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The effects of geolocator drag and weight on the flight ranges of small migrants

Bowlin, Melissa LU ; Henningsson, Per LU ; Muijres, Florian LU ; Vleugels, R H E; Liechti, F and Hedenström, Anders LU (2010) In Methods in Ecology and Evolution 1(4). p.398-402
Abstract
1. Researchers are currently placing hundreds of geolocators on migratory animals. Return rates for some small birds carrying these devices have been lower than expected, potentially because geo- locators increase drag during flight. 2. We measured the drag of three different geolocators (1 2g BAS-MK10, 1 0 g SOI-GL10 09 and 0 5 g SOI-GL05 10) in backpack-style harnesses on two preserved bird bodies in a wind tunnel.We then used these measurements to estimate the effects of this drag on the flight ranges of several small migratory birds. 3. Both theBAS-MK10 and SOI-GL05 10 significantly increased drag; the drag was also consider- ably higher when a geolocator was attached between the wings (wing harness) than on the rump (leg-loop... (More)
1. Researchers are currently placing hundreds of geolocators on migratory animals. Return rates for some small birds carrying these devices have been lower than expected, potentially because geo- locators increase drag during flight. 2. We measured the drag of three different geolocators (1 2g BAS-MK10, 1 0 g SOI-GL10 09 and 0 5 g SOI-GL05 10) in backpack-style harnesses on two preserved bird bodies in a wind tunnel.We then used these measurements to estimate the effects of this drag on the flight ranges of several small migratory birds. 3. Both theBAS-MK10 and SOI-GL05 10 significantly increased drag; the drag was also consider- ably higher when a geolocator was attached between the wings (wing harness) than on the rump (leg-loop harness). 4. The effects of the increased drag of these devices on the predicted flight ranges of birds were simi- lar to the effects of their weight and may thus explain the results of previous studies that showed decreased return rateswhen using geolocators and other tracking devices. 5. We recommend that researchers and manufacturers work to minimize the drag of geolocators and other externally attached tracking or data collection devices on flying and swimming animals. This can be accomplished with geolocators by attaching devices above birds rumps instead of between their wings and flattening the devices to reduce their height. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
attachment methods, geologger, light logger, migration, radiotransmitter
in
Methods in Ecology and Evolution
volume
1
issue
4
pages
398 - 402
publisher
British Ecology Society / John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
external identifiers
  • WOS:000288914700009
ISSN
2041-210X
DOI
10.1111/j.2041-210X.2010.00043.x
project
CAnMove
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
276a6630-faab-4a2f-88be-ef1616c4d930 (old id 1886218)
date added to LUP
2011-04-06 13:40:48
date last changed
2016-04-16 08:53:44
@article{276a6630-faab-4a2f-88be-ef1616c4d930,
  abstract     = {1. Researchers are currently placing hundreds of geolocators on migratory animals. Return rates for some small birds carrying these devices have been lower than expected, potentially because geo- locators increase drag during flight. 2. We measured the drag of three different geolocators (1 2g BAS-MK10, 1 0 g SOI-GL10 09 and 0 5 g SOI-GL05 10) in backpack-style harnesses on two preserved bird bodies in a wind tunnel.We then used these measurements to estimate the effects of this drag on the flight ranges of several small migratory birds. 3. Both theBAS-MK10 and SOI-GL05 10 significantly increased drag; the drag was also consider- ably higher when a geolocator was attached between the wings (wing harness) than on the rump (leg-loop harness). 4. The effects of the increased drag of these devices on the predicted flight ranges of birds were simi- lar to the effects of their weight and may thus explain the results of previous studies that showed decreased return rateswhen using geolocators and other tracking devices. 5. We recommend that researchers and manufacturers work to minimize the drag of geolocators and other externally attached tracking or data collection devices on flying and swimming animals. This can be accomplished with geolocators by attaching devices above birds rumps instead of between their wings and flattening the devices to reduce their height.},
  author       = {Bowlin, Melissa and Henningsson, Per and Muijres, Florian and Vleugels, R H E and Liechti, F and Hedenström, Anders},
  issn         = {2041-210X},
  keyword      = {attachment methods,geologger,light logger,migration,radiotransmitter},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {4},
  pages        = {398--402},
  publisher    = {British Ecology Society / John Wiley & Sons, Inc.},
  series       = {Methods in Ecology and Evolution},
  title        = {The effects of geolocator drag and weight on the flight ranges of small migrants},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.2041-210X.2010.00043.x},
  volume       = {1},
  year         = {2010},
}