The University of Georgia Costa Rica 2014-2015 Sustainability Report UGA Costa Rica 2014 - 2015 Sustainability Report - Page 45

Bird Migration Research Cody Cox In 2015, Cody Cox began a five year study on fine-scale bird movement patterns, focusing on blue-crowned motmots and blue-throated toucanets. Along with the campus reforestation project, UGA Costa Rica supports the Bellbird Biological Corridor by conducting research on the area. As part of his PhD program in Integrative Conservation, Cody Cox, a past sustainability intern and current student in the Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources, began a five year study in May 2015 on fine-scale bird movement patterns, focusing on blue-crowned motmots and blue-throated toucanets. Through this research, Cody aims to better understand how landscape structure, specifically forest fragmentation and habitat connectivity, impacts the way that birds move through the landscape. This first phase of the research will create baseline data, which will be used to compare against future data. With a paucity of current research on this specific subject and study species, Cody’s research is all the more important. Cody, along with the help of the resident naturalists, has set up mist nets to catch birds at various sites, including on campus, in the Monteverede Cloud Forest Reserve, and on local farms in San Luis. By the end of summer 2015, tracking devices will be placed on over 20 birds. After catching a bird, Cody takes blood samples, measurements, attaches colored bands for individual identification and a radio transmitter for tracking, all before releasing the bird back into the environment unharmed. The birds will then be tracked to understand their life histories and movement patterns. Many questions will be answered, including how long these birds stay at a site and how seasonality impacts movement patterns. Community involvement is important, and subsequent years of this study will identify places the community considers important for conservation to compare with Cody’s ecological data, allowing the research to be used not only by future projects, but by local conservation planners as well. 2014 – 2015 Sustainability Report 45