Understanding migration ecology of Eurasian wigeons (Mareca penelope) is crucial for effective population management, mitigating conflicts with human, and habitat conservation. The objectives of the present study were 1) to determine their migration patterns of Eurasian wigeons in the East Asian flyway, and 2) to identify the key breeding and stopover sites. From 2007 to 2016, a total of the 64 wigeons, which wintered in Japan, were equipped with satellite transmitters. Most Eurasian wigeons migrated to breeding sites in Russia either (a) via a continental route through China, (b) via the Kamchatka Peninsula, or (c) via Sakhalin Island. In spring, many of the Eurasian wigeons (60.98%) migrated via the continental route. In autumn, most Eurasian wigeons (57.14%) migrated through Kamchatka. These differences may be attributable to the influence of Okhotsk Sea air mass on migration decisions due to loop migration. Similarly to the migration of Mallards, Eurasian wigeons employed a “long-stay and short-travel” migration strategy. Eurasian wigeons mainly nested between latitude between 43° to 75°N. From the present findings and the published literature, Eurasian wigeons that winter in Japan are considered to migrate to Russia, China, and the United States during the breeding season, although the main breeding area is in northeastern Russia. A total of 296 important sites to Eurasian wigeons were mapped, and 118 location names with geographic coordinates, and the top five most frequently used sites were identified in each season.
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Vol. 36 • No. 6