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The BAARA (Biological AutomAted RAdiotracking) System: A New Approach in Ecological Field Studies

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ŘEŘUCHA Šimon BARTONIČKA Tomáš JEDLIČKA Petr ČÍŽEK Martin HLOUŠA Ondřej LUČAN Radek HORÁČEK Ivan

Druh Článek v odborném periodiku
Časopis / Zdroj PLOS ONE
Fakulta / Pracoviště MU

Přírodovědecká fakulta

Citace
Doi http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0116785
Obor Zoologie
Klíčová slova automated radiotracking bats telemetry
Popis 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 customprogrammable 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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