Satellite tracking resident songbirds in tropical forests

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Advances in tracking technology have helped elucidate the movements of the planet’s largest and most mobile species, but these animals do not represent faunal diversity as a whole. Tracking a more diverse array of animal species will enable testing of broad ecological and evolutionary hypotheses and aid conservation efforts. Small and sedentary species of the tropics make up a huge part of earth’s animal diversity and are therefore key to this endeavor. Here, we investigated whether modern satellite tracking is a viable means for measuring the fine-scale movement patterns of such animals. We fitted five-gram solar-powered transmitters to resident songbirds in the rainforests of New Guinea, and analyzed transmission data collected over four years to evaluate movement detection and performance over time. Based upon the distribution of location fixes, and an observed home range shift by one individual, there is excellent potential to detect small movements of a few kilometers. The method also has clear limitations: total transmission periods were often short and punctuated by lapses; precision and accuracy of location fixes was limited and variable between study sites. However, impending reductions in transmitter size and price will alleviate many issues, further expanding options for tracking earth’s faunal diversity.

TidsskriftPLoS ONE
Udgave nummer12
Antal sider14
StatusUdgivet - 2022

Bibliografisk note

Funding Information:
We received financial support from the Villum Foundation (Young Investigator Programme, project No. 15560 to K.A.J.; and the Carlsberg Foundation (CF15-0078, CF15-0079, and CF17-0248 to K.A.J.; The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript. We gratefully acknowledge the Binatang Research Center, the PNG National Museum and Art Gallery, and the numerous people and communities in Papua New Guinea that made this work possible. We thank Mark Mulau and Israel Simon for their hard work and good company in the field.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Reeve et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

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