Thursday 26 November 2015

Magellanic Plover first geolocator deployed.

At last we are able to report that one of 'our' Magellanic Plovers on Tierra del Fuego, number 190 has had a geolocator supplied by Wader Quest fitted to it.

Adult Magellanic Plover 190 with its geolocator attached with a green flag.
Photo Ricardo Matus.
It has been quite a process getting this far.

The first step was when Ricardo, Olivia and Fernando fitted identifying tags to 7 Magellanic Plovers in early 2015. 

Juvenile Magellanic Plover 183 with its newly attached leg flag January 2015.
Photo: Ricardo Matus
Happily a sufficient number of these birds returned next austral spring (September) which showed us that they have a good site fidelity. This meant that we could go ahead with fitting geolocators, which have to be retrieved from the bird after a year, and stand a good chance of getting them back with the data they hold.

Returning adult Magellanic Plover 180 September 2015.
 Photo: Ricardo Matus

Once this had been established we went ahead and purchased 5 geolocators and then we were fortunate enough to meet Ron Porter at the IWSG Iceland conference and he volunteered to help to calibrate the units and then send them down to Chile ready for deployment. This offer was a great boon to the project and we are grateful for his assistance.

Wader Quest's 5 geolocators after treatment from Ron Porter.
Photo: Ron Porter

Geolocators are not extremely accurate, but it is hoped that if we are able to retrieve at least some of those we plan to attach to the Magellanic Plovers, we will be able to assess at least whether they travel far or stay local outside the breeding season.

If you want to help us to continue with this project please make a donation using the button in the right hand column via PayPal or email us for other methods of making a donation and we guarantee that every penny will be used to fund this project.

Alternatively you could show your support by buying a Magellanic Plover Wader Quest Collectables pin badge for just £2.00.

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