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SDSC assists researchers in novel wildlife tracking project
Date:7/2/2014

om animals that occupy habitats encompassing large areas, such as the California condors and giant pandas tracked in the wild by San Diego Zoo Global and its collaborators. These computing challenges are why researchers have typically only analyzed animal ranges in 2D up until now," said Sheppard.

Using this 3D technology, researchers can link the resulting home range data to customized climate models of condor habitats, also in 3D, to generate high-resolution images of condor spatial behaviors, habitat use, and the climatic conditions that stimulate and modify condor movements.

"This data will be used as a predictive management tool to inform conservation efforts to restore condor populations, particularly with regard to emerging threats such as climate change and wind energy impacts," added Sheppard.

Big Data and Ecology

On a broader note, Sheppard noted that the field of ecology is entering the era of 'Big Data' so it is imperative that new analytical and visualization tools be developed that can process, manage, and analyze these increasingly large and accurate multidimensional datasets acquired from biotelemetry tracking devices and remote sensing technologies. "Otherwise ecologists and conservation managers may literally not be able to see the forest for the trees," he said.


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Contact: Jan Zverina
jzverina@sdsc.edu
858-534-5111
University of California - San Diego
Source:Eurekalert

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