Effects of tracking device deployment have been studied in large seabirds but less in small seabirds. Given the widespread use of tracking for distribution and foraging research, understanding whether attachment of such devices impedes breeding performance is critical. We examined the effects of both short- and long-term deployment of geolocators on Gould's Petrel Pterodroma leucoptera at Cabbage Tree Island, Australia, during the 2010/11 breeding season. We monitored breeding adults and their chicks over the 3 month period they carried geolocators. No significant effect on hatching success, fledging success or chick fledging mass was found. Body mass of adults carrying geolocators declined during the breeding season, but this was similar to birds without geolocators. No detectable negative impact was found for long-term (8-9 month) deployment during the non-breeding season on body mass or subsequent breeding performance. These findings suggest the use of small (1.5-2.0 g) geolocators does not inhibit foraging success and chick provisioning in Gould's Petrel. Similar verification in other small migratory seabirds fitted with geolocators is recommended.
|Number of pages||6|
|Publication status||Published - 2014|