Population trends in Vermivora warblers are linked to strong migratory connectivity

Gunnar R. Kramer, David E. Andersen, David A. Buehler, Petra B. Wood, Sean M. Peterson, Justin A. Lehman, Kyle R. Aldinger, Lesley P. Bulluck, Sergio Harding, John A. Jones, John P. Loegering, Curtis Smalling, Rachel Vallender, Henry M. Streby

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    36 Scopus citations

    Abstract

    Migratory species can experience limiting factors at different locations and during different periods of their annual cycle. In migratory birds, these factors may even occur in different hemispheres. Therefore, identifying the distribution of populations throughout their annual cycle (i.e., migratory connectivity) can reveal the complex ecological and evolutionary relationships that link species and ecosystems across the globe and illuminate where and how limiting factors influence population trends. A growing body of literature continues to identify species that exhibit weak connectivity wherein individuals from distinct breeding areas co-occur during the nonbreeding period. A detailed account of a broadly distributed species exhibiting strong migratory connectivity in which nonbreeding isolation of populations is associated with differential population trends remains undescribed. Here, we present a range-wide assessment of the nonbreeding distribution and migratory connectivity of two broadly dispersed Nearctic-Neotropical migratory songbirds. We used geolocators to track the movements of 70 Vermivora warblers from sites spanning their breeding distribution in eastern North America and identified links between breeding populations and nonbreeding areas. Unlike blue-winged warblers (Vermivora cyanoptera), breeding populations of golden-winged warblers (Vermivora chrysoptera) exhibited strong migratory connectivity, which was associated with historical trends in breeding populations: stable for populations that winter in Central America and declining for those that winter in northern South America.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)E3192-E3200
    JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
    Volume115
    Issue number14
    DOIs
    StatePublished - Apr 3 2018

    Bibliographical note

    Funding Information:
    ACKNOWLEDGMENTS. We thank M. Barber, M. Barnes, J. Bell, J. Chancey, L. Coe-Starr, C. Colley, E. Davis, J. Dodson, K. Eckert, R. Eckstein, R. Fenty, C. Fiss, M. Gallagher, B. Gray, A. Grupenhoff, C. Henderson, L. Hendrixson, N. Henke, E. Hess, L. Hoehn, J. Kawlewski, B. Keinath, J. Koberdahl, L. Loegering, S. McLaughlin, S. Midthune, L. Mielke, D. Miles, M. Morin, N. Moy, J. Nelson, A. Pesano, S. Prevost, J. Reubesam, M. Schilling, N. Seeger, L. Schofield, A. Tomcho, S. Wallace, J. Warmbold, J. Wessels, A. Worm, B. Yliniemi, and others for assistance in the field. We are especially grateful to N. Hill, K. Maley, D. McNeil, R. Pagel, P. Rodrigues, K. Stein, and C. Ziegler for their commitment to the project, and to W. Ford, W. Brininger, A. Hewitt, D. King, J. Larkin, and H. Saloka for providing logistical support. We thank D. Toews and two anonymous reviewers for comments improving earlier drafts of this manuscript. These data were collected during a project funded by the US Fish and Wildlife Service and the US Geological Survey through Research Work Order 98 at the US Geological Survey, Minnesota Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, and by the National Science Foundation through Postdoctoral Research Fellowship 1202729 (to H.M.S.). Additional funding was provided by the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries and the Grace Jones Richardson Trust. None of our funders had any influence on the content of the submitted or published manuscript, and only the US Geological Survey required approval of the final manuscript prior to publication as required in their Fundamental Sciences Practices protocols. Use of trade names does not imply endorsement by the US Geological Survey or any other institutions affiliated with this study.

    Funding Information:
    We thank M. Barber, M. Barnes, J. Bell, J. Chancey, L. Coe-Starr, C. Colley, E. Davis, J. Dodson, K. Eckert, R. Eckstein, R. Fenty, C. Fiss, M. Gallagher, B. Gray, A. Grupenhoff, C. Henderson, L. Hendrixson, N. Henke, E. Hess, L. Hoehn, J. Kawlewski, B. Keinath, J. Koberdahl, L. Loegering, S. McLaughlin, S. Midthune, L. Mielke, D. Miles, M. Morin, N. Moy, J. Nelson, A. Pesano, S. Prevost, J. Reubesam, M. Schilling, N. Seeger, L. Schofield, A. Tomcho, S. Wallace, J. Warmbold, J. Wessels, A. Worm, B. Yliniemi, and others for assistance in the field. We are especially grateful to N. Hill, K. Maley, D. McNeil, R. Pagel, P. Rodrigues, K. Stein, and C. Ziegler for their commitment to the project, and to W. Ford, W. Brininger, A. Hewitt, D. King, J. Larkin, and H. Saloka for providing logistical support. We thank D. Toews and two anonymous reviewers for comments improving earlier drafts of this manuscript. These data were collected during a project funded by the US Fish and Wildlife Service and the US Geological Survey through Research Work Order 98 at the US Geological Survey, Minnesota Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, and by the National Science Foundation through Postdoctoral Research Fellowship 1202729 (to H.M.S.). Additional funding was provided by the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries and the Grace Jones Richardson Trust. None of our funders had any influence on the content of the submitted or published manuscript, and only the US Geological Survey required approval of the final manuscript prior to publication as required in their Fundamental Sciences Practices protocols. Use of trade names does not imply endorsement by the US Geological Survey or any other institutions affiliated with this study.

    Publisher Copyright:
    © 2018 National Academy of Sciences. All Rights Reserved.

    Copyright:
    Copyright 2018 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.

    Keywords

    • Animal tracking
    • Conservation
    • Geolocator
    • Limiting factor
    • Migration

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