Peregrine Falcons in the Arctic: A Look Into Long-Distance Migratory Patterns

Authors: Bailey Aasen*, Augustana College
Topics: Biogeography
Keywords: biogeography, falcons, Arctic, animal migration, climate change
Session Type: Guided Poster
Day: 4/4/2019
Start / End Time: 9:55 AM / 11:35 AM
Room: Roosevelt 3.5, Marriott, Exhibition Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


The Arctic is warming at twice the rate of the rest of the world, but the impact of climate change on long-distance avian migrations has been the subject of relatively little research (WWF 2017). Arctic-breeding peregrine falcons have a long-distance migration upwards of 13,000 km. While short-distance avian migrants are adjusting their migration patterns in response to rising temperatures, it is unclear if long-distance migrants are following suit (Zaifman et al. 2017). This research project compares data collected by the High Arctic Institute from platform transmitter terminals (PTTs) in 2001-2003, with light logger data collected from 2012 to 2016 and camera data from 2016 to 2018 in order to track changes in peregrine falcon migrations (High Arctic Institute 2019). Dates of arrival and departure from the breeding location were pulled from the PTTs, light loggers, and camera images (Burnham 2008) and analyzed in ArcMap. Preliminary results show that spatially, the peregrines were travelling further distances than in 2001, but temporally, there were no significant changes. Failure to adjust migration patterns impacts the peregrine falcon population with increased competition for breeding and feeding, and this results in harming the Arctic biodiversity as a whole (Burnham 2008 and Usui, Butchart, and Phillimore 2017). This research is ongoing through the High Arctic Institute to continue to watch the migration patterns and increase the available data of the peregrine falcons.

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