Migration is the regular seasonal movement of animals from one place to another, often from a breeding site to a nonbreeding site and back. Because the act of migration makes it difficult to follow individuals and populations year round, our understanding of the ecology and evolution of migrating organisms, particularly birds, has been severely impeded. Exciting new advances in satellite telemetry, genetic analyses and stable isotope chemistry are now making it possible to determine the population and geographical origin of individual birds. Here, we review these new approaches and consider the relevance of understanding migratory connectivity to ecological, evolutionary and conservation issues.
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