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 Climate Impact Research in Hannover: Small Plants against Large Waves
17.08.2018 | Leibniz Universität Hannover

nachricht First transcription atlas of all wheat genes expands prospects for research and cultivation
17.08.2018 | Leibniz-Institut für Pflanzengenetik und Kulturpflanzenforschung

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Color effects from transparent 3D-printed nanostructures

New design tool automatically creates nanostructure 3D-print templates for user-given colors
Scientists present work at prestigious SIGGRAPH conference

Most of the objects we see are colored by pigments, but using pigments has disadvantages: such colors can fade, industrial pigments are often toxic, and...

Im Focus: Unraveling the nature of 'whistlers' from space in the lab

A new study sheds light on how ultralow frequency radio waves and plasmas interact

Scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles present new research on a curious cosmic phenomenon known as "whistlers" -- very low frequency packets...

Im Focus: New interactive machine learning tool makes car designs more aerodynamic

Scientists develop first tool to use machine learning methods to compute flow around interactively designable 3D objects. Tool will be presented at this year’s prestigious SIGGRAPH conference.

When engineers or designers want to test the aerodynamic properties of the newly designed shape of a car, airplane, or other object, they would normally model...

Im Focus: Robots as 'pump attendants': TU Graz develops robot-controlled rapid charging system for e-vehicles

Researchers from TU Graz and their industry partners have unveiled a world first: the prototype of a robot-controlled, high-speed combined charging system (CCS) for electric vehicles that enables series charging of cars in various parking positions.

Global demand for electric vehicles is forecast to rise sharply: by 2025, the number of new vehicle registrations is expected to reach 25 million per year....

Im Focus: The “TRiC” to folding actin

Proteins must be folded correctly to fulfill their molecular functions in cells. Molecular assistants called chaperones help proteins exploit their inbuilt folding potential and reach the correct three-dimensional structure. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry (MPIB) have demonstrated that actin, the most abundant protein in higher developed cells, does not have the inbuilt potential to fold and instead requires special assistance to fold into its active state. The chaperone TRiC uses a previously undescribed mechanism to perform actin folding. The study was recently published in the journal Cell.

Actin is the most abundant protein in highly developed cells and has diverse functions in processes like cell stabilization, cell division and muscle...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

LaserForum 2018 deals with 3D production of components

17.08.2018 | Event News

Within reach of the Universe

08.08.2018 | Event News

A journey through the history of microscopy – new exhibition opens at the MDC

27.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Smallest transistor worldwide switches current with a single atom in solid electrolyte

17.08.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Robots as Tools and Partners in Rehabilitation

17.08.2018 | Information Technology

Climate Impact Research in Hannover: Small Plants against Large Waves

17.08.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>