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Identification of behaviours from accelerometer data in a wild social primate / G. Fehlmann; M.J. O'Riain; P.W. Hopkins; J. O'Sullivan; M.D. Holton; E.L.C. Shepard; A.J. King
Animal Biotelemetry, Volume: 5, Issue: 6
Swansea University Author: Holton, Mark
DOI (Published version): 10.1186/s40317-017-012
BackgroundThe use of accelerometers in bio-logging devices has proved to be a powerful tool for the quantification of animal behaviour. While bio-logging techniques are being used on wide range of species, to date they have only been seldom used with non-human primates. This is likely due to three m...
|Published in:||Animal Biotelemetry|
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BackgroundThe use of accelerometers in bio-logging devices has proved to be a powerful tool for the quantification of animal behaviour. While bio-logging techniques are being used on wide range of species, to date they have only been seldom used with non-human primates. This is likely due to three main factors: the long tradition of direct field observations, a difficulty of attaching bio-logging devices to wild primates and the challenge of deciphering acceleration signals in species’ with remarkable locomotor and behavioural diversity. Here, we overcome these aforementioned obstacles and provide methodology for identification of behaviours from accelerometer data of wild chacma baboons (Papio ursinus) in Cape Town, South Africa.ResultsWe apply machine learning techniques to process complex accelerometer data, collected by bespoke tracking collars to quantify a range of behaviours (focusing on locomotion and foraging behaviour). We successfully identify six broad state behaviours that represent 93.3% of the time budget of the baboons. Resting, walking, running and foraging were all identified with high recall and precision representing the first classification of multiple behavioural states from accelerometer data for a wild primate.ConclusionOur ‘end to end’ process—from collar design and build to the collection and quantification of acceleration data—provides advantages over gathering data by traditional observation, not least because it affords data collection without the presence of an observer which may affect an animal’s behaviour. Furthermore, our methodology and findings open new possibilities for the fine-scale study of movement and foraging ecology in wild primates, and in particular our baboon study population which is in conflict with people.
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