Movement patterns, home range size and habitat selection of an endangered resource tracking species, the black-throated finch (Poephila cincta cincta)
Rechetelo, J and Grice, A and Reside, AE and Hardesty, BD and Moloney, J, Movement patterns, home range size and habitat selection of an endangered resource tracking species, the black-throated finch (Poephila cincta cincta), PLoS One, 11, (11) Article e0167254. ISSN 1932-6203 (2016) [Refereed Article]
Understanding movement patterns and home range of species is paramount in ecology; it is particularly important for threatened taxa as it can provide valuable information for conservation management. To address this knowledge gap for a range-restricted endangered bird, we estimated home range size, daily movement patterns and habitat use of a granivorous subspecies in northeast Australia, the black-throated finch (Poephila cincta cincta; BTF) using radio-tracking and re-sighting of colour banded birds. Little is known about basic aspects of its ecology including movement patterns and home range sizes. From 2011–2014 we colour-banded 102 BTF and radio-tracked 15 birds. We generated home ranges (calculated using kernel and Minimum Convex Polygons techniques of the 15 tracked BTF). More than 50% of the re-sightings occurred within 200 m of the banding site (n = 51 out of 93 events) and within 100 days of capture. Mean home-range estimates with kernel (50%, 95% probability) and Minimum Convex Polygons were 10.59 ha, 50.79 ha and 46.27 ha, respectively. Home range size differed between two capture sites but no seasonal differences were observed. BTF home ranges overlapped four habitat types among eight available. Habitat selection was different from random at Site 1 (χ2 = 373.41, df = 42, p<0.001) and Site 2 (χ2 = 1896.1, df = 45, p<0.001); however, the preferred habitats differed between the two sites. BTF moved further than expected on the basis of current knowledge, with three individuals being resighted over 15 km from the banding location. However, BTF maintain small home ranges over short time-frames. Occasional long-distance movements may be related to resource bottleneck periods. Daily movement patterns differed between sites, which is likely linked to the fact that the sites differ in the spatial distribution of resources. The work provides information about home range sizes and local movement of BTF that will be valuable for targeting effective management and conservation strategies for this endangered granivore.
movement patterns, home range size, habitat selection, black-throated finch, Poephila cincta cincta