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Tracking of nearctic seabirds surprises scientists with diverse migratory paths from shared breeding site


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As the Arctic and the oceans warm due to climate change, understanding how a rapidly changing environment may affect birds making annual journeys between the Arctic and the high seas is vital to international conservation efforts. However, for some Arctic species, there are still many unknowns about their migration routes. Using telemetry to solve some mysteries of three related seabird species—the pomarine jaeger, parasitic jaeger and long-tailed jaeger—scientists discovered they took different paths across four oceans from a shared central Canadian high Arctic nesting location. As predators and kleptoparasites that steal prey caught by other animals, jaegers are critical components of marine and terrestrial food webs. These new tracking data add to growing evidence linking marine biodiversity in the Arctic region and the high seas to inform large scale marine biological diversity management in areas beyond national jurisdiction.

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