Post-Release Survival and Movement of Western Grebes (Aechmophorus occidentalis) Implanted with Intracoelomic Satellite Transmitters

Kyra L. Mills, Joseph K. Gaydos, Christine V. Fiorello, Emily R. Whitmer, Susan De La Cruz, Daniel M. Mulcahy, L. Ignacio Vilchis, Michael H Ziccardi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

The main goal of this study was to gain knowledge on post-release survival and movement of Western Grebes (Aechmophorus occidentalis) using a modified technique for implanting satellite transmitters. This technique had improved post-surgical survival in an earlier study. Nine Western Grebes, implanted with intracoelomic (within the body cavity) satellite transmitters with percutaneous antennae, were released close to their capture site in San Francisco Bay, California, USA. Eight survived at least 25 days (average number of transmittal days was 140.8), while two had transmitters that provided data for greater than 1 year (436 and 454 days). The average cumulative distance recorded for all Western Grebes (n = 9) was 829 km with two round-trip movements documented. One individual Western Grebe traveled a cumulative round-trip distance of 2,144 km in July and November 2011, while another individual traveled a round-trip distance of 1,514 km between 8 and 14 December 2011. This study provides a step forward in testing implantable satellite transmitters in Western Grebes and highlights the need to further improve tracking methods, potentially improving our understanding of their population threats.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)175-186
Number of pages12
JournalWaterbirds
Volume39
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 2016

Keywords

  • Aechmophorus occidentalis
  • Migration
  • Satellite transmitter
  • Surgical implantation
  • Western grebe

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology

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    Mills, K. L., Gaydos, J. K., Fiorello, C. V., Whitmer, E. R., Cruz, S. D. L., Mulcahy, D. M., Vilchis, L. I., & Ziccardi, M. H. (2016). Post-Release Survival and Movement of Western Grebes (Aechmophorus occidentalis) Implanted with Intracoelomic Satellite Transmitters. Waterbirds, 39(2), 175-186. https://doi.org/10.1675/063.039.0208