This blog post is provided by Leanne Grieves and tells the #StoryBehindThePaper for the paper ‘Preen gland microbiota of songbirds differ across populations but not sexes’, which was recently published in the Journal of Animal Ecology. Microbiome research is a hot topic. Exciting new studies have found links between the symbiotic microbes (bacteria, fungi, archaea and protists) that live naturally on animals’ bodies and animal health, fitness … Continue reading Songbirds harbour different microbes depending on where they live
In the biologging Special Issue of the journal, we have new ‘How to…’ paper lead by Simeon Lisovski from the Swiss Ornithological Institute on Light‐Level Geolocator Analyses. In this blog Simeon walks us through the history of the development of the light-level geolocator, discusses how to choose the best tools for analyzing the date and presents future directions of their usage. Simeon is a Geo.X Young … Continue reading Light‐Level Geolocator Analyses: A user’s guide
For many species, breeding performance changes as an individual ages. So in order to properly monitor and manage animal populations, it is important to understand how different species age. But this is easier said than done! A recent paper published in the Journal of Animal Ecology used a unique dataset from a reintroduced population of white‐tailed eagles in Scotland to study age‐ and sex‐specific trends. Lead author … Continue reading Aging in Eagles
For this episode of fieldwork stories, I spoke to Dr Julie Morand-Ferron of the University of Ottawa about bird and insect cognition, science communication for the public, of being a scientist, and fieldwork anecdotes of designing a skinner box for birds. More about Julie. Video trailer: Podcast: You can listen to the future episodes of the podcast on iTunes, or by searching ‘British Ecological Society … Continue reading Field Reports: Julie Morand-Ferron
When you think of vultures, you might just think “feathered carrion-eaters”. But do you think of their social networks, foraging strategies, and daily lives? Probably not! Dr Adam Kane (University College Cork) and Dr Kevin Healy (University of St Andrews) are postdoctoral researchers working on the behaviour, conservation and evolutionary ecology of scavengers. As International Vulture Awareness Day was on the 3rd September, they have … Continue reading High Society – The social network of vultures
International Owl Day – who gives a hoot? Dr Sarah Hoy sure does! Sarah completed her PhD at the University of Aberdeen, which studied how the demography and dynamics of tawny owls have changed over the last 30 years in response to changing environmental conditions. She is now a researcher in the School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science at Michigan Technological University, working with the … Continue reading Giving a hoot about owl populations
In the heart of New Zealand’s Waikato region, rising out of a sea of gently rolling pastoral farmland, is an imposing remnant of ancient forest that draws you in. Maungatautari Mountain. In many ways, this 34 km2 rugged pocket of land reflects the story of New Zealand as a whole: an isolated landmass brimming with uniquely wonderful life, now engaged in a spirited fight back after introduced pests threatened the existence of native flora and fauna. Central to this resurgence is New Zealand’s pioneering use of pest eradication and native species reintroduction.
In this, Maungatautari is leading the way. The world’s longest pest-proof fence stretches for 47 km around the mountain’s perimeter. Completed in 2006, it has ensured the eradication of all mammalian pests, with the exception of mice. The exclusion of the likes of cats, rats, mustelids and possums – to name just a few of the offenders – has paved the way for the reintroduction of a rich variety of native wildlife long missing from Maungatautari’s slopes. Continue reading “Bringing species back, New Zealand style”