Study reveals migration behaviors of puffins for the first time
Date: November 30, 2017
Source: University of Oxford
An international collaboration has for the first time revealed the key drivers of seabird migration. The new study suggests that puffin colonies that travel great distances during the winter often find it more difficult to breed than others, and that escaping your habitat with far flung migration therefore carries a cost.
Published in Current Biology, the work was led by researchers from the Department of Zoology of the University of Oxford and conducted in collaboration with eight international partners, including the Norwegian Institute for Nature Research, the University of New Brunswick in Canada and the South Iceland Nature Research Centre.
Over the course of eight years the team studied the seasonal behaviours of a wide range of puffin colonies across the species' range, covering 270 individual birds in total. By combining data from multiple colonies the researchers were able to build an accurate picture of the migration behaviours of Atlantic puffin colonies across the world.
While previous research has focused on individual colonies and seabird species, the study marks the first time that seabird migration behaviour has been studied on this scale in such comprehensive detail.