Breeding Success Affects the Apparent Survival of Grassland Passerines
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The apparent adult survival rate is one of the key population parameters of migratory birds. The widely used Cormack–Jolly–Seber capture–mark–recapture model has a number of disadvantages, the main one of which is the impossibility of discerning mortality and permanent emigration. The accuracy of survival estimates can be increased using a multistate capture–mark–recapture model, with the help of which it is possible to assess the survival of successful and unsuccessful birds separately. We used this model to estimate the apparent survival rates of adults in local populations of three ground-nesting passerines: Booted Warbler (Iduna caligata), Whinchat (Saxicola rubetra), and Yellow Wagtail (Motacilla flava), all breeding on abandoned agricultural lands. We studied the reproductive success of 472 marked pairs and analyzed individual capture histories of 814 birds. The previous reproductive success was found to influence significantly the apparent survival of adults. This relation was best expressed in the Yellow Wagtail (apparent survival of successful birds, φ = 0.39 ± 0.06, vs. that of unsuccessful birds, φ = 0.19 ± 0.06) and the Whinchat (apparent survival of successful birds, φ = 0.32 ± 0.05, vs. apparent survival of unsuccessful birds, φ = 0.10 ± 0.05), but a little lower in the Booted Warbler (apparent survival of successful birds, φ = 0.33 ± 0.17, vs. apparent survival of unsuccessful birds, φ = 0.16 ± 0.13). Unsuccessful individuals leave the study area for good, while most of the successful birds return there the next year. Thus, the apparent survival rate of passerines evaluated with capture–recapture models is determined to a considerable degree by the previous reproductive success within local populations.
Keywordssurvival rate multistate capture–mark–recapture model reproductive success Booted Warbler Iduna caligata Whinchat Saxicola rubetra Yellow Wagtail Motacilla flava
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