, Volume 148, Issue 3, pp 347-355
Date: 15 May 2007

Range of the Greater Flamingo, Phoenicopterus roseus, metapopulation in the Mediterranean: new insights from Turkey

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Metapopulation conservation should rely on a flyway approach aiming at assessing the spatial range of metapopulations by estimating the level of exchanges among local populations. In the western Mediterranean, Greater Flamingos have been shown to constitute a metapopulation with natal and breeding dispersal among colonies. In this paper, we examine whether this metapopulation reaches Turkey using a band-resighting study. Our results are the first evidence of natal and breeding dispersal from the western Mediterranean to Turkey, and suggest that the Gediz Delta, one of the two Turkish breeding colonies, can play a significant role in the recruitment of flamingos from the western Mediterranean. In 2003 and 2004, breeders of western Mediterranean origin accounted for more than 1.2 and 1.9% of the estimated breeding population of the Gediz Delta, respectively. Our observations also indicate that the western Mediterranean and Southwest Asia may constitute two sets of populations, which overlap in Turkey. Finally, the resightings of flamingos banded in Turkey show that post-fledging dispersal from Turkey reaches both the eastern and western Mediterranean wetlands. Future data on the natal and breeding dispersal of flamingos born in Turkey could clarify further the connection between Turkey and the western Mediterranean metapopulation.

Communicated by P.H. Becker.