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 A Map of the Cell’s Power Station
18.08.2017 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau

nachricht On the way to developing a new active ingredient against chronic infections
18.08.2017 | Deutsches Zentrum für Infektionsforschung

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Fizzy soda water could be key to clean manufacture of flat wonder material: Graphene

Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.

As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...

Im Focus: Exotic quantum states made from light: Physicists create optical “wells” for a super-photon

Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.

Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...

Im Focus: Circular RNA linked to brain function

For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.

While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...

Im Focus: RAVAN CubeSat measures Earth's outgoing energy

An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.

The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...

Im Focus: Scientists shine new light on the “other high temperature superconductor”

A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Call for Papers – ICNFT 2018, 5th International Conference on New Forming Technology

16.08.2017 | Event News

Sustainability is the business model of tomorrow

04.08.2017 | Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

A Map of the Cell’s Power Station

18.08.2017 | Life Sciences

Engineering team images tiny quasicrystals as they form

18.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Researchers printed graphene-like materials with inkjet

18.08.2017 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>