Meeting Abstract

72.1  Sunday, Jan. 6  Determining stress responses to human-related disturbance in small migratory birds using heart rate telemetry BISSON, I.-A.*; BUTLER, L.; HAYDEN, T. J.; ROMERO, L. M. ; WIKELSKI, M. C.; Princeton University; Tufts University; Engineer Research and Development Center; Tufts University; Princeton University ibisson@princeton.edu

Understanding how species respond and adapt to human-mediated disturbance is a crucial step towards developing sustainable conservation practices for species of concern. During spring/summer 2006 and 2007, we used heart rate telemetry to determine both acute and chronic effects of human-related stressors on White-eyed Vireos and endangered Black-capped Vireos in Fort Hood, Texas. Heart rate telemetry allows direct and continuous monitoring of acute responses to a stressor and determine chronic energy demands in relation to these responses. Heart rate was obtained by placing small heart rate transmitters (Sparrow Systems, Inc.) on each captured bird and recorded with MP3 recorders. Heart rate was then calibrated with energy expenditure by measuring oxygen consumption and carbon dioxide production in an open flow, push-through respirometry system for a subset of birds for each species. In both 2006 and 2007, we performed several disturbance experiments on actively breeding White-eyed Vireos (n = 10 and n = 10, respectively) and tested heart rate telemetry on Black-capped Vireos (n = 1). Birds were monitored for a total of 60 hours. Experiments included one continuous 4-hour disturbance in 2006, six 1-hour daylight disturbances (three human and three mock predator) and one 1-hour disturbance at night in 2007. Results will be presented at the meeting.