Animal Biotelemetry
Latest Publications


TOTAL DOCUMENTS

266
(FIVE YEARS 174)

H-INDEX

21
(FIVE YEARS 13)

Published By Springer (Biomed Central Ltd.)

2050-3385, 2050-3385
Updated Saturday, 23 October 2021

2021 ◽  
Vol 9 (1) ◽  
Author(s):  
Mason R. Cole ◽  
Jenifer A. Zeligs ◽  
Stefani Skrovan ◽  
Birgitte I. McDonald

AbstractDetecting when and where animals feed is key to understanding their ecophysiology, but our ability to collect these data in marine mammals remains limited. Here, we test a tag-based accelerometry method to detect prey capture in California sea lions. From synchronized underwater video and acceleration data of two trained sea lions, we isolated a combined acceleration and Jerk pattern that reliably indicated prey capture in training datasets. We observed a stereotyped feeding motion in underwater video that included (1) mouth opening while approaching prey; (2) head deceleration to allow initial suction or prey engulfment, and (3) jaw closure. This motion (1–3) was repeated if a prey item was not initially engulfed. This stereotyped feeding motion informed a signal pattern phrase that accurately detected feeding in a training dataset. This phrase required (1) an initial heave-axis Jerk signal surpassing a threshold based on sampling rate; (2) an estimated dynamic surge-axis deceleration signal surpassing −0.7 g beginning within 0.2 s of the initial Jerk signal; and (3) an estimated dynamic surge-axis acceleration signal surpassing 1.0 g within 0.5 s of the beginning of the prior deceleration signal. We built an automated detector in MATLAB to identify and quantify these patterns. Blind tests of this detector on non-training datasets found high true-positive detection rates (91%–100%) with acceleration sampled at 50–333 Hz and low false-positive detection rates (0%–4.8%) at all sampling rates (16–333 Hz). At 32 Hz and below, true-positive detection rates decreased due to attenuation of signal detail. A detector optimized for an adult female was also accurate at 32–100 Hz when tested on an adult male’s data, suggesting the potential future use of a generalized detector in wild subjects. When tested on the same data, a published triaxial Jerk method produced high true-positive detection rates (91–100%) and low-to-moderate false-positive detection rates (15–43%) at ≥ 32 Hz. Using our detector, larger prey elicited longer prey capture duration in both animals at almost all sampling rates 32 Hz or faster. We conclude that this method can accurately detect feeding and estimate relative prey length in California sea lions.


2021 ◽  
Vol 9 (1) ◽  
Author(s):  
Richard M. Gunner ◽  
Mark D. Holton ◽  
David M. Scantlebury ◽  
Phil Hopkins ◽  
Emily L. C. Shepard ◽  
...  

Abstract Background Understanding what animals do in time and space is important for a range of ecological questions, however accurate estimates of how animals use space is challenging. Within the use of animal-attached tags, radio telemetry (including the Global Positioning System, ‘GPS’) is typically used to verify an animal’s location periodically. Straight lines are typically drawn between these ‘Verified Positions’ (‘VPs’) so the interpolation of space-use is limited by the temporal and spatial resolution of the system’s measurement. As such, parameters such as route-taken and distance travelled can be poorly represented when using VP systems alone. Dead-reckoning has been suggested as a technique to improve the accuracy and resolution of reconstructed movement paths, whilst maximising battery life of VP systems. This typically involves deriving travel vectors from motion sensor systems and periodically correcting path dimensions for drift with simultaneously deployed VP systems. How often paths should be corrected for drift, however, has remained unclear. Methods and results Here, we review the utility of dead-reckoning across four contrasting model species using different forms of locomotion (the African lion Panthera leo, the red-tailed tropicbird Phaethon rubricauda, the Magellanic penguin Spheniscus magellanicus, and the imperial cormorant Leucocarbo atriceps). Simulations were performed to examine the extent of dead-reckoning error, relative to VPs, as a function of Verified Position correction (VP correction) rate and the effect of this on estimates of distance moved. Dead-reckoning error was greatest for animals travelling within air and water. We demonstrate how sources of measurement error can arise within VP-corrected dead-reckoned tracks and propose advancements to this procedure to maximise dead-reckoning accuracy. Conclusions We review the utility of VP-corrected dead-reckoning according to movement type and consider a range of ecological questions that would benefit from dead-reckoning, primarily concerning animal–barrier interactions and foraging strategies.


2021 ◽  
Vol 9 (1) ◽  
Author(s):  
Michelle Modest ◽  
Ladd Irvine ◽  
Virginia Andrews-Goff ◽  
William Gough ◽  
David Johnston ◽  
...  

