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 Post subject: Satellite Telemetry Project Black Storks from Bavaria
PostPosted: September 9th, 2014, 9:47 pm 
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Tracking Black Storks live - SatelliteTelemetry Project of LBV (Landesbund für Vogelschutz in Bayern e. V.)

Project homepage: http://www.lbv.de/unsere-arbeit/vogelschutz/schwarzstorch/satelliten-telemetrie-schwarzstorch.html

A short summary of the project:

A Satellite Telemetry Project about this secretively living bird to understand it better in order to be able to protect it better. It is to find out, where the juveniles forage and why they do it exactly there. Define the routes they take to get there and back. And what are the biggest threats to the Black Storks in their breeding areas? Keyword: wind turbines?

On the map the flight path of the Black Storks can be followed live and the Blog [in German language] regularly informs about the project's latest news and developments

Introducing the three storklets:

Image

Stork 1

- Name: not yet assigned
- Sponsor: still looking
- Gender: female
- Date of Hatch: May 7, 2014
- Location: Southern Main-Franconia
- Siblings: AT902 and AT903 (no transmitters)
- Peculiarity: likes to explore (was already in Saxony, Czech Republic and Austria)
- Ring Number: AT901
- Number of Transmitter: 3738
- Left Breeding Area: July 31, 2014

Image

Stork 2

- Name: not yet assigned
- Sponsor: still looking
- Gender: female
- Date of Hatch: June 1, 2014
- Location: Southern "Reichswald" near Nuremberg
- Siblings: AT904
- Peculiarity: caring (preens and guards little sibling)
- Ring Number: AT905
- Number of Transmitter: 3739
- Left Breeding Area: August 20, 2014

Image

Stork 3

- Name: not yet assigned
- Sponsor: still looking
- Gender: male
- Date of Hatch: June 5, 2014
- Location: Southern "Reichswald" near Nuremberg
- Siblings: AT905
- Peculiarity: Baby of the family (was longest in the breeding area)
- Ring Number: AT904
- Number of Transmitter: 3737
- Left Breeding Area: August 30, 2014

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 Post subject: Re: Satellite Telemetry Project Black Storks from Bavaria
PostPosted: September 9th, 2014, 9:48 pm 
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Latest technology for Black Storks
How Satellite Transmitters work and what is behind:

The Black Stork transmitters are state of the art high-tech equipment, which are used in this implementation for the first time for Black Storks. They make it possible for the first time to record and analyse high-resolution, three-dimensional GPS data (longitude, latitude, and altitude), as well as movement patterns of storks.
The transmitters of German company e-obs weigh 57 grams and consist of several components, which are assembled in a weatherproof, durable plastic case. Just like a regular hand-held GPS device used by hikers, the transmitter records the GPS data of the stork with the help of satellites. This can occur even every 30 seconds, and thus shows a gapless record of the flight of the stork, depending on the battery voltage and memory status. This allows us to better assess the hazard potential of wind turbines and locate the preferred foraging habitats of storks.

In addition to GPS positions, these transmitters can also detect and store three-dimensional motion pattern of storks. Like this it is possible to determine by the line patterns whether the stork is active, stands or lies or if he beats his wings or is gliding in the thermals.

A Storklet with the "backpack" and the movement lines
Image
(Photo from the project website, ©H. Röhl)

Excerpt of movement data of Stork 1
Image
(Photo from the project website, ©H. Röhl)


The best part is that the transmitter battery is charged again and again by a solar module. Like this the transmitter theoretically lasts for a stork's lifetime. Thus we are able, provided our storks survive the diverse dangers, follow a storklet live for many years, from its first exploration flights, over its migration routes to the south, the wintering areas in Africa and its first breeding attempt here in Europe, to its death.

Until now similar projects have been difficult as one had to follow the animals for retrieving the data. Because only with a hand-held scanner and an antenna and in relative proximity to the animal, it was possible to establish a connection to the transmitter and download the data. Our transmitters on the other hand use today's globally distributed and well-developed mobile network. If the stork is in an area with good mobile phone network, he will transmit all data once a day encrypted to a specific website, from where we from LBV look at the data and can process them further. Even you can globally follow animals fitted with transmitters live: http://www.movebank.org

Should the transmitter at some occasion have no good network, it will send an SMS with the last five GPS positions to the Move Bank, so if in doubt, one still can follow the animal and read the data using the hand-held scanner. The data storage is large enough to save data of up to one year, so even after wintering in Africa no data will be lost. Once the transmitter has again mobile network reception, it will send all collected GPS positions and movement profiles to the Movebank.

