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Endangered Species Research

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ESR 4:123-137 (2008)  -  DOI:

Prying into the intimate details of animal lives: use of a daily diary on animals

Rory P. Wilson*, E. L. C. Shepard, N. Liebsch

Institute of Environmental Sustainability, School of the Environment and Society, University of Wales Swansea, Singleton Park, Swansea SA2 8PP, UK

ABSTRACT: The advantages of transmission telemetry or logging systems for studying free-living animals are multiple and have driven designs for many and varied devices, each with its own particular usage sector. However, lack of fundamental data on species with conservation issues shows that there is an urgent need for a single generic system to document the major elements of animal biology. Such a tag could provide a broad picture of wild animal biology and specifically allow previously unidentified factors that might be important in an animal’s conservation to be determined. This work describes the major features and operating mode of a single device, the ‘daily diary’, an animal equivalent of the aeroplane ‘black box flight recorder’ which is designed to be used on a wide variety of species and which has already been tested on animals including albatrosses, badgers, cheetahs, cormorants, domestic dogs, horses, penguins, sharks, sunfish and turtles. The unit is designed to record animal (1) movement (2) behaviour (3) energy expenditure and (4) the physical characteristics of the animal’s environment by logging 14 parameters at infra-second frequencies.

KEY WORDS: Daily diary · Megafauna · Logger · Dead-reckoning · Acceleration · Behaviour · Energy expenditure

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Cite this article as: Wilson RP, Shepard ELC, Liebsch N (2008) Prying into the intimate details of animal lives: use of a daily diary on animals. Endang Species Res 4:123-137.

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