Saturday, January 22, 2022

Natal dispersal of New Zealand falcon (Falco novaeseelandiae) in plantation forests

TitleNatal dispersal of New Zealand falcon (Falco novaeseelandiae) in plantation forests
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2008
AuthorsSeaton, R, Holland, JD, Minot, EO, Springett, BP
Type of Articlearticle
Keywordsband recovery, Falco novaeseelandiae, natal dispersal, New Zealand Falcon, pine plantation, radio-tracking

Natal dispersal of the New Zealand falcon (Falco novaeseelandiae) was documented using relocations of radio-tagged and colour banded falcons in Kaingaroa pine plantation. The age at which fledglings commenced natal dispersal was highly variable. The earliest fledglings dispersed 42 days after fledging, whilst others did not disperse out of their natal territories, remaining there to breed. After 91 days, 87% of fledglings had begun dispersal out of their natal territory. The mean time for the onset of dispersal was 76 days. Males generally dispersed earlier than females, but no significant difference was recorded. Both radio telemetry and colour band recoveries indicated that a large proportion of fledglings dispersed out of the study area. Mean natal dispersal distance within Kaingaroa Forest was 9.6 km. No significant difference was observed in natal dispersal distances between the sexes, although males generally roamed further afield than females. During this study, several females were recorded successfully breeding during their 1st year, a year earlier than usual. Males did not attempt to breed until they were 2 years old. We conclude that the high emigration rates and favourable breeding conditions in pine plantations make these habitats highly likely to act as source populations for neighbouring areas where populations of the New Zealand falcon may be in decline.

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