Biologging the use of miniaturized electronic tags to track animals in the wild has revealed previously unknown and suprising behaviors, movements, physiology and environmental preferences of a wide variety of ocean animals. For instance, biologgers have recorded 5,000 foot (1,550 m) dives by Atlantic bluefin tuna, followed journeys of elephant seals halfway across the Pacific from their breeding beaches, and observed annual 40,000 mile migrations of sooty shearwaters the longest recorded for any animal. Biologging science is showing researchers how animals work in the furthest reaches of the ocean environs and is advancing both basic and applied research. A special collection of papers from an international conference on Biologging Science held in California and co hosted by the Tagging of Pacific Predators (www.TOPP.org) and the TAG A Giant Foundation (www.tagagiant.org) is being published Wednesday, March 3, 2010 in the scientific journal Endangered Species Research, which features a wide array of cutting-edge biologging research from around the world.
The ability to study animals in the wild using microchips that store on board data or transmit data to Earth-orbiting satellites has revolutionized how we study animals in the most distant parts of the globe. The tags can relay information about the animal's movements, behavior, physiology or environmental surroundings in "real time," or "archive" the data for later retrieval. Using this latter approach, researchers have overcome the challenges of studying wild, free-ranging predators that remain submerged beneath the ocean where radio communications are impossible.
Recent biologging studies featured in the theme section fall into one of four major themes. The first are examples of advances in biologging technology, where partnerships between engineers and researchers have resulted in the development of more s
|Contact: Randy Kochevar|
Stanford University - Hopkins Marine Station