Abstract Background Despite exhibiting one of the longest migrations in the world, half of the humpback whale migratory cycle has remained unexamined. Until now, no study has provided a continuous description of humpback whale migratory behavior from a feeding ground to a calving ground. We present new information on satellite-derived offshore migratory movements of 16 Breeding Stock G humpback whales from Antarctic feeding grounds to South American calving grounds. Satellite locations were used to demonstrate migratory corridors, while the impact of departure date on migration speed was assessed using a linear regression. A Bayesian hierarchical state–space animal movement model (HSSM) was utilized to investigate the presence of Area Restricted Search (ARS) en route. Results 35,642 Argos locations from 16 tagged whales from 2012 to 2017 were collected. The 16 whales were tracked for a mean of 38.5 days of migration (range 10–151 days). The length of individually derived tracks ranged from 645 to 6381 km. Humpbacks were widely dispersed geographically during the initial and middle stages of their migration, but convened in two convergence regions near the southernmost point of Chile as well as Peru’s Illescas Peninsula. The state–space model showed almost no instances of ARS along the migratory route. The linear regression assessing whether departure date affected migration speed showed suggestive but inconclusive support for a positive trend between the two variables. Results suggestive of stratification by sex and reproductive status were found for departure date and route choice. Conclusions This multi-year study sets a baseline against which the effects of climate change on humpback whales can be studied across years and conditions and provides an excellent starting point for the investigation into humpback whale migration.


2021 ◽  
Vol 9 (1) ◽  
Author(s):  
Eirik Svendsen ◽  
Finn Økland ◽  
Martin Føre ◽  
Lise L. Randeberg ◽  
Bengt Finstad ◽  
...  

Abstract Background Welfare challenges in salmon farming highlights the need to improve understanding of the fish’s response to its environment and rearing operations. This can be achieved by monitoring physiological responses such as heart rate (HR) for individual fish. Existing solutions for heart rate monitoring are typically based on Electrocardiography (ECG) which is sensitive to placement and electrode orientation. These factors are difficult to control and affects the reliability of the principle, prompting the desire to find an alternative to ECG for heart rate monitoring in fish. This study was aimed at adapting an optical photoplethysmography (PPG) sensor for this purpose. An embedded sensor unit measuring both PPG and ECG was developed and tested using anesthetized Atlantic salmon in a series of in-vivo experiments. HR was derived from PPG and compared to the ECG baseline to evaluate its efficacy in estimating heart rate. Results The results show that PPG HR was estimated with an accuracy of 0.7 ± 1.0% for 660 nm and 1.1 ± 1.2% for 880 nm wavelengths, respectively, relative to the ECG HR baseline. The results also indicate that PPG should be measured in the anterior part of the peritoneal cavity in the direction of the heart. Conclusion A PPG/ECG module was successfully adapted to measure both ECG and PPG in-vivo for anesthetized Atlantic salmon. Using ECG as baseline, PPG analysis results show that that HR can be accurately estimated from PPG. Thus, PPG has the potential to become an alternative to ECG HR measurements in fish.


2021 ◽  
Vol 9 (1) ◽  
Author(s):  
Evan J. Buck ◽  
Jeffery D. Sullivan ◽  
Cody M. Kent ◽  
Jennifer M. Mullinax ◽  
Diann J. Prosser

Abstract Background While the period from fledging through first breeding for waterbird species such as terns (e.g., genus Sterna, Sternula) is of great interest to researchers and conservationists, this period remains understudied due in large part to the difficulty of marking growing juveniles with radio transmitters that remain attached for extended periods. Methods In an effort to facilitate such research, we examined the impact of various combinations of harness types (backpack, leg-loop, and 3D-printed harnesses), harness materials (Automotive ribbon, Elastic cord, and PFTE ribbon), and transmitter types (center-weighted and rear-weighted) on a surrogate for juvenile terns, 28-day-old Japanese quail (Coturnix japonica; selected due to similarities in adult mass and downy feathering of juveniles), in a 30-day experiment. We monitored for abrasion at points of contact and tag gap issues via daily exams while also recording mass and wing cord as indices of growth. This study was designed to serve as an initial examination of the impacts of marking on the growth and development of young birds and does not account for any impacts of tags on movement or behavior. Results While we found that treatment (the specific combination of the transmitter type, harness type, and harness material) had no impact on bird growth relative to unmarked control birds (P ≥ 0.05), we did observe differences in abrasion and tag gap between treatments (P ≤ 0.05). Our results suggest that leg-loop harnesses constructed from elastic cord and backpack harnesses from PFTE ribbon are suitable options for long-term attachment to growing juveniles. Conversely, we found that automotive ribbon led to extensive abrasion with these small-bodied birds, and that elastic cord induced blisters when used to make a backpack harness. Conclusions While these results indicate that long-term tagging of juvenile birds is possible with limited impacts on growth, this work does not preclude the need for small-scale studies with individual species. Instead, we hope this provides an informed starting point for further exploration of this topic.


