Advertisement

Marine Biology

, Volume 147, Issue 4, pp 833–843 | Cite as

Comparison of light- and SST-based geolocation with satellite telemetry in free-ranging albatrosses

  • Scott A. ShafferEmail author
  • Yann Tremblay
  • Jill A. Awkerman
  • R. William Henry
  • Steven L. H. Teo
  • David J. Anderson
  • Donald A. Croll
  • Barbara A. Block
  • Daniel P. Costa
Research Article

Abstract

Light-based archival tags are increasingly being used on free-ranging marine vertebrates to study their movements using geolocation estimates. These methods use algorithms that incorporate threshold light techniques to determine longitude and latitude. More recently, researchers have begun using sea surface temperature (SST) to determine latitude in temperate regions. The accuracy and application of these algorithms have not been validated on free-ranging birds. Errors in both geolocation methods were quantified by double-tagging Laysan (Phoebastria immutabilis Rothschild) and black-footed (P. nigripes Audubon) albatrosses with both leg-mounted archival tags that measured SST and ambient light, and satellite transmitters. Laysan albatrosses were captured and released from breeding colonies on Tern Island, northwestern Hawaiian Islands (23°52′N, 166°17′W) and Guadalupe Island, Mexico (28°31′N, 118°10′W) and black-footed albatrosses from Tern Island. Studies were carried out between December 2002 and March 2003. For all birds combined, the mean ± SD great circle (GC) distance between light-based locations and satellite-derived locations was 400±298 km (n=131). Errors in geolocation positions were reduced to 202±171 km (n=154) when light-based longitude and SST-based latitude (i.e. SST/light) were used to establish locations. The SST/light method produced comparable results for two Laysan albatross populations that traveled within distinctly different oceanic regions (open ocean vs more coastal) whereas light-based methods produced greater errors in the coastal population. Archival tags deployed on black-footed albatrosses returned a significantly higher proportion of lower-quality locations, which was attributed to interference of the light sensor on the tag. Overall, the results demonstrate that combining measures of light-based longitude and SST-based latitude significantly reduces the error in location estimates for albatrosses and can provide valid latitude estimates during the equinoxes, when light-based latitude measurements are indeterminate.

Keywords

Argos Satellite Telemetry Argos Data Great Circle Distance Laysan Albatross 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Notes

Acknowledgements

We thank D. Barton and K. Lindquist for assistance in the field, Dr. B. Flint and the US Fish & Wildlife Service for logistical support on Tern Island, and Groupo Ecologica Conservación de Islas and the Mexican Navy for logistical support on Guadalupe. We also thank Dr. P. Raimondi for statistical advice, P. Robinson for programming assistance, and L. Hutnick for assistance with graphics. This research was part of the Tagging of Pacific Pelagics (TOPP) program, funded in part by the National Ocean Partnership Program (N00014-02-1-1012), and the Office of Naval Research (N00014-00-1-0880 & N00014-03-1-0651). All protocols employed in this study were approved by the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committees at UCSC. This paper is dedicated to A.M. Shaffer (b 19 October 2004).

