Scientific Research

CyberTracer technology continues to contribute to a number of ongoing scientific research projects...

A Hand-held, PDA Based System for Seabird Data Collection During Cetacean Surveys

Information on different species, especially top predators, are rarely collected simultaneously in an effective manner. The concurrent data collection - both in space and time - on birds and cetaceans (especially dolphins) may allow a better understanding of ecological linkages in the marine ecosystem.

Bearzi M. and C. Saylan
Ocean Conservation Society, Marina del Rey, CA
Journal of Marine Animals and Their Ecology

Abstract

New methodologies and technologies allow to record an everincreasing number of complex and accurate field data at sea but information on different species, especially top predators, are rarely collected simultaneously in an effective manner. The concurrent data collection - both in space and time - on birds and cetaceans (especially dolphins) may allow a better understanding of ecological linkages in the marine ecosystem. Herein we describe a new approach involving direct entry of data by seabird observers using a hand-held, pen-based computer or PDA (Personal Digital Assistant), and illustrate a simple database design and its field use for seabird data recording during cetacean surveys. The data - collected through CyberTracker software - have the advantage of being date/time and GPS cross-referenced with cetacean data recorded on other computer platforms available on board (e.g. in our study: Logger software - developed by the International Fund for Animal Welfare - using a PC laptop) or with another PDA. The userfriendly PDA seabird database offers the benefits of: 1) easy adaptation to any other field protocol, 2) reasonable cost, and 3) easy handling in small vessels. [JMATE. 2008;1(1):9-11]