Browsing by Author "Cioccarelli, Sara"
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- Data packageData from: Deconstructing the flight paths of hippocampal-lesioned homing pigeons as they navigate near home offers insight into spatial perception and memory without a hippocampus(2022-08-30) Gagliardo, Anna; Cioccarelli, Sara; Giunchi, Dimitri; Pollonara, Enrica; Colombo, Silvia; Casini, Giovanni; Bingman, Verner P.The aim of this study was to exploit detailed analyses of GPS-recorded tracks to better characterise the impact of hippocampal (HF) lesion on spatial memory and perception in the context of homing pigeon navigation when reliant on familiar landscape features near the home loft following repeated releases from the same three locations. As reported previously, following HF lesion, a low spatio-temporal resolution analysis revealed that homing pigeons fly less direct paths home once near the loft. We now further show that 1) HF-lesioned pigeons are less likely to display fidelity to a particular flight path home when released from the same locations multiple times, 2) intact pigeons are more likely to exploit leading-line landscape features, e.g., a road or the border of a woodlot, in developing flight-path fidelity and 3) even when flying a straight path HF-lesioned homing pigeons are more likely to display relatively rapid, oscillatory heading changes as if casting about for sensory, presumably visual information. The flight behaviour differences between the intact and HF-lesioned pigeons persisted across the four releases from the three locations, although the differences became smaller with increasing experience. Taken together, the GPS-track data offer a detailed characterisation of the effects of HF lesion on landscape-based, homing pigeon navigation, offering new insight into the role of the hippocampal formation in supporting memory-related, e.g., fidelity to a familiar route home, and perhaps perceptual-related, e.g., oscillating headings, navigational processes.
- Data packageData from: Post-fledging habitat selection of a Purple Heron Ardea purpurea revealed by GPS/GSM telemetry(2021-09-10) Morganti, Michelangelo; Viganò, Enrico; Berlusconi, Alessandro; Cioccarelli, Sara; Fasola, MauroThe Purple Heron is a species of conservation concern in Europe, mainly threatened by the progressive degradation and reduction of wetlands. For future conservation practice, it is of pivotal importance to gather detailed knowledge of its habitat preferences. In June 2018, a nestling of Purple Heron from a sub-Alpine Lake in Northern Italy was equipped with a GPS/GSM device. Habitat selection during the post-fledging period (mid-July to mid-October) was analysed by superimposing the GPS locations to a fine-grained field-based map, discerning 14 habitat classes as well as narrow (<2 m) and wide (≥2 m) ditches. The contours of the home range were defined as the 99% kernel calculated on all the gathered locations, which were successively sub selected only retaining 2,017 locations representing the position of the bird every hour and all day long. Within the home range, the habitat availability was estimated by generating 10,000 random distributions of the locations. We firstly verified whether wide ditches were more frequently used by the heron if compared to narrow ones. Eventually, we calculated the ratio between the number of true and random locations falling into the different habitat classes, obtaining a series of class-specific selection ratios. We found a significant preference towards wide ditches compared to narrow ones. Freshly renewed reedbeds and cattail beds were strongly favoured, while high-bearing sedges and Black Alder were also significantly preferred but with lower indices. All the remaining habitats, including mature reedbeds, were significantly avoided. Our results reinforce the indication that the protection of minor landscape elements as ditches and small patches of wet habitats may be of pivotal importance to foster the long-term conservation of bird communities linked to the residual wetlands of the sub-Alpine belt.