Automatic monitoring of the effects of changing environmental conditions on the ecology and behaviour of the Manx Shearwater.
The behaviour and population ecology of seabirds is an important indicator of the wide scale effects of changing climatic conditions. Changes in oceanic resources and ecosystem health have unforeseen effects on the behaviour and ecology of such animals. Procellariiformes (Albatrosses, Petrels, Prions and Shearwaters) in particular, with their ocean wandering lifestyles, are global integrators of marine resources and alterations in their migratory patterns and foraging behaviour may be indicative of critical changes in ocean health.
Despite their pivotal position in the future of our understanding of global ecology, their elusive lifestyles have made these animals notoriously hard to study. By combining advanced wireless sensor networks with state of the art GPS tracking research at Oxford University we will create a platform for automatically monitoring the birds’ feeding and foraging behaviour. We aim to determine exactly how variables such as the state of the chick and each parent, activity at the colony, temperature and humidity, interact to influence a bird’s decisions about when next to return to feed its chick, and about its detailed foraging decisions at sea.
- Prof. Tim Guilford (University of Oxford)
In collaboration with the Countryside Commission for Wales (CCW) and the Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales.
- Robin Freeman, R Mann, T Guilford, and D Biro, Group decisions and individual differences: route fidelity predicts flight leadership in homing pigeons (Columba livia), in Biology Letters, The Royal Society, September 2010.
- R Mann, Robin Freeman, O Osborne, R Garnett, C Armstrong, J Meade, D Biro, T Guilford, and S Roberts, Objectively identifying landmark use and predicting flight trajectories of the homing pigeon using Gaussian processes, in The Royal Society Interface, The Royal Society, July 2010.
- T. Guilford, J. Meade, J. Willis, R.A. Phillips, D. Boyle, S. Roberts, M. Collett, R. Freeman, and C.M. Perrins, Migration and stopover in a small pelagic seabird, the Manx Shearwater Puffinus puffinus: insights from machine learning, in Proc. Roy. Soc. London Ser. B, 2009.
- T Guilford, J Meade, R Freeman, T Evans, F Bonadonna, D Boyle, and C M Perrins, GPS tracking of the foraging movements of Manx Shearwaters Puffinus puffinus breeding on Skomer Island, Wales., in Ibis, January 2008.
- T Guilford, J Meade, R Freeman, C M Perrins, D Biro, T Evans, F Bonadonna, and D Boyle, Tracking the foraging movements of Manx Shearwaters from Skomer Island by GPS, January 2007.