We estimated rates of breeding philopatry and complementary dispersal within the Queen Maud Gulf metapopulation of Ross’s Geese (Chen rossii) using multistate modeling of neckband observations at five breeding colonies, 1999–2003. Probability of philopatry was female–biased, but varied among colonies. Probabilies of annual movement among breeding colonies ranged 0.02 to 0.14 for females and 0.12 to 0.38 for males and was substantially higher than expected. These estimates (1) underscore the potential for dispersal to alter breeding distribution, (2) demonstrates that the influence of immigration on colony–specific rates of population growth is nontrivial, and (3) provides behavioral evidence for extensive gene flow among subpopulations. Sex differences in apparent survival estimated from multistate models likely resulted from a combination of higher rates of neckband loss by males compared to females, and higher rates of permanent emigration by males from our study area.
Dispersal, Multistate, Philopatry, Ross's Goose, Chen rossi
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