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Migration stopovers and the conservation of arctic-breeding Calidrine sandpipers

January 1, 2006

Long-distance migration, one of the most physically demanding events in the animal kingdom, is well developed in many species of Charadriidae and Scolopacidae. Some shorebirds renowned for their extraordinary long-distance migrations, notably American Golden-Plover (Pluvialis dominica), Red Knot (Calidris canutus rufa), and White-rumped Sandpiper (C. fuscicollis), travel as many as 15,000 km between southern South American wintering grounds and Canadian Arctic breeding areas. Migration strategies of shorebirds vary in many aspects. There are remarkable accounts of shorebirds, such as northbound Red Knots, that stage in a few key sites for 2–3 weeks and lay on extensive body stores, then fly nonstop for distances of ≤2,500 km (Harrington 2001, Piersma et al. 2005). Less well known are the examples of populations that refuel only briefly at stopover sites, disperse broadly on the landscape, and fly shorter distances between sites (Skagen 1997, Haig et al. 1998, Warnock et al. 1998). This latter pattern applies to many long-distance migrant shorebirds that cross the interior plains of North America during spring and fall migrations. For them, interior wetland complexes provide critical refueling resources along the direct routes between summering and wintering grounds (Skagen et al. 1999). In this issue of The Auk, Krapu et al. (2006) describe patterns and implications of fat deposition by Semipalmated Sandpipers (C. pusilla), White-rumped Sandpipers, and Baird's Sandpipers (C. bairdii) refueling during northward migration across the prairies of mid-continental North America.

Publication Year 2006
Title Migration stopovers and the conservation of arctic-breeding Calidrine sandpipers
DOI 10.1642/0004-8038(2006)123[313:MSATCO]2.0.CO;2
Authors Susan K. Skagen
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title The Auk
Index ID 1015171
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Fort Collins Science Center