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1 September 2013 Movement Patterns, Natal Dispersal, and Survival of Peregrine Falcons Banded in New England
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Knowledge of dispersal patterns and survival rates is essential to understand population dynamics and demography, and to develop effective long-term management strategies for species of conservation concern. In New England, Peregrine Falcons (Falco peregrinus) were extirpated as a breeding species in the 1960s. Following a captive breeding and release program, the population subsequently underwent a rapid, dispersal-based expansion into its former range, particularly during the last two decades. Use of buildings, bridges, and other human-made structures for nesting has become widespread in urban areas, where the species only infrequently nested prior to reintroduction. We analyzed encounters of Peregrine Falcons banded as nestlings in the six New England states between May 1990 and June 2009 to determine: (a) differences in dispersal patterns (distance and direction) by sex; (b) differences in movement and natal dispersal among birds from cliff and artificial nest sites; (c) causes of mortality; and (d) effects of sex, age, and natal habitat type on survivorship. Of 986 Peregrine Falcons banded, 24% were encountered again at least once by December 2009. Although most encounters (76%) occurred within the study area, 24% were outside New England in eight other eastern states, three Canadian provinces, Cuba, and Nicaragua. Five percent of the marked population was later confirmed at breeding territories in the eastern U.S.A., primarily in New England. Females dispersed greater distances (natal dispersal  =  152.6 km; range  =  70.2–853.5 km; n  =  28) than males (88.0 km; range  =  0.03–1009.7 km; n  =  22). New England peregrines showed a strong tendency to settle at nest types similar to those on which they were raised (rural cliff vs. urban structures); however, we documented movement from urban to rural habitats and vice versa in equal proportions. The causes of mortality for 122 recovered birds included unknown (61%), collisions with aircraft (11%), collisions with stationary objects (8%), falling from nest site (8%), collisions with vehicles or trains (7%), gunshot wounds (2%), entanglement in fishing gear (1%), and poisoning (1%). Most deaths occurred among first-year (68%) and second-year (11%) birds, with first-year peregrines experiencing significantly higher mortality than other age classes. The estimated annual survival rate for second-year and adult falcons combined was 81%, whereas our estimate for first-year birds was only 9%; however, the latter rate likely is a significant underestimate. We found no effect of natal habitat or sex on survival.

El conocimiento de los patrones de dispersión y de las tasas de supervivencia es esencial para entender la dinámica de poblaciones y la demografía, y para desarrollar estrategias de manejo a largo plazo para especies de interés de conservación. En Nueva Inglaterra, Falco peregrinus desapareció como especie reproductiva en la década de 1960. Tras un programa de reproducción en cautiverio y liberación, la población experimentó subsecuentemente una rápida expansión dispersándose dentro de su antigua área de distribución, particularmente durante las últimas dos décadas. El uso de edificios, puentes y otras estructuras artificiales como sitios de anidamiento se volvió frecuente en áreas urbanas, donde la especie anidaba muy poco antes de su reintroducción. Analizamos los encuentros con individuos de F. peregrinus anillados cuando eran pichones en los seis estados de Nueva Inglaterra entre mayo de 1990 y junio de 2009 para determinar: (a) diferencias en los patrones de dispersión (distancia y dirección) por sexo; (b) diferencias en el movimiento y dispersión natal entre aves de acantilados y sitios de anidamiento artificiales; (c) causas de mortalidad; y (d) efecto

The Raptor Research Foundation, Inc.
Steven D. Faccio "Movement Patterns, Natal Dispersal, and Survival of Peregrine Falcons Banded in New England," Journal of Raptor Research 47(3), 246-261, (1 September 2013).
Received: 12 March 2012; Accepted: 1 April 2013; Published: 1 September 2013

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