Telemetry, or the remote monitoring of animals with electronic transmitters and receivers, has vastly enhanced our ability to study aquatic animals. Radio telemetry, acoustic telemetry and passive integrated transponders are three common technologies that generate detection data — time-stamped, tag-specific records that are logged by receivers. We review current statistical methods and comment on potential future directions for analysing detection data derived from fixed telemetry receiver arrays. To illustrate how different methods may be used to achieve diverse study objectives, we provide a case study dataset collected by an array of 42 acoustic telemetry receivers on 187 bull trout in the Kinbasket Reservoir of British Columbia. To close, we present a decision tree for guiding the selection of a method based on study objectives and sampling design. This paper provides both experienced and novice telemetry researchers with the knowledge and tools to facilitate more comprehensive analysis of detection data and, in so doing, ask a wide variety of ecological questions that will enhance our understanding of aquatic organisms.

acoustic telemetry, detection data, movement ecology, Ocean Tracking Network, PIT tag, radio telemetry, statistical methods
Methods in Ecology and Evolution
Department of Biology

Whoriskey, K. (Kim), Martins, E.G. (Eduardo G.), Auger-Méthé, M. (Marie), Gutowsky, L.F.G. (Lee F. G.), Lennox, R.J. (Robert J.), Cooke, S.J, … Mills Flemming, J. (Joanna). (2019). Current and emerging statistical techniques for aquatic telemetry data: A guide to analysing spatially discrete animal detections. Methods in Ecology and Evolution. doi:10.1111/2041-210X.13188