Seasonal Movements of Japanese Murrelets Revealed by Geolocators.

  • January 1, 2016
  • by Yamaguchi, N. M., Iida, T., Nakamura, Y., Okabe, H., Oue, K., Yamamoto, T., & Higuchi, H.

The Japanese Murrelet Synthliboramphus wumizusume is listed as a vulnerable species by IUCN, but little information is available on its movements during the non-breeding season. We tracked three murrelets during the non-breeding season using light-level geolocators in 2012–2014. Birds from Eboshijima in Kyushu and Koujima in Shikoku were each tracked for one year, and one bird from Birojima in Kyusyu was tracked for two years. All three moved northward in the Pacific Ocean off Shikoku and Honshu in the spring then to the Pacific and the Sea of Japan off Hokkaido and off Sakhalin. In the fall and early winter two movement patterns were observed: (1) southwestward along the coast of Primorskii, the People’s Democratic Republic of Korea, and the Republic of Korea; (2) southwestward movement along the east and south coasts of Honshu and Shikoku. In winter, two stayed in the southwestern part of the Sea of Japan, while the third moved southward into the Pacific Ocean.