Scientific Journal of the BirdLife Hungary

A Magyar Madártani és Természetvédelmi Egyesület tudományos folyóirata

Ornis Hungarica. vol.5. (1995) p.33-64.

The use of radiotracking and radiotelemetry in ornithology
Fuisz Tibor István

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This paper reviews the technical background and field techniques of radiotelemetry and radiotracking, as well as the data analysis methods with special attention to ornithological application. As the transmitters might strongly affect the behaviour, flight-prformance and survival of the tagged animals, the advantages and disadvantages of the different tagging techniques and attachment are thoroughly analysed, and the main findings are summarized in a bilingual table. The literature survey revealed that the most often applied harness design, as a consequence of the constrain on breathing and wing beats, may cause several serious problems for the tagged bird, and hence their flight-performance, reproductive success and survival is often significantly reduced. The different glueing techniques - especially in the case of smaller birds e.g. passerines - seems to be safer when the transmitters fall of after 3-4 weeks. The most problematic points of data-gathering and analysis are also discussed.