Supplementary material from "Long-term satellite tracking reveals patterns of long-distance dispersal in juvenile and adult Arctic foxes (Vulpes lagopus)"

Posted on 2023-01-25 - 05:32
Long-distance dispersal plays a key role in species distribution and persistence. However, its movement metrics and ecological implications may differ whether it is undertaken by juveniles (natal dispersal) or adults (breeding dispersal). We investigated the influence of life stage on long-distance dispersal in the Arctic fox, an important tundra predator. We fitted 170 individuals with satellite collars during a 13-year study on Bylot Island (Nunavut, Canada), and analysed the tracks of 10 juveniles and 27 adults engaging in long-distance dispersal across the Canadian High Arctic. This behaviour was much more common than expected, especially in juveniles (62.5%, adults: 19.4%). Emigration of juveniles occurred mainly at the end of summer while departure of adults was not synchronized. Juveniles travelled for longer periods and over longer cumulative distances than adults, but spent similar proportions of their time travelling on sea ice versus land. Successful immigration occurred mostly in late spring and was similar for juveniles and adults (30% versus 37%). Our results reveal how life stage influences key aspects of long-distance dispersal in a highly mobile canid. This new knowledge is critical to understand the circumpolar genetic structure of the species, and how Arctic foxes can spread zoonoses across vast geographical areas.

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Gravel, Richard; Lai, Sandra; Berteaux, Dominique (2023): Supplementary material from "Long-term satellite tracking reveals patterns of long-distance dispersal in juvenile and adult Arctic foxes (Vulpes lagopus)". The Royal Society. Collection. https://doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.c.6399726.v1
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