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1 October 2008 Breeding Dispersal and Survival of Arctic Terns (Sterna Paradisaea) Nesting in the Gulf of Maine
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We used capture–mark–recapture (or re-encounter) analysis of a metapopulation to estimate the probability of survival, re-encounter, and dispersal of Arctic Terns (Sterna paradisaea) nesting in the Gulf of Maine and the Bay of Fundy. Before our study, there were only a few anecdotal accounts of breeding dispersal, and the only estimates of survival for this species were calculated in the 1950s and 1960s in the United Kingdom, using return rates unadjusted for recapture probability. Approximately 45% of the North American breeding population nests in the Gulf of Maine region; 95% of these nest on the four islands studied. Re-encounter observations of 2,295 adult Arctic Terns banded on these four key islands were collected from 1999 to 2005. An information-theoretic approach was used to determine the model best describing survival and movement patterns. Models using the program M-SURGE suggested that the apparent survival of adult Arctic Terns was colony- and year-specific, ranging from 0.704 to 0.960 when transient individuals were accounted for. Re-encounter probabilities were generally low, ranging from 0.12 to 0.74, depending on colony and year. Fidelity to previous breeding colonies was high; estimated probability of movement among colonies ranged from 0.000 to 0.015. Breeding dispersal was negatively correlated with distances among islands, but not with colony size. There was no difference between male and female Arctic Terns in survival, re-encounter, or breeding dispersal.

Catherine M. Devlin, Antony W. Diamond, Stephen W. Kress, C. Scott Hall, and Linda Welch "Breeding Dispersal and Survival of Arctic Terns (Sterna Paradisaea) Nesting in the Gulf of Maine," The Auk 125(4), (1 October 2008).
Received: 14 April 2007; Accepted: 1 March 2008; Published: 1 October 2008

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