The Cerulean Warbler (Setophaga cerulea) is a declining Nearctic-Neotropical migratory songbird of conservation concern. Implementing full annual cycle conservation strategies to facilitate recovery has been difficult because we know little about the migratory period or strength of migratory connectivity between North American breeding and South American nonbreeding regions. Between 2014 and 2017, we deployed geolocators on 282 males at 14 study sites throughout the species' range to (1) evaluate the strength and pattern of connectivity between breeding and nonbreeding regions, (2) identify approximate routes and stopover regions, and (3) document migration phenology. We obtained data from 26 birds and observed moderate migratory connectivity overall but documented strong parallel migration for birds breeding in two longitudinally disparate regions. Most (14 of 15; 93%) Appalachian breeders spent the stationary nonbreeding period in the Colombian/Venezuelan Andes, whereas most (5 of 7; 71%) Ozark-breeders spent the stationary nonbreeding period in Peru/Ecuador. The majority of spring migration (62%) was spent in Central America at multiple stopover locations between Panama and southern Mexico. The 2 migratory periods were approximately equal in duration: 38 ± 2 days (SE) in fall and 42 ± 2 days (SE) in spring. Based on the observed connectivity pattern, conservation of Appalachian-breeding populations during the stationary nonbreeding period should focus on forest conservation and restoration in pre-montane/lower montane forests of Colombia and Venezuela, whereas Ozark-breeding population conservation should focus on forest conservation and restoration efforts in Ecuador and Peru. Further conservation efforts are also needed on the breeding grounds, especially for the most sharply declining populations. And finally, conservation of forests used by Cerulean Warblers during stopover periods throughout Central America and southern Mexico, in southeastern United States coastal areas, and in the Mississippi Alluvial Valley will benefit individuals from multiple breeding locations and populations.
|Translated title of the contribution||Cerulean Warblers exhibit parallel migration patterns and multiple migratory stopovers within the Central American Isthmus|
|State||Published - Nov 3 2022|
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This collaborative project has been made possible through the contributions of numerous organizations. We are grateful for the funding and contributions provided by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) Division of Migratory Birds (grant number F15AP00610), Pennsylvania Game Commission (grant number 410066636), American Bird Conservancy, New Jersey Audubon, Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey, New Jersey Endangered and Nongame Species Program, USDA Forest Service Northern Research Station and Daniel Boone National Forest, Environment and Climate Change Canada, Delaware Valley University, The Nature Conservancy, Virginia Society of Ornithology, Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources, University of Kentucky, Daniel Boone National Forest, Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources, USFWS State Wildlife Grant program, Ohio Bird Conservation Initiative/ Ohio Division of Wildlife (grant number F17AF00467), Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, University of Tennessee, Michigan Audubon, Delaware Water Gap, Arkansas Science and Technology Authority, and Arkansas Space Grant Consortium.
Copyright © 2022 American Ornithological Society.
- Nearctic-Neotropical migrants
- Setophaga cerulea
- migratory connectivity
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
- Animal Science and Zoology