturnal flight in desert populations of the Pacific black duck (Anas superciliosa), Scientific reports, vol. 7, no. 1, pp. 1-9, doi: 10.1038/s41598-017-17859-0.

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Title Heavy rainfall triggers increased nocturnal flight in desert populations of the Pacific black duck (Anas superciliosa)
Formatted title Heavy rainfall triggers increased nocturnal flight in desert populations of the Pacific black duck (Anas superciliosa
Author(s) McEvoy, J. F.
Ribot, R. F. H.ORCID iD for Ribot, R. F. H. orcid.org/0000-0003-3869-8873
Wingfield, J. C.
Bennett, A. T. D.ORCID iD for Bennett, A. T. D. orcid.org/0000-0001-8512-2805
Journal name Scientific reports
Volume number 7
Issue number 1
Article ID 17557
Start page 1
End page 9
Total pages 9
Publisher Nature Publishing Group
Place of publication London, Eng.
Publication date 2017-12
ISSN 2045-2322
2045-2322
Keyword(s) Science & Technology
Multidisciplinary Sciences
Science & Technology - Other Topics
NINO-SOUTHERN-OSCILLATION
MISSISSIPPI ALLUVIAL VALLEY
HABITAT USE
PREY AVAILABILITY
FEMALE MALLARDS
PROTECTED AREAS
AUSTRALIA
WATERBIRDS
MIGRATION
BIRDS
Summary Understanding of avian nocturnal flight comes mainly from northern hemisphere species in seasonal temperate ecosystems where nocturnal flight is often precisely timed and entrained by annual photoperiod. Here we investigate patterns of nocturnal flight in waterbirds of Australian desert ecosystems that fly considerable distances to find temporary water bodies formed from rainfall which is highly unpredictable seasonally and spatially, and when there is sufficient water, they then breed. How they perform these feats of navigation and physiology remain poorly known. Using GPS tracking of 38 satellite tagged Pacific black ducks (Anas superciliosa) in two contrasting ecosystems, before and after heavy rainfall we revealed a key role for facultative nocturnal flight in the movement ecology of this species. After large rainfall events, birds rapidly increased nocturnal flight activity in the arid aseasonal ecosystem, but not in the mesic seasonal one. Nocturnal flights occurred throughout the night in both ecosystems. Long range flights (>50 km in 2 hours) occurred almost exclusively at night; at night the distance flown was higher than during the day, birds visited more locations, and the locations were more widely dispersed. Our work reveals that heavy rainfall triggers increased nocturnal flight activity in desert populations of waterbirds.
Language eng
DOI 10.1038/s41598-017-17859-0
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Grant ID ARC LP140100691
Copyright notice ©2017, The Authors
Free to Read? Yes
Use Rights Creative Commons Attribution licence
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30105722

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