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Comparing areas of suitable habitats along travelled and possible shortest routes in migration of White-naped Cranes Grus vipio in East Asia

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Many migratory species take detours when migrating from their breeding to wintering grounds rather than following the shortest route available. To test whether the distribution of potentially suitable habitats might be a factor causing the use of less direct detours during migration, we analysed the migratory routes of five White-naped Cranes Grus vipio satellite-tracked from central–east Russia, and compared the total area of wetlands and grasslands along the migratory routes travelled by the Cranes with that along the shortest possible routes to the Cranes’ wintering grounds. All five Cranes made an easterly detour, and the distance ratio of the routes used by Cranes to the shortest possible route was 1.13 ± 0.03 sd. Based on National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration satellite images, we demonstrate that the area of wetlands and grasslands along the migration routes travelled by Cranes was greater than along the shortest possible routes.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Research Center, Wild Bird Society of Japan, 2-35-2 Minamidaira, Hino, Tokyo 191–0041, Japan 2: Daursky State Nature Reserve Biosphere, Apt. 43, 35 Matveeva Str., Chita 672012, Russian Federation 3: WWF Russia, 19-3 Nikolojamskaya Street, Moscow 109240, Russian Federation 4: Bird Migration Research Center, Yamashina Institute for Ornithology, Tutsumine, Abiko, Chiba 270-1145, Japan 5: Laboratory of Biodiversity Science, School of Agricultural and Life Sciences, The University of Tokyo, 1-1-1 Yayoi, Bunkyo–Ku, Tokyo 113–8657, Japan

Publication date: 2004-07-01

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