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, firstname.lastname@example.org
Pressofficer Ulla Ahlgren, +46-70 662 3107; email@example.com
Ulla Ahlgren | idw
Transforming plant cells from generalists to specialists
07.12.2016 | Duke University
What happens in the cell nucleus after fertilization
06.12.2016 | Helmholtz Zentrum München - Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Gesundheit und Umwelt
In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.
Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...
Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...
A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...
In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...
The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.
The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...
16.11.2016 | Event News
01.11.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
07.12.2016 | Earth Sciences
07.12.2016 | Earth Sciences
07.12.2016 | Materials Sciences