Alaska Science Center
Swan Surveillance and Research
Geographic variation in movement and population structure of Tundra Swans and Avian Influenza viruses
This project was initiated to document inter-population differences in migration patterns and wintering distribution of Tundra Swans (Cygnus columbianus) breeding across Alaska and to better understand the influence of dispersal and fidelity on Tundra Swan genetic population structure and the characteristics of avian influenza viruses. Results from this work will elucidate the relationship between the ecology and life history characteristics of a migratory bird and the population structure and movement of avian influenza viruses at multiple spatial scales (within a migratory flyway, between flyways, and eventually, across continents).
To attain these goals, we have fitted 50 Tundra Swans with satellite transmitters (PTT) at five different breeding areas in Alaska, including the southern and northern Alaska Peninsula, the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta, drainages of Kotzebue Sound, and the Arctic Coastal Plain. Movement patterns and estimates of dispersal of swans from these areas should enable us to understand genetic differentiation within and among populations of Tundra Swans and the avian influenza viruses they carry.
This work will complement an ongoing study of the relationship between viral markers and wintering sites of migratory birds breeding in Alaska, as determined from signatures of stable isotopes in feathers.
The daily movements of the fifty Tundra Swans implanted with satellite transmitters can be viewed interactively using Google Earth by clicking on the Tundra Swan movements .KMZ file image displayed to the left. For optimum viewing be sure to have the latest version of Google Earth, which can be downloaded for free at http://earth.google.com/
THE FOLLOWING IMAGES AND DATA ARE BASED ON PRELIMINARY DATA. THEY ARE NOT FOR USE WITHOUT PERMISSION OF THE USGS ALASKA SCIENCE CENTER. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Compare Migration Routes
The Fall 2008 and Spring 2009 migration routes of the radio tagged Tundra Swans may be compaired to the Latest Locations by selecting the buttons below.
Swan Surveillance and Research comments and questions may be sent to Craig Ely at: email@example.com