Leg Flagging scourge now in Tasmania

Subject: Leg Flagging scourge now in Tasmania
Date: Thu, 31 Mar 2011 12:49:04 +1100
Hi Bob

Apologies for the long post, but you did ask! Some references looking at the 
impact of banding in waders. Google Scholar is your friend : )

Note I have not filtered these at all, these were all the references that came 
up within a couple of clicks for the search term 'impact wader leg banding' and 
following citations / related articles from some of the initial articles.

Ringing or colour-banding does not increase predation mortality
in redshanksTringa totanus
W. Cresswell (correspondence) et al, Journal of Avian Biology
Volume 38, Issue 3, pages 309?316, May 2007 
The use of metal and colour-rings or bands as a means of measuring survival, 
movements and behaviour in birds
is universal and fundamental to testing ecological and evolutionary theories. 
The practice rests on the largely
untested assumption that the rings do not affect survival. However this 
assumption may not hold for several
reasons, for example because the ?oddity effect? predicts predators select prey 
that appear different to their
neighbours in order to avoid the ?confusion effect?. We compared the foraging 
behaviour and the death rates of
redshanks Tringa totanus conspicuously marked with six colour rings and one 
metal ring each to unmarked birds
in a study system, where routinely up to 50% of the total population are killed 
by avian predators during a
winter. If avian predators selectively target and/or have a higher capture 
success of ringed birds then we would
predict the proportion of colour-ringed birds in the population to decline 
through a winter. The proportion of
colour-ringed birds in the population did not change over the course of three 
separate winters, and in one winter
the ratio of marked:unmarked birds found killed by sparrowhawks Accipiter nisus 
was the same as the ratio of
marked birds alive in the population. In the year with largest sample size, 
power was sufficient to detect a greater
than 2.2% difference in predation rate between ringed and unringed groups. The 
average kill rate difference
between ringed and unringed birds across the three winters was less than 1% 
(0.7392.2%) suggesting that even
if there were differences in predation rate that were not detected because of 
low statistical power they were
extremely small. There were no differences in any foraging measures comparing 
ringed and unringed birds,
suggesting that the rings did not affect the ability of birds to meet their 
daily energy budgets. The results showed
that colour-ringed birds were not preferentially targeted or killed by avian 
predators, and suggest that the
presence of a metal and even several large colour-rings is unlikely to affect 
behaviour and predation mortality
even under extreme selection.

Effects of color banding, radio tagging, and repeated handling on the condition 
and survival of Lapwing chicks and consequences for estimates of breeding 
Fiona Sharpe et al Journal of Field Ornithology
Volume 80, Issue 1, pages 101?110, March 2009
ABSTRACT Color bands and radio tags are widely used to facilitate individual 
recognition and relocation of precocial chicks in studies of prefledging 
survival. However, the accuracy of data collected and subsequent estimates of 
survival rates rely on the assumption that such techniques do not affect the 
parameters under study. We compared the body condition and survival of 
color-banded and radio-tagged Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus) chicks with 
noncolor-banded and nonradio-tagged individuals using a 10-year dataset (N= 
3174 chicks, with 205 color banded and 700 radio tagged). Color bands did not 
adversely affect chicks. However, radio-tagged chicks and their untagged 
broodmates were handled more frequently because these broods were more readily 
encountered than those without a tagged member. Chicks disturbed and handled 
more frequently had lower body condition indices and higher mortality rates. 
Simulations of the impact of tagging and handling on breeding productivity 
under tw!
 o scenarios indicated a 26% reduction in productivity in situations where nest 
and chick survival rates were low (as in our study), but only a 7% reduction in 
productivity for a simulated population with the higher levels of nest and 
chick survival associated with a stable population. The frequent disturbance 
associated with radio-tracking and recapturing chicks, rather than the 
attachment of a tag or physical handling of chicks, may affect body condition. 
Frequent handling and disturbance may affect body condition by reducing 
foraging time, increasing stress levels, or increasing predation risk. Because 
our results suggested that the negative impact of handling could last up to a 
week, we recommend that investigators avoid disturbance of shorebird chicks 
more frequently than every 8 d.

