Animal Migration (Animal Behavior)

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To the animals themselves, these migrations are crucial to the survival of their species. In this article, we'll learn about the biggest, longest and most amazing animal migrations in the world, and we'll figure out why and how animals make such astonishing journeys. Migration is the large-scale movement of an animal species from one place to another. Migrations are usually tied to seasonal changes in weather and feeding patterns, or mating and breeding patterns. Some migrations don't follow these patterns. Irruptive migrations don't seem to follow any pattern at all, and nomadic species move from place to place whenever they've exhausted the food supply in one area [source: National Park Service ].

When every member of a species migrates, that is known as a complete migration. If some members of a species stay in one place all year long, but others migrate, that's a partial migration. This usually occurs when the species' range is large enough that some individuals live someplace that is always relatively warm, while others live in a temperate region that gets too cold in the winter. Nolet, Jarl Giske, Jason W.

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Part 3 Migration in time and space. Holdo, Juan M. Part 4 Broader contexts. Chapter 9 Migration impacts on communities and ecosystems: empirical evidence and theoretical insights Ricardo M. Holdo, Robert D.

Animal migration

Holt, Anthony R. Sinclair, Brendan J. Godley, and Simon Thirgood.


Chapter 10 Pastoral migration: mobile systems of livestock husbandry Roy H. Behnke, Maria E. Fernandez-Gimenez, Matthew D. Turner, and Florian Stammler. Chapter 11 Conservation and management of migratory species Jennifer L. Shuter, Annette C. Broderick, David J.


Godley, E. Milner-Gulland, and Simon Thirgood. Chapter 12 Conclusions E.

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End Matter References Index. All rights reserved. Powered by: Safari Books Online. When you think about migration, you probably think of birds.

That is because birds are all around us and we notice when they leave and return. We hear geese overhead in the fall and notice when the hummingbirds stop coming to our feeders. Do you notice when the monarch butterflies migrate? How about bats? What about the frogs that suddenly showed up at a pond? These are all examples of migratory animals. Birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, fish, and even insects migrate. Deer, elk, moose, bighorn sheep, and pronghorn are examples of Idaho mammals that migrate.

migration | Definition, Animals, & Facts |

Gopher snakes, rattlesnakes, and other snakes migrate to den sites in the fall. Spotted frogs migrate to springs to lay eggs. Salmon migrate from Idaho to the Pacific Ocean and back to spawn. Monarch butterflies fly south to winter in Mexico, and some species of dragonfly migrate along the Pacific coast in the fall.

So migration is really not just for the birds! Most animals that migrate live in places that have definite seasons. Take Idaho's summer bird residents , for example. Idaho's spring, summer, and early fall provide these birds with plenty of good habitat. Once winter comes, the habitat changes. The insects these birds eat, disappears. Water and shelter become harder to find. If these birds are to survive, they have to leave to find the food, water, and shelter they need.

As it turns out, food is the single most important reason that animals migrate. Idaho's deer and elk migrate to find food.

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During the summer months, these large mammals can be found up in the mountains feeding on grasses and other plants. As winter brings snow to the mountains, deer and elk move out of the mountains, into valleys where the snow is not as deep and they can find food. This is an example of elevational migration. Animals also migrate to avoid extreme heat or cold. Such extreme climates often also impact the availability of food. Animals leaving these harsh environments can avoid the heat or cold and find the food they need.

Animals also migrate to find good habitat to raise their young. Idaho's spring and summer provide a lot of food for insect-eating birds to feed their young. Adult salmon make a mile trip from the Pacific Ocean to the rivers and streams of Idaho to lay their eggs. Young salmon can find the aquatic insects they need to survive and grow before they make their own migration to the ocean. Exactly how animals migrate has been one of the great mysteries of science. Before people even knew about migration, they had some very unusual explanations for the seasonal movement of birds.

Some thought that birds spent the winter under the mud of lakes.

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  4. Other ancient scientists thought that one kind of bird turned into a different kind of bird for the winter! Today we know these explanations are not even close to being correct, but migration is still a bit of a mystery.