Third Meeting of the Western Hemisphere Shorebird Group
The rapid multi-clutch mating system of the Mountain Plover Charadrius montanus provides an opportunity to examine sex differences in natal, within-, and between-year breeding dispersal. We used nest locations from a Montana breeding population over a 14-year period to examine patterns of sex bias in natal and within-year breeding dispersal. Additionally, we modeled between-year dispersal distance with sex, previous nest fate, and presence of sylvatic plague as covariates. We found no sex bias in natal dispersal (mean = 12.96 km for 16 males; mean = 10.18 km for 22 females) or within-year breeding dispersal (mean = 2.81 km for 22 males; mean = 2.97 km for 26 females). The mean dispersal distance was 2.74 km (n = 115, SE = 0.60) for males nesting in consecutive years and 4.32 km (n = 87, SE = 0.87) for females. On average, birds that were successful moved 2.99 km (n = 149, SE = 0.55) between nesting attempts, while those whose nests had failed moved 4.63 km (n = 53, SE = 1.18). Sex of the tending adult and prior nest fate had the strongest effects on between-year breeding dispersal with a positive effect on dispersal distance for both females and birds whose nests had failed the previous year; there was a weak year effect but no effect of sylvatic plague. Our work provides 1) a better understanding of dispersal in an uncommon shorebird, 2) additional insight into a novel mating system, and 3) a basis for testing theories of avian dispersal.
Skrade, Paul Daniel Blom and Dinsmore, Stephen J., "Dispersal patterns in breeding Mountain Plovers (Charadrius montanus)" (2009). Natural Resource Ecology and Management Conference Papers, Posters and Presentations. 2.