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Global positioning system and associated technologies in animal behaviour and ecological research

Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences

By:
, , ,
DOI: 10.1098/rstb.2010.0090

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Abstract

Biologists can equip animals with global positioning system (GPS) technology to obtain accurate (less than or equal to 30 m) locations that can be combined with sensor data to study animal behaviour and ecology. We provide the background of GPS techniques that have been used to gather data for wildlife studies. We review how GPS has been integrated into functional systems with data storage, data transfer, power supplies, packaging and sensor technologies to collect temperature, activity, proximity and mortality data from terrestrial species and birds. GPS 'rapid fixing' technologies combined with sensors provide location, dive frequency and duration profiles, and underwater acoustic information for the study of marine species. We examine how these rapid fixing technologies may be applied to terrestrial and avian applications. We discuss positional data quality and the capability for high-frequency sampling associated with GPS locations. We present alternatives for storing and retrieving data by using dataloggers (biologging), radio-frequency download systems (e.g. very high frequency, spread spectrum), integration of GPS with other satellite systems (e.g. Argos, Globalstar) and potential new data recovery technologies (e.g. network nodes). GPS is one component among many rapidly evolving technologies. Therefore, we recommend that users and suppliers interact to ensure the availability of appropriate equipment to meet animal research objectives.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Global positioning system and associated technologies in animal behaviour and ecological research
Series title:
Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
DOI:
10.1098/rstb.2010.0090
Volume
365
Issue:
1550
Year Published:
2010
Language:
English
Publisher:
Royal Society Publishing
Publisher location:
London, UK
Contributing office(s):
Forest and Rangeland Ecosystem Science Center
Description:
14 p.
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
First page:
2163
Last page:
2176