eCite Digital Repository

Natal and Breeding Dispersal of Razorbills (Alca torda) in Eastern North America


Lavers, JL and Jones, IL and Diamond, AW, Natal and Breeding Dispersal of Razorbills (Alca torda) in Eastern North America, Waterbirds, 30, (4) pp. 588-594. ISSN 1524-4695 (2007) [Refereed Article]

Restricted - Request a copy

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2007 The Waterbird Society

DOI: doi:10.1675/1524-4695(2007)030[0588:NABDOR]2.0.CO;2


Until recently, our understanding of the role of movement in animal populations was limited due to a prevalence of studies on single local populations. Here we report on local and regional movement patterns of Razorbill ( Alca torda ), the least numerous Atlantic alcid, through the use of multi-site capture-mark-recapture/resight for five breeding locations spanning their entire North American breeding range. Razorbill philopatry and breeding site fidelity rates for the Gannet Islands, Labrador were high with 83% of young birds (N = 340) and 97% of adults (N = 149) returning to the same colony to breed. The distance moved between the natal colony and the colony where an individual later bred was significantly greater for birds banded as chicks, both between colonies on the same island and within islands in the Gannet Islands cluster. Regional movements of 40 banded individuals were recorded during 2003-2006, including seven birds that were confirmed breeding at a location different from their natal colony. Emigration distances among colonies in North America ranged from 57 to 1,737 km, providing an unexpectedly high rate of movement of birds between breeding colonies that has not been previously reported for any auk species. One bird, banded as a chick on Digges Island, Nunavut in 1982 was recaptured 24 years later as a breeder on the Gannet Islands (1,737 km away). A chick banded on Handa Island, Scotland in 1971 was seen four times in 2004 at the Gannet Islands (3,210 km away). Despite exhibiting low productivity and survivorship, Razorbill populations at some Atlantic Canada breeding sites have been increasing. We conclude that the dispersal and recruitment of individuals into new colonies that are characteristic of other seabird species may also partly explain patterns of population dynamics at North American Razorbill colonies. Received 27 February 2007, accepted 09 October 2007.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Dispersal rates
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Ecology
Research Field:Ecology not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Marine systems and management
Objective Field:Marine biodiversity
UTAS Author:Lavers, JL (Dr Jennifer Lavers)
ID Code:77907
Year Published:2007
Web of Science® Times Cited:12
Deposited By:IMAS Research and Education Centre
Deposited On:2012-06-04
Last Modified:2012-07-05

Repository Staff Only: item control page