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Wednesday, January 30 • 11:00am - 11:10am
(WILDLIFE: LIGHTNING TALK) Migration Chronology and Wintering Locations of King Rails (Rallus elegans) Captured in the Upper Midwest

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AUTHORS: Michelle Kane, Thomas Gehring – Central Michigan University; Brendan Shirkey, John W. Simpson, Michael A. Picciuto – Winous Point Marsh Conservancy

ABSTRACT: King rails (Rallus elegans) are a secretive marshbird, and the migratory population is of high conservation concern due to declining numbers and loss of historic breeding habitat. In part due to their secretive nature, knowledge gaps exist for basic life history information, including migratory routes, migration chronology and wintering range. We placed satellite transmitters on nine king rails captured in Ohio to gather information about spring and autumn migration chronology and routes, wintering locations, and the potential exposure of migratory king rails to harvest. We received autumn migration data for four individuals and spring migration data for two individuals. Departure dates from the breeding range varied from 30 August to 20 October and spring arrival date to the Upper Midwest was 20 April. Autumn migration for all birds was completed in five days or less. During autumn migration, three individuals migrated from Ohio to the Gulf Coast, and one individual migrated from Pennsylvania to the Atlantic coast. Spring migration lasted longer than autumn migration for both individuals. During spring migration, one individual migrated from the Gulf Coast to the Upper Midwest, and one individual migrated from the Atlantic Coast to the Gulf Coast. We found all king rails with migration data spent the winter in states with king rail hunting seasons during open hunting dates, and thus could potentially be exposed to harvest. This novel information provides critical insight into the migratory movements and wintering range of migratory king rails.

Wednesday January 30, 2019 11:00am - 11:10am

Attendees (1)