Effects of radiotransmitter necklaces on behaviors of adult male western burrowing owls

Journal of Wildlife Management
By: , and 

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Abstract

We studied the behavioral effects of necklace-style radiotransmitters on breeding male western burrowing owls (Athene cunicularia hypugaea) in 2 areas of northwestern Texas, USA, in 2004 and 2005. We tested the hypothesis that transmittered owls would spend time interacting with their necklaces and as a result spend less time in vigilance and resting activities than would nontransmittered owls. Nontransmittered owls (n = 6) spent significantly more time being vigilant (P = 0.007) than did transmittered owls (n = 3) in 2004, who spent significant amounts of time interacting with their necklaces. In 2005, behaviors of transmittered owls (n = 8) were significantly different (P < 0.001) from control individuals (n = 4), but behaviors did not vary consistently by treatment period (prenecklace vs. necklace vs. postnecklace periods). Behavioral activity budgets varied considerably among individuals. Although the owls spent a significant amount of time interacting with their necklaces, they appeared to habituate to the presence of the transmitters within a relatively short period (<1 week), and necklaces did not affect survivorship or fitness in the short-term.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Effects of radiotransmitter necklaces on behaviors of adult male western burrowing owls
Series title Journal of Wildlife Management
DOI 10.2193/2006-335
Volume 71
Issue 5
Year Published 2007
Language English
Larger Work Type Article
Larger Work Subtype Journal Article
Larger Work Title Journal of Wildlife Management
First page 1662
Last page 1668