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Bayesian Estimation of Animal Movement from Archival and Satellite Tags


Sumner, MD and Wotherspoon, SJ and Hindell, MA, Bayesian Estimation of Animal Movement from Archival and Satellite Tags, PLoS One, 4, (10) pp. 1-13. ISSN 1932-6203 (2009) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright Statement

© 2009 Sumner 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.

DOI: doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0007324


The reliable estimation of animal location, and its associated error is fundamental to animal ecology. There are many existing techniques for handling location error, but these are often ad hoc or are used in isolation from each other. In this study we present a Bayesian framework for determining location that uses all the data available, is flexible to all tagging techniques, and provides location estimates with built-in measures of uncertainty. Bayesian methods allow the contributions of multiple data sources to be decomposed into manageable components. We illustrate with two examples for two different location methods: satellite tracking and light level geo-location. We show that many of the problems with uncertainty involved are reduced and quantified by our approach. This approach can use any available information, such as existing knowledge of the animalís potential range, light levels or direct location estimates, auxiliary data, and movement models. The approach provides a substantial contribution to the handling uncertainty in archival tag and satellite tracking data using readily available tools.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Zoology
Research Field:Animal behaviour
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Management of Antarctic and Southern Ocean environments
Objective Field:Assessment and management of Antarctic and Southern Ocean ecosystems
UTAS Author:Sumner, MD (Mr Michael Sumner)
UTAS Author:Wotherspoon, SJ (Dr Simon Wotherspoon)
UTAS Author:Hindell, MA (Professor Mark Hindell)
ID Code:58641
Year Published:2009
Web of Science® Times Cited:117
Deposited By:Zoology
Deposited On:2009-10-16
Last Modified:2015-01-27

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