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Gull Movements Study with the Massachusetts Division of Water Supply Protection

PI: Kirk Bates

Since 2008 the Raptor Research Center has collaborated with the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Water Supply Protection, to study local and broad scale movements of ring-billed, herring, and great black-back gulls through the use of satellite telemetry.

This study was undertaken to better understand, and shed more light on, a detected correlation between increasing numbers of gulls and other waterfowl at certain Massachusetts water supply reservoirs and an increase in fecal coliform concentrations from water samples taken at intake structures.

As this study progresses, we are continuing to learn more about the movements of gulls outfitted with satellite tracked transmitters including their local and annual movements, where they may be nesting, and their use of Massachusetts water supply reservoirs.