A project of MBERC in conjunction with the partners and sponsors detailed below.
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The aim of this project is to track the movements of non-breeding sub-adult northern gannets from Grassholm, the worlds third largest colony, located 15km off the west coast of Wales in the Celtic Sea.
We successfully deployed 12 GPS-PTTs on sub-adult gannets that were attending club sites on Grassholm at the beginning of July.
Like other seabirds, gannets exibit delayed maturity and will not breed until they are 4 or 5 years old. Therefore, a key question in biology is to understand the movements of birds in this age class. Sub-adult birds are not constrained to any one colony and so are able to range over wide areas of ocean, potentially putting them at risk to a wide range of threats.
The information gained through satellite tracking these birds will help us to gain a better understanding of their movements, habitat requirements (which may be quite different to breeding adults), and highlight potential interactions at other colonies.
Researchers from University of Plymouth have attached GPS-PTT satellite transmitters in conjunction with the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) and Countryside Council for Wales (CCW).