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Abstract

Peregrine falcons are famous for their super-fast diving flights. But that’s not the only thing that they’re good at. Peregrines are also world travelers! We tracked peregrine falcons migrating from the Arctic to their winter habitat. Some went all the way from northern Russia to the tropics! 

We wanted to know how climate change and genetics affect the way peregrines migrate. So we used a computer program to predict how the Arctic would change over the next 50 years. We compared the peregrines’ current summer and winter habitats to the computer prediction. We found that summer habitats (where the birds breed) are shrinking, while winter habitats are growing. This is due to climate change. 

We tracked migration paths for peregrines from six places in the Eurasian Arctic. We found that some peregrines traveled more than five times as far as other peregrines! When we looked at the peregrines’ DNA, we saw that there were differences between the peregrines who had short migrations and those who had long migrations.

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