More information about CAnMove and the research activities within the programme can be found at:


onsdag 29 augusti 2012

CAnMove research in today's "Ny teknik"

Tom Evans during fieldwork at Stora Karlsö this summer.
Today's issue of Ny teknik reports on PhD-student Tom Evans' and Susanne Åkesson's research on lesser black-backed gulls at Stora Karlsö. Read the ARTICLE or more on Tom Evans' research on seabirds HERE, or a  BLOG POST from this summer's fieldblog (scroll four posts down).

The Swedish name for gull - "trut" seems to have amused the journalist...the little informative text box on the bottom of the picture says "Håll truten", which apart from the not so frequently used  expression "Hold the gull" also means "Shut up".

måndag 20 augusti 2012

The Behavioural Ecology of Animal Movement

Following last week's ISBE2012 conference, hosted by Lund University, we ended the week with a CAnMove symposium on the behavioural ecology of animal movement.
It was a great day with a lively and highly diverse group of people from all over the world working on all sorts of disciplines related to behavioural movement ecology.
The breadth and diversity of the topic was apparent from the plenary talks we listened to, covering different magnitudes of tracking distance and movement patterns, looking at behavioural strategy and responses of both wild but also caged animals. Questions addressed covered: What are the sensory processes? How does ecology shape group strategies and sociality and vice versa? (How) does this differ in different habitat and for different species and communities? How does the underlying genetic architecture of these movement traits look like?

In addition to highly inspiring talks, we enjoyed ample opportunity for poster presentations, discussions and change of ideas, which we then synthesized in a final plenary discussion - before ending this day in glorious sunshine with delicious dinner at Kulturen.
Thanks to all of you, making this symposium a real highlight.

fredag 10 augusti 2012

Spotty cows avoid horsefly bites

"Fjällko" Photo: Susanne Åkesson

A warm summer day the air is full of insects, such as pollinators, butterflies and blood sucking dipterans. Tabanid flies (or horse files) can in many areas be an annoying pest to grazing horses and cattle. The horse flies bite to suck blood from the mammalian host and use the blood meal to produce eggs. These eggs are later attached to vegetation near to water and ponds, in which the larvae develop. The tabanid flies can see reflected linearly polarized light and use this information to locate water and mammalian hosts. In a recent paper published in PLoS ONE we demonstrate that the coat pattern of cattle is crucial in attracting the biting flies, such that the more spots you have the less attractive you are. Cattle have been bread to increase meat and milk production, with limited focus on coat pattern appearance. However, for the future we suggest that also this feature should be considered in cattle farming in order to minimize spread of diseases to cattle and to minimize disturbance during grazing. It is interesting to note the typical coat pattern of the ancient Swedish cow race “fjällko” (photo above), which seem to have an ideal coat pattern in order to avoid horsefly bites – predominantly white with black spots.