Recently published in OIKOS (PDF available above), this article presents a global analysis of the impact of migration strategy on malaria parasite infections in migratory shorebirds.
Animal migrations help us understand how species are distributed across space and time. Many migratory animals travel huge distances each year, leaving us to wonder why such long migration routes are necessary. One possible explanation is the avoidance of harmful parasite infections (migratory escape). Some of the most impressive migrations are shown by wading shorebirds (waders), with some species travelling over 22,000km on migrations from arctic breeding grounds to non-breeding grounds in the southern hemisphere. In two recent papers, published in OIKOS (find a blogpost by the journal here) and Oecologia (full text here), we tested if different migration patterns expose waders to different malaria parasite infection risk across the globe.