, Volume 15, Issue 1, pp 181-193
Date: 16 Aug 2011

GPS cell phone tracking in the Greater Tokyo Area: A field test on raccoon dogs

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Abstract

We tested instantaneous GPS cell phone telemetry to record movement data of raccoon dogs (Nyctereutes procyonoides) in Abiko city, Greater Tokyo, Japan. We monitored the changes in locations of six raccoon dogs in various land use types such as roads, golf courses, towns, rice and crop paddies, and forest. Data were downloaded instantaneously using cell phone networks and the internet, remotely to a desktop computer. We obtained 410 location points and the maximum duration of individual tracking was 144 hours. The success rate of GPS positioning varied among individuals. On average, the success rate of three raccoon dogs in a relatively open area was 98% and that of three raccoon dogs in a mosaic area was 70%. In total, 372 of the data points (91 % of all downloaded data) with reliable accuracy were used to analyze movement speed during the day time as well as habitat use of the raccoon dogs, revealing various spatial and temporal behavioral patterns. Human activities were the likely cause of characteristic behaviors in tall weed patches and golf courses, and daily patterns of movement. Our results indicate the potential utility of GPS cell phone tracking to efficiently monitor and manage wildlife in changing urban environments.