We’ll finish up our discussion of movement with the second type of movement: Migration. Migration is a periodic movement involving a round-trip!
There are two types of migration:
- Altitudinal Migration: animals migrate relatively short distances up and down mountains out west e.g., big game (elk, mule deer, moose) – their “summer” and “winter” ranges
- Latitudinal Migration: animals migrate a long distance; north-south movements covering large amounts of land area e.g., waterfowl, sea turtles, butterflies, fish
Among mammals only 4 groups – bats, cetaceans, pinnipeds, and large hooved herbivores undergo regular latitudinal migrations.
There are both benefits and problems with migrations. Two benefits of long-distance migration are that a migrating animal may:
- Exploit food resources on a seasonal basis – thereby allowing the food resources of one area to recover while the animal migrates to another area, and
- To go to an area where reproduction and survival of young may be enhanced – take advantage of surplus food or lack of predators.
Problems associated with long-distance migrations are:
- Requires a lot of energy
- Predators, and
- Crucial dependence on special habitat areas, e.g., migrating waterfowl and wetlands
Now that you know all the types of movement, what type do your animals participate in? Remember, migration is not relegated to only large animals like elk and deer; small animals migrate too – just on a smaller scale. Do the wildlife you’re managing have what they need to make the journey?