An evaluation of the use of predicted harness spans for correctly fitting leg-loop harnesses in seabird research

Rowan William Mott, Ashley Herrod, Jarrod C Hodgson, Rohan Hartley Clarke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Leg-loop harnesses for the attachment of telemetry devices have been used for over two decades in terrestrial bird research. Recently, the technique has been extended to waterbird applications. An equation exists for predicting the dimensions of correctly fitting leg-loop harnesses in terrestrial bird research. This equation appears robust to the varied life histories of terrestrial birds. Yet, the applicability of this equation for waterbird research has not been tested. Here, we present the dimensions of leg-loop harnesses fitted to Lesser Frigatebirds (Fregata ariel), a sexually dimorphic seabird species. For both sexes, measured harness spans were shorter than those predicted by the terrestrial bird equation. Additionally, leg-loop harnesses trialed on Brown (Sula leucogaster) and Masked (S. dactylatra) boobies were unsuitable and hence unsuccessful. Morphological and behavioral features of species suited to leg-loop harness attachment are identified.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)420-424
Number of pages5
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • bio-logging
  • device attachment
  • leg-loop harness
  • movement
  • telemetry
  • tracking
  • waterbirds

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