The transmitter is attached like a backpack to the Black Stork using a Teflon tape. The material is especially skin friendly and weatherproof, so it is not chafing and should survive a stork's lifetime. This system has already been proven in a similar project with Latvian Black Storks. Including the Teflon straps and metal crimps, which ensure that the strap is not detaching from the transmitter, the whole backpack weighs a little less than 70g. This corresponds to about two to three percent of the stork's body weight.

Putting on the transmitters

In order to put transmitters on Black Storks, one has to aim high. Because you can capture the elusive animals best when they can't fly yet, still sit as hatchlings in the nest on the brooding tree. To make sure the backpack is not too large but fits perfectly, one has to wait until the young ones are shortly before leaving the nest, are so to say "teenagers". With 50 days they are big enough for the backpack and at the same time still "small" enough not to jump out of the nest.

Then professional tree climbers of the Bayerische Staatsforsten (Bavarian State Forests) climb up the nest tree. There they carefully pack up the storklets individually into cloth bags and let them slowly down to the ground by rope, where they are received by the LBV researchers. Before the backpack is adjusted, each stork is measured, weighed and ringed. The data provide information about the nutritional condition and can be used for comparison with other locations. The special ELSA stork rings of the ornithological institute Radolfzell can be read easily, even from great distances and thus help with identification if the Black Storks are spotted. The siblings of the transmitter storks get these rings.

The backpack system with the transmitter is carefully applied and checked several times for its proper fit. After all, it must fit perfectly for years. After this, all the storklets are again pulled up in the cloth bags to the nest and put back. The whole operation lasts for about 45 minutes and great care is taken that the parents are not aware of it. They are foraging for their ever-hungry brood all day and usually come back to the nest only after four to five hours for a short feeding.


Translation of the LBV website about the Black Stork transmitters: http://www.lbv.de/unsere-arbeit/vogelschutz/schwarzstorch/modernste-satelliten-technik.html
With thanks to H. Röhl for the permission to translate it - Felis silvestris

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 Post subject: Re: Satellite Telemetry Project Black Storks from Bavaria
PostPosted: September 9th, 2014, 9:48 pm 
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Background of the Black Stork Telemetry Project
With better knowldege for better Black Stork protection


Black storks fortunately have taken a positive population development in Bavaria. Nonetheless there is still a number of risk factors, such as the increasing construction of wind power plants in the habitats of the Black Storks and the destruction of feeding and breeding areas. Therefore we would like to know more about the Black Stork in order to protect him even better.

As the shy Black stork, contrary to his white relatives, lives very secluded in forests and is difficult to observe and explore, even when foraging at streams and on wet meadows, we want find out more about some Bavarian Black Storks with the help of high-tech satellite transmitters. That's why we started this year into the three-year Black Stork Telemetry Project by putting transmitters on three young Black Storks.

This latest technology allows us to track the flight routes and feeding habitats so accurately, so that we can later help the storks with targeted measures in the breeding areas where it is most necessary and where he will be disturbed least of all. In addition we finally can deliver tangible data, which are so important for the decision of planning of wind power plants: in which heights flies the Black Stork? How close does he get to the dangerous rotor blades? Does he fly around wind farms over a wide area or is he passing right through?

The LBV supports the expansion of renewable energies and in this way the construction of wind turbines, but only on condition that they come up at suitable locations and after decent planning and consideration of potential risks for wildlife have taken place.

This summer we have equipped three young Black Storks just before they fledged with satellite transmitters for the Black Stork Telemetry Project. One stork originates from southern Main-Franconia, the other two are siblings and are from southern Nuremberg "Reichswald" [N.B. transl. - no English article in Wikipedia]. We now can accompany them for a whole storklife and understand all their steps.

Next year we want to catch adult Storks as well, in order to explore flight routes and foraging areas in their breeding territories during the provision for their chicks.

