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1 January 2017 Novel Tracking and Reporting Methods for Studying Large Birds in Urban Landscapes
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Abstract

Monitoring individually marked birds' movements over the long term with the aid of third-party observers can be challenging for reasons including poor tag visibility, observer error and tag failure or removal. This study tested the efficacy of the little used method of tagging birds with livestock ear-tags; fitted to the patagia of 100 sulphur-crested cockatoos occupying an urbanised landscape. The wing-tags were easily applied, persisted over four years, and were highly visible. Urban residents were encouraged to report sightings of tagged birds, and there was a strong public response, with a total of 14 705 valid records over the first four years. Wing-tagged birds were predominantly reported through a customised smartphone application (n = 10 146 records), e-mail (n = 3243), Facebook (n = 415), and other formats (n = 901) by a large number of people (n = 1252) across all formats. All 100 tagged birds were reported by third-party observers at least once and 68% of birds were reported more than 100 times. Because large birds tend to dominate urban bird communities, this research methodology should be effective for many other urban ecology projects.

© 2017 The Authors. This is an Open Access article This work is licensed under the terms of a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC-BY) The license permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Adrian Davis, Richard E. Major, Charlotte E. Taylor, and John M. Martin "Novel Tracking and Reporting Methods for Studying Large Birds in Urban Landscapes," Wildlife Biology 2017(4), (1 January 2017). https://doi.org/10.2981/wlb.00307
Accepted: 10 January 2017; Published: 1 January 2017
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