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Limited dispersal by Nazca boobies Sula granti


  • Kathryn P. Huyvaert,

  • David J. Anderson

K. P. Huyvaert and D. J. Anderson (correspondence), Dept. of Biology, Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, NC, USA 27109–7325, E-mail: Present address of K. P. Huyvaert: Dept. of Biology, University of Missouri-St. Louis, St. Louis MO 63121–4499.


We documented natal and breeding dispersal at several spatial scales by Galápagos Nazca boobies Sula granti, a wide-ranging pelagic seabird. We found exceptionally low degrees of both types of dispersal despite these birds’ vagility. Median natal dispersal distances were 26 m and 105 m for males and females, respectively. Median breeding dispersal distances for both sexes were 0 m. No natal or breeding dispersals occurred from our study site at Punta Cevallos, Isla Española to six other colonies in the Galápagos, but we did document four long-distance natal dispersals from Punta Cevallos to islands near the South American coast. Recaptures and dead recoveries of ringed birds showed long distance non-breeding movements to the Central American coast and elsewhere in the eastern Pacific, contrasting with the very limited dispersal to breeding sites.