During the third year, we will arrange renaturation measures to improve habitats in the respective breeding areas of our transmitter storks and try to guide the animals to areas with lesser disturbances in their territories. Based on the collected data, we will know by then what they particularly like as foraging area and why and which routes they prefer to fly there. In addition we will know more about the exploration of the areas by the young storks and thus hopefully be able to protect them better from dangers.


Translation of the LBV website about the Black Stork transmitters: http://www.lbv.de/unsere-arbeit/vogelschutz/schwarzstorch/hintergrund-telemetrie-projekt.html#c27661
With thanks to H. Röhl for the permission to translate it - Felis silvestris

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 Post subject: Re: Satellite Telemetry Project Black Storks from Bavaria
PostPosted: September 9th, 2014, 9:55 pm 
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My thanks to LBV for the permission to use the data from the website!


Sept. 9



Stork 2 is west of Cordoba, Spain on 7th September

Stork 3 is north-west of Valencia, Spain on 8th September

Stork 1 is east of Ceske Budejovice, Czech Republic on 2nd September

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 Post subject: Re: Satellite Telemetry Project Black Storks from Bavaria
PostPosted: September 11th, 2014, 5:03 pm 
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With datas from 10. September stork #3 is in the area of Málaga in Spain

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 Post subject: Re: Satellite Telemetry Project Black Storks from Bavaria
PostPosted: September 11th, 2014, 5:52 pm 
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Location: girona(catalonian)spain
is very likely that this over here, usually spend a few days before crossing the narrow :unsure:
http://waste.ideal.es/fuentedepiedra.htm

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 Post subject: Re: Satellite Telemetry Project Black Storks from Bavaria
PostPosted: September 11th, 2014, 6:07 pm 
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That looks like a nice place for a migrating Black Stork, to "fill up fuel" before crossing Strait of Gibraltar, airras :nod:

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 Post subject: Re: Satellite Telemetry Project Black Storks from Bavaria
PostPosted: September 11th, 2014, 6:17 pm 
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yes .. at this time there is much ambiance there :thumbs:

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 Post subject: Re: Satellite Telemetry Project Black Storks from Bavaria
PostPosted: September 13th, 2014, 6:27 pm 
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Thank you airras for finding the link to the place where the storklet made a break, interesting to see.

The blog has a new entry from yesterday:

12.09.14 Youngest transmitter stork first in Africa!

Stork 3 reported today at 4 PM for the first time from Africa! He is in Morocco and continues heading south. Rather than relaxing in Spain or Portugal like his older sibling, the Youngster wants to know it now. He is the first of our transmitter storks managing to reach Africa via the Strait of Gibraltar. Now a long and dangerous flight across the Sahara lies ahead of him before he will reach his destination in Sahelian zone. Godspeed and and power, little one!

Since all three storks keep on having poor reception, the live map may not be updated daily. But I will write in the blog if I receive new data of our Black Storks

(Translated from the blog on the project's website by Felis silvestris)

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 Post subject: Re: Satellite Telemetry Project Black Storks from Bavaria
PostPosted: September 15th, 2014, 7:04 pm 
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New entry in the blog:

15.09.14 Results of gender determination have arrived!

The time has come, the analysis of the DNA of our storks is ready. While putting the transmitters we had taken a feather sample of each stork to have a laboratory determine the gender. Now the results have arrived:

- Stork 1, still staying in Czech Republic and since weeks flying around the region around Budweis (Ceské Budejovice), is a female

- Stork 2, which in fact started migration to south first, but is now resting already since Sept. 8 in Spain and Portugal, is a female as well.

- Stork 3, which initially was the baby of the nest, but which is now the first of our transmitter storks in Africa, is a male.

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 Post subject: Re: Satellite Telemetry Project Black Storks from Bavaria
PostPosted: September 17th, 2014, 2:28 pm 
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Update in the Blog:

17.09.14 Live map up-to-date again

After technical problems over the weekend the live map is back to current status.

Now we can finally see from where in Morocco Stork 3 sent his latest data before starting the flight across the Sahara. However, the transmitter still has to send the data of the crossing of the Strait of Gibraltar. The straight line, which is seen at the moment, does not represent the actual route, but simply connects two points before and after the crossing. Stork 3 has no longer a connection to the GPRS net (mobile phone network with Internet connection), but was only able to send an SMS with 5 coordinates since he is in Africa. Once the transmitter gets a better connection again to the mobile network, it will deliver the still missing points.

