Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Golden eagles studied by satellite

25.10.2010
Large-scale wind farm establishment may have a negative effect on Sweden’s golden eagles. In a unique project in northern Sweden, scientists at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) are trapping adult golden eagles and fitting them with satellite transmitters.

The satellite transmitters emit a signal once an hour during the daytime. These signals provide the scientists with a picture of how the birds use the landscape.

“Hopefully we can identify the golden eagles’ favourite habitats. When we’ve done that we can see where wind farms can be established without disturbing the eagles,” says project manager Tim Hipkiss at SLU’s Department of Wildlife, Fish and Environmental Studies.

The potential risks with wind farms are that the birds collide with the rotor blades and lose valuable hunting habitat.

Up to now the scientists have fitted transmitters on to six eagles. The goal is twenty adult eagles from ten territories, five where wind farms are planned and five without wind farms (reference areas). The project is estimated to run for long enough for the scientists to monitor the eagles during wind farm establishment. Most of the sites are in Västerbotten county in northern Sweden.

“Trapping adult golden eagles alive has never been done before in Sweden, and probably nowhere else in Europe. This is unique, and most people thought we wouldn’t succeed,” says Tim Hipkiss.

SLU’s scientists have acquired the assistance of some of the world’s leading experts in this field, from USA, where it is more common to trap birds of prey as part of conservation projects.

The trapping is carried out by the scientists placing out carrion at feeding sites a few weeks in advance, so that the eagles get used to finding food there. After this the American experts conceal a net trap and erect a hide a small distance from the net.

“Then you just have to wait patiently in the hide. When the eagle lands on the food, the person in the hide releases the net. With the help of an assistant waiting nearby the eagle is then dealt with,” says Tim Hipkiss.

Fitting the satellite transmitter takes around half an hour, and it is important those involved know what they are doing. The eagles can weigh up to six kilos and wield dangerous claws. By weighing the bird and measuring its wing-length, you can tell if it is a male or a female (females are larger). The transmitter sits in place like a comfortable backpack.

Tim Hipkiss says that the birds have no problems flying with these transmitters. The adult birds fly several kilometres per day. Last summer, the scientists also fitted five juvenile golden eagles with transmitters, and have since monitored them for several months.

“The juveniles fly as they should, and some have already flown to new hunting grounds tens of kilometres away. Thanks to the transmitters we can find the birds if any of them have any problems, for example have not moved for several days,” says Tim Hipkiss.

The satellite transmitters will provide information on how far the eagles fly and how they move about their territories before and after wind farm establishment. The scientists have already observed that the eagles fly further than previously thought.

“It’s really great to see that this works. So far the project looks successful,” says Tim Hipkiss.

The project “Effects of wind farms on the habitat use and reproductive success of golden eagles” is financed by the Swedish Energy Agency (Vindval programme) and the power companies Vattenfall and Statkraft.

Contact: Tim Hipkiss, +46 90 786 8685 or +46 70 578 2032, tim.hipkiss@vfm.slu.se

Pressofficer Ulla Ahlgren, +46-70 662 3107; ulla.ahlgren@adm.slu.se

Ulla Ahlgren | idw
Further information:
http://www.vr.se
http://www.slu.se/en/about-slu/fristaende-sidor-eng/whats-on/news/2010/7/transmitters-fitted-to-golden-eagles-show-effects-of-wind-powe

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht How brains surrender to sleep
23.06.2017 | IMP - Forschungsinstitut für Molekulare Pathologie GmbH

nachricht A new technique isolates neuronal activity during memory consolidation
22.06.2017 | Spanish National Research Council (CSIC)

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Quantum thermometer or optical refrigerator?

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

A 100-year-old physics problem has been solved at EPFL

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Equipping form with function

23.06.2017 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>