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!