Monday, January 24, 2022

Radio-tracking small farmland passerines: trade-offs in study design

TitleRadio-tracking small farmland passerines: trade-offs in study design
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2011
AuthorsMacLeod, CJ, Drew, KW, Coleman, M
Type of ArticleArticle
Keywordsarable crops, bird damage, home range, introduced species, pest management, spatial scale, woody vegetation

Information on the relevant spatial scale for controlling pest birds causing significant crop damage is generally lacking. Here, we assess the potential of 2 radiotracking systems (hand-held vs. elevated twin-Yagi antennae) for monitoring pest bird ranging behaviour on and around an arable farm. Radio-transmitters were fitted to 19 European greenfinches (Carduelis chloris) in the summer and 25 house sparrows (Passer domesticus) in the winter. Greenfinches were most likely to be detected in or near Brassica seed crops, particularly on the study farm, but 12% travelled large distances (>3 km) between Brassica crops in the landscape. Even though house sparrow home ranges were widely dispersed across the landscape, most overlapped with the farm boundary and were positively associated with woody vegetation. Relative to hand-held antennae, the elevated twin-Yagi system increased the detection radius for tagged birds from 100 m to 2000 m and also the number of location data, albeit over a more restricted area.

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