A telemetry workshop was held last weekend in the village of Wierzba in the north of Poland (Warmian-Masurian County), organized by the Polish company ECOTONE, one of the leading developers and producers of telemetry devices for wild animals, especially GPS loggers for birds. The workshop was attended also by two DOPPS – BirdLife Slovenia representatives, Katarina Denac and Urša Koce, to deepen our knowledge about telemetry which we implement on the Mediterranean Shag in the project SIMARINE-NATURA.
At the three-days lasting workshop we learned the basics of bird telemetry, use of different types of GPS loggers and other telemetry devices like radio transmitters and light-level geolocators. The participants presented our own telemetry studies, from research of migration, home ranges, habitat use, to dispersal of plant seeds by birds. We also visited the Wildlife Park Kadzidłovo where several reintroduction projects are being implemented in the program “Born to be free”, in which GPS telemetry is used to check for success of the reintroduction. In the park we participated in mounting GPS loggers on several species of birds: Mallard, Greylag Goose, Bar-headed Goose, White Stork, Eagle Owl and Sparrowhawk.
The telemetry studies were recognized as an important help in numerous projects that aim at protecting birds and their habitats. When possible telemetry is used as standard method in identifying marine IBAs and Natura 2000 sites since they enable studies of otherwise hardly trackable sea birds.
Telemetry of birds for research purpose is being a progresively used method therefore it is essential for the users of telemetry devices to attend this kind of workshops. A proper choice and use of telemetry device is of key importance for a successful study, from the view of obtaining results as well as welfare of birds which carry the devices.
The meeting was an exceptional oportunity for exchange of experience with other researchers that work on telemetry of birds. The participants were from all parts of Europe as well as from USA and Canada. Birds connect us and this kind of meetings awaken in us consciousness that welfare of birds is our common care. Despite their extraordinary geographic sense birds don’t have knowledge of borders which we humans draw on our maps.
The poster about telemetry of the Mediterranean Shags presented at the workshop by participants from DOPPS can be found here.