Impact of miniature geolocation loggers on a small petrel, the thin-billed prion Pachyptila belcheri
- 456 Downloads
Effects of deployment of miniaturised transmitters and loggers have been studied mainly in diving seabirds such as penguins, and less so in flying seabirds. However, some studies of albatrosses and petrels recorded extended trip durations and elevated rates of nest desertion following device attachment, especially if transmitter loads exceeded 3 % of adult mass. Studies have usually compared performance parameters such as trip duration, meal mass, breeding success or rate of return in the next season between birds with devices and controls. We here examined the effects of geolocator loggers (Global Location Sensing, (GLS)) on thin-billed prions Pachyptila belcheri (130 g), by comparing performance parameters and additionally eco-physiological parameters. GLS weighed ca. 1 % of the body mass, and were fixed on leg rings, which may influence the flight efficiency by creating an asymmetric load. We found no differences in the performance parameters, either in the season of attachment or the season following recovery. Similar stable isotope ratios in adult blood and feather samples further indicated that the foraging ecology was not influenced. However, after 1 year of logger deployment, adults differed in their hormonal response to stress: while baseline corticosterone levels were not influenced, corticosterone levels in response to handling were elevated. Moreover, increased heterophil/lymphocyte ratios and a decreased tail growth in winter suggest that carrying the GLS was energetically costly, and adults adapted physiologically to the higher work load, while keeping up a normal breeding performance.
KeywordsCorticosterone Level Stable Isotope Ratio Trip Duration Tail Feather Baseline Corticosterone
Fieldwork at New Island was supported by the New Island Conservation Trust, Ian, Maria and Georgina Strange, was approved by the Falkland Islands Government (Environmental Planning Office) and funded by grants provided by Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft DFG (Qu 148/1ff). We thank Hendrika (Riek) van Noordwijk and Gabriele Schafheitle for help in the field and laboratory, respectively. Funding for the stable isotope work was provided by the Natural Environment Research Council, UK (Grant NE/102237X/1) and carried out at the Life Sciences Mass Spectrometry Facility. We would like to thank Heiko Schmaljohann and Sylvie Vandenabeele for helpful comments on the manuscript.
- Grubb TC Jr (1989) Ptilochronology: feather growth bars as indicators of nutritional status. Auk 106:314–320Google Scholar
- Guilford T, Wynn R, McMinn M, Rodríguez A, Fayet A, Maurice L, Jones A, Meier R (2012) Geolocators reveal migration and pre-breeding behaviour of the critically endangered Balearic Shearwater Puffinus mauretanicus. PlosOne 7:e33753Google Scholar
- Hawkey CM, Dennet PB (1989) A colour atlas of comparative veterinary haematology. Wolfe, IpswichGoogle Scholar
- Hood LC, Boersma PD, Wingfield JC (1998) The adrenocortical response to stress in incubating Magellanic penguins (Spheniscus magellanicus). Auk 115:76–84Google Scholar
- Jenni L, Winkler R (1994) Molt and ageing of European passerines. Academic Press, LondonGoogle Scholar
- Lindström Å, Visser GH, Daan S (1993) The energetic cost of feather synthesis is proportional to basal metabolic rate. Physiol Zool 66:490–510Google Scholar
- Palme R, Möstl E (1997) Measurement of cortisol metabolites in faeces of sheep as a parameter of cortisol concentration in blood. Z Saugetierkd Int J Mammal Biol 62(suppl 2):192–197Google Scholar
- Quillfeldt P, Strange IJ, Masello JF (2007) Sea surface temperatures and behavioural buffering capacity in thin-billed prions P. belcheri: breeding success, provisioning and chick begging. J Avian Biol 38:298–308Google Scholar
- Strange IJ (1980) The thin-billed prion, P. belcheri, at New Island, Falkland Islands. Gerfaut 70:411–445Google Scholar
- Vandenabeele SP, Wilson RP, Grogan A (2011) Tags on seabirds: how seriously are instrument-induced behaviours considered? Anim Welf 20:559–571Google Scholar