3D tracking of animals in the field, using rotational stereo videography

Abstract : We describe a method for tracking the path of animals in the field, based on stereo videography and aiming-angle measurements, combined in a single, rotational device. In open environments, this technique has the potential to extract multiple 3D positions per second, with a spatial uncertainty of <1 m (rms) within 300 m of the observer, and <0.1 m (rms) within 100 m of the observer, in all directions. The tracking device is transportable and operated by a single observer, and does not involve any animal tagging. As a video of the moving animal is recorded, track data can easily be completed with behavioural data. We present a prototype device based on accessible components that achieves about 70% of the theoretical maximal range. We show examples of bird ground and flight tracks, and discuss the strengths and limits of the method, compared with existing fine-scale (e.g. fixed-camera stereo videography) and large-scale tracking methods (e.g. GPS tracking).
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Journal of Experimental Biology, The Company of Biologists, 2015, 218 (16), pp.2496-2504. 〈10.1242/jeb.118422〉
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Emmanuel De Margerie, Manon Simonneau, Jean-Pierre Caudal, Cécilia Houdelier, Sophie Lumineau. 3D tracking of animals in the field, using rotational stereo videography. Journal of Experimental Biology, The Company of Biologists, 2015, 218 (16), pp.2496-2504. 〈10.1242/jeb.118422〉. 〈hal-01163755〉

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