2021 ◽  
Vol 9 (1) ◽  
Author(s):  
Jonah L. Withers ◽  
Helen Takade-Heumacher ◽  
Lori Davis ◽  
Rachel Neuenhoff ◽  
Shannon E. Albeke ◽  
...  

Abstract Background Defining the spatial distribution, home range, and movement patterns of lake sturgeon (Acipenser fulvescens) is important to managers and decision-makers given the large migration potential and potamodromous behavior exhibited by the species. A remnant population of lake sturgeon remains in the far eastern basin of Lake Erie and although recent efforts have estimated the population size, described the age distribution, and identified a primary spawning site no study to date has examined the spatial distribution or movements of individuals within this population. Between 2014 and 2018, we acoustically tagged 59 adult lake sturgeon, captured in the Buffalo Harbor area, and monitored their large-scale movements throughout Lake Erie with the Great Lakes Acoustic Telemetry System and small-scale movements with a Vemco Positioning System in the Buffalo Harbor area. After dividing Lake Erie into seven sections, we ran a multi-state mark–recapture model to examine the movement rates into and out of the eastern most section of the lake. Within a heavily utilized lake section, in the Buffalo Harbor area, we identified home ranges with our Vemco Positioning System for each season and year using averaged Brownian bridge movement models. Results Although some sturgeon demonstrated large-scale movements, traversing the entirety of Lake Erie, the majority of individuals spent their time in the eastern basin of the lake. Home ranges appeared to vary among seasons, but were consistent across years with lake sturgeon selecting the northeastern, rocky, and shallow area of our array during pre-spawning and spawning seasons and leaving our array, or selecting a trough running along the northwestern portion of our array comprising sand and bedrock, in the summer and fall seasons. Conclusions Documenting these large-scale movements aligns with previous findings that lake sturgeon on either end of the lake are genetically similar and demonstrates lake sturgeon in the eastern basin exhibit strong philopatry. Our small-scale movement models provide managers with spatial reference points, in the form of utilization distributions, indicating heavily used areas by lake sturgeon within seasons. Future studies should examine what parameters are driving site selection in these areas.


2021 ◽  
Vol 9 (1) ◽  
Author(s):  
Jiawei Chen ◽  
Geoffrey Brown ◽  
Adam Fudickar

AbstractBio-loggers are widely used for studying the movement and behavior of animals. However, some sensors provide more data than is practical to store given experiment or bio-logger design constraints. One approach for overcoming this limitation is to utilize data collection strategies, such as non-continuous recording or data summarization that may record data more efficiently, but need to be validated for correctness. In this paper we address two fundamental questions—how can researchers determine suitable parameters and behaviors for bio-logger sensors, and how do they validate their choices? We present a methodology that uses software-based simulation of bio-loggers to validate various data collection strategies using recorded data and synchronized, annotated video. The use of simulation allows for fast and repeatable tests, which facilitates the validation of data collection methods as well as the configuration of bio-loggers in preparation for experiments. We demonstrate this methodology using accelerometer loggers for recording the activity of the small songbird Junco hyemalis hyemalis.


2021 ◽  
Vol 9 (1) ◽  
Author(s):  
Lloyd W. Hopkins ◽  
Nathan R. Geraldi ◽  
Edward C. Pope ◽  
Mark D. Holton ◽  
Miguel Lurgi ◽  
...  

Abstract Background Quantifying metabolic rate in free-living animals is invaluable in understanding the costs of behaviour and movement for individuals and communities. Dynamic body acceleration (DBA) metrics, such as vectoral DBA (VeDBA), are commonly used as proxies for the energy expenditure of movement but are of limited applicability for slow-moving species. It has recently been suggested that metrics based on angular velocity might be better suited to characterise their energetics. We investigated whether a novel metric—the ‘Rate of change of Rotational Movement (RocRM)’, calculated from the vectoral sum of change in the pitch, roll and yaw/heading axes over a given length of time, is a suitable proxy for energy expenditure. Results We found that RocRM can be used as an alternative energy expenditure proxy in a slow-moving benthic invertebrate. Eleven Giant spider conchs Lambis truncata (collected in the Red Sea) were instrumented with multiple channel (Daily Diary) tags and kept in sealed chambers for 5 h while their oxygen consumption, V̇O2, was measured. We found RocRM to be positively correlated with V̇O2, this relationship being affected by the time-step (i.e. the range of the calculated differential) of the RocRM. Time steps of 1, 5, 10 and 60 s yielded an explained variability of between 15 and 31%. The relationship between V̇O2 and VeDBA was not statistically significant, suggesting RocRM to provide more accurate estimations of metabolic rates in L. truncata. Conclusions RocRM proved to be a statistically significant predictor of V̇O2 where VeDBA did not, validating the approach of using angular-based metrics over dynamic movement-based ones for slower moving animals. Further work is required to validate the use of RocRM for other species, particularly in animals with minimally dynamic movement, to better understand energetic costs of whole ecosystems. Unexplained variability in the models might be a consequence of the methodology used, but also likely a result of conch activity that does not manifest in movement of the shell. Additionally, density plots of mean RocRM at each time-step suggest differences in movement scales, which may collectively be useful as a species fingerprint of movement going forward.


