It's time to go - Drivers and plasticity of migration phenology in a short-distance migratory ungulate - Université Savoie Mont Blanc Access content directly
Preprints, Working Papers, ... Year : 2024

It's time to go - Drivers and plasticity of migration phenology in a short-distance migratory ungulate

1 LECA - Laboratoire d'Ecologie Alpine
2 Office Français de la Biodiversité (OFB), Direction de la Recherche et de l'Appui Scientifique - Service Anthropisation et Fonctionnement des Ecosystèmes Terrestres, Gières, France
3 Swiss National Park, Chastè Planta-Wildenberg, Runatsch 124, 7530 Zernez, Switzerland
4 Department of Veterinary Medicine, University of Sassari, via Vienna 2, Sassari 07100, Italy
5 Alpine Wildlife Research Centre, Gran Paradiso National Park, Valsavarenche (AO), Italy
6 Parc national des Écrins, Domaine de Charance, 05000 Gap, France
7 Department of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies, University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland
8 Animal Ecology Unit, Research and Innovation Centre, Fondazione Edmund Mach, Trento, Italy
9 Parc national du Mercantour, 23 rue d'Italie, CS 51316, 06006 Nice Cedex 1
10 Parc national de la Vanoise, 135 rue du Dr Julliand, 73000 Chambéry, France
11 Asters, CEN de Haute-Savoie, 84 route du Viéran, PAE de Pré-Mairy, 74370 Pringy, France
12 Institute of Wildlife Biology and Game Management, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna. Gregor Mendel‑Str. 33, 1180 Vienna, Austria
13 Tyrol National Park Authority, Kirchplatz 2, 9971 Matrei i. O., Tyrol, Austria
14 Gjærevoll Centre for Biodiversity Foresight Analyses, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, N-7491 Trondheim, Norway
15 Ente di gestione Aree Protette Alpi Marittime, Piazza Regina Elena 30, 12010 Valdieri, Italy
16 Ente di gestione Aree Protette Alpi Cozie, Via Fransuà Fontan, 1 - 10050 Salbertrand (TO), Italy
17 Office Français de la Biodiversité, 90 impasse Les Daudes, 74320 Sevrier, France
18 Department of Agronomy, Food, Natural resources, Animals and Food, University of Padova. Viale dell’Università 16, 35020 Legnaro, Italy
19 DREAM-Italia, Via Enrico Bindi n. 14 – 51100 Pistoia, Italy
20 CESCO - Centre d'Ecologie et des Sciences de la COnservation
21 OFB SAFET - Service anthropisation et fonctionnement des écosystèmes terrestres
Anne Loison


1 - Recurring events like migrations are an important part of the biological cycles of species. Understanding the factors influencing the timing of such events is crucial for determining how species face the pervasive consequences of climate change in highly seasonal environments. 2 - Relying on data from 406 GPS-collared Alpine ibex Capra ibex monitored across 17 populations, we investigated the environmental and individual drivers of short-distance migration in this emblematic mountain ungulate. 3 - We found that vegetation phenology, including spring growth and autumn senescence, along with snow dynamics - snowmelt in spring, first snowfall in autumn - were the main drivers of the timing of migration. In spring, ibex migration timing was synchronized with the peak of vegetation growth, but more in males than in females. Specifically, a shift of 10 days in vegetation growth peak delayed migration by 6.4 days for males and 2.7 days for females. This led to increased differences in migration timing between sexes when the vegetation growth peak occurred early or late in the season. In addition, ibex delayed migration timing when the length of growing season was longer and when the date of snowmelt on ibex summer range occurred later. Similarly, in autumn, prolonged vegetation senescence and delayed first snowfall led to later migration. 4 - Overall, most of the response to inter-annual variations in vegetation and snow phenology could be explained by individual behavioral plasticity. Nonetheless, females appear to be less plastic than males in their timing of spring migration, likely due to the parturition period following migration forcing them to trade off foraging needs with predation risk. As the identified drivers of ibex migration are known to be and will continue to be largely impacted by climate change, the capacity of ibex to respond to such rapid changes could differ between sexes.
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Dates and versions

hal-04608168 , version 1 (11-06-2024)



  • HAL Id : hal-04608168 , version 1


Victor Chauveau, Mathieu Garel, Carole Toïgo, Pia Anderwald, Marco Apollonio, et al.. It's time to go - Drivers and plasticity of migration phenology in a short-distance migratory ungulate. 2024. ⟨hal-04608168⟩
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