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Title: Impacts of capture and handling on wild birds
Author: Duarte, Leila
Awarding Body: Cardiff University
Current Institution: Cardiff University
Date of Award: 2013
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Bird ringing is a key ecological research technique that involves the capture and handling of birds. It is used extensively to obtain information on population dynamics of wild birds, and many aspects of avian behavior, physiology and life-history, which would otherwise be unfeasible to obtain. Despite millions of birds ringed every year, little is known about the short- or long-term impacts on birds, and whether there are negative welfare, conservation and scientific consequences, which can ultimately bias the interpretation of data from wild bird studies. In this thesis I study the type of intrusion that capture and handling causes to the bird, by analyzing their interlinked physiological and behavioral responses to capture stress, including hormonal and immunological responses, energy regulation decisions (feeding behavior and thermal regulation) and breeding effort. I further study the immediate effects that capture and handling has on birds through analyzing types of injuries and the rates at which injuries and mortality occur. I have focused mainly on mist-netting, which is the most widely used capture technique, and captures of passerine birds, which is the most frequently sampled taxon. However, I also demonstrate how the impacts of capture and handling can be studied in marine birds and applied to other capture methods. These studies reveal the range of short-term impacts that capture and handling may have on wild birds, and highlight aspects of methodology that have a strong effect on these impacts. The longer term consequences for lifetime fitness and demographic change require further study. This thesis demonstrated the importance for researchers to be aware of the potential effects of their activities on their study subjects, particularly for susceptible species and situations, and to continuously reasses their methods for effective improvement. I propose several guidelines, which aim to promote the birds’ welfare in regards to data collection.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: QL Zoology