Incredible Journey Revealed
Massey University ecologists are conducting a groundbreaking study of the bar-tailed godwit’s northern migration. While the 11,000 km southern migration of the godwit from Alaska to NZ is thought to be the longest non-stop flight by any bird, not much is known about its northern route. “We are entering a critical decade for these birds, so the research is timely and crucial,” said research leader Dr Phil Battley. He points out that mapping the northern migration is particularly important because the birds touch down in Asia and are potential carriers of the H5N1 bird-flu virus to the Alaskan region. Massey researchers will monitor the godwit’s journey by satellite-tagging individual birds, in a joint project with the United States Geological Survey and PRBO Conservation Science in the US.