Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New Technology Tracks Sparrow Migration

12.04.2012
New Technology Tracks Sparrow Migration for First Time from California to Alaska

Using tiny tags to track a bird’s location, biologists from PRBO Conservation Science (PRBO) have unlocked the mystery of where Golden-crowned Sparrows, which overwinter in California, go to breed in the spring. Published this week in the journal PLoS ONE, the study reveals for the first time the exact migration route of this small songbird to its breeding sites in coastal Alaska.

During a time when birds are experiencing the negative impacts of climate and land-use changes, being able to pinpoint the most important breeding and stopover places is critical to prioritizing conservation investments.

PRBO scientists attached small tags that record day length to Golden-crowned Sparrows wintering in and near Point Reyes National Seashore before they headed north on spring migration. When the birds returned the following fall, four tagged birds were safely recaptured, the tags were removed, and the data downloaded to a computer.

“This study is helping to unravel the mystery of bird migration and answer the age-old question of where birds go, which helps protect habitat along their entire migratory journey,” said lead author, PRBO’s Dr. Nat Seavy.

Each bird, which weighs approximately 30 grams, migrated from 1600 to 2400 miles one-way to their breeding grounds. Their individual breeding locations spanned approximately 750 miles along the coast of Alaska, and their north migration averaged only 29 days while southbound migration averaged nearly twice that (53 days).

“Until now, all we knew was that these birds bred far to the north and undertook one of the longest migrations of all songbirds that winter in central California. We’re very excited to finally pinpoint exactly where some of our Golden-crowned Sparrows breed,” explained Diana Humple, PRBO’s Palomarin Field Station Manager and a co-author of the study.

Operating since 1966, PRBO’s Palomarin Field Station has been one of the premier west-coast locations for long-term studies on birds and their habitats. These data sets that extend over several decades allow scientists to assess human-caused and natural changes over time to guide conservation action.

The breeding locations for the four birds included areas of Katmai National Park, Wrangell-St. Elias National Park, and the Chugach National Forest.

“Today we are facing unprecedented changes in land-use and our climate” explained Nat Seavy. “The information in this study will help us understand where our migratory birds may be vulnerable to these changes, and what we can do to help protect them and the ecosystems on which they—and we—depend.”

Co-authors along with Nat Seavy and Diana Humple, were Renée Cormier and Tom Gardali also of PRBO. The manuscript was published in the journal PLoS ONE.

Link to the paper: http://dx.plos.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0034886.
About PRBO Conservation Science:
PRBO Conservation Science, founded as Point Reyes Bird Observatory in 1965, works to conserve birds, other wildlife and ecosystems through innovative scientific research and outreach. We partner with hundreds of governmental and non-governmental agencies as well as private interests to ensure that every dollar invested in conservation yields the most for biodiversity -- benefiting our environment, our economy and our communities. Visit PRBO on the web at www.prbo.org.

Nat Seavy, Research Director, Pacific Coast and Central Valley Group, (415) 868-0655 ext. 311, nseavy@prbo.org

Diana Humple, Palomarin Field Station Manager, (415) 868-0655 ext 386, dhumple@prbo.org

Melissa Pitkin, Outreach Director, (707) 781-2555 ext 307, mpitkin@prbo.org

Nat Seavy | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.prbo.org/cms/658

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht When corals eat plastics
24.05.2018 | Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen

nachricht Dispersal of Fish Eggs by Water Birds – Just a Myth?
19.02.2018 | Universität Basel

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: Molecular switch will facilitate the development of pioneering electro-optical devices

A research team led by physicists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has developed molecular nanoswitches that can be toggled between two structurally different states using an applied voltage. They can serve as the basis for a pioneering class of devices that could replace silicon-based components with organic molecules.

The development of new electronic technologies drives the incessant reduction of functional component sizes. In the context of an international collaborative...

Im Focus: LZH showcases laser material processing of tomorrow at the LASYS 2018

At the LASYS 2018, from June 5th to 7th, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) will be showcasing processes for the laser material processing of tomorrow in hall 4 at stand 4E75. With blown bomb shells the LZH will present first results of a research project on civil security.

At this year's LASYS, the LZH will exhibit light-based processes such as cutting, welding, ablation and structuring as well as additive manufacturing for...

Im Focus: Self-illuminating pixels for a new display generation

There are videos on the internet that can make one marvel at technology. For example, a smartphone is casually bent around the arm or a thin-film display is rolled in all directions and with almost every diameter. From the user's point of view, this looks fantastic. From a professional point of view, however, the question arises: Is that already possible?

At Display Week 2018, scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP will be demonstrating today’s technological possibilities and...

Im Focus: Explanation for puzzling quantum oscillations has been found

So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics

Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...

Im Focus: Dozens of binaries from Milky Way's globular clusters could be detectable by LISA

Next-generation gravitational wave detector in space will complement LIGO on Earth

The historic first detection of gravitational waves from colliding black holes far outside our galaxy opened a new window to understanding the universe. A...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Save the date: Forum European Neuroscience – 07-11 July 2018 in Berlin, Germany

02.05.2018 | Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

When corals eat plastics

24.05.2018 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation

Surgery involving ultrasound energy found to treat high blood pressure

24.05.2018 | Medical Engineering

First chip-scale broadband optical system that can sense molecules in the mid-IR

24.05.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>