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Use of satellite telemetry for study of a gyrfalcon in Greenland

June 16, 2010

Long-term research in Greenland has yielded 1 8 years of incidental sightings and 2 years of surveys and observations of gyrfalcons(Falco rusticolus) around Sondrestromfjord, Greenland. Gyrfalcons nest on cliffs along fjords and near rivers and lakes throughout our 2590 sq. km study area. Nestlings are present mid-June to July. In 1990, we marked one adult female gyrfalcon with a 65 g radio-transmitter to obtain location estimates via the ARGOS polar orbiting satellite system. The unit transmitted 8 hours/day every two days. We obtained 145 locations during 5 weeks of the nestling and fledgling stage of breeding. We collected 1-9 locations/day, with a mean of 4/day. We calculated home range estimates based on the Minimum Convex Polygon( MCP) and Harmonic Mean (HM methods and tested subsets of the data based on location quality and number of transmission hours per day. Home range estimated by MCP using higher quality locations was approximately 589 sq. km. Home range estimates were larger when lower-quality locations were included in the estimates. Estimates based on data collected for 4 hours/day were similar to those for 8 hours/day. In the future, it might be possible to extend battery life of the transmitters by reducing the number of transmission hours/day. A longer-lived transmitter could provide information on movements and home ranges throughout the year.

Citation Information

Publication Year 1993
Title Use of satellite telemetry for study of a gyrfalcon in Greenland
Authors S.S. Klugman, M.R. Fuller, P.W. Howey, M.A. Yates, J.J. Oar, J.M. Seegar, W.S. Seegar, G.M. Mattox, T.L. Maechtle
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Journal of Raptor Research
Index ID 5223682
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Patuxent Wildlife Research Center