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Data from: Natal dispersal of whooping cranes in the reintroduced eastern migratory population

Citation

Thompson, Hillary; Caven, Andrew; Hayes, Matthew; Lacy, Anne (2021), Data from: Natal dispersal of whooping cranes in the reintroduced eastern migratory population, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.9w0vt4bf0

Abstract

Natal dispersal is a key demographic process for evaluating population rate of change, especially for long-lived, highly mobile species. This process is largely unknown for reintroduced populations of endangered avian species. We evaluated natal dispersal distances (NDD) for male and female Whooping Cranes (Grus americana) introduced into two locations in central Wisconsin (Necedah National Wildlife Refuge, or NNWR, and the Eastern Rectangle, or ER) using a series of demographic, spatial, and life history related covariates. Data were analyzed using Gamma Regression models with a log-link function and compared using Akaike Information Criterion corrected for small sample sizes (AICc). Whooping Cranes released in the ER dispersed 261% further than those released into NNWR, dispersal distance increased 4% for each additional nesting pair, decreased about 24% for males as compared to females, increased for 21% for inexperienced pairs, and decreased 3% for each additional year of age. Natal philopatry, habitat availability, and competition for breeding territories may be influencing observed patterns of NDD. Whooping Cranes released in the ER may exhibit longer NDD due to fragmented habitat or conspecific attraction to established breeding pairs at NNWR. Additionally, sex-biased dispersal may be increasing in this population as there are more individuals from different natal sites forming breeding pairs. As the population grows and continues to disperse, the drivers of NDD patterns may evolve.

Methods

These long-term data were collected by members of the Whooping Crane Eastern Partnership, including staff of the International Crane Foundation, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Natal dispersal distances were measured using the 'Near' tool in ArcMap version 10.6.1. Coordinates of natal sites and nesting locations were not included to protect this territorial endangered species. All analyses were conducted in R 3.6.0. We used the following packages: 'stats' and 'MuMIn'. A more detailed description of methods can be found in the associated manuscript submitted for publication to Ecology and Evolution.

Usage Notes

The README file explains each variable used and brief definitions of categorical variables. NA denotes missing data. A more detailed description of methods can be found in the associated manuscript.