Towards informed metrics for examining the role of human-induced animal responses in tag studies on wild animals.
R.P. Wilson, M.D. Holton, V.L. Wilson, R. Gunner, B. Tysse, G.I. Wilson, F. Quintana, C.M. Duarte, D.M. Scantlebury
Integrative Zoology, (2019)
Behavior, Stress, Tags, Wild animals
Two prime issues can detrimentally affect animals that have been equipped with tags: (i) the effect of the capture and restraint process; and (ii) the effect of the tag itself. This work examines some of the issues surrounding quantification of tag effects on wild animals for both restrained and free-living animals. A new method to quantify stress effects based on monitoring ventilation rates in relation to activity is suggested for restrained animals which may help improve the practice of handling animals. It is also suggested that various metrics, many derived from accelerometers, can be examined in tagged wild animals to examine the change in behaviors over time with a view to having a better understanding of welfare issues, assuring the quality of recorded data and informing best practice.
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