His big sister Stork 2 meanwhile is having a good time in Andalusia and looks for food along the meandering river "Rio Murtigas" on the Portuguese-Spanish border. Such natural rivers with riparian vegetation are typical Black Stork habitats. On the one hand they will find much food there and on the other hand the trees on the banks offer the shy animals a certain visual cover behind which they can hide.

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 Post subject: Re: Satellite Telemetry Project Black Storks from Bavaria
PostPosted: September 21st, 2014, 11:33 am 
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18.09.2014

Stork 1 still spends his time in Czech Republic, the map shows he's around Vlkovice, foraging on fields nearby

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 Post subject: Re: Satellite Telemetry Project Black Storks from Bavaria
PostPosted: September 22nd, 2014, 7:01 pm 
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22.09.2014

(update from the map)

Stork 2 is still in the old area between Spain and Portugal

Image

Stork 1 has left the Czech Republic now and went further south, maybe she will take ,unlike her sibling and the third stork, the eastern route and not the western. The latest signals came from east of Maribor, Slovenia

Image

No update from Stork 3, he must be still on his Sahara crossing, Fly safe!

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 Post subject: Re: Satellite Telemetry Project Black Storks from Bavaria
PostPosted: September 25th, 2014, 6:48 pm 
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24.09.2014

New entry in the blog:

24.09.14 (Female) Stork 1 begins to move again

After the stork spent more than two weeks on the same meadow in Czech Republic, she seems now to want to move on. Yesterday she reported already from Slovenia and today she is in southern Croatia.

Image
Flight route of Stork 1 on 24.09.2014

Stork 1 is once again full of surprises, because she shows "unusual for Black Storks" behaviour by flying along the coast. She even made a side-trip to an island. Usually Storks avoid open water (especially seas), as there they are not able to soar in the thermals. Unlike our Stork 1.

I am curious what she is up to next ...

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 Post subject: Re: Satellite Telemetry Project Black Storks from Bavaria
PostPosted: September 25th, 2014, 8:21 pm 
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Stork 1 has a very individual style - I already thought it would miss start of migration :D

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 Post subject: Re: Satellite Telemetry Project Black Storks from Bavaria
PostPosted: September 25th, 2014, 8:30 pm 
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Yes, it looked like the meadow in Czech Republic is so comfy, no need to fly anywhere ... But it's interesting to see that she prefers the eastern route, while the other two have taken the western. Their nest places are not that far from each other. Would be interesting to know what her siblings do, east or west?

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 Post subject: Re: Satellite Telemetry Project Black Storks from Bavaria
PostPosted: September 27th, 2014, 9:26 pm 
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26.09.2014

The live map has been updated.

Stork 1 has flown further south and is now in Albania, a bit west of Tirana

Image

It seems quite clear now that Stork 1 will take the eastern route.

Stork 2 is still in the same area between Spain and Portugal, seems a nice area! No news about Stork 3, I hope the Sahara crossing goes well and he will soon reach an area with mobile coverage again!

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 Post subject: Re: Satellite Telemetry Project Black Storks from Bavaria
PostPosted: September 29th, 2014, 9:00 pm 
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29.09.2014

New entry in the blog:

29.09.14 Stork 1 flies over the Mediterranean and is in Africa!

I knew that Stork 1 would surprise us again: after she flew from Croatia along the Montenegrin coast and Albanian coast further towards south, she decided in Greece not to fly on via Turkey, but shorten the long way and fly directly over the Mediterranean.

Sunday noon she started from Greece and arrived during the night, most probably very early today (Monday) morning in Libya. After a few hours rest, she started again right this morning and seems to also want to tackle after the first big hurdle (the Mediterranean) already the second one: the Sahara desert.

Storks not taking the land bridges in the East (Bosphorus) or West (Gibraltar), but taking shortcuts directly across the sea, are rare, but it could be already proven by ring findings and other storks with transmitters. As thermal conditions over the sea are different from those above land masses, the storks have to invest much more energy in the flight. Therefore the detour is "paying" for the animals. Stork 1 however, belongs to the few bold who have completed the direct crossing successfully!

Now I wish Stork 1 once again all the best for the desert crossing!

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