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ESR 10:29-37 (2008)  -  DOI:

Identification of imperial cormorant Phalacrocorax atriceps behaviour using accelerometers

Agustina Gómez Laich1,*, Rory P. Wilson2, Flavio Quintana1, 3, Emily L. C. Shepard2

1Centro Nacional Patagónico (CENPAT)-CONICET, (9120) Puerto Madryn, Chubut, Argentina
2Biological Sciences, Institute of Environmental Sustainability, University of Wales, Swansea SA2 8PP, UK
3Wildlife Conservation Society, 2300 Southern Boulevard, Bronx, New York 10460, USA

ABSTRACT: Animal behaviour is largely defined in terms of movement or lack of it, so precise quantification of animal movement is a potentially powerful way of identifying several animal behaviours. Animal-attached tags that record acceleration lend themselves particularly to this. In this work we show how tri-axial acceleration can be used to identify some of the behaviours of imperial cormorants Phalacrocorax atriceps. Based on the assessment of tri-axial acceleration signals, the following behaviours were identified in free-living birds: standing, sitting, floating on water, flying, walking and diving. During diving, the descent, bottom and ascent phases could be distinguished. We considered the factors which coded for the different behaviours and this allowed us to design a key that will allow researchers assessing tri-axial accelerometry data to identify some of the behaviours that imperial cormorants perform.

KEY WORDS: Phalacrocorax atriceps · Imperial cormorant · Acceleration datalogger · Remote monitoring · Behaviour

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Cite this article as: Gómez Laich A, Wilson RP, Quintana F, Shepard ELC (2008) Identification of imperial cormorant Phalacrocorax atriceps behaviour using accelerometers. Endang Species Res 10:29-37.

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