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Title: A Low-Cost GPS GSM/GPRS Telemetry System: Performance in Stationary Field Tests and Preliminary Data on Wild Otters (Lutra lutra)
Authors: Quaglietta, Lorenzo
Martins, Bruno
de Jongh, Addy
Mira, António
Boitani, Luigi
Editors: Clarke, Rohan
Keywords: River otter
Lutra lutra
GPS GSM/GPRS telemetry
riparian habitats
GPS tests
Issue Date: 5-Jan-2012
Publisher: PLoS ONE
Citation: Quaglietta L, Martins BH, de Jongh A, Mira A, Boitani L (2012) A Low-Cost GPS GSM/GPRS Telemetry System: Performance in Stationary Field Tests and Preliminary Data on Wild Otters (Lutra lutra). PLoS ONE 7(1): e29235.
Abstract: Background: Despite the increasing worldwide use of global positioning system (GPS) telemetry in wildlife research, it has never been tested on any freshwater diving animal or in the peculiar conditions of the riparian habitat, despite this latter being one of the most important habitat types for many animal taxa. Moreover, in most cases, the GPS devices used have been commercial and expensive, limiting their use in low-budget projects. Methodology/Principal Findings: We have developed a low-cost, easily constructed GPS GSM/GPRS (Global System for Mobile Communications/General Packet Radio Service) and examined its performance in stationary tests, by assessing the influence of different habitat types, including the riparian, as well as water submersion and certain climatic and environmental variables on GPS fix-success rate and accuracy. We then tested the GPS on wild diving animals, applying it, for the first time, to an otter species (Lutra lutra). The rate of locations acquired during the stationary tests reached 63.2%, with an average location error of 8.94 m (SD = 8.55). GPS performance in riparian habitats was principally affected by water submersion and secondarily by GPS inclination and position within the riverbed. Temporal and spatial correlations of location estimates accounted for some variation in the data sets. GPS-tagged otters also provided accurate locations and an even higher GPS fix-success rate (68.2%). Conclusions/Significance: Our results suggest that GPS telemetry is reliably applicable to riparian and even diving freshwater animals. They also highlight the need, in GPS wildlife studies, for performing site-specific pilot studies on GPS functioning as well as for taking into account eventual spatial and temporal correlation of location estimates. The limited price, small dimensions, and high performance of the device presented here make it a useful and cost-effective tool for studies on otters and other aquatic or terrestrial medium-to-large-sized animals.
Type: article
Appears in Collections:MED - Publicações - Artigos em Revistas Internacionais Com Arbitragem Científica
BIO - Publicações - Artigos em Revistas Internacionais Com Arbitragem Científica

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