Towed-float GPS telemetry: a tool to assess movement patterns and habitat use of juvenile stingrays

Martins, A. P. B., Heupel, M. R., Oakley-Cogan, A., Chin, A., and Simpfendorfer, C. (2020) Towed-float GPS telemetry: a tool to assess movement patterns and habitat use of juvenile stingrays. Marine and Freshwater Research, 71 (1). pp. 89-98.

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Abstract

GPS telemetry provides high-accuracy spatial data on animal movement; however, it has rarely been used with benthic organisms, such as stingrays, because of their irregular surfacing behaviour or bottom-dwelling habits. This study evaluated the use of towed-float GPS tags to assess movements of juvenile stingrays, with active tracking performed simultaneously for comparison. Four juvenile Urogymnus granulatus individuals (2 females and 2 males; average 32.2-cm disc width) were tracked in April 2016. Individuals travelled 1332.15 +/- 269.58 m south-east across Pioneer Bay at an average speed of 6.87 m min(-1) in 3.7 h. Stationary tests demonstrated that the quality of the data obtained by towed-float GPS tags could not be matched by active, acoustic or ARGOS telemetry, reaching, on average, 99% of successful fixes and <15-m accuracy. Location error varied significantly based on the number of satellites detected, with error decreasing as the satellite number increased. This study demonstrated the potential of towed-float GPS telemetry for high-resolution assessment of movement patterns and habitat use of juvenile stingrays in shallow coastal water. If well applied, this technique can increase our knowledge of juvenile stingray ecology and their essential habitats.

Item ID: 61435
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1323-1650
Keywords: biotelemetry, elasmobranch, Urogymnus granulatus, null
Copyright Information: © CSIRO 2020
Funders: James Cook University, CAPES Foundation, Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS), College of Science and Engineering, James Cook University
Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2020 07:36
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060205 Marine and Estuarine Ecology (incl Marine Ichthyology) @ 50%
06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060201 Behavioural Ecology @ 50%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960802 Coastal and Estuarine Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity @ 60%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960808 Marine Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity @ 40%
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