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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10204/4772

Title: Stable isotope analysis of migratory connectivity in a threatened intra-African migrant, the Blue Swallow (Hirundo atrocaerulea)
Authors: Wakelin, J
McKechnie, AE
Woodborne, SM
Keywords: Carbon
Conservation
Hirundinidae
Hydrogen
Nitrogen
Migration
Blue Swallow
Hirundo atrocaerulea
Threatened intra-African migrant
Issue Date: Jul-2010
Publisher: Springer
Citation: Wakelin, J, McKechnie, AE and Woodborne, SM. 2010. Stable isotope analysis of migratory connectivity in a threatened intra-African migrant, the Blue Swallow (Hirundo atrocaerulea). Journal of Ornithology, Vol. 152(1), pp 171-177
Series/Report no.: Journal Article
Abstract: The Blue Swallow (Hirundo atrocaerulea) is a threatened intra-African migrant with breeding populations in three geographically disjunct regions. We analysed stable hydrogen, nitrogen and carbon isotope ratios in feather keratin to determine whether these vary among breeding populations, and whether feathers can be used to infer migratory connections between breeding and non-breeding areas. Blue Swallows from the three major breeding populations differed significantly in terms of their feather dD and d15N values [South Africa/Swaziland: dD = -25.1 ± 6.7% Vienna Standard Mean Ocean Water (VSMOW), d15N = 10.4 ± 1.0% atmospheric nitrogen (AIR); Zimbabwe: dD = -59.9 ± 7.5%VSMOW, d15N = 10.1 ± 0.6% AIR; Malawi/Tanzania: dD = -43.2 ± 10.8% VSMOW, d15N = 11.7 ± 1.3% AIR], but not in terms of feather d13C. We also analysed feathers from seven individuals caught in the non-breeding range on the shores of Lake Victoria in Uganda. A discriminant function analysis assigned four of these birds to the South Africa/Swaziland breeding population and two to the Malawi/Tanzania breeding population (P[0.997), with the remaining individual not being unambiguously assigned. Our results reveal that migratory connections in this threatened species can be inferred from feather stable isotope analysis, and that there is overlap in the wintering ranges of at least two of the three major breeding populations.
Description: Copyright: 2010 Springer. This is the post print version of the work. The definitive version of the work is published on the Journal of Ornithology, Vol. 152(1), pp 171-177
URI: http://www.springerlink.com/content/q112t3h8h3178357/
http://hdl.handle.net/10204/4772
ISSN: 0021-8375
Appears in Collections:Environmental management
General science, engineering & technology

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