#BOU18TC | SESSION 5
21 November 2018
0900 – 1040 UTC
0900 UTC | Dominic McCafferty @DomMcCafferty
UTC 1200 | University of Glasgow & IBIS, UK
Thermal imaging in avian science
Recent advances in technology have now provided ornithologists the opportunity of using thermal imaging (infrared thermography) to study avian physiology, energetics, disease and welfare. Unlike conventional temperature sensors, which require physical contact, thermal imaging allows assessment of body surface temperature non-invasively, without the need to catch and handle birds. More than 30 species of birds, ranging in size from passerines to ratites, have been studied with this technology since it was first used in the 1960s. The aim of this presentation is firstly to outline several of our recent studies examining the ways in which surface temperature measurements can be used to model metabolic heat loss in free ranging birds and secondly, how thermal imaging can be used to detect peripheral hypothermia, as an indicator of acute stress responses in wild and captive birds. We will also discuss practical requirements of thermal cameras, the strengths and limitations of this technique, along with opportunities for new applications of this technology for future avian research.
Dominic McCafferty is a Senior Lecturer at the Institute of Biodiversity Animal Health & Comparative Medicine, University of Glasgow. His research investigates cold adaptation, behavioural thermoregulation and stress-related temperature responses of birds and mammals. Much of this work involves the application of thermal imaging as a non-invasive technique of measuring body temperature and modelling metabolic heat production. I coordinate the Thermal Ecology Group at the University of Glasgow, I am Editor in Chief of IBIS and an Editorial Board member for the Journal of Thermal Biology. I am co-organiser of the Symposium on Heat Exchange with the Environment at SEB in Seville 2-5 July 2019.
0930 UTC | Liz Humphreys @KittiwakeGirl
UTC 1200 | British Trust for Ornithology, UK
Arctic Skuas – tracking the most rapidly declining seabird in the UK
The UK Arctic skua breeding population has shown a dramatic decline, notably on Shetland where losses of 86% have occurred over the last thirty years. GPS tags deployed on Fair Isle, where breeding success is very low, showed that Arctic Skuas were travelling up to 200km from the colony to search for food. Previously this species was characterised as a kleptoparasite, stealing from other seabirds returning to the colony and only foraging for themselves in inshore waters. We will contrast their foraging behaviour with tags deployed on Rousay, where breeding success is much higher and the population is relatively stable.
0940 UTC | Martyna Syposz @martyna_syposz
UTC 1200 | University of Oxford, UK
Factors influencing Manx Shearwater grounding on the west coast of Scotland
Grounding of newly fledged shearwaters in built-up areas due to artficial light is a global problem. Our recent IBIS paper investigated a combination of several factors that may influence the number of Manx Shearwater groundings. A model was developed that used meteorological variables and moon cycle to predict the daily quantity of birds that were recovered on the ground. The model revealed how new moon and strong onshore winds influence grounding. The analysis can improve rescue campaigns.
0950 UTC | Anouk Spelt @AnoukSpelt
UTC 1200 | University of Bristol, UK
Human-gull interaction in urban feeding grounds
Since the last century gulls are increasingly breeding in cities which results in more conflicts between humans and these so-called urban gulls. GPS data has showed that in Bristol, UK, urban gulls use urban feeding grounds at different times of the day. To assess if these temporal patterns were related to human-linked food availability, we monitored human activity, food availability and gull presence at three different feeding grounds in Bristol; school, park and waste centre. All three feeding grounds showed a similar temporal pattern in gull abundance as the GPS data and this pattern was also related to human food availability.
1000 UTC | Ravichandra Mondreti @rav12319
UTC 1200 | National Centre for Sustainable Coastal
UTC 1200 | Management (NCSCM), India
Illegal egg harvesting and population decline in a key pelagic seabird colony of the eastern Indian Ocean
We carried out population counts of a nesting colony of terns (Sternidae); estimated the number of nests and eggs, and recorded egg predation loss, on Pitti Island, an official seabird sanctuary in Lakshadweep. We interviewed 800 respondents from Kavaratti Island in the Lakshadweep to evaluate their attitudes towards seabird conservation. Levels of natural predation on this species were low (<1%), whereas fishermen removed 14%-45% of the eggs. Approximately 72% of the 800 respondents interviewed on Kavaratti Island were either directly or indirectly involved in the harvest and local trade of seabird eggs. This key breeding site will likely be lost unless stringent conservation measures are implemented.
1010 UTC | Stephanie Winnard @stephanina85
UTC 1200 | Albatross Task Force, UK
Using satellite technology as a tool to monitor albatross conservation
Albatrosses are one of the most threatened groups of birds in the world, with 15 of 22 species currently threatened with extinction. Pelagic longline fishing poses one of the greatest threats to seabirds where they are caught incidentally as bycatch.
Seabird mitigation measures use is a requirement for all pelagic longline vessels operating in areas overlapping with albatross. Monitoring the implementation of these measures is difficult due to low levels of observer coverage and the remote environment operations are conducted. Recent advances in technology provide opportunities for improved compliance monitoring at minimal cost.
RSPB collaborated with Global Fishing Watch to attempt the first ever analysis using AIS data from fishing vessels to assess compliance with regulations requiring vessels to set fishing lines only at night. We assessed more than ~61,000 fishing sets by over 300 vessels for night setting compliance using a convolutional neural network.
Results indicate that in areas where seabird mitigation measures are required a maximum of ~15% of sets have less than two hours overlap with daylight, and the percentage of sets fully compliant with night setting could be much lower, perhaps <5%.
1020 UTC | Agnes Olin @agnesbirgitta
UTC 1200 | University of Glasgow & University of
UTC 1200 | Strathclyde, UK
#WSTC5 – share your seabird research with millions of people
The first World Seabird Twitter Conference was held in 2015, and its reach and extent has since grown rapidly and it has been followed by other hugely successful Twitter conferences, such as #BOU17TC. These cost-free, low-carbon conferences have together hosted presentations by hundreds of people from all over the world, reaching millions of twitter users and enabling direct interaction with the public in a way that ordinary conferences can’t. Next spring, the 5th World Seabird Twitter Conference #WSTC5 will take place and we hope all the amazing tweeters at #BOU18TC will join us!
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