Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Units Program: Texas
Education, Research and Technical Assistance for Managing Our Natural Resources

Texas Project

OA 85: An Investigation of Transmitter Impacts on Avian Flig...

January 2014 - December 2018


Participating Agencies

  • Texas Tech University

Radio and GPS transmitters are a common, if not critical, tool in current use for wildlife research. However, the potential influence of transmitters, in context of weight and attachment methods, has received little critical evaluation as to influence on predatory bird hunting effort and capture success, or for the influences they may pose in terms of handicapping prey. Transmitters are often used for assessments of survival and causes of mortality. However, if they are presenting unknown negative influences, current knowledge of survival rates and causes of mortality may be biased and inaccurate. We have collaborated with the Rolling Plains Quail Research Ranch, and with Nightwings Wildlife Rehabilitation in conducting field trials for this research. Our data will provide a clearer understanding of the influence of different weight loading of transmitters sized on flight effort of raptors, and whether or not radio-tagged prey birds are randomly or non-randomly selected by raptors.