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Tuesday, February 7 • 3:40pm - 4:00pm
Technical Session. Quantifying the Impact of Thermal Data Loggers on Nest Survival and Estimation of Daily Survival Rate

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AUTHORS: Matt Stephenson, Lisa Schulte Moore - Natural Resource Ecology and Management, Iowa State University; Robert Klaver, U.S. Geological Survey, Iowa Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Unit.

ABSTRACT: Nest survival estimates are most powerful when visits to the nest are spaced as closely as possible, but this must be balanced against the danger of frequent visits influencing the outcome of the nest as well as trading time spent checking nests against spending more time increasing the sample size.  iButton® brand thermal data-loggers provide an inexpensive method for monitoring the interior temperature of nests on a minute-to-hourly basis without frequent visits by an observer.  Several authors have investigated whether iButtons have an impact on nest survival, but studies so far have been limited in the number of species investigated, the sample size attained, or the sophistication of the analysis. 
We investigated whether iButtons impact nest survival for 249 nests including 10 species of grassland and shrub nesting birds on farms in central Iowa, whether Brown-headed Cowbird (Molothrus ater) egg-accepting and egg-rejecting species were impacted differently, and whether iButtons improve the estimation of daily survival rate by modeling nest survival in Program MARK.  Preliminary results suggest insertion of iButtons into nests may cause a low level of nest abandonment for some species, but data analysis is ongoing.

Tuesday February 7, 2017 3:40pm - 4:00pm CST
Grand Ballroom D

Attendees (5)