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Join the conversation about seabird tagging this #seabirdersaturday!

Sjúrður Hammer, July 31, 2015

Posting on behalf of Viola Ross-Smith

Hello. I’ll be chairing a themed #seabirdersaturday on seabird tagging, this Saturday, 1 August, from 1300-1500 GMT (2300-0100 AEST, 1400-1600 BST, 0900-1100 ET, 0600-0800 PT).

Seabird tagging is revolutionising our understanding of seabird behaviour and ecology, with positive implications for conservation and we begin to identify key sites and resources. The technology is developing fast, but this entails a risk that not all the new devices available are suitable for the species concerned, particularly diving seabirds. Some studies have been published detailing tagging effects on seabirds, and licensing for tagging projects can be complicated.

In my work, I have fitted long-life GPS tags on seabirds (mostly gulls) and have attached short-lived devices to passerines. I have been ringing birds from a wide range of species for several years, and work at the BTO, where I see the licensing process in action for British projects. Since I have only tagged a small number of species with particular devices, I am sure I can learn a lot about tagging from other seabirders out there, so instead of aiming to teach anything in this #seabirdersaturday session, I’d prefer to have a general discussion about this technology, covering (among other things):

• what questions can tagging answer? • how cautious should we be applying newly developed tags to seabirds? • what are the new frontiers?

I’m really looking forward to sharing thoughts and knowledge about research in this cutting edge field!


Comments ( 4 )

Anant Pande

Anant Pande

I look forward to this discussion as I intend to use geotags in my research.


Tony Diamond

I wish this discussion was not restricted to twitterers! I am very interested in it too, particularly for diving seabirds. We are just getting into using GLS tags year-round, and GPS tags for breeding, on auks, particularly regarding tag effects. I see (conceptually) two clear categories of effect: (1) reduced productivity or survival of tagged birds, ie a conservation/ethical/animal care issue; and (2) an effect on the trait we are trying to measure (a scientific issue). These need to be addressed separately.

I hope results of this discussion will be made available even to those with no voice in the twittersphere.

Tony Diamond

Sjúrður Hammer

Sjúrður Hammer

Hi Tony,

I believe it should be possible for you follow the conversations without twitter. The #seabirdersaturdays also get curated into a so-called storify feeds where each discussion thread is put into chronological context to make it easy to follow the conversations.

But unfortunately you can't submit anything unless you're on twitter. But if you have specific points, you could possibly post them here, and me and Viola will make sure to keep an eye out for activity here.

Della Bennet

Della Bennet

Thank you Sjurdur,

I would also like to read the posts from this discuss but I do not belong to twitter. Where would I find the storify feeds? I am working with a shearwater species and I will be attaching GPS loggers this season.

Cheers, Della Bennet