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Effects of back‐mounted biologgers on condition, diving and flight performance in a breeding seabird

Evans, Tom J. LU ; Young, Rebecca C. LU ; Watson, Hannah LU ; Olsson, Olof and Åkesson, Susanne LU (2020) In Journal of Avian Biology 51(11).
Abstract
Biologging devices are providing detailed insights into the behaviour and movement of animals in their natural environments. It is usually assumed that this method of gathering data does not impact on the behaviour observed. However, potential negative effects on birds have rarely been investigated before field‐based studies are initiated. Seabirds which both fly and use pursuit diving may be particularly sensitive to increases in drag and load resulting from carrying biologging devices. We studied chick‐rearing adult common guillemots Uria aalge equipped with and without back‐mounted GPS tags over short deployments of a few days. Concurrently guillemots carried small leg‐mounted TDR devices (time‐depth recorders) providing activity data... (More)
Biologging devices are providing detailed insights into the behaviour and movement of animals in their natural environments. It is usually assumed that this method of gathering data does not impact on the behaviour observed. However, potential negative effects on birds have rarely been investigated before field‐based studies are initiated. Seabirds which both fly and use pursuit diving may be particularly sensitive to increases in drag and load resulting from carrying biologging devices. We studied chick‐rearing adult common guillemots Uria aalge equipped with and without back‐mounted GPS tags over short deployments of a few days. Concurrently guillemots carried small leg‐mounted TDR devices (time‐depth recorders) providing activity data throughout. Changes in body mass and breeding success were followed for device equipped and control guillemots. At the colony level guillemots lost body mass throughout the chick‐rearing period. When‐equipped with the additional GPS tag, the guillemots lost mass at close to twice the rate they did when equipped with only the smaller leg‐mounted TDR device. The elevated mass loss suggests an impact on energy expenditure or foraging performance. When equipped with GPS tags diving performance, time‐activity budgets and daily patterns of activity were unchanged, yet dive depth distributions differed. We review studies of tag‐effects in guillemots Uria sp. finding elevated mass loss and reduced chick‐provisioning to be the most commonly observed effects. Less information is available for behavioural measures, and results vary between studies. In general, small tags deployed over several days appear to have small or no measurable effect on the behavioural variables commonly observed in most guillemot tagging studies. However, there may still be impacts on fitness via physiological effects and/or reduced chick‐provisioning, while more detailed measures of behaviour (e.g. using accelerometery) may reveal effects on diving and flight performance. (Less)
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author
; ; ; and
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
in
Journal of Avian Biology
volume
51
issue
11
article number
e02509
publisher
Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and Blackwell Publishing Ltd
external identifiers
  • scopus:85096558811
ISSN
0908-8857
DOI
10.1111/jav.2020.v51.i11
project
Centre for Animal Movement Research
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
d4d26597-1b38-40ff-8364-b15218885753
date added to LUP
2020-11-23 22:02:49
date last changed
2020-12-08 01:41:09
@article{d4d26597-1b38-40ff-8364-b15218885753,
  abstract     = {Biologging devices are providing detailed insights into the behaviour and movement of animals in their natural environments. It is usually assumed that this method of gathering data does not impact on the behaviour observed. However, potential negative effects on birds have rarely been investigated before field‐based studies are initiated. Seabirds which both fly and use pursuit diving may be particularly sensitive to increases in drag and load resulting from carrying biologging devices. We studied chick‐rearing adult common guillemots Uria aalge equipped with and without back‐mounted GPS tags over short deployments of a few days. Concurrently guillemots carried small leg‐mounted TDR devices (time‐depth recorders) providing activity data throughout. Changes in body mass and breeding success were followed for device equipped and control guillemots. At the colony level guillemots lost body mass throughout the chick‐rearing period. When‐equipped with the additional GPS tag, the guillemots lost mass at close to twice the rate they did when equipped with only the smaller leg‐mounted TDR device. The elevated mass loss suggests an impact on energy expenditure or foraging performance. When equipped with GPS tags diving performance, time‐activity budgets and daily patterns of activity were unchanged, yet dive depth distributions differed. We review studies of tag‐effects in guillemots Uria sp. finding elevated mass loss and reduced chick‐provisioning to be the most commonly observed effects. Less information is available for behavioural measures, and results vary between studies. In general, small tags deployed over several days appear to have small or no measurable effect on the behavioural variables commonly observed in most guillemot tagging studies. However, there may still be impacts on fitness via physiological effects and/or reduced chick‐provisioning, while more detailed measures of behaviour (e.g. using accelerometery) may reveal effects on diving and flight performance.},
  author       = {Evans, Tom J. and Young, Rebecca C. and Watson, Hannah and Olsson, Olof and Åkesson, Susanne},
  issn         = {0908-8857},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {11},
  number       = {11},
  publisher    = {Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and Blackwell Publishing Ltd},
  series       = {Journal of Avian Biology},
  title        = {Effects of back‐mounted biologgers on condition, diving and flight performance in a breeding seabird},
  url          = {https://lup.lub.lu.se/search/ws/files/87186682/jav.02509.pdf},
  doi          = {10.1111/jav.2020.v51.i11},
  volume       = {51},
  year         = {2020},
}