University of Oulu

Kylmänen A, Karabanina E, Ollila T, Ponnikas S, Kvist L. Turnover and Natal Dispersal in the Finnish Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos) Population. Diversity. 2023; 15(4):567.

Turnover and natal dispersal in the Finnish golden eagle (Aquila chrysaetos) population

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Author: Kylmänen, Aure1; Karabanina, Ekaterina1; Ollila, Tuomo2;
Organizations: 1Ecology and Genetics Research Unit, University of Oulu, 90014 Oulu, Finland
2Metsähallitus, Natural Heritage Services, 96101 Rovaniemi, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1.7 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute, 2023
Publish Date: 2023-08-11


Estimating turnover in a population provides information on population dynamics, such as dispersal and mortality. Dispersal increases genetic diversity and affects the genetic structure. Golden eagles are monogamous, tend to mate for life, and have strong nest site fidelity, which suggests low turnover rates. Here, we first studied genetic diversity and population structure in the Finnish golden eagle population using 11 microsatellite loci and a fragment of a mitochondrial DNA control region. We found no notable changes in genetic diversity during the 15-year study period and did not discover any population structure. Then, we examined the turnover rate using chick genotypes (N = 935) by estimating relatedness between chicks born in the same territory in different years. The results showed a turnover rate of 23%, which correlated with the breeding success of the previous year. Similarly, in the absence of turnover, the pair changed nest sites within a territory after an unsuccessful breeding. In addition, our dataset also revealed natal dispersal of ten individuals. Natal dispersal distance was 110 km on average (median 98 km); however, the distance seemed to vary depending on geographical location, being greater in Northern Finland than in Southern Finland.

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Series: Diversity
ISSN: 1424-2818
ISSN-E: 1424-2818
ISSN-L: 1424-2818
Volume: 15
Issue: 4
Article number: 567
DOI: 10.3390/d15040567
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 1181 Ecology, evolutionary biology
Funding: This research was funded by Oulun luonnonystäväin yhdistys and the University of Oulu.
Copyright information: © 2023 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (