MiniGrant List: 2008-2009

Ivory Gull tagged

Title: Ivory gull distribution and habitat use in relation to pack ice extend and quality

Olivier Gilg
Principal Investigator
Olivier Gilg
University of Helsinki, Finland / Arctic Ecology Research Group, Francheville, France

Principal Investigator
Adrian Aebischer,
University of Bern and Museum Friboug, Switzerland

Project goals
To compile and analyze all satellite transmitter tracking data produced by 13 ivory gulls in order to produce automatic procedures to (1) sort the data (distinguish feeding/breeding grounds, migratory routes, wintering grounds), (2) link them with available sea ice databases (e.g. AMSR-E; to assess the spatio-temporal habitat requirements of the species and ultimately assess their extinction risk using predictive sea ice models) and (3) post all data on web pages with daily updates.

The main deliverable that resulted from ArcOD support is a clean dataset that present ~6200 Argos locations with accuracy indications that were collected during the 6 months of this study for the 13 birds that were monitored (see data). 12 variables were recorded for each location. The solar transmitters provided more data (and of higher quality) than expected and the species was so poorly known that each data set brings new and original results. Among these results are: the discovery of more than 10 new breeding sites (including two on offshore sea-ice), the detailed description of post-breeding movements (flyways, speeds, habitat use, etc.), the spatio-temporal changes in the use of different sea ice concentrations and the “ice-edge” specificity of the species, the capture-recapture results (for future demographic analysis), the nest attendance behavior of the species (and the location and quality of feeding grounds), and the inter-population differences for all these results. Several peer-reviewed publications resulted from this project.

Tagged Ivory Gull in flight

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