[MARMAM] New capabilities in Behayve iPhone app for recording and visualising animal behaviors, tracks and environment

LivingOcean Bill Fulton bill at livingocean.org.au
Wed Nov 4 18:10:05 PST 2020

Researchers interested in the free Behayve iPhone app may be interested to know that with Version 2, just released, behaviors may now be recorded at rates of several per second in most scenarios. We’ve been gratified with the take-up of Version 1, released mid August, with 159 users to date. 

A summary of the app follows and enquiries are of course welcome.

The Behayve app for iPhone, supporting animal behavior studies in the field and first shown at the World Marine Mammal Conference last December, is available free of charge in the App Store following beta testing by a number of conference attendees and others. A range of suggestions from testers have been incorporated. 

Behayve is currently in use for conservation biology studies of lake resident Tursiops australis and numerous other species. Originally developed for Living Ocean’s ongoing longitudinal study of the influence of vessel presence and bottom topography on humpback whales migrating past Sydney, it has been generalized to cater for a wide range of studies of marine, terrestrial and avian species and to provide a simplified point-and-shoot method for aerial and ship-based surveys. 

The app is particularly suitable for non-invasive studies of cetaceans, pinnipeds and sirenians within a limited geographic range, without being limited to that. Flexibility is provided to capture not only behaviors and positions, but multiple roles and modifiers as well. The convenience of a smartphone lends itself to use in small boats, kayaks and other cramped locations. For example, even in a kayak a wireless feed from a small fishfinder allows continuous logging of water depth and temperature. A predictive function can help relocate submerged cetaceans. 

The full user guide is at behayve.com and a video at behayve.com/barcelona. An outline of the main features follows. 

Behayve integrates the recording of animal behaviors, tracks and surrounding environment, offering insight as you go by displaying real-time maps of tracks and the exact positions where behaviors occur. 

With or without Internet or GPS, the app determines precise animal positions on the fly, non-invasively, using compass bearing and range in conjunction with GPS or grid map. 

Behayve is designed to support a wide range of studies of terrestrial and marine species. You can define your own ethogram, behavior groupings, roles, modifiers, data items, species and more. 

Choose from focal, scan, behavior or ad-lib sampling, or run them all at once. The implementation is based on Observational Study of Behavior by Jeanne Altmann. 

Multiple roles and multiple modifiers may be configured for any behavior. Behaviors may be instantaneous events or continuous states. A collection of states may be configured to be mutually exclusive. 

While observing, you can gain additional insight by viewing a terrain map of action to date, pinpointing the exact location of behaviors and tracks. Tap on an observation to pop up its associated timestamped data. 

At any time during observations, or later, you can rapidly review and alter your recorded observations, including your voice notes or comments. Calculated data such as latitude/longitude are adjusted appropriately. 

Behayve facilitates data sharing between team members, be they colleagues or citizen scientists. A merge function allows onboarding of data from team members at the same or different locations. Your distributed configuration can be locked down to prevent modification. 

With no effort, transfer any amount of observational data to GIS systems such as ArcGIS, QGIS and KML-based systems like Google Earth, preserving its structure: this can be a significant labor saver. View 2D or 3D tracks and behaviors. Click on an observation to display its associated data. Spreadsheet export is also provided. 

Clickable icons for photos can be automatically placed at the position they were taken, even from cameras without GPS. 

Data is retained in a reliable onboard database immune from power failure and other glitches. Structured data can be exported to the safety of the cloud, or to a laptop, and the entire database can be backed up to the cloud or laptop. In using prerelease versions over four years in a Living Ocean humpback whale study, we have never lost data. 

Behayve is intuitive and straightforward to use. Its pocket size is a winner. Automated features make data recording easy, fast and reliable. For example, to record compass bearing and elevation angle, simply position an animal in the crosshairs, or enter manually. To record range, just point and shoot a handheld wireless rangefinder or enter manually. 

Choose from terrestrial, marine or aerial operating modes: Roving 2D, Roving 3D, Theodolite or Aerial. For aerial surveys, simply position an animal in the crosshairs and Behayve records its latitude and longitude. Or enter bearing and azimuth manually. 

Via wireless connections, achieve sub-meter positioning accuracy using handheld or fixed units such as the Arrow 100, sensed automatically by Behayve. Or simply rely on the built-in GPS hardware in the iPhone. 

With GNSS devices, improve positioning accuracy under canopy, harnessing the combined forces of GPS, Glonass, Galileo, Beidou and other satellite constellations. 


At sea, continuously log water temperature and depth from a ship chartplotter, wirelessly. We are happy to discuss wireless connection of your own unique devices. 

Kind regards 

Bill Fulton
Living Ocean
Sydney, Australia
livingocean.org.au support at behayve.com<mailto:support at behayve.com > 

Head, Centre for Marine Studies
+61 419 220 141  GMT+10
bill at livingocean.org.au <mailto:bill at livingocean.org.au>

www.livingocean.org.au <http://www.livingocean.org.au/>           
facebook.com/livingocean <http://facebook.com/livingocean>

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