Using Light-Level Geolocation and Stable Hydrogen Isotopes to Determine the Migratory Connectivity of Canadian Wood Thrush (Hylocichla Mustelina)
Casbourn, Garth William
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The Wood Thrush is a declining forest passerine that is listed as threatened in Canada. Using light-level geolocators, and analysis of stable hydrogen isotopes in feathers, this study established the migratory connectivity of Canadian Wood Thrush. Understanding migratory connectivity is essential to creating effective management strategies for a long-distance migrant. Ninety percent of the birds tracked wintered in a narrow band of the species winter range in eastern Honduras, Nicaragua, and northern Costa Rica. The most important stopover sites were Cuba, the Yucatan peninsula, and the Mississippi River delta. Ninety-eight percent of all feathers sampled in Nicaragua had D values consistent with the northernmost part of the breeding range. Tropical deforestation on the wintering grounds is likely a leading cause of population decline in the Wood Thrush, and future conservation efforts should be directed toward habitat protection.