Our Article on Natal-Site Matching Highlighted in Nature Magazine!

The July 4th issue of Nature notes our finding of natal-site matching in their “research highlights” section. This is really exciting for the project. It demonstrates how valuable a study population we have, as we are able to gain insights into habitat selection behavior that most other studies cannot. The finding reported in the article has the potential to change the ways ecologists look at territory settlement, as it runs counter to the prevailing viewpoint in the field. Briefly, current theory suggests that young animals looking for breeding territories try to choose those that are likely to maximize offspring production. Our results in loons suggest that, in contrast, young animals are looking for breeding territories similar to their natal lakes, because such territories might maximize their likelihood of survival.