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The BAARA (Biological AutomAted RAdiotracking) system: a new approach in ecological field studies.

Řeřucha Š, Bartonička T, Jedlička P, Čížek M, Hlouša O, Lučan R, Horáček I - PLoS ONE (2015)

Bottom Line: This new approach to a tracking system was tested for its applicability in a series of field and laboratory tests.BAARA has been tested within fieldwork explorations of Rousettus aegyptiacus during field trips to Dakhla oasis in Egypt.The results illustrate the novel perspective which automated radiotracking opens for the study of spatial behaviour, particularly in addressing topics in the domain of population ecology.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Institute of Scientific Instruments of the ASCR, v.v.i., Královopolská 147, CZ 612 64 Brno, Czech Republic.

ABSTRACT
Radiotracking is an important and often the only possible method to explore specific habits and the behaviour of animals, but it has proven to be very demanding and time-consuming, especially when frequent positioning of a large group is required. Our aim was to address this issue by making the process partially automated, to mitigate the demands and related costs. This paper presents a novel automated tracking system that consists of a network of automated tracking stations deployed within the target area. Each station reads the signals from telemetry transmitters, estimates the bearing and distance of the tagged animals and records their position. The station is capable of tracking a theoretically unlimited number of transmitters on different frequency channels with the period of 5-15 seconds per single channel. An ordinary transmitter that fits within the supported frequency band might be used with BAARA (Biological AutomAted RAdiotracking); an extra option is the use of a custom-programmable transmitter with configurable operational parameters, such as the precise frequency channel or the transmission parameters. This new approach to a tracking system was tested for its applicability in a series of field and laboratory tests. BAARA has been tested within fieldwork explorations of Rousettus aegyptiacus during field trips to Dakhla oasis in Egypt. The results illustrate the novel perspective which automated radiotracking opens for the study of spatial behaviour, particularly in addressing topics in the domain of population ecology.

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Related in: MedlinePlus

Modelling of the signal propagation of two different transmitters (small TX, Holohil; big TX, Biotag) in the field.The solid line represents the theoretical value of the effective range in free space. The values in the box-plots represent individual measurements under ideal conditions (line of sight). Other measured values fall into the grey area below the line. For the weaker transmitter (Holohil), the grey zone is shifted towards a smaller range.
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pone.0116785.g007: Modelling of the signal propagation of two different transmitters (small TX, Holohil; big TX, Biotag) in the field.The solid line represents the theoretical value of the effective range in free space. The values in the box-plots represent individual measurements under ideal conditions (line of sight). Other measured values fall into the grey area below the line. For the weaker transmitter (Holohil), the grey zone is shifted towards a smaller range.

Mentions: Signal propagation, as measured in the fourth measurement, was described by equation and visualised by a straight line (Fig. 7). The line represents the theoretical value of the free-space propagation [14], and at the same time, presents the strongest possible signal, when the values measured in the field fill in the space below this line.


The BAARA (Biological AutomAted RAdiotracking) system: a new approach in ecological field studies.

Řeřucha Š, Bartonička T, Jedlička P, Čížek M, Hlouša O, Lučan R, Horáček I - PLoS ONE (2015)

Modelling of the signal propagation of two different transmitters (small TX, Holohil; big TX, Biotag) in the field.The solid line represents the theoretical value of the effective range in free space. The values in the box-plots represent individual measurements under ideal conditions (line of sight). Other measured values fall into the grey area below the line. For the weaker transmitter (Holohil), the grey zone is shifted towards a smaller range.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4340905&req=5

pone.0116785.g007: Modelling of the signal propagation of two different transmitters (small TX, Holohil; big TX, Biotag) in the field.The solid line represents the theoretical value of the effective range in free space. The values in the box-plots represent individual measurements under ideal conditions (line of sight). Other measured values fall into the grey area below the line. For the weaker transmitter (Holohil), the grey zone is shifted towards a smaller range.
Mentions: Signal propagation, as measured in the fourth measurement, was described by equation and visualised by a straight line (Fig. 7). The line represents the theoretical value of the free-space propagation [14], and at the same time, presents the strongest possible signal, when the values measured in the field fill in the space below this line.

Bottom Line: This new approach to a tracking system was tested for its applicability in a series of field and laboratory tests.BAARA has been tested within fieldwork explorations of Rousettus aegyptiacus during field trips to Dakhla oasis in Egypt.The results illustrate the novel perspective which automated radiotracking opens for the study of spatial behaviour, particularly in addressing topics in the domain of population ecology.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Institute of Scientific Instruments of the ASCR, v.v.i., Královopolská 147, CZ 612 64 Brno, Czech Republic.

ABSTRACT
Radiotracking is an important and often the only possible method to explore specific habits and the behaviour of animals, but it has proven to be very demanding and time-consuming, especially when frequent positioning of a large group is required. Our aim was to address this issue by making the process partially automated, to mitigate the demands and related costs. This paper presents a novel automated tracking system that consists of a network of automated tracking stations deployed within the target area. Each station reads the signals from telemetry transmitters, estimates the bearing and distance of the tagged animals and records their position. The station is capable of tracking a theoretically unlimited number of transmitters on different frequency channels with the period of 5-15 seconds per single channel. An ordinary transmitter that fits within the supported frequency band might be used with BAARA (Biological AutomAted RAdiotracking); an extra option is the use of a custom-programmable transmitter with configurable operational parameters, such as the precise frequency channel or the transmission parameters. This new approach to a tracking system was tested for its applicability in a series of field and laboratory tests. BAARA has been tested within fieldwork explorations of Rousettus aegyptiacus during field trips to Dakhla oasis in Egypt. The results illustrate the novel perspective which automated radiotracking opens for the study of spatial behaviour, particularly in addressing topics in the domain of population ecology.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus