[MARMAM] New paper: Proximity loggers on amphibious mammals

Kristine Meise kristine.meise at uni-bielefeld.de
Tue Jun 4 06:54:04 PDT 2013

Dear colleagues,

we are pleased to announce the publication of our paper:

Meise K, Krüger O, Piedrahita P, Müller A, Trillmich F (2013). "Proximity loggers on amphibious mammals: a new method to study social relations in their terrestrial habitat." Aquatic Biology 18: 81-89

ABSTRACT. Amphibious
mammal species alternate between foraging at sea and attendance on land. Due to
thermoregulatory requirements, they often haul out during the night, making social
interactions difficult to observe. We tested the suitability of UHF-proximity
loggers for assessing social
relationships among Galápagos sea lions Zalophus wollebaeki. To survive
periods at sea, proximity loggers were embedded in epoxy. Automatic downloads
to receiving stations rendered logger recovery unnecessary. Encounters were
logged within a range of 10 m. Logs provided information about interacting individuals as well as time and duration of encounters. ‘Received signal
strength indicator’ values correlated with distance, but were influenced by
antenna angle and environmental factors. Laboratory tests and validation in the
field demonstrated that the spatial resolution corresponded to 2 m. Data needed
to be corrected, as single encounters were recorded as multiple logs and
reciprocity of loggings between animals was not always achieved. Digital data
correlated with observational data, but associations were 4 times more likely
to be detected using proximity loggers. Data revealed that non-territorial
males frequently associated for extended periods of time, especially during the
night and even outside the study colony. The modified proximity logger system
proves an excellent tool to determine social structure in situations where
direct observation is limited.
keywords: amphibious species, proximity logger, social structure

The article is available at: http://www.int-res.com/abstracts/ab/v18/n1/(http://www.aquaticmammalsjournal.org)

Best wishes,
Kristine Meise

University of Bielefeld
Department of Behavioural Biology
Morgenbreede 45
33615 Bielefeld, Germany
+ 49 521 106 2193
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