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Retention of transmitter attachments on black cockatoos (Calyptorhynchus spp.)

Le Souëf, A., Stojanovic, D., Burbidge, A.H., Vitali, S.D., Heinsohn, R., Dawson, R. and Warren, K.S. (2013) Retention of transmitter attachments on black cockatoos (Calyptorhynchus spp.). Pacific Conservation Biology, 19 (1). pp. 55-57.


Despite the widespread use of telemetry to track the movements of many different avian species, there are few published studies describing tracking methods for large psittacine birds. Due to their powerful bills and inquisitive demeanours, large parrots may damage valuable transmitters and confound telemetry studies. We undertook a captive trial of three attachment methods (collar, harness and tail-mount) and a novel weak-link harness design for black cockatoos (Calyptorhynchus latirostris, C. baudinii and C. banksii naso). Mean retention times for the transmitter packages ranged from 44 to 384 days. There was no skin or feather damage to the birds associated with transmitter attachments. The results showed sufficient transmitter retention times to allow for the collection of valuable movement and survival data, with no obvious ill effects on animal welfare, and are a first step towards using transmitters on wild cockatoos.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Veterinary and Life Sciences
Publisher: Surrey Beatty & Sons
Copyright: © Surrey Beatty & Sons
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