Battley, P. F., Schuckard, R., & Melville, D. S. (2011, December). Movements of bar-tailed godwits and red knots within New Zealand. Department of Conservation.

Published in 2011 by the Department of Conservation, the purpose of this study was to investigate the movements of two Arctic breeding waders (bar-tailed godwits, Limosa lapponica baueri, and red knots, Calidris canutus rogersi) across Aotearoa New Zealand. The study was commissioned in response to there being a distinct lack of knowledge of how birds used site networks across New Zealand, as well as in response to the threat of avian influenza viruses being carried by migrating waders.

Overall, 770 godwits and 345 red knots were banded across the country between 2004 and 2008. Members of the Ornithological Society of New Zealand (OSNZ) and other observers then made over 9500 sightings of 721 godwits and over 1500 sightings of 275 knots during the project, most of which were from the capture site. On average, younger birds of both species tended to be more mobile than adults, and red knots tended to be more mobile than godwits. Non-breeding Knots used an extensive network of sites around Aotearoa, likely moving frequently between them. Meanwhile, while some juvenile godwits wandered widely around New Zealand before settling at a ‘wintering’ site, most godwits were much more likely than knots to remain at one site or intertidal system during their non-breeding season in Aotearoa.

Godwit & Red Knot Movements NZ - 2011

Godwit & Red Knot Movements NZ - Battley et al., 2011