Poluda et al 2012, ringing & migration, first connectivity of aw
Published on: Mar 4, 2016
Transcripts - Poluda et al 2012, ringing & migration, first connectivity of aw
First conﬁrmed connectivity between breeding sites
and wintering areas of the globally threatened
Aquatic Warbler Acrocephalus paludicola
, MARTIN FLADE2
, JULIEN FOUCHER3
, GRZEGORZ KILJAN4
and VOLKER SALEWSKI6
Schmalhausen Institute of Zoology, National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, Bogdan Khmelnitsky
Str. 15, Kyiv-30 MSP, 01601, Ukraine 2
Landesamt fu¨r Umwelt, Gesundheit und Verbraucherschutz
Brandenburg, Abt. Großschutzgebiete und Regionalentwicklung, Tramper Chaussee 2, 16225
Eberswalde, Germany 3
Association ACROLA, La Jannais des Douets, 44360 Cordemais, France 4
Turkusowa 22 B, Wapnica, 72- 500 Miedzyzdroje, Poland 5
University of Greifswald, Institute for
Botany and Landscape Ecology, Grimmer Str. 88, 17487 Greifswald, Germany 6
Osnabru¨ck, Behavioural Biology, Barbarastr. 11, 49076 Osnabru¨ck, Germany
Knowledge of population-speciﬁc non-breeding areas in sub-Saharan Africa for the globally threatened
Aquatic Warbler Acrocephalus paludicola is paramount for the implementation of successful
conservation strategies that consider the species’ entire annual range. This may be the case especially
for declining marginal populations. Here we report on two Aquatic Warblers that were ringed in the
Inner Niger Delta in Mali and in the region of the Djoudj National Park, Senegal. The ﬁrst was
recaptured in the Supoj mire, Ukraine, and the second observed in the Biebrza marshes in Poland.
These records represent the ﬁrst proof of connectivity between wintering areas and breeding sites for the
The Aquatic Warbler Acrocephalus paludicola has a
scattered breeding distribution in the Palearctic region
and migrates to sub-Saharan Africa during the non-
breeding season (Flade & Lachmann 2008). Except for
anecdotal records and incidental observations (compiled
by Scha¨ffer et al 2006) the exact non-breeding areas have
been unknown until recently. In 2007, a major
wintering site was discovered in and around the Djoudj
National Park, northern Senegal (Salewski et al 2009),
but further efforts during the following years to locate
more wintering areas in Senegal, Mauritania and
Gambia remained unsuccessful (Flade et al 2011). Since
2007, 198 Aquatic Warblers have been ringed in and
near the Djoudj National Park at about 16826’03”N
16813’39”W. Between 2008 and 2011, 69 of these birds
were marked with a white colour ring in addition to the
usual aluminium ring in an ongoing project on the non-
breeding ecology of the species (Tegetmeyer 2008). One
of the colour-ringed birds has been observed during the
breeding season in the Biebrza marshes, eastern Poland,
in June 2011 at 53816’37”N 22835’17”E. As the
respective bird has not been recaptured it is not possible
to give more details about its initial time of capture, but
as there are no other current projects that use the
described combination of rings there is no doubt that at
least some Aquatic Warblers from the breeding
population in the Biebrza marshes are wintering in the
Djoudj area in Senegal.
In February 2011 another important wintering site for
Aquatic Warblers was discovered in the Inner Niger
Delta in Mali. There, 12 Aquatic Warblers were ringed
(J. Foucher in prep.). One of these birds was mist-netted
on 9 February at the Mayo Dembe´ near Kofel at
15811’56”N 0483’56”W and ringed with the Paris ring
6445985. This bird was recaptured on 1 June 2011 in
the Supoy mire north of Mala Berezanka, central
Ukraine, at 50824’48”N 31844’14”E by members of the
BirdLife International Aquatic Warbler Conservation
These records are the first proof of connectivity between
wintering sites and breeding populations for this species.
