Movement and space use are important components of animal interactions with the environment. However, for hard-to-monitor raptor species, there are substantial gaps in our understanding of these key determinants. We used noninvasive genetic tools to evaluate the details of space use over a 3-yr period by White-tailed Eagles (Haliaeetus albicilla) at the Naurzum Zapovednik in northern Kazakhstan. We genotyped, at 10 microsatellite markers and one mitochondrial marker, 859 eagle feathers and assigned naturally shed feathers to individuals. We identified 124 White-tailed Eagles, including both members of 5–10 pairs per year, and were able to monitor birds across years. Distances between eagle nests and hunting perches were always greater than nearest neighbor distances, eagles never used the closest available hunting perch, and hunting perches were always shared with other eagles. When eagles switched nests between years, the nests they chose were almost always well outside the space that theory predicted they defended the prior year. Our data are inconsistent with classical territorial and colonial models of resource use; they more closely resemble semi-colonial behavior. It is unlikely that standard methods of animal tracking (e.g., marking and telemetry), would have provided a similarly cost-effective mechanism to gain these insights into spatial and temporal aspects of eagle behavior. When combined with existing information on space use of other local species, these data suggest that partitioning of spatial resources among White-tailed Eagles and other eagles at the Zapovednik may be facilitated by the alternative strategies of space use they employ.
You have requested a machine translation of selected content from our databases. This functionality is provided solely for your convenience and is in no way intended to replace human translation. Neither BioOne nor the owners and publishers of the content make, and they explicitly disclaim, any express or implied representations or warranties of any kind, including, without limitation, representations and warranties as to the functionality of the translation feature or the accuracy or completeness of the translations.
Translations are not retained in our system. Your use of this feature and the translations is subject to all use restrictions contained in the Terms and Conditions of Use of the BioOne website.
Vol. 50 • No. 4