References

  1. Alerstam T, Gudmundsson GA, Larsson B (1993) Flight tracks and speed of Antarctic and Atlantic seabirds: radar and optical measurements. Philos Trans R Soc Lond B 340:55–67Google Scholar
  2. Anderson DJ, Ricklefs RE (1987) Radio-tracking masked and blue-footed boobies (Sula spp.) in the Galapagos Islands. Nat Geogr Res 3:152–163Google Scholar
  3. Beck CA, McMillan JI, Bowen WD (2002) An algorithm to improve geolocation positions using sea surface temperature and diving depth. Mar Mamm Sci 18:940–951Google Scholar
  4. Block BA, Dewar H, Blackwell SB, Williams T, Farwell CJ, Prince ED, Boustany A, Teo SLH, Seitz A, Fudge D, Walli A (2001) Electronic tags reveal migratory movements, depth preferences and thermal biology of Atlantic bluefin tuna. Science 293:1310–1314PubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. Boustany A, Davis S, Anderson S, Pyle P, Block BA (2002) Satellite tags reveal expanded ecological niche for white sharks in the North Pacific. Nature 415:35–36CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bradshaw CJA, Hindell MA, Michael KJ, Summer MD (2002) The optimal spatial scale for the analysis of elephant seal foraging as determined by geo-location in relation to sea surface temperatures. ICES J Mar Sci 59:770–781Google Scholar
  7. Catard A, Weimerskirch H, Cherel Y (2000) Exploitation of distant Antarctic waters and close shelf-break waters by white-chinned petrels rearing chicks. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 194:249–261Google Scholar
  8. Costa DP (1993) The secret life of marine mammals: novel tools for studying their behavior and biology at sea. Oceanography 6:120–128Google Scholar
  9. Davis LS, Miller GD (1992) Satellite tracking of Adelie penguins. Polar Biol 12:503–506CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. DeLong RL, Stewart BS, Hill RD (1992) Documenting migrations of northern elephant seals using day length. Mar Mamm Sci 8:155–159Google Scholar
  11. Ekstrom P (2004) An advance in geolocation by light. Mem Nat Inst Polar Res (Special Issue) 58:210–226Google Scholar
  12. Fancy SG, Pank LF, Douglas DC, Curby CH, Garner GW, Amstrup SC, Regelin WL (1988) Satellite telemetry: a new tool for wildlife research and management. U.S. Dept. of the Interior, USFWS, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  13. Fernández P, Anderson DJ (2000) Nocturnal and diurnal foraging activity of Hawaiian albatrosses detected with a new immersion monitor. Condor 102:577–584Google Scholar
  14. Fritz H, Said S, Weimerskirch H (2003) Scale-dependent hierarchical adjustments of movement patterns in a long-range foraging seabird. Proc R Soc Lond B 270:1143–1148CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Grémillet D, Wilson RP, Wanless S, Chater T (2000) Black-browed albatrosses, international fisheries and the Patagonian shelf. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 195:269–280Google Scholar
  16. Grémillet D, Dell’Omo G, Ryan PG, Peters G, Ropert-Coudert Y, Weeks SJ (2004) Offshore diplomacy, or how seabirds mitigate intra-specific competition: a case study based on GPS tracking of Cape gannets from neighbouring colonies. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 268:265–279Google Scholar
  17. Guinet C, Koudil M, Bost CA, Durbec JP, Georges JY, Mouchat MC, Jouventin P (1997) Foraging behaviour of satellite-tracked king penguins in relation to sea-surface temperatures obtained by satellite telemetry at Crozet Archipelago, a study during three austral summers. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 150:11–20Google Scholar
  18. Gunn J, Polacheck T, Davis T, Sherlock M, Bethlehem A (1994) The development and use of archival tags for studying the migration, behaviour and physiology of southern bluefin tuna, with an assessment of the potential for transfer of the technology to groundfish research. ICES mini symposium on fish migration. ICES, CopenhagenGoogle Scholar
  19. Hill RD (1994) Theory of geolocation by light levels. In: Le Boeuf BJ, Laws RM (eds) Elephant seals: population ecology, behavior, and physiology. University of California Press, Berkeley, pp 227–236Google Scholar
  20. Hull CL (1999) The foraging zones of breeding royal (Eudyptes schlegeli) and rockhopper (E. chrysocome) penguins: an assessment of techniques and species comparison. Wildl Res 26:789–803Google Scholar
  21. Hull CL (2000) Comparative diving behaviour and segregation of the marine habitat by breeding royal penguins, Eudyptes schlegeli, and eastern rockhopper penguins, Eudyptes chrysocome filholi, at Macquarie Island. Can J Zool 78:333–345CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Hunt GL Jr, Melhum F, Russell RW, Irons DB, Decker MB, Becker PH (1999) Physical processes, prey abundance, and the foraging ecology of seabirds. In: Adams NJ, Slotow RH (eds) Proceedings of the 22nd International Ornithological Congress. Bird Life South Africa, Durban, pp 2040–2056Google Scholar
  23. Jouventin P, Weimerskirch H (1990) Satellite tracking of wandering albatrosses. Nature 343:746–748CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Le Boeuf BJ, Crocker DE, Costa DP, Blackwell SB, Webb PM, Houser DS (2000) Foraging ecology of northern elephant seals. Ecol Monogr 70:353–382Google Scholar
  25. Musyl MK, Brill RW, Curran DS, Gunn JS, Hartog JR, Hill RD, Welch DW, Eveson JP, Boggs CH, Brainard RE (2001) Ability of archival tags to provide estimates of geographical position based on light intensity. In: Sibert JR, Nielsen JL (eds) Electronic tagging and tracking in marine fisheries. Kluwer, Dordrecht, pp 343–367Google Scholar