The orthodrome distances between the Djoudj area,
Senegal, and the Biebrza marshes in Poland and
between the Inner Niger Delta, Mali, and the Supoy
* Correspondence author
Q 2012 British Trust for Ornithology
Ringing & Migration (2012) iFirst, 1–3
mires, Ukraine are about 5,300 km and about 5,100 km
respectively (Fig 1). However, the actual migration
distances are certainly longer. Aquatic Warblers are
hardly recorded in central Europe during autumn
migration. Regular records in Belgium, southern
England, and along the French Atlantic coast (Julliard
et al 2006) indicate an initial migration route westwards.
A southward turn is then indicated by records of
migrating Aquatic Warblers in Spain (Migue´lez et al
2009), Portugal (Neto et al 2010) and Morocco (Scha¨ffer
et al 2006), from where Aquatic Warblers are suggested
to reach their sub-Saharan non-breeding areas (Fig 1).
Since Aquatic Warbler nestlings that were ringed in the
Biebrza marshes, were recaptured in autumn in the UK
and in Belgium (Mead & Clark 1991, N. Roothaert
pers com), we have evidence that birds from this
population use this flyway. That Aquatic Warblers
breeding in Supoy take this migration route is indicated
by another recaptured bird. An Aquatic Warbler that
was ringed on migration in August 2009 in the Loire
estuary, western France, was recaptured in July 2010 in
the Supoy mire during the breeding season.
Additionally, two Aquatic Warblers that were ringed in
the Djoudj area were recaptured on the following
autumn migration in western France (Flade et al 2011),
and two birds ringed on migration in northern Spain
were recaptured in Djoudj (Flade et al 2011,
C. Zumalaca´rregui pers comm). Therefore, the putative
migration distance of Aquatic Warblers from the
Biebrza mire and from the Supoy region via northern
and western France, Spain and Morocco to the winter
quarters in Senegal and Mali is probably more than
6,000 km. On spring migration Aquatic Warblers may
take a shorter, more direct route. This loop migration is
suggested by an individual that was captured in Brittany,
northern France, during its autumn migration in August
1995 and recaptured during the following spring
migration in Italy in April 1996 (Spina & Volponi
2008; see also de By 1990, Atienza et al 2001).
The Aquatic Warbler is the only globally threatened
passerine species of continental Europe (BirdLife
International 2004). Potentially suitable wintering
habitat for Aquatic Warblers is now found at only a few
scattered localities mainly in the valley of the Senegal
River, southern Mauritania and the inner delta of the
Niger River in Mali (Buchanan et al 2011, Flade et al
2011). Therefore, knowledge of the precise location of
the non-breeding areas in sub-Saharan Africa is
paramount for the urgent implementation of
conservation strategies (Flade & Lachmann 2008, Flade
et al 2011). The records described show that ringing can
help to gain information about connectivity between
Figure 1. Connectivity between two breeding populations and the respective non-breeding areas of the Aquatic Warbler. Shown are the
locations where the birds were ringed (Djoudj National Park, Senegal; Mayo Dembe´, Mali) and the breeding sites where they were observed
or recaptured (Biebrza marshes, Poland; Supoy mire, Ukraine). The dotted lines connect records of the same individuals but do not indicate
their migration routes.
Q 2012 British Trust for Ornithology, Ringing & Migration, iFirst, 1–3
2 A. Poluda et al
breeding and wintering sites for a better understanding of
factors that threaten certain populations.
We wish to thank A. Andre´, S. Arbeiter, A. Berndt, M. Boucaux,
M.T. Diop, H. Dugue´, B. Giessing, E. Giraudot, O. Ilucha,
I. Legeyda, J. Peters, M. Thiam and M. Thoma for help in the
field in Ukraine, Senegal and Mali. P. Marczakiewicz
communicated the observation of the colour-ringed Aquatic
Warbler in the Biebrza marshes to us. R. Mayer helped with
the preparation of Figure 1. P. Jones kindly improved our
English. The expedition to Mali was made possible by the
Association pour la Connaissance et la Recherche
Ornithologique Loire et Atlantique (ACROLA) and the
Agencia Espan˜ola de Cooperacio´n Internacional para el
Desarrollo (AECID), and the work in the Djoudj National
Park by the Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt and the MAVA
Foundation for Nature. The expedition to Ukraine was
supported by the O.M.H. Schmidt-Felsche-Stiftung.