Colored plastic and metal leg bands do not affect survival of Piping Plover 
Erin A. Roche et al
Journal of Field Ornithology
Volume 81, Issue 3, pages 317?324, September 2010
ABSTRACT Leg bands are commonly used to mark shorebird chicks as young as 1-d 
old, but little is known about the possible impacts of bands on survival of 
prefledging shorebirds. We used a mark-recapture framework to assess the impact 
of bands and banding-related disturbance on prefledging survival in a federally 
endangered population of Piping Plovers (Charadrius melodus) breeding in the 
Great Lakes region from 2000 to 2008. We banded approximately 96% of all 
surviving chicks hatched prior to fledging, typically between 5 and 15 d of 
age. We used a multistate approach in program MARK whereby individuals 
contributed data as unbanded chicks before capture (N= 1073) and as banded 
chicks afterward (N= 780). The cumulative probability of surviving through 24 d 
of age was 0.63 and did not differ between banded and unbanded chicks. In 
addition, we found a positive effect of banding-related disturbance on survival 
up to 3 d following banding (β= 0.60 CI: 0.17?1.02), possibly du!
 e to increased postbanding vigilance on the part of chicks and adults. Our 
results indicate that banding has no detrimental effect on survival of Piping 
Plover chicks prior to fledging and that current capture and banding methods 
are appropriate for this endangered species.

Journal of Field Ornithology 72(4):521-526. 2001 
Effects of color bands on adult birds have been investigated in many studies, 
but much less is known about the effects of bands on birds banded at hatch. We 
captured Semipalmated Sandpiper (Calidris pusilla) chicks at hatch on the 
Alaskan North Slope and attached 0?3 bands to them. The chicks were resighted 
and reweighed during the subsequent two weeks. The number of chicks banded 
varied from 18 to 21 among treatments; 6?9 were resighted, and 6?7 were 
reweighed, per treatment. The proportion resighted varied from 0.33 to 0.45. 
The estimated resighting probability, given that we encountered a brood, was 
82%. We tested for effects of the bands on survival and mass gain by analyzing 
whether the proportion of chicks resighted, or their mass, varied with the 
number of bands. We found no evidence that bands affected the chicks and were 
able to rule out (with 95% confidence) a decline in survivorship of more than 
13% and a loss of mass of more than 10%. Although bands had little if!
  any effect on chicks in our study, we believe their effects should be 
evaluated whenever survivorship or mass gain are estimated using color-marked 

Foot Losses of Metal Banded Snowy Plovers (Pérdidas de Pies en Chorlitejos 
Patinegros (Charadrius Alexandrinus) con Anillas Metálicas)JA Amat - Journal of 
Field Ornithology, 1999 - JSTOR
During a 7-yr study on Snowy Plovers (Charadrius alexandrinus) in southern 
Spain, I banded 1072 birds. Of these, 0.6% had natural leg injuries when first 
captured. Of 412 plovers that were recaptured or resighted in years following 
banding, 1.9% had injuries caused by the metal band, the most common of which 
was foot loss. All these birds had the metal band on the tarsus, and no plover 
with metal band on the tibia was recaptured with injuries. Though foot losses 
did not prevent breeding, and leg injuries probably had little effects on 
population dynamics, it is recommended that metal banding of shorebirds on the 
tarsus should be avoided. 

Prairie and Northern Wildlife Research Centre
115 Perimeter Road
Saskatoor?,S askatchewanS 7N OX,? Canada
Abstract.--Nine of 2583 (0.3%) adult shorebirds captured during migration had 
healedl eg injuries (rangingf rom 0.0 to 0.5% in differents pecies)I.n a 
long-terms tudyo f
a breedingp opulationo f SemipalmatedS andpipers(C alidrisp usilia),n o birdsw 
ere known
to be injured from the metal CWS/USFWS bands used. One of the 278 individuals 
at least 1 yr later suffered a leg injury from a color band that was too small. 
In at least
some species of shorebirdsl,e g injuries from banding activitiesa re rare when 
bands and techniques are used.

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