POS  Vol.4 No.1 , February 2013
Spatiotemporal Cattle Data—A Plea for Protocol Standardization
ABSTRACT

It was not until the end of the 1990’s that animal born satellite receivers catapulted range cattle ecology into the 21st century world of microchip technology with all of its opportunities and challenges. With the global navigation satellite system (GNSS), insight about how cattle use a landscape is being revealed from previously unknown temporal and spatial behaviors. The most common system to date for studying ungulate movement is the global positioning system (GPS). With its use has come a clarity and completeness in documenting spatial and temporal data in new and exciting ways that offer almost unlimited possibilities to better understand and manage economic and societal returns from animal dominated landscapes. However, its use on free-ranging cattle is not without challenges, some of which are yet to be optimally solved. To maximize the usefulness of GNSS data, consideration must be given to: 1) developing a standardized protocol for reporting and analyzing research that facilitates interpretation of results across different ecosystems; 2) develop optimum ranges over which to collect satellite fixes depending upon the particular behaviors of interest; and 3) concurrently develop electronic hardware and equipment platforms that are easily deployed on animals and that are light, robust, and can be worn by cattle for extended periods of time without human intervention (e.g., changing batteries). Once data are collected, appropriate geographic information system (GIS) based models should be used to produce a series of products that can be used to implement flexible management strategies, some of which may support methodologies that are yet to be commercialized and adopted into future plant-animal interface management routines.


Cite this paper
Anderson, D. , Estell, R. and Cibils, A. (2013) Spatiotemporal Cattle Data—A Plea for Protocol Standardization. Positioning, 4, 115-136. doi: 10.4236/pos.2013.41012.
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