Intravenous propofol was used as a general anesthetic with a 2∶1 (mg∶mg) adjunctive mixture of lidocaine and bupivacaine as local anesthetics infiltrated into the surgical sites for implantation of satellite transmitters into the right abdominal air sac of 39 female and 4 male bar-tailed godwits (Limosa lapponica baueri and Limosa lapponica menzbeiri) and 11 female and 12 male bristle-thighed curlews (Numenius tahitiensis). The birds were captured on nesting grounds in Alaska, USA, and on overwintering areas in New Zealand and Australia from 2005 through 2008. As it was developed, the mass of the transmitter used changed yearly from a low of 22.4 ± 0.2 g to a high of 27.1 ± 0.2 g and weighed 25.1 ± 0.2 g in the final year. The mean load ratios ranged from 5.2% to 7.7% for godwits and from 5.7% to 7.5% for curlews and exceeded 5% for all years, locations, and genders of both species. The maximum load ratio was 8.3% for a female bar-tailed godwit implanted in Australia in 2008. Three godwits and no curlews died during surgery. Most birds were hyperthermic upon induction but improved during surgery. Two godwits (one in New Zealand and one in Australia) could not stand upon release, likely due to capture myopathy. These birds failed to respond to treatment and were euthanized. The implanted transmitters were used to follow godwits through their southern and northern migrations, and curlews were followed on their southern migration.
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