GPS Trackers for Small Sea Birds
GPS tags being used to track UK's tiniest seabird over several years.
13:50 04 September 2020
Scientists have been using GPS technology to monitor the movement of storm petrel, the UK's smallest seabird, over several years. The research found that the birds, who weigh between 25-30 grams, regularly travel up to 186 miles to feed in the stormy waters off Shetland.
Alex Kinninmonth, head of marine policy at RSPB Scotland, said: "Embracing this game-changing technology has allowed us to build a more complete picture of the lives of these elusive birds.
"Without it, any attempt to identify locations for conservation action or to assess the potential threats to the storm petrels from this important colony would have overlooked these key places.
"Scotland's seabirds are already in trouble and face an uncertain future, so expanding our knowledge of where they go at sea and why is vital to give them a fighting chance against ever-increasing human-made pressures.
"New findings such as these must be heeded by governments as they regulate activity at sea if we are to see a reversal of downward trends."
The research involved 42 individual seabirds that were tracked over four breeding seasons. One bird travelled almost 248 miles to the Norwegian coast.