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Prior the second half of 20th Century, the migration of South American (SA) breeding birds has not been considered a major research subject (Chesser 1994). Two immigrant ornithologists pioneered SA bird migration studies: Claes C. Olrog - mainly in Argentina; and, Helmut Sick in Brazil. The former made a synthesis of available knowledge for SA in 1968, and Sick was the first to draw attention to the movements of riverine point bars birds when the annual flood arrives in tropical portions of lowland SA (Sick, 1967). Movements were first detected mainly throughout the direct observation of species' seasonal appearance and disappearance, as with the Blue-and-yellow Macaw (Ara ararauna) in lowland Colombia (Collar 1997) and in the Brazilian Pantanal (Carrara et al. 2019). Bird banding from mid 20th century on became the research tool to map them before technological advances made available additional methods. Geolocators, GSM cellular, and satellite trackers have since been used to study different lowland tropical SA birds. Noteworthy migrations became evident throughout the tropical portion of SA. Geolocators found that migrants from Central Brazil´s Lesser Elaenia (Elaenia chiriquensis) population had different migratory paths and strategies (Guaraldo et al, 2021). Geolocators suggested that tropical and temperate Fork-tailed Flycatchers (Tyrannus savana) breeders did not differ much in spring migration strategy despite their large latitudinal range (Jahn et al., 2019). Riverine sandy bars species have been extensively studied through bird-banding and satellite transmitters. Orinoco Goose (Neochen jubata) has important migrations into Llanos del Moxo (Bolivia) wetlands from breeding grounds in Peru (Davenport et al., 2012) and in Juruá River, Brazil (Endo et al., 2013), found through satellite markers. Pantanal´s Black Skimmer (Rynchops niger) moves to Southern Atlantic Coast of Brazil and Argentina as shown by bird-banding (Antas et al., 2016). Satellite transmitters showed Peruvian Black Skimmers moving mostly to Pacific Coast, albeit one moved southeastward into Northern Paraguay before the signal was lost (Davenport et al., 2016). The proper knowledge of these different migratory strategies, sometimes even within the same species, is also very important for their conservation. Huge habitat changes we have been promoting all over SA may be affecting them or shall affect them in near future. For some species, either in upland, wetlands, or aquatic habitats knowing these migrations can be key for their future. We aim to discuss priority groups of species and locations in SA where a better understanding of avian movement


Migration strategies, conservation

Paulo de Tarso Antas, Lisa Davenport

Presentation within symposium:

S-48 Lesser-known Avian Migration Systems in South America

Bird migration in lowland tropical South America, an overview


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