Effects of bio-loggers on behaviour and corticosterone metabolites of Northern Bald Ibises (Geronticus eremita) in the field and in captivity

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2020
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Puehringer-Sturmayr, Verena
Hemetsberger, Josef
Czerny, Tanja
Gschwandegger, Johannes
Leitsberger, Madelaine
Kotrschal, Kurt
Frigerio, Didone
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Animal Biotelemetry ; 8 (2020), 1. - 2. - BMC. - eISSN 2050-3385
Zusammenfassung
Background
During the past decades, avian studies have profited from the development of miniature electronic devices that allow long-term and long-range monitoring. To ensure data quality and to inform understanding of possible impacts, it is necessary to test the effects of tagging. We investigated the influence of GPS-transmitters on the behaviour and physiology (levels of excreted corticosterone metabolites, CM) of an endangered bird species, the Northern Bald Ibis (Geronticus eremita). We considered effects of GPS-tags in two contexts: (1) aviary (i.e. in captivity), focussing on short-term effects of transmitters on locomotion, foraging and maintenance behaviour (20 individuals that differed in sex and age observed for 10 days) and (2) field, focussing on intermediate-term effects of transmitters on locomotion, foraging, maintenance behaviour, dorsal feather preening, social interactions and physiology (CM) (24 individuals observed for 79 days). In both contexts, focal animals were equipped with bio-logger backpacks mounted with a harness.

Results
In the aviary, behavioural observations were limited to the first days after tagging: no differences were found between individuals with GPS-tags and their controls with respect to the behavioural parameters considered. In the field, no behavioural differences were found between the GPS-tagged individuals and their controls; however, 1 month after tagging, individuals with GPS-tags excreted significantly more CM than their controls before returning to baseline levels.

Conclusions
Our results suggest that GPS-transmitters did not affect foraging, locomotion and maintenance behaviour in the Northern Bald Ibis in the short- or intermediate-term. However, they did affect the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal reactivity in the intermediate-term for 1 month before returning to baseline levels the next month. As the Northern Bald Ibis is listed as endangered, evaluating possible adverse effects of bio-logging is also relevant for potential conservation and reintroduction research.
Zusammenfassung in einer weiteren Sprache
Fachgebiet (DDC)
570 Biowissenschaften, Biologie
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Short-term effects, Bio-tagging, Social behaviour, Birds, Excreted corticosterone metabolites, Body weight, Maintenance behaviour, Intermediate-term effects
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ISO 690PUEHRINGER-STURMAYR, Verena, Matthias-Claudio LORETTO, Josef HEMETSBERGER, Tanja CZERNY, Johannes GSCHWANDEGGER, Madelaine LEITSBERGER, Kurt KOTRSCHAL, Didone FRIGERIO, 2020. Effects of bio-loggers on behaviour and corticosterone metabolites of Northern Bald Ibises (Geronticus eremita) in the field and in captivity. In: Animal Biotelemetry. BMC. 8(1), 2. eISSN 2050-3385. Available under: doi: 10.1186/s40317-019-0191-5
BibTex
@article{PuehringerSturmayr2020-12Effec-49992,
  year={2020},
  doi={10.1186/s40317-019-0191-5},
  title={Effects of bio-loggers on behaviour and corticosterone metabolites of Northern Bald Ibises (Geronticus eremita) in the field and in captivity},
  number={1},
  volume={8},
  journal={Animal Biotelemetry},
  author={Puehringer-Sturmayr, Verena and Loretto, Matthias-Claudio and Hemetsberger, Josef and Czerny, Tanja and Gschwandegger, Johannes and Leitsberger, Madelaine and Kotrschal, Kurt and Frigerio, Didone},
  note={Article Number: 2}
}
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    <dcterms:abstract xml:lang="eng">Background&lt;br /&gt;During the past decades, avian studies have profited from the development of miniature electronic devices that allow long-term and long-range monitoring. To ensure data quality and to inform understanding of possible impacts, it is necessary to test the effects of tagging. We investigated the influence of GPS-transmitters on the behaviour and physiology (levels of excreted corticosterone metabolites, CM) of an endangered bird species, the Northern Bald Ibis (Geronticus eremita). We considered effects of GPS-tags in two contexts: (1) aviary (i.e. in captivity), focussing on short-term effects of transmitters on locomotion, foraging and maintenance behaviour (20 individuals that differed in sex and age observed for 10 days) and (2) field, focussing on intermediate-term effects of transmitters on locomotion, foraging, maintenance behaviour, dorsal feather preening, social interactions and physiology (CM) (24 individuals observed for 79 days). In both contexts, focal animals were equipped with bio-logger backpacks mounted with a harness.&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;Results&lt;br /&gt;In the aviary, behavioural observations were limited to the first days after tagging: no differences were found between individuals with GPS-tags and their controls with respect to the behavioural parameters considered. In the field, no behavioural differences were found between the GPS-tagged individuals and their controls; however, 1 month after tagging, individuals with GPS-tags excreted significantly more CM than their controls before returning to baseline levels.&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;Conclusions&lt;br /&gt;Our results suggest that GPS-transmitters did not affect foraging, locomotion and maintenance behaviour in the Northern Bald Ibis in the short- or intermediate-term. However, they did affect the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal reactivity in the intermediate-term for 1 month before returning to baseline levels the next month. As the Northern Bald Ibis is listed as endangered, evaluating possible adverse effects of bio-logging is also relevant for potential conservation and reintroduction research.</dcterms:abstract>
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