Seabird tracking in the Southern Ocean
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree LevelPostgraduate Certificate
Degree NamePostgraduate Certificate in Antarctic Studies
Terrestrial animals have a long history of being studied although have only relatively recently begun to detail due to the challenges involved in studying them. Compared to other marine species seabirds are relatively easy to study and are potentially sensitive to changes in the marine environment. As a result of this they are often used as bio-indicators. In the Southern Ocean a number of different devices created by a number of different manufacturers are used, with each type having advantages and disadvantages. When selecting a device to undertake a study it is therefore necessary to consider the biological question being asked, the size of the study species and the budget of the research. The data which is collected in these studies can be used for both conservation and fisheries management purposes and has been used so by the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources. However, there are a number of ethical considerations to be taken into consideration, including the weight of the device and potential impacts upon breeding success. Tracking and monitoring technologies are continually being improved, allowing for increasingly complex biological questions to be answered, which allows for a greater understanding of the ecology of seabirds.