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      Micro-sized open-source and low-cost GPS loggers below 1 g minimise the impact on animals while collecting thousands of fixes

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          Abstract

          GPS-enabled loggers have been proven as valuable tools for monitoring and understanding animal movement, behaviour and ecology. While the importance of recording accurate location estimates is well established, deployment on many, especially small species, has been limited by logger mass and cost. We developed an open-source and low-cost 0.65 g GPS logger with a simple smartphone-compatible user interface, that can record more than 10,000 GPS fixes on a single 30 mAh battery charge (resulting mass including battery: 1.3 g). This low-budget ‘TickTag’ (currently 32 USD) allows scientists to scale-up studies while becoming a ‘wearable’ for larger animals and simultaneously enabling high-definition studies on small animals. Tests on two different species (domestic dog, Canis lupus familiaris and greater mouse-eared bats, Myotis myotis) showed that our combination of optimised hardware design and software-based recording strategies increases the number of achievable GPS fixes per g device mass compared to existing micro-sized solutions. We propose that due to the open-source access, as well as low cost and mass, the TickTag fills a technological gap in wildlife ecology and will open up new possibilities for wildlife research and conservation.

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          Meta-analysis of transmitter effects on avian behaviour and ecology

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            The golden age of bio-logging: how animal-borne sensors are advancing the frontiers of ecology.

            Great leaps forward in scientific understanding are often spurred by innovations in technology. The explosion of miniature sensors that are driving the boom in consumer electronics, such as smart phones, gaming platforms, and wearable fitness devices, are now becoming available to ecologists for remotely monitoring the activities of wild animals. While half a century ago researchers were attaching balloons to the backs of seals to measure their movement, today ecologists have access to an arsenal of sensors that can continuously measure most aspects of an animal's state (e.g., location, behavior, caloric expenditure, interactions with other animals) and external environment (e.g., temperature, salinity, depth). This technology is advancing our ability to study animal ecology by allowing researchers to (1) answer questions about the physiology, behavior, and ecology of wild animals in situ that would have previously been limited to tests on model organisms in highly controlled settings, (2) study cryptic or wide-ranging animals that have previously evaded investigation, and (3) develop and test entirely new theories. Here we explore how ecologists are using these tools to answer new questions about the physiological performance, energetics, foraging, migration, habitat selection, and sociality of wild animals, as well as collect data on the environments in which they live.
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              ECOLOGY. Terrestrial animal tracking as an eye on life and planet.

              Moving animals connect our world, spreading pollen, seeds, nutrients, and parasites as they go about the their daily lives. Recent integration of high-resolution Global Positioning System and other sensors into miniaturized tracking tags has dramatically improved our ability to describe animal movement. This has created opportunities and challenges that parallel big data transformations in other fields and has rapidly advanced animal ecology and physiology. New analytical approaches, combined with remotely sensed or modeled environmental information, have opened up a host of new questions on the causes of movement and its consequences for individuals, populations, and ecosystems. Simultaneous tracking of multiple animals is leading to new insights on species interactions and, scaled up, may enable distributed monitoring of both animals and our changing environment.
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Role: ConceptualizationRole: Data curationRole: Formal analysisRole: InvestigationRole: MethodologyRole: ResourcesRole: SoftwareRole: ValidationRole: VisualizationRole: Writing – original draft
                Role: ConceptualizationRole: Validation
                Role: ConceptualizationRole: Writing – review & editing
                Role: MethodologyRole: ResourcesRole: ValidationRole: Writing – review & editing
                Role: ConceptualizationRole: Supervision
                Role: ConceptualizationRole: Funding acquisitionRole: MethodologyRole: Project administrationRole: SupervisionRole: Writing – review & editing
                Role: Editor
                Journal
                PLoS One
                PLoS One
                plos
                PLoS ONE
                Public Library of Science (San Francisco, CA USA )
                1932-6203
                29 June 2022
                2022
                : 17
                : 6
                Affiliations
                [1 ] Department of Migration, Max Planck Institute of Animal Behavior, Radolfzell, Germany
                [2 ] Department of Biology, University of Konstanz, Konstanz, Germany
                [3 ] Product Development Group Zurich (pd|z), ETH Zürich, Zürich, Switzerland
                [4 ] Centre for the Advanced Study of Collective Behaviour, University of Konstanz, Konstanz, Germany
                [5 ] Biologische Gutachten Dietz, Haigerloch, Germany
                Imperial College London, UNITED KINGDOM
                Author notes

                Competing Interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

                Article
                PONE-D-22-08082
                10.1371/journal.pone.0267730
                9242438
                35767535
                7a602e38-f4a6-4fb1-ba54-7823437df816
                © 2022 Wild et al

                This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

                Page count
                Figures: 4, Tables: 1, Pages: 14
                Product
                Funding
                The author(s) received no specific funding for this work.
                Categories
                Research Article
                Computer and Information Sciences
                Computer Architecture
                User Interfaces
                Engineering and Technology
                Navigation
                Global Positioning System
                Biology and Life Sciences
                Organisms
                Eukaryota
                Animals
                Vertebrates
                Amniotes
                Mammals
                Bats
                Biology and Life Sciences
                Zoology
                Animals
                Vertebrates
                Amniotes
                Mammals
                Bats
                Engineering and Technology
                Electronics Engineering
                Electronics
                Biology and Life Sciences
                Organisms
                Eukaryota
                Animals
                Vertebrates
                Amniotes
                Mammals
                Dogs
                Biology and Life Sciences
                Zoology
                Animals
                Vertebrates
                Amniotes
                Mammals
                Dogs
                Biology and Life Sciences
                Physiology
                Physiological Parameters
                Body Weight
                Computer and Information Sciences
                Software Engineering
                Computer Software
                Open Source Software
                Engineering and Technology
                Software Engineering
                Computer Software
                Open Source Software
                Science Policy
                Open Science
                Open Source Software
                Engineering and Technology
                Equipment
                Communication Equipment
                Cell Phones
                Custom metadata
                All relevant data are within the manuscript and its Github repository ( https://github.com/trichl/TickTagOpenSource).

                Uncategorized
                Uncategorized

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