Waved Albatross Tracking

Wake Forest University

Dataset credit

David Anderson, Wake Forest University


Primary contact David Hyrenbach Duke University Marine Laboratory
Primary contact David Anderson Wake Forest University
Data entry Ei Fujioka Duke University



All birds studied via satellite tracking were nesting in the same part of the breeding colony at Punta Cevallos, on the eastern point of Isla Española (Galápagos archipelago). In 2000 and 2001, a tape attachment method was used to attach Platform Transmitter Terminals (PTTs; Microwave Telemetry Inc., Columbia MD USA) to the dorsal feathers of birds at the nest. The birds were tracked using the satellites of the Argos System (Service Argos, Largo MD USA). In 2000, five PTTs used this duty cycle, while two others transmitted continuously, and in 2001 all six transmitters transmitted continuously.


The 21 birds tracked during incubation in 2000 and 2001 were part of a study of sensory ecology and navigation; 10 and 9 of them had, respectively, small (3.5 g) magnets or brass sham magnets affixed to their heads during their trips. All 19 of the magnet and sham birds showed the same 'commuter' foraging behavior seen during previous satellite tracking in 1995 and 1996 (Anderson et al. 1998, Fernández et al. 2001) and in the two unmanipulated birds tracked in 2000 and 2001. The satellite-tracked Waved Albatross traveled to the Peruvian shelf in relatively straight flights, remaining in the upwelling region for several days, and then returning directly to Española.

Funding was provided by the United States National Science Foundation (grant DEB 96-29539 to D.J.A.), the Carlsberg Foundation (to H.M.), the National Geographic Society, Canadian NSERC, the VolkswagenStiftung (Nachwuchgruppen Grant to H.M.), a CIAR Fellowship, an NSERC fellowship, Institute for Robotics and Intelligent Systems (NCE) grants to B.J.F., the Wake Forest University Sullivan and Richter Funds, and the Field Research for Conservation Program at the St. Louis Zoo.

Supplemental information

Argos System ground-truthing conducted at the site in 1995 (Anderson et al. 1998) showed that the lowest quality locations, Class B, had a mean error of 17.8 km (9.6 nautical miles; Anderson et al., 1998). Thus, only high-quality Argos locations are presented here. A total of 101 locations from 14 birds (14.9 % LQC-1, 6.9 % LQC-2, 4.0 % LQC-3, 32.7 % LQC-0, 41.6 % LQ-A) and 356 locations from 21 birds (13.2 % LQC-1, 5.3 % LQC-2, 3.4 % LQC-3, 32.0 % LQC-0, 46.1 % LQ-A) are reported for 2000 and 2001, respectively.

References cited:

Anderson, D.J., A.J. Schwandt, and H.D. Douglas. 1998. Foraging ranges of waved albatrosses in the eastern tropical Pacific. In: G. Robertson and R. Gales (eds.). Albatross Biology and Conservation, Surrey Beatty and Sons, Chipping Norton, pp. 180-185.

Fernández, P., D.J. Anderson, P. Sievert, and K.P. Huyvaert. 2001. Foraging destinations of three low-latitude albatross species. Journal of Zoology 254:391-404.


Anderson, D.J., K.P. Huyvaert, D.R. Wood, C.L. Gillikin, B.J. Frost, and H. Mouritsen. 2003. At-sea distribution of waved albatrosses and the Galapagos Marine Reserve. Biological Conservation. 110 (3): 367-373.
Mouritsen, H., K.P. Huyvaert, B.J. Frost, and D.J. Anderson. 2003. Waved albatrosses can navigate with strong magnets attached to their head. Journal of Experimental Biology. 206 (22): 4155-4166.



Attributes described below represent those in the original dataset provided by the provider.
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Attributes in dataset

Attribute (table column)Description
monthMonth of location
dayDay of location
yearYear of location
hourHour of location
minuteMinute of location
secodSecond of location
bird_idBird ID
latitudeLatitude of location
longitudeLongitude of location
lqcdefinition not provided
geomGeometry field added by OBIS-SEAMAP
oidUnique ID number (generated by OBIS-SEAMAP)
Marine mammals0
Sea turtles0
Rays and sharks0
Other species0
Non spatial0
Non species0
Date, Begin2000-05-11
Date, End2001-07-21
Temporal prec.111111
Latitude-11.91 - -0.38
Longitude-95.10 - -77.46
Coord. prec.3 decimal digits
Data typeTelemetry location
Traveled (km)0
Contr. through
Sharing policy Permission required
Shared with OBIS*
GBIF (via DOI)*
* Aggregated summary
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