The use of tracking devices to monitor birds is extensive, but the effects of such instruments on equipped individuals are still insufficiently taken into account. Here we evaluate potential effects of backpack-mounted satellite transmitters (platform terminal transmitters; PTTs) on survival of 28 Snowy Owls Bubo scandiacus. Six confirmed deaths were all probably related to natural and human-induced causes. Although PTT operational time was significantly shorter than expected lifetime of Snowy Owls, five owls were observed alive after transmissions ceased. Additionally four PTTs stopped due to low battery levels, indicating end of transmitter life and not owl mortality. We found no evidence of mortality caused by PTTs, but sample sizes are relatively low and detrimental effects on equipped Snowy Owls cannot be excluded. We recommend caution when instrumenting large owls.
Barron, D.G., Brawn, J.D. & Weatherhead, P.J. 2010. Meta-analysis of transmitter effects on avian behaviour and ecology. Methods in Ecology and Evolution 1: 180–187.
Bowlin, M.S., Henningsson, P., Muijres, F.T., Vleugels, R.H.E., Liechti, F. & Hedenström, A. 2010. The effects of geolocator drag and weight on the flight ranges of small migrants. Methods in Ecology and Evolution. DOI: 10.1111/j.2041-210X.2010.00043.x.
Chipman, E.D., McIntyre, N.E., Ray, J.D., Wallace, M.C. & Boal, C.W. 2007. Effects of radiotransmitter necklaces on behaviors of adult male Western Burrowing Owls. Journal of Wildlife Management 71: 1662–1668.
Fuller, M., Holt, D. & Schueck, L. 2003. Snowy Owl movements: variation on the migration theme. Pp. 359–366 in: Berthold, P., Gwinner, E. & Sonnenschein, E. (eds.). Avian Migration. Springer-Verlag, Berlin.
Gervais, J.A., Catlin, D.H., Chelgren, N.D. & Rosenberg, D.K. 2006. Radiotransmitter mount type affects Burrowing Owl survival. Journal of Wildlife Management 70: 872–876.
Jacobsen, K.-O., Øien, I.J., Solheim, R. & Aarvak, T. 2014. Present knowledge and threats to Snowy Owl Bubo scandiacus in Norway. NINA Report 727: 1–69. (In Norwegian with English summary)
Korpimäki, E., Brown, P.R., Jacob, J. & Pech, R.P. 2004. The puzzles of population cycles and outbreaks of small mammals solved? BioScience 54: 1071–1079.
MARK 2014. Program MARK for Windows, version 8.0. Colorado State University, Fort Collins.
Marthinsen, G., Wennerberg, L., Solheim, R. & Lifjeld, J.T. 2008: No phylogeographic structure in the circumpolar Snowy Owls (Bubo scandiacus). Conservation Genetics 10: 923–933.
McIntyre, C.L., Douglas, D.C. & Adams, L.G. 2009. Movements of juvenile Gyrfalcons from western and interior Alaska following departure from their natal areas. Journal of Raptor Research 43: 99–109.
Menyushina, I.E. 1997. Snowy Owl (Nyctea scandiaca) reproduction on relation to lemming population cycles on Wrangel Island. Pp. 572-582 in: Duncan, J.R., Johnson, D.H. & Nicholls, T.H. (eds.). Biology and conservation of owls of the Northern Hemisphere: 2nd International Symposium. USDA Forest Services Gen. Tech. Rep. NC-190, St. Paul, MN.
Müller, C., Jenni-Eiermann, S. & Jenni, L. 2011. Heterophils/Lymphocytes-ratio and circulating corticosterone do not indicate the same stress imposed on Eurasian kestrel nestlings. Functional Ecology 25: 566–576.
Nielsen, Ó.K. 2003. The impact of food availability on Gyrfalcon (Falco rusticolus) diet and timing of breeding. Pp. 283–302 in: Thompson, D.B.A., Redpath, S.M., Fielding, A.H., Marquiss, M. & Galbraith, C.A. (Eds.). Birds of prey in a changing environment. Scottish Natural Heritage, Edinburgh.
Passos, C., Navarro, J., Giudici, A. & González-Solís, J. 2010. Effects of extra mass on the pelagic behaviour of a seabird. The Auk 127: 100–107.
Peniche, G., Vaughan-Higgins, R., Carter, I., Pocknell, A., Simpson, D. & Sainsbury, A. 2011. Long-term health effects of harness-mounted radio transmitters in red kites (Milvus milvus) in England. Veterinary Record: 10.1136/vr.d4600.
Potapov, E. & Sale, R. 2012. The Snowy Owl. T & AD Poyser, London.
Romero, L.M. & Romero, R.C. 2002. Corticosterone responses in wild birds: the importance of rapid initial sampling. The Condor 104: 129–135.
Sandercock, B.K., Nilsen, E.B., Brøseth, H. & Pedersen, H.C. 2011. Is hunting mortality additive or compensatory to natural mortality? Effects of experimental harvest on the survival and cause-specific mortality of Willow Ptarmigan. Journal of Animal Ecology 80: 244–258.
SPSS 2012. IBM SPSS statistics for Windows, version 21.0. IBM Corporation, Armon.
Therrien, J.-F., Gauthier, G. & Béty, J. 2012. Survival and reproduction of adult Snowy Owls tracked by satellite. Journal of Wildlife Management 76: 1562–1567.
Tomkiewicz, S.M., Fuller, M.R., Kie, J.G. & Bates, K.K. 2010. Global positioning system and associated
technologies in animal behaviour and ecological research. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal
Society B 365: 2163–2176.
Vandenabeele, S.P., Wilson, R.P. & Grogan, A. 2011. Tags on seabirds: How seriously are instrument-induced behaviours considered? Animal Welfare 20: 559–571.
van der Meulen, A. 2012. Life tables and survival analysis. Statistic methods. Statistics Netherlands, The Hague/Heerlen, Rotterdam.
Articles published prior to September 2020 are subject to the following terms: https://boap.uib.no/index.php/ornis/copyright
Articles submitted from September 2020 are subject to the following terms:
Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution License CC-BY 4.0 that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work.