Marking carcasses

13 04 2009
Proper marking of wing using cable tie. Secure the tie as close to the bone as possible.

Proper marking of wing using cable tie. Secure the tie as close to the bone as possible.

SEANET has received a shipment of fluorescent orange cable ties for use by our volunteers!

As detailed in our newly revised protocol (see the Volunteer Toolkit tab above), we will now require volunteers either to mark carcasses with cable ties, or to discard the carcasses so that they will not be recounted on subsequent walks.

The photos in this post detail the proper way to use cable ties when marking carcasses. The first priority when marking is to tag both wings, since the wings seem to persist longer than any other body part. When marking the wings, secure the cable tie between the elbow and wrist as shown. You can slide the tie between the feathers and secure it as close to the bone as possible.

When marking the leg, secure the tie on the tarsus, above the foot. Secure the tie snugly so that there is no room for the tie to slide off, even if the leg were to separate from the rest of the body.

Marking the tarsus; secure the cable tie as tightly as possible on the tarsus above the foot.

Marking the tarsus; secure the cable tie as tightly as possible on the tarsus above the foot.

Finally, marking the beak is done by sliding a tie through both nostrils and securing it snugly against the upper beak.

On a whole carcass, all these parts (both wings, tarsus, and beak) should be marked. If only parts of a carcass are found, then mark whichever of the listed parts are present. Refer to the volunteer protocol for more information on this.

In order to limit the amount of plastic involved in this process, you can clip the tail of the cable tie and take it home to recycle once the carcass is marked.

If you would like to start using the ties (and remember, the only other option is to remove and discard carcasses on your beach!) please contact us and we will mail you a packet of ties right away.

Thanks for your cooperation and willingness to accomodate SEANET’s continued efforts to raise the data collection standards of our program!

Mark the beak by sliding the tie through both nostrils.

Mark the beak by sliding the tie through both nostrils.

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