Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Endangered Species Research publishes theme section on biologging science

04.03.2010
Biologging – the use of miniaturized electronic tags to track animals in the wild – has revealed previously unknown and suprising behaviors, movements, physiology and environmental preferences of a wide variety of ocean animals.

For instance, biologgers have recorded 5,000 foot (1,550 m) dives by Atlantic bluefin tuna, followed journeys of elephant seals halfway across the Pacific from their breeding beaches, and observed annual 40,000 mile migrations of sooty shearwaters – the longest recorded for any animal.

Biologging science is showing researchers how animals work in the furthest reaches of the ocean environs and is advancing both basic and applied research. A special collection of papers from an international conference on Biologging Science held in California and co hosted by the Tagging of Pacific Predators (www.TOPP.org) and the TAG A Giant Foundation (www.tagagiant.org) is being published Wednesday, March 3, 2010 in the scientific journal Endangered Species Research, which features a wide array of cutting-edge biologging research from around the world.

The ability to study animals in the wild using microchips that store on board data or transmit data to Earth-orbiting satellites has revolutionized how we study animals in the most distant parts of the globe. The tags can relay information about the animal's movements, behavior, physiology or environmental surroundings in "real time," or "archive" the data for later retrieval. Using this latter approach, researchers have overcome the challenges of studying wild, free-ranging predators that remain submerged beneath the ocean – where radio communications are impossible.

Recent biologging studies featured in the theme section fall into one of four major themes. The first are examples of advances in biologging technology, where partnerships between engineers and researchers have resulted in the development of more sophisticated types of tags, allowing new types of studies. For instance, the use of tri-axial (three-dimensional) accelerometer tags has allowed scientists to study detailed movements of imperial cormorants, and to identify mating events in free-living nurse sharks. One researcher even used this technology to document beak movements of loggerhead turtles – enabling detailed analysis of their breathing and feeding patterns in the wild.

A second major theme is that of physiology, behavioral ecology and population structure. The ability to apply instruments to animals and actively record physiological parameters such as body temperature, oxygen utilization or heart rate has provided important net knowledge about how animals function in the wild. This collection includes papers on Weddell seals in eastern Antarctica, harbor seals, Mediterranean monk seals and Stellar sea lions in the northern Gulf of Alaska. There is also the first biologging study of Blainville's beaked whales around Hawaii, where they are sometimes exposed to sonar from naval vessels.

The third theme focuses on the ability of a tagged animal to record useful data about its surrounding environments – sometimes referred to as, "Animals as ocean sensors." Elephant seals, for example, can sample the water column up to 60 times per day, reaching depths of 1000 m or more under their own power, across broad expanses of the ocean that are difficult to reach by ship or other conventional means. Such data are now being incorporated into global ocean databases, and are being used by the oceanographic community to better understand ocean circulation. Specific studies in the collection focus on the data from northern elephant seals, juvenile Stellar sea lions, olive ridley sea turtles and Atlantic bluefin tuna.

The fourth theme is the use of biologging science for the conservation of threatened and endangered species. By providing a detailed understanding of how animals utilize their environment, biologging science offers resource managers and policymakers a valuable tool for identifying critical habitat areas, key for the recovery of such populations. Several of the papers focus on sea turtles, including hawksbill turtles tagged on the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico, juvenile green turtles from off the coast of North Carolina, loggerhead turtles in the Mediterranean and leatherback turtles tagged on their nesting grounds in Costa Rica. Other conservation-related studies focused on dolphins, river sharks, European minks and Mohave desert tortises – demonstrating the growing importance of this field across a variety of issues and habitats.

The theme section can be viewed at http://www.int-res.com/abstracts/esr/v10/.

For further information and to arrange interviews please contact Brendan Godley, the Editor-in-Chief of the journal (B.J.Godley@exeter.ac.uk) or Dr. Randy Kochevar (kochevar@stanford.edu).

Randy Kochevar | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.stanford.edu

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Minimized water consumption in CSP plants - EU project MinWaterCSP is making good progress
05.12.2017 | Steinbeis-Europa-Zentrum

nachricht Jena Experiment: Loss of species destroys ecosystems
28.11.2017 | Technische Universität München

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Scientists channel graphene to understand filtration and ion transport into cells

Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.

To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...

Im Focus: Towards data storage at the single molecule level

The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.

Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...

Im Focus: Successful Mechanical Testing of Nanowires

With innovative experiments, researchers at the Helmholtz-Zentrums Geesthacht and the Technical University Hamburg unravel why tiny metallic structures are extremely strong

Light-weight and simultaneously strong – porous metallic nanomaterials promise interesting applications as, for instance, for future aeroplanes with enhanced...

Im Focus: Virtual Reality for Bacteria

An interdisciplinary group of researchers interfaced individual bacteria with a computer to build a hybrid bio-digital circuit - Study published in Nature Communications

Scientists at the Institute of Science and Technology Austria (IST Austria) have managed to control the behavior of individual bacteria by connecting them to a...

Im Focus: A space-time sensor for light-matter interactions

Physicists in the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics (run jointly by LMU Munich and the Max Planck Institute for Quantum Optics) have developed an attosecond electron microscope that allows them to visualize the dispersion of light in time and space, and observe the motions of electrons in atoms.

The most basic of all physical interactions in nature is that between light and matter. This interaction takes place in attosecond times (i.e. billionths of a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

AKL’18: The opportunities and challenges of digitalization in the laser industry

07.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Midwife and signpost for photons

11.12.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

How do megacities impact coastal seas? Searching for evidence in Chinese marginal seas

11.12.2017 | Earth Sciences

PhoxTroT: Optical Interconnect Technologies Revolutionized Data Centers and HPC Systems

11.12.2017 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>