  26. Pennycuick CJ (1982) The flight of petrels and albatrosses (Procellariiformes), observed in South Georgia and its vicinity. Philos Trans R Soc Lond B 300:75–106Google Scholar
  27. Pennycuick CJ, Schaffner FC, Fuller MR, Obrecht HH III, Sternberg L (1990) Foraging flights of the white-tailed tropicbird (Paethon lepturus): radiotracking and doubly-labeled water. Col Waterbirds 13:96–102Google Scholar
  28. Pickard GL, Emery WJ (1990) Descriptive physical oceanography: an introduction, 5th edn. Pergamon Press, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  29. Phillips RA, Silk JRD, Croxall JP, Afanasyev V, Briggs DR (2004) Accuracy of geolocation estimates for flying seabirds. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 266:265–272Google Scholar
  30. Polovina JJ, Kobyashi DR, Ellis DM, Seki MP, Balasz GH (2000) Turtles on the edge: movement of loggerhead turtles (Caretta caretta) along oceanic fronts in the central North Pacific. Fish Oceanogr 9:71–82CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Prince PA, Wood AG, Barton T, Croxall JP (1992) Satellite tracking of wandering albatrosses (Diomedea exulans) in the South Atlantic. Antarct Sci 4:31–36Google Scholar
  32. Pütz K (2002) Spatial and temporal variability in the foraging areas of breeding king penguins. Condor 104:528–538Google Scholar
  33. Schlitzer R (2004) Ocean data view 2.0. http://www.awi-bremerhaven.de/GEO/ODV
  34. Schneider DC (1994) Quantitative ecology: spatial and temporal scaling. Academic Press, San DiegoGoogle Scholar
  35. Shaffer SA, Costa DP, Weimerskirch H (2001) Behavioural factors affecting foraging effort of breeding wandering albatrosses. J Anim Ecol 70:864–874CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Smith P, Goodman D (1986) Determining fish movements from an ‘archival’ tag: precision of geographical positions made from a time series of swimming temperature and depth. NOAA Tech Memo NMFS SWFC-60:1–13Google Scholar
  37. Teo SLH, Boustany A, Blackwell SB, Walli A, Weng KC, Block BA (2004) Validation of geolocation estimates based on light level and sea surface temperature from electronic tags. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 283:81–98Google Scholar
  38. Warham J (1996) The behaviour, population biology and physiology of the petrels. Academic Press, San DiegoGoogle Scholar
  39. Weimerskirch H, Guionnet T (2002) Comparative activity pattern during foraging of four albatross species. Ibis 144:40–50CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Weimerskirch H, Wilson RP (2000) Oceanic respite for wandering albatrosses. Nature 406:955–956CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  41. Weimerskirch H, Doncaster CP, Cuenot-Chaillet F (1994) Pelagic seabirds and the marine environment: foraging patterns of wandering albatrosses in relation to prey availability and distribution. Proc R Soc Lond B 255:91–97Google Scholar
  42. Weimerskirch H, Wilson RP, Guinet C, Koudil M (1995) Use of seabirds to monitor sea-surface temperatures and to validate satellite remote-sensing measurements in the Southern Ocean. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 126:299–303Google Scholar
  43. Weimerskirch H, Wilson RP, Lys P (1997) Activity pattern of foraging in the wandering albatross: a marine predator with two modes of prey searching. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 151:245–254Google Scholar
  44. Weimerskirch H, Guionnet T, Martin J, Shaffer SA, Costa DP (2000) Fast and fuel-efficient? Optimal use of wind by flying albatrosses. Proc R Soc Lond B 267:1869–1874CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Weimerskirch H, Bonadonna F, Bailleul F, Mabille G, Dell’Omo G, Lipp H-P (2002) GPS tracking of foraging albatrosses. Science 295:1259CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  46. Welch DW, Eveson JP (1999) An assessment of light-based geoposition estimates from archival tags. Can J Fish Aquat Sci 56:1317–1327CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Wilson RP, Ducamp JJ, Rees WG, Culik BM, Nickamp K (1992) Estimation of location: global coverage using light intensity. In: Priede IG, Swift SM (eds) Wildlife telemetry: remote monitoring and tracking of animals. Ellis Horwood, New York, pp 131–134Google Scholar
  48. Wilson RP, Weimerskirch H, Lys P (1995) A device for measuring seabird activity at sea. J Avian Biol 26:172–175Google Scholar
  49. Wilson RP, Grémillet D, Syder J, Kierspel MAM, Garthe S, Weimerskirch H, Schäfer-Neth C, Alejandro Scolaro J, Bost C-A, Plötz J, Nel D (2002) Remote-sensing systems and seabirds: their use, abuse and potential for measuring marine environmental variables. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 228:241–261Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Scott A. Shaffer
    • 1
    Email author
  • Yann Tremblay
    • 2
  • Jill A. Awkerman
    • 3
  • R. William Henry
    • 2
  • Steven L. H. Teo
    • 4
  • David J. Anderson
    • 3
  • Donald A. Croll
    • 2
  • Barbara A. Block
    • 4
  • Daniel P. Costa
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Ecology and Evolutionary BiologyUniversity of California Santa Cruz, Long Marine Lab—Center for Ocean HealthSanta CruzUSA
  2. 2.Department of Ecology and Evolutionary BiologyUniversity of CaliforniaSanta CruzUSA
  3. 3.Department of BiologyWake Forest UniversityWinston-SalemUSA
  4. 4.Hopkins Marine StationStanford UniversityPacific GroveUSA

Personalised recommendations