The success of GPS collar deployments on mammals in Australia

Matthews, Alison, Ruykys, Laura, Ellis, Bill, FitzGibbon, Sean, Lunney, Daniel, Crowther, Mathew S., Glen, Alistair S., Purcell, Brad, Moseby, Katherine, Stott, Jenny, Fletcher, Don, Wimpenny, Claire, Allen, Benjamin L., Van Bommel, Linda, Roberts, Michael, Davies, Nicole, Green, Ken, Newsome, Thomas, Ballard, Guy, Fleming, Peter, Dickman, Christopher R., Eberhart, Achim, Troy, Shannon, Mcmahon, Clive and Wiggins, Natasha (2013) The success of GPS collar deployments on mammals in Australia. Australian Mammalogy, 35 1: 65-83. doi:10.1071/AM12021

Author Matthews, Alison
Ruykys, Laura
Ellis, Bill
FitzGibbon, Sean
Lunney, Daniel
Crowther, Mathew S.
Glen, Alistair S.
Purcell, Brad
Moseby, Katherine
Stott, Jenny
Fletcher, Don
Wimpenny, Claire
Allen, Benjamin L.
Van Bommel, Linda
Roberts, Michael
Davies, Nicole
Green, Ken
Newsome, Thomas
Ballard, Guy
Fleming, Peter
Dickman, Christopher R.
Eberhart, Achim
Troy, Shannon
Mcmahon, Clive
Wiggins, Natasha
Title The success of GPS collar deployments on mammals in Australia
Journal name Australian Mammalogy   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0310-0049
Publication date 2013-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1071/AM12021
Volume 35
Issue 1
Start page 65
End page 83
Total pages 19
Place of publication Collingwood, VIC, Australia
Publisher C S I R O
Collection year 2014
Language eng
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.
Keyword Field performance
Fix success
Location data
Wildlife tracking
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

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