In collaboration with Caroline Moussy, Benoit Fontaine and Frédéric Jiguet
Migratory birds, in particular, long-distance migrants, are vulnerable to environmental change in multiple regions. The ortolan bunting Emberiza hortulana is the only long-distance trans-Saharan migrant among the old world and it has undergone the second most pronounced decline of any bird species in temperate Western Europe in recent decades, with an estimated 82% population reduction between 1980 and 2008.
I participate in a huge investigation to identify clearly the flyways and the migration strategies of this species in the occidental Palearctic. Particularly, we search to better known the origin and the migration routes of birds flow through the south-west of France (including Landes) in the fall and migration routes of different breeding populations to Russia. A central issue is the contribution of the Russian population in migratory flows in the French south-west. To answer these questions, three techniques are used: 1) marking of breeding birds with geolocators photometers (GLS), 2,3) isotopic and genetic analysis of nesting birds and migrating with comparing the western flyway (southwest) and Eastern flyway during the spring (Kuwait in 2014 and Russie in 2014, 2015, 2016) and the fall in Kuwait in 2014.
Finally, thanks to data from light loggers, genetics and stable isotopes analyses, we were able to identify two main migration flyways for European ortolan buntings (eastern and western), while light loggers also suggested the existence of a third flyway (central). These results are developed in this report.