Photo by Lori Gould
We deployed 20 NANO’s (you know the details) on Latham’s Snipe in Canberra Australia, and received data from 18 birds, with 16 of these over 3 months before the birds migrated back to Japan (totalling around 14000 useful data points once the data was cleaned up to remove test data and the like). The data was very accurate (within 5m) and generally would connect with 3-9 satellites. Even the data with 3 satellites was within 10m, whereas 5 satellites or more was less than 5m.
Photo by David Cunningham
The devices were a good shape for Latham’s Snipe and we used leg loop harnesses to attach them. I have attached photos of the trackers on the birds to show placement (in the hand and in flight). The devices charged reasonably well in general even though Snipe are often under vegetation. There were some days when device charges were low but because we were collecting so much data this was manageable. The Ecotopia software was fantastic and very easy to use. Many of our volunteers were registered as sub-users which meant they could go and scan for the birds without high tech equipment. We felt that the hub was important to extend the range of the Bluetooth, because we picked up 3 extra birds when compared with hand held scanning on our phones.
The other image attached – Bird 58, is the projection of the data after it has been analysed using R, to separate behaviour into foraging and roosting. You can see that this bird has very clear behavioural patterns. We are doing this for all 18 birds before we start to look at distances between foraging and roosting and then habitat use (using Maxent modelling) to see if we can predict Snipe habitat and look at how they move around the landscape in response to nutrients. I am only half way through my PhD but we are getting some great preliminary information.
I would also like to mention that your customer service throughout the project has been outstanding. You are responsive and helpful even when things can be a bit difficult at times. I think the project would not be so successful without your ongoing support.