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Thermoregulatory effects of radiotelemetry transmitters on mallard ducklings

January 1, 1996

Many telemetry transmitter attachments disrupt downy insulation, and may bias survival studies during cold weather by making ducklings more susceptible to chilling. We compared thermal responses of untreated 1-day-old mallards (Anas platyrhynchos) to ducklings carrying external sutured backpack or subcutaneously implanted transmitters. Ducklings carrying external transmitters showed areas of increased surface temperature in thermographic images. However, open-circuit respirometry studies at 5, 10, 15, 20, and 25 C and wind speeds of 0.1, 0.2, 0.5, and 1 m/s indicated no biologically significant differences in total heat production, net heat production, or short-term body mass loss. These results do not exclude the possibility of other negative effects of transmitters on duckling behavior and survival.

Citation Information

Publication Year 1996
Title Thermoregulatory effects of radiotelemetry transmitters on mallard ducklings
Authors G.S. Bakken, P.S. Reynolds, K.P. Kenow, C. E. Korschgen, A.F. Boysen
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Journal of Wildlife Management
Series Number
Index ID 1002902
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center