The aim of the project is to use Strontium isotopic ratios in bone and feather tissue to discriminate between the two races of redshank (Tringa totanus)that overwinter on Scottish estuaries. One race brittanica breeds in Scotland and the other, robusta breeds in Iceland. Preliminary results have shown there to be two distinct clusters of ratios for the two races enabling the racial identification of juvenile birds. It is planned to extend the study to develop other migratory tracing methods for shorebirds and wildfowl using European estuaries.
Feather and bone samples were collected from redshank corpses and a range of other wader species in both Iceland and Scotland. These tissue samples were analysed for 87SR/86SR ratios using mass spectrometry.
Birds came from the basin of the southern Icelandic lowlands. A flat area that is rather uniform in geology due to high volcanic activity in the area. All the birds were found in the area between 20,30 and 21 W and 63,50 and 64,10 N. One ad redshank was found at Lake Myvatn. Approx. 65,35 N & 17,00 W. All study animals were either roadkills or raptor victims. Scottish birds came from a variety of sites around the country, notably the Inner Hebrides and Orkney.
All feather and bone samples are stored in a freezer at the University of Stirling.
This information will be provided at a later date.