Automated mapping of social networks in wild birds

Rutz, Christian, Burns, Zackory T., James, Richard, Ismar, Stefanie M. H., Burt, John, Otis, Brian, Bowen, Jayson and St Clair, James J.H. (2012) Automated mapping of social networks in wild birds Current Biology, 22 (17). R669-R671. DOI 10.1016/j.cub.2012.06.037.

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Growing interest in the structure and dynamics of animal social networks has stimulated major advances [1], [2] and [3], but recording reliable association data for wild populations has remained challenging. While animal-borne ‘proximity’ tags have been available for some time [4], earlier devices were comparatively heavy, had limited detection ranges and/or necessitated recovery for data retrieval. We have developed wireless digital transceiver technology (‘Encounternet') that enables automated mapping of social networks in wild birds, yielding datasets of unprecedented size, quality and spatio-temporal resolution. Miniature, animal-borne tags record the proximity and duration of bird encounters, and periodically transfer logs to a grid of fixed receiver stations, from which datasets can be downloaded remotely for real-time analysis. We used our system to chart social associations in New Caledonian crows Corvus moneduloides [5] and [6]. Analysis of ca. 28,000 encounter logs for 34 crows over a 7-day period reveals a substantial degree of close-range association between non-family birds, demonstrating the potential for horizontal and oblique information exchange.

Document Type: Article
Additional Information: WOS:000308849900003
Research affiliation: OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB3 Marine Ecology > FB3-EOE-N Experimental Ecology - Food Webs
OceanRep > The Future Ocean - Cluster of Excellence
Refereed: Yes
DOI etc.: 10.1016/j.cub.2012.06.037
ISSN: 0960-9822
Projects: Future Ocean
Date Deposited: 29 Nov 2012 11:51
Last Modified: 22 Sep 2016 09:24

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