Accelerometry reveals limits to use of an energy-saving anthropogenic food source by a threatened species: A case of Carnaby’s cockatoos (Zanda latirostris) and canola.

Karen Riley, Kristin Warren, Nicola J. Armstrong, Lian Yeap, Rick Dawson, Peter Mawson, Denis A. Saunders, Christine Cooper, Jill M. Shephard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The use of anthropogenic resources is becoming increasingly common as species
adapt to human-induced environmental changes, but their use can expose species to new risks. Understanding how animals exploit these resources is important for guiding conservation management, particularly where species are threatened. The introduction of canola cropping to breeding areas of endangered Carnaby's cockatoo (Zanda latirostris) has been attributed to an increase in the birds' reproductive success; however, the seed may be protein-limiting for nestling growth and its use by cockatoos has been implicated in the emergence of a new disease. We used high-resolution accelerometer-capable GPS tags to track eight birds. Accelerometer data were used to calculate overall dynamic body acceleration (ODBA), a proxy for energy expenditure, and to identify and quantify canola and native vegetation foraging behaviours. We used linear mixed models to determine which factors affected patterns of resource use and to determine whether, and to what extent, canola use was associated with reduced energetic and movement costs. We then compared the energetic content of canola seed and native food sources to inform patterns of behaviour and habitat use revealed by our tracking data. Use of canola was associated with reduced movement
costs and energy expenditure. However, there was an apparent reluctance to
increase foraging on canola above a threshold of time, even when conditions reduced time available to utilise native food sources. While anthropogenic resources may appear to improve population trends in some cases, careful investigations of patterns of resource use are necessary to guide appropriate conservation management efforts. For Carnaby's cockatoos, conservation efforts should focus on retention, protection and expansion of native food sources.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere10598
Number of pages13
JournalEcology and Evolution
Volume13
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2023
Externally publishedYes

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