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The Ornithodolite as a tool to quantify animal space use and habitat selection; a case study with birds diving in tidal waters

Emma-Louise Cole, James J Waggitt, Anders Hedenstrom, Marco Piano, Mark D. Holton, Luca Borger Orcid Logo, Emily Shepard Orcid Logo

Integrative Zoology

Swansea University Authors: Luca Borger Orcid Logo, Emily Shepard Orcid Logo

Abstract

Animal-attached technologies can be powerful means to quantify space-use and behaviour, however, there are also ethical implications associated with capturing and instrumenting animals. Furthermore, tagging approaches are not necessarily well-suited for examining the movements of multiple individual...

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Published in: Integrative Zoology
ISSN: 17494877
Published: 2019
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URI: https://cronfa.swan.ac.uk/Record/cronfa39334
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spelling 2021-07-16T14:40:45.2010768 v2 39334 2018-04-06 The Ornithodolite as a tool to quantify animal space use and habitat selection; a case study with birds diving in tidal waters 8416d0ffc3cccdad6e6d67a455e7c4a2 0000-0001-8763-5997 Luca Borger Luca Borger true false 54729295145aa1ea56d176818d51ed6a 0000-0001-7325-6398 Emily Shepard Emily Shepard true false 2018-04-06 SBI Animal-attached technologies can be powerful means to quantify space-use and behaviour, however, there are also ethical implications associated with capturing and instrumenting animals. Furthermore, tagging approaches are not necessarily well-suited for examining the movements of multiple individuals within specific, local areas of interest. Here, we assess a method of quantifying animal space use based on a modified theodolite with an inbuilt laser rangefinder. Using a database of > 4,200 tracks of migrating birds, we show that detection distance increases with bird body mass (range 5 g - >10 kg). The maximum distance recorded to a bird was 5500 m and measurement error was ≤ 5 m for targets within this distance range; a level comparable to methods such as GPS tagging. We go on to present a case study where this method was used to assess habitat selection in seabirds operating in dynamic coastal waters close to a tidal turbine. Combining positional data with outputs from a hydrographic model revealed that great cormorants (Phalacrocorax carbo) appeared to be highly selective of current characteristics in space and time; exploiting areas where mean current speeds were < 0.8 m s-1, and diving at times when turbulent energy levels were low. These birds also orientated into tidal currents during dives. Taken together, this suggests that collision risks are low for cormorants at this site, as the two conditions avoided by cormorants (high mean current speeds and turbulence levels), are associated with operational tidal turbines. Overall, we suggest that this modified theodolite system is well-suited to the quantification of movement in small areas associated with particular development strategies, including sustainable energy devices. Journal Article Integrative Zoology 17494877 GPS, movement ecology, seabird, tidal turbine, habitat use 29 1 2019 2019-01-29 10.1111/1749-4877.12327 COLLEGE NANME Biosciences COLLEGE CODE SBI Swansea University 2021-07-16T14:40:45.2010768 2018-04-06T17:00:04.2063341 Emma-Louise Cole 1 James J Waggitt 2 Anders Hedenstrom 3 Marco Piano 4 Mark D. Holton 5 Luca Borger 0000-0001-8763-5997 6 Emily Shepard 0000-0001-7325-6398 7 0039334-16042018143844.pdf 39334.pdf 2018-04-16T14:38:44.7500000 Output 933132 application/pdf Accepted Manuscript true 2018-05-31T00:00:00.0000000 true eng
title The Ornithodolite as a tool to quantify animal space use and habitat selection; a case study with birds diving in tidal waters
spellingShingle The Ornithodolite as a tool to quantify animal space use and habitat selection; a case study with birds diving in tidal waters
Luca Borger
Emily Shepard
title_short The Ornithodolite as a tool to quantify animal space use and habitat selection; a case study with birds diving in tidal waters
title_full The Ornithodolite as a tool to quantify animal space use and habitat selection; a case study with birds diving in tidal waters
title_fullStr The Ornithodolite as a tool to quantify animal space use and habitat selection; a case study with birds diving in tidal waters
title_full_unstemmed The Ornithodolite as a tool to quantify animal space use and habitat selection; a case study with birds diving in tidal waters
title_sort The Ornithodolite as a tool to quantify animal space use and habitat selection; a case study with birds diving in tidal waters
author_id_str_mv 8416d0ffc3cccdad6e6d67a455e7c4a2
54729295145aa1ea56d176818d51ed6a
author_id_fullname_str_mv 8416d0ffc3cccdad6e6d67a455e7c4a2_***_Luca Borger
54729295145aa1ea56d176818d51ed6a_***_Emily Shepard
author Luca Borger
Emily Shepard
author2 Emma-Louise Cole
James J Waggitt
Anders Hedenstrom
Marco Piano
Mark D. Holton
Luca Borger
Emily Shepard
format Journal article
container_title Integrative Zoology
publishDate 2019
institution Swansea University
issn 17494877
doi_str_mv 10.1111/1749-4877.12327
document_store_str 1
active_str 0
description Animal-attached technologies can be powerful means to quantify space-use and behaviour, however, there are also ethical implications associated with capturing and instrumenting animals. Furthermore, tagging approaches are not necessarily well-suited for examining the movements of multiple individuals within specific, local areas of interest. Here, we assess a method of quantifying animal space use based on a modified theodolite with an inbuilt laser rangefinder. Using a database of > 4,200 tracks of migrating birds, we show that detection distance increases with bird body mass (range 5 g - >10 kg). The maximum distance recorded to a bird was 5500 m and measurement error was ≤ 5 m for targets within this distance range; a level comparable to methods such as GPS tagging. We go on to present a case study where this method was used to assess habitat selection in seabirds operating in dynamic coastal waters close to a tidal turbine. Combining positional data with outputs from a hydrographic model revealed that great cormorants (Phalacrocorax carbo) appeared to be highly selective of current characteristics in space and time; exploiting areas where mean current speeds were < 0.8 m s-1, and diving at times when turbulent energy levels were low. These birds also orientated into tidal currents during dives. Taken together, this suggests that collision risks are low for cormorants at this site, as the two conditions avoided by cormorants (high mean current speeds and turbulence levels), are associated with operational tidal turbines. Overall, we suggest that this modified theodolite system is well-suited to the quantification of movement in small areas associated with particular development strategies, including sustainable energy devices.
published_date 2019-01-29T03:53:24Z
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