We experimentally evaluated alternative techniques of attaching radiotransmitters to captive white-winged doves (Zenaida asiatica) in Kingsville, Texas during 1998. Our evaluation consisted of monitoring physiological, pathological, and behavioral parameters in doves subjected to 6 radiotransmitter attachments (backpack harnesses, adhesive, subcutaneous implants, intracoelomic implants, subcutaneous surgeries without implantation, intracoelomic surgeries without implantation). We analyzed physiological parameters across 2 pretreatment and 4 post-treatment periods using a model-selection approach of mixed-effect models. Birds did not differ in physiological variables among treatment groups and a control. Time-activity budgets analyzed using nonparametric Friedman's tests did not differ in any activity category among treatment groups and a control. Subcutaneous implants were the most effective method of attachment based on retention rates, lack of mechanical difficulties associated with external attachment techniques, and minimum levels of pathology reported following necropsies.
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