The success of GPS collar deployments on mammals in Australia

Matthews, Alison and Ruykys, Laura and Ellis, Bill and FitzGibbon, Sean and Lunney, Daniel and Crowther, Mathew S. and Glen, Alistair S. and Purcell, Brad and Moseby, Katherine and Stott, Jenny and Fletcher, Don and Wimpenny, Claire and Allen, Benjamin L. and Van Bommel, Linda and Roberts, Michael and Davies, Nicole and Green, Ken and Newsome, Thomas and Ballard, Guy and Fleming, Peter and Dickman, Christopher R. and Eberhart, Achim and Troy, Shannon and McMahon, Clive and Wiggins, Natasha (2013) The success of GPS collar deployments on mammals in Australia. Australian Mammalogy , 35 (1). pp. 65-83. ISSN 0310-0049

Abstract

Global Positioning System (GPS) wildlife telemetry collars are being used increasingly to understand the movement patterns of wild mammals. However, there are few published studies on which to gauge their general utility and success. This paper highlights issues faced by some of the first researchers to use GPS technology for terrestrial mammal tracking in Australia. Our collated data cover 24 studies where GPS collars were used in 280 deployments on 13 species, including dingoes or other wild dogs (Canis lupus dingo and hybrids), cats (Felis catus), foxes (Vulpes vulpes), kangaroos (Macropus giganteus), koalas (Phascolarctos cinereus), livestock guardian dogs (C. l. familiaris), pademelons (Thylogale billardierii), possums (Trichosurus cunninghami), quolls (Dasyurus geoffroii and D. maculatus), wallabies (Macropus rufogriseus and Petrogale lateralis), and wombats (Vombatus ursinus). Common problems encountered were associated with collar design, the GPS, VHF and timed-release components, and unforseen costs in retrieving and refurbishing collars. We discuss the implications of collar failures for research programs and animal welfare, and suggest how these could be avoided or improved. Our intention is to provide constructive advice so that researchers and manufacturers can make informed decisions about using this technology, and maximise the many benefits of GPS while reducing the risks.


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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Files associated with this item cannot be displayed due to copyright restrictions.
Faculty / Department / School: Current - Institute for Agriculture and the Environment
Date Deposited: 07 Jul 2016 03:10
Last Modified: 25 May 2017 05:59
Uncontrolled Keywords: field performance; fix success; location data; satellite; wildlife tracking
Fields of Research : 05 Environmental Sciences > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050299 Environmental Science and Management not elsewhere classified
Socio-Economic Objective: D Environment > 96 Environment > 9605 Ecosystem Assessment and Management > 960599 Ecosystem Assessment and Management not elsewhere classified
Identification Number or DOI: 10.1071/AM12021
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/29432

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