This is an important step for the migration experiments in DELTA-FLU.
To understand the role of wild birds in the long-distance spread of AIV, key wild waterfowl species (e.g., common teal, Eurasian wigeon, mallard) will be trapped in the field in wintering and stopover areas in Europe and South East Asia, making use of existing ornithological networks within the consortium (LNU, FLI, EMC, DEFRA-APHA, IZSVe) and via collaboration with partners in other countries such as Seoul National University in South Korea. After morphological measurements and sampling for AIV, satellite data loggers will be placed on birds in collaboration with the Max Planck Institute of Ornithology, Germany, a global leader in the field of animal tracking. The the ICARUS technology allows reduced weight and anufacturing COST of data loggers and will make it possible to perform large-scale simultaneous satellite tracking of waterfowl in a flyway perspective. GPS and 3D accelerometer data will be downloaded automatically to the Movebank repository during the lifetime (>1 year) of the loggers, which contain a small solar panel to recharge the battery, allowing data from consecutive migration paths to be recorded and analysed.
The results from these studies of migratory flyways between Europe and Asia will be analyzed through established collaboration with similar studies on free-living waterfowl in migratory pathways between Asia andNorth America (USGS), so providing an overview of wild waterfowl migration across the Northern Hemisphere, and making it possible to determine the level of risk that migratory waterfowl pose for long-distance spread of AIV.