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Small mammal ARTS: Orion receiver data for site radiomapping and vole tracking, and scripts and results for localization and activity estimates

Citation

Wallace, Gerard; Elden, Marija; Boucher, Rachel; Phelps, Steven (2022), Small mammal ARTS: Orion receiver data for site radiomapping and vole tracking, and scripts and results for localization and activity estimates , Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.kwh70rz36

Abstract

This data set accompanies “An Automated Radio-Telemetry System (ARTS) for Monitoring Small Mammals”. 

The behavior of small fossorial mammals, such as voles, is extremely difficult to observe in natural environments. Small mammals were traditionally studied with labor intensive methods such as trapping and recapture or radio telemetry via homing, which require week/months of work and produce static home range estimates.

In pursuit of better understanding natural history and behavioral ecology we implemented an automated radio telemetry system (ARTS) to continuously monitor small mammals. We used an isotropic antenna array coupled with broadband receivers to estimate animal positions with nonlinear least squares, nonparameteric, and Bayesian trilateration methods. We then used Lomb-Scargle periodograms to estimate activity patterns of freely-behaving Prairie voles.

Methods

Automated radiotelemetry was collected with Orion receivers (Sigma Eight, Ontario Canada), processing and analysis was performed in R. The study site was mapped using a test transmitter and 48 Prairie voles were tracked using the ARTS. The accuracy of localizations based on nonlinear least square trilateration, "Bayesian" trilateration, and kernel-density estimate based nonparameteric trilateration were compared. Using the Bayesian trilateration estimates of location the daily patterns of activity of freely behaving Prairie voles were analyzed using Lomb-Scargle periodograms. See “An Automated Radio-Telemetry System (ARTS) for Monitoring Small Mammals” and its accompanying supplement for details.

Usage Notes

Data is submitted in three zipped folders, data, src, and results.  Unprocessed Orion readings are in the "data/Raw Orion Automated Tracking Data".  Radiomapping position data is in the "data/All Radiomapping Keyes". Animal and transmitters data are in the "data/2014 Animal Data".  Source code for analysis is located in src.  Localization accuracy and activity analysis results are located in results. 

Funding

National Science Foundation, Award: 1355188