Satellite Tracking

In response to some questions and comments about satellite tracking ospreys, we’d like to share our policy and views on this issue. We are hoping to raise enough money this year ( via a sponsored bike ride by one of our dedicated volunteers) to satellite track at least one of our chicks, in a painless procedure which involves a small transmitter being attached to the back of the bird just before fledging.
The ospreys’ welfare is always our first and foremost concern, and we never compromise their safety or survival. SWT would never use any research technique if there was any evidence it did harm to the birds, and in general our policy is one of non interference.
We believe that satellite tracking is a safe and proven method of gaining further insight into osprey behaviour and biology. The technique has been used now for more than 15years, and has improved considerably recently. We know that Osprey mortality (especially amongst the young on migration) is high anyway, and there is no scientific evidence to suggest satellite tracking is adding to this rate. There are many more birds surviving migration with this technology on board (in the UK and abroad), than birds being lost.
Ospreys are still a vulnerable species in the UK and there are still many unanswered questions that satellite tracking could help us answer. For example we still do not know what routes our birds use to get to their African grounds, and for example whether they inherit these routes from their parents. With more accurate information about this, we could be better able to work with local agencies and organisations in those countries on route to better protect the birds on migration.
Recent studies of Ospreys on migration using this technology have already added hugely to our knowledge of the birds, and we are hoping tracking one of the Loch of the Lowes birds will add further to this.
We welcome debate about this issue and are happy to answer questions about it on the blog.

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Preface

In response to some questions and comments about satellite tracking ospreys, we’d like to share our policy and views on this issue. We are hoping to raise enough money this …

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