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Predicting the non-breeding distributions of the two Asian subspecies of Black-tailed Godwit using morphological information
Zhu, B.-R.; Verhoeven, M.A.; Hassell, C.J.; Leung, K. K-S.; Dorofeev, D.; Ma, Q.; Eiamampai, K.; Coleman, J.T.; Tserenbat, U.; Purev-Ochir, G.; Li, D.; Zhang, Z.; Piersma, T. (2023). Predicting the non-breeding distributions of the two Asian subspecies of Black-tailed Godwit using morphological information. Avian Research 14: 100069.
In: Avian Research. BIOMED CENTRAL LTD: London. ISSN 2055-6187; e-ISSN 2053-7166, meer
Peer reviewed article  

Beschikbaar in  Auteurs 

    Limosa limosa (Linnaeus, 1758) [WoRMS]
Author keywords
    DFA; Discriminant function analysis; East Asian-Australasian Flyway; Limosa limosa

Auteurs  Top 
  • Zhu, B.-R.
  • Verhoeven, M.A.
  • Hassell, C.J.
  • Leung, K. K-S.
  • Dorofeev, D.
  • Ma, Q.
  • Eiamampai, K.
  • Coleman, J.T.
  • Tserenbat, U.
  • Purev-Ochir, G.
  • Li, D.
  • Zhang, Z.
  • Piersma, T., meer


    Until recently, Limosa limosa melanuroides was thought to be the only subspecies of Black-tailed Godwit in the East Asian–Australasian Flyway. For this reason, all previous occurrences and counts ofBlack-tailed Godwits in the flyway have been assigned to melanuroides. However, a larger-bodied subspecies, bohaii , has recently been discovered in the flyway. As a result, the occurrence of Black-tailed Godwits in the flyway needs to be reconsidered such that the specific distribution of each subspecies becomes known. To this end, we developed a simple discriminant function to assign individuals to subspecies based on their bill and wing length. Cross-validation with individuals known to be bohaii or melanuroides, based on molecular analysis, showed the developed function to be 97.7% accurate. When applied to measurements of godwits captured at 22 sites across 9countries in East–Southeast Asia and Australia, we found that bohaii and melanuroides occurred at most sites and overlapped in their distribution from Kamchatka to Australia. We examined photos from all along the flyway to verify this surprising result, confirming that both subspecies co-occur in most locations. Based on these results, we hypothesise that bohaii and melanuroides from the west of their breeding ranges mostly migrate over Chinese mainland. Birds of both subspecies from the east of their ranges are expected to migrate along the Pacific Ocean. We encourage ringing groups in East–Southeast Asia and Australia to use this simple method to keep adding knowledge about Black-tailed Godwits in the East Asian–Australasian Flyway.

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