Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Tagged Bird Found 8,000 Miles from Home

07.08.2009
Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) scientists studying shorebirds in western Arctic Alaska recently made a serendipitous discovery when they spotted a bar-tailed godwit with a small orange flag and aluminum band harmlessly attached to its legs. Further research revealed that scientists in Australia had banded the bird and attached the flag near Victoria – more than 8,000 miles away.

While banded birds are sometimes seen in the area where they were originally released, it is very rare to see them so far from a release site.

The observation was made by WCS biologists Dr. Steve Zack and Joe Liebezeit.

“It’s extremely unusual to find a banded bird that has flown literally thousands of miles from where it was released,” said Steve Zack. “While we know that birds from all over the world come to the Arctic to breed, to see a living example first hand is a powerful reminder of the importance of this region.”

Zack and Liebezeit also sighted a banded dunlin and semipalmated sandpiper both of which were originally marked and released by WCS scientists three years ago in nearby Prudhoe Bay, Alaska for a study testing to see if birds that winter in Asia are carrying highly pathogenic H5N1 Avian Influenza to North America. Semipalmated sandpipers migrate from South America, and dunlins migrate from Asia. So far, shorebirds have not been detected to carry H5N1 into North America.

“These sightings represent direct examples of the importance of Arctic Alaska as an international gathering place for migratory birds,” said Jodi Hilty, Director of WCS’s North America Programs.

“Birds from every continent and every ocean come to Arctic Alaska to breed during the short summer,” said Zack “The immense wetlands of western Arctic Alaska, encompassed almost entirely by the National Petroleum Reserve, are particularly important to migratory birds and worth conserving.”

Zack and Liebezeit have been conducting studies of breeding birds in the Arctic since 2002 for WCS.

“We have worked with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, governmental agencies in the Republic of Korea, and with WCS Global Health staff in capturing shorebirds in Arctic Alaska and in the Republic of Korea to test for the presence of avian flu” said Liebezeit. “It was exciting to see birds we captured three years ago again in the Arctic. Knowing that they have made six long flights back and forth during that time really makes you appreciate their incredible life history.”

Migratory shorebirds of many species are in decline. Both climate change and expanding energy development are affecting these birds, as are habitat loss and other changes to their wintering wetland habitats around the world. The Wildlife Conservation Society is working to understand how best to conserve these international migrants in changing times. There is also a need to create more protection of key wildlife areas in advance of oil development in the National Petroleum Reserve and a need for funding to help highlight and understand those areas.

“Shorebirds like bar-tailed godwits from Australia, dunlin from Asia, and semipalmated sandpipers from South America are affected by different threats in their wintering and summering grounds,” says Zack. “The conservation of this highly migratory group of birds is truly a challenging worldwide issue.”

The Wildlife Conservation Society saves wildlife and wild places worldwide. We do so through science, global conservation, education and the management of the world's largest system of urban wildlife parks, led by the flagship Bronx Zoo. Together these activities change attitudes towards nature and help people imagine wildlife and humans living in harmony. WCS is committed to this mission because it is essential to the integrity of life on Earth.

Stephen Sautner | Newswise Science News
Further information:
http://www.wcs.org

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Cryo-electron microscopy achieves unprecedented resolution using new computational methods
24.03.2017 | DOE/Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

nachricht How cheetahs stay fit and healthy
24.03.2017 | Forschungsverbund Berlin e.V.

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

Im Focus: Researchers Imitate Molecular Crowding in Cells

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Argon is not the 'dope' for metallic hydrogen

24.03.2017 | Materials Sciences

Astronomers find unexpected, dust-obscured star formation in distant galaxy

24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Gravitational wave kicks monster black hole out of galactic core

24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>