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Mathieu Tétreault


Master student

Department of biology, chemistry and geography, UQAR

Des Ursulines Building
300 Allée des Ursulines
Quebec, Canada
G5L 3A1

418.723.1986 extension 1909





Research project

Migration ecology of arctic breeding peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus) populations and its impact on breeding

Many studies have shown direct and indirect effects of climate change on the breeding ecology in many species of Arctic-breeding birds, but few studies have investigated the link between migration and breeding, particularly in raptor species.
Migration is an energetically expensive life history stage for many bird species, and it can be argued that the effects of migration carry over into the breeding season and influence reproduction.
Ultimately, changes in climate will likely influence links between inward migration and breeding. However, an essential first step is to gain an overall understanding of migration patterns in order to examine the potential consequences of migration on the breeding ecology of Arctic breeding populations. Furthermore, knowledge of peregrine falcon winter and breeding home range (HR) is lacking, it is therefore important to improve our understanding of those key factors of a top predator’s ecology.
The main goal of my project is to describe the movements of peregrine falcons during each of the four main components of the annual cycle (inward migration, breeding, outward migration and wintering), and to investigate links between migration and breeding. I will try, among other things, to determine the true home range of the peregrine falcon in its breeding range and then see if the size of it affects reproduction (time in the nests, number of visits, type of prey hunted etc.) I also will combine data from multiple populations to see if there is consistency in peregrine falcon migration (migration routes, stopover sites, departure date, speed, etc.).To tackle these objectives, I will use the data collected from satellite Platform Terminal Transmitters (PTTs) and light-based geolocation devices (GL). These devices were deployed between 2008 and 2014 as part of Arctic Raptors project, which study peregrine falcon breeding ecology primarily in Nunavut since 1980. The GPS data collected by PTTs will allow me to better understand the small-scale movements (home range / winter range) while geolocators data (collected only if the bird is recaptured) will allow me to understand movements at a larger scale (distance of migration distance, length of migration, speed, etc.). Collaborations with external researchers will also allow me to expand my dataset to other arctic populations such as those found in Alaska and Greenland.

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