MultiViewTracks tracks animals in aquatic habitats without the need for applying tags. It can also reconstruct the 3D habitat of the animals. Image: Paul Nührenberg

Tracking animals with GPS technology or areal drones is broadly established in terrestrial systems, and has provided a better understanding of how animals migrate, how they interact with their environment or within their social networks. However, this kind of tracking is not possible underwater, and current alternatives such as audio telemetry often are limited to larger animals, require expensive equipment and do not incorporate structural information about the animal's environment. An approach is needed that enables high resolution behavioural analysis and is widely applicable across environmental contexts and species.

Biologists Paul Nührenberg and Fritz Francisco, in the lab of Alex Jordan, established MultiViewTracks: a tracking approach that works underwater, is cost-effective and deployable in the field without much training and without infrastructural investment. The data acquired by the method is accurate and highly-resolved, both temporally and spatially. This makes it possible to apply analytical approaches in the wild that have currently only been applied under highly constrained laboratory conditions.

Cite the tool

Francisco FA, Nührenberg P, Jordan A (2020) High-resolution, non-invasive animal tracking and reconstruction of local environment in aquatic ecosystems. Movement Ecology. DOI: 10.1186/s40462-020-00214-w