Novel, continuous monitoring of fine‐scale movement using fixed‐position radiotelemetry arrays and random forest location fingerprinting

Methods in Ecology and Evolution
By: , and 

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Abstract

  1. Radio‐tag signals from fixed‐position antennas are most often used to indicate presence or absence of individuals, or to estimate individual activity levels from signal strength variation within an antenna's detection zone. The potential of such systems to provide more precise information on tag location and movement has not been explored in great detail in an ecological setting.
  2. By reversing the roles that transmitters and receivers play in localization methods common to the telecommunications industry, we present a new telemetric tool for accurately estimating the location of tagged individuals from received signal strength values. The methods used to characterize the study area in terms of received signal strength are described, as is the random forest model used for localization. The resulting method is then validated using test data before being applied to true data collected from tagged individuals in the study site.
  3. Application of the localization method to test data withheld from the learning dataset indicated a low average error over the entire study area (<1 m), whereas application of the localization method to real data produced highly probable results consistent with field observations.
  4. This telemetric approach provided detailed movement data for tagged fish along a single axis (a migratory path) and is particularly useful for monitoring passage along migratory routes. The new methods applied in this study can also be expanded to include multiple axes (x, y, z) and multiple environments (aquatic and terrestrial) for remotely monitoring wildlife movement.

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Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Novel, continuous monitoring of fine‐scale movement using fixed‐position radiotelemetry arrays and random forest location fingerprinting
Series title Methods in Ecology and Evolution
DOI 10.1111/2041-210X.12745
Volume 8
Issue 7
Year Published 2017
Language English
Publisher British Ecological Society
Contributing office(s) Leetown Science Center
Description 10 p.
First page 850
Last page 859
Country United States
State New York
Other Geospatial Boquet River