2021 ◽  
Vol 9 (1) ◽  
Author(s):  
Tina Oldham ◽  
Georgia Macaulay ◽  
Malin Stalheim ◽  
Frode Oppedal

Abstract Background Passive integrated transponder (PIT) tags are commonly used to identify individual fish. However, use of PIT tags in commercial aquaculture research is limited by consumer safety concerns. For farmed fish, it is critical that tags do not end up in the final product. One possibility to enable the use of PIT tags in commercial research is to insert tags into a part of the body that will be separated from the trunk during processing. We compare tag loss, mortality rate and welfare scores between Atlantic salmon post-smolts (n = 798) marked with PIT tags either in the operculum musculature or the abdominal cavity (standard practice) before and after mechanical delousing. Results We found that neither condition factor (K) (range 0.60–1.99) nor tagging location significantly affected tag loss (operculum = 6%, intraperitoneal = 8%, z = 1.46, p = 0.14) or mortality (operculum = 2%, intraperitoneal = 2%, z = 0.55, p = 0.58). However, on average, the fish which died weighed 20% less at the time of handling (271 ± 13 g, K = 1.12 ± 0.02) than those which survived (340 ± 3 g, K = 1.14 ± 0.004), and those which lost tags (291 ± 7 g, K = 1.11 ± 0.02) weighed 15% less than those which retained them (340 ± 3 g, K = 1.14 ± 0.004), irrespective of tagging location or handling treatment. Conclusions Fish tagged in the operculum musculature had comparable rates of mortality and tag loss to the current “best practice” standard of intraperitoneal tagging. We show that placement of PIT tags in operculum musculature is a viable alternative to placement in the peritoneal cavity.


2021 ◽  
Vol 9 (1) ◽  
Author(s):  
Sabrina Garcia ◽  
Cindy A. Tribuzio ◽  
Andrew C. Seitz ◽  
Michael B. Courtney ◽  
Julie K. Nielsen ◽  
...  

Abstract Background The salmon shark (Lamna ditropis) is a widely distributed apex predator in the North Pacific Ocean. Many salmon sharks from the eastern North Pacific, specifically Prince William Sound, Alaska, have been satellite tagged and tracked, but due to the sexual segregation present in salmon sharks, most of these tagged sharks were female. Consequently, little information exists regarding the migration patterns of male salmon sharks. To better understand the migration and distribution of this species, information on the male component of the population as well as from sharks outside of Prince William Sound, Alaska, is needed. In this study, we deployed satellite transmitters on two mature male salmon sharks caught in the Bering Sea. Results The two mature male salmon sharks tagged in the Bering Sea exhibited distinct migration patterns. The first male, tagged in August 2017, traveled to southern California where it remained from January to April after which it traveled north along the United States’ coast and returned to the Bering Sea in August 2018. The second male, tagged in September 2019, remained in the North Pacific between 38° N and 50° N before returning to the Bering Sea in July of year one and as of its last known location in year two. The straight-line distance traveled by the 2017 and 2019 sharks during their 12 and 22 months at liberty was 18,775 km and 27,100 km, respectively. Conclusions Before this study, our understanding of salmon shark migration was limited to female salmon sharks satellite tagged in the eastern North Pacific. The 2017 male salmon shark undertook a similar, but longer, north–south migration as tagged female sharks whereas the 2019 shark showed little overlap with previously tagged females. The different migration patterns between the two male sharks suggest distinct areas exist for foraging across the North Pacific. The return of both sharks to the Bering Sea suggests some fidelity to the region. Continued tagging efforts are necessary to understand the population structure of salmon sharks in the North Pacific. This tagging study highlights the importance of opportunistic efforts for obtaining information on species and sex with limited distribution data.


Sign in / Sign up

Export Citation Format

Share Document