Atienza, J.C., Pinilla, J. & Justribo´, J.H. (2001) Migration and
conservation of the Aquatic Warbler Acrocephalus paludicola in
Spain. Ardeola 48, 197–208.
BirdLife International (2004) Birds in Europe: population estimates,
trends and conservation status. BirdLife International, Cambridge.
Buchanan, G.M., Lachmann, L., Tegetmeyer, C., Oppel, S.,
Nelson, A. & Flade, M. (2011) Identifying the potential wintering
sites of the globally threatened Aquatic Warbler Acrocephalus
paludicola using remote sensing. Ostrich 82, 81–85.
de By, R.A. (1990) Migration of Aquatic Warbler in western Europe.
Dutch Birding 12, 165–181.
Flade, M. & Lachmann, L. (2008) International Species Action Plan for
the Aquatic Warbler Acrocephalus paludicola. BirdLife International,
Flade, M., Diop, I., Haase, M., Le Neve´, A., Oppel, S.,
Tegetmeyer, C., Vogel, A. & Salewski, V. (2011) Distribution,
ecology and threat status of the Aquatic Warblers Acrocephalus
paludicola wintering in West Africa. Journal of Ornithology 152
(suppl. 1), S129–S140.
Julliard, R., Bargain, B., Dubos, A. & Jiguet, F. (2006) Identifying
autumn migration routes for the globally threatened Aquatic Warbler
Acrocephalus paludicola. Ibis 148, 735–743.
Mead, C.J. & Clark, J.A. (1991) Report on bird ringing for Britain and
Ireland for 1990. Ringing & Migration 12, 139–175.
Migue´lez, D., Zumalaca´rregui, C., Fuertes, B., Astia´rraga, H.,
Gonza´lez-Ja´n˜ez, R., Roa, I. & de la Calzada, F. (2009)
Habitat, phenology and biometrics of the Aquatic Warbler
Acrocephalus paludicola during autumn migration through a riverine
wetland in Iberia. Ringing & Migration 24, 277–279.
Neto, J.M., Encarnac¸a˜o, V. & Fearon, P. (2010) Distribution,
phenology and condition of Aquatic Warblers Acrocephalus
paludicola migrating through Portugal. Ardeola 57, 181–189.
Salewski, V., Bargain, B., Diop, I. & Flade, M. (2009) Quest for a
phantom – the search for the winter quarters of the Aquatic Warbler
Acrocephalus paludicola. African Bird Club Bulletin. 16, 61–66.
Scha¨ffer, N., Walther, B.A., Gutteridge, K. & Rahbek, C.
(2006) The African migration and wintering grounds of the
Aquatic Warbler Acrocephalus paludicola. Bird Conservation
International 16, 33–56.
Spina, F. & Volponi, S. (2008) Atlante della Migrazione degli Uccelli
in Italia. Volume II: Passeriformi, Ministero dell’Ambiente e della Tutela
del Territorio e del Mare, Istituto Superiore per la Protezione e la
Ricerca Ambientale (ISPRA). Tipograﬁa SCR, Roma.
Tegetmeyer, C. (2008) Habitat analysis of Aquatic Warbler wintering
grounds: ﬁrst ﬁeld period 2008. In The Aquatic Warbler, a global
threatened species (eds J. De´ze´cot, A. Le Neve´ & B. Bargain), pp.
40–41, Proceedings of the Life seminar ’Conservation of the
Aquatic Warbler in Brittany‘. Penn ar Bed 206. Bretagne Vivante,
(MS received 11 October 2011; accepted 16 December 2011)
Q 2012 British Trust for Ornithology, Ringing & Migration, iFirst, 1–3
Aquatic Warbler connectivity 3