Stable isotope analysis of migratory connectivity in a threatened intra-African migrant, the Blue Swallow (Hirundo atrocaerulea)

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dc.contributor.author Wakelin, James
dc.contributor.author McKechnie, Andrew E.
dc.contributor.author Woodborne, Stephan M.
dc.date.accessioned 2011-05-04T08:07:13Z
dc.date.available 2011-05-04T08:07:13Z
dc.date.issued 2011-01
dc.description.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 δD and δ15N values (South Africa / Swaziland: δD = -25.1 ± 6.7 ‰ VSMOW, δ15N = 10.4 ± 1.0 ‰ AIR; Zimbabwe: δD = -59.9 ± 7.5 ‰ VSMOW, δ15N = 10.1 ± 0.6 ‰ AIR; Malawi / Tanzania: δD = -43.2 ± 10.8 ‰ VSMOW, δ15N = 11.7 ± 1.3 ‰ AIR), but not in terms of feather δ13C. 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. en
dc.identifier.citation Wakelin, J, McKechnie, AE & Woodborne, S 2011, 'Stable isotope analysis of migratory connectivity in a threatened intra-African migrant, the Blue Swallow (Hirundo atrocaerulea)', Journal of Ornithology, vol. 152, no.1, pp. 171-177. [http://www.springer.com/life+sci/zoology/journal/10336] en
dc.identifier.issn 0021-8375
dc.identifier.issn 1439-0361 (online)
dc.identifier.other 10.1007/s10336-010-0562-4
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/2263/16436
dc.language.iso en en
dc.publisher Springer en
dc.rights © Dt. Ornithologen-Gesellschaft e.V. 2010 en
dc.subject Hirundo atrocaerulea en
dc.subject Conservation en
dc.subject Hirundinidae en
dc.subject Hydrogen en
dc.subject Migration en
dc.subject Nitrogen en
dc.subject.lcsh Swallows -- South Africa en
dc.subject.lcsh Migratory birds en
dc.subject.lcsh Birds -- Migration en
dc.title Stable isotope analysis of migratory connectivity in a threatened intra-African migrant, the Blue Swallow (Hirundo atrocaerulea) en
dc.type Postprint Article en


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