OzTrack.org to feature at AWMS and ECOTAS13!

The OzTrack team are pleased to announce that OzTrack.org will feature at the upcoming Australasian Wildlife Management Society (AWMS) and ECOTAS13 conferences later this month, across the Tasman Sea in New Zealand.

Conferences attendees include researchers, academics, students, consultants,  land managers, government workers and manufacturers – all with a core interest in ecology and/or wildlife management.

During the conference talks, our Scientific Data Analyst Dr Ross Dwyer will be demonstrating the core functions of the OzTrack software. In particular, how these new tools can help ecologists and wildlife managers in data management and interpretation, and in increasing the exposure of their own research, conservation programs and management initiatives.

Please contact Ross if you’d like to arrange a meeting, or alternatively just say ‘hello!’

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Animals tracked with tiny tags summon their own drones – tech – 09 October 2013 – New Scientist

Miniature GPS tags create a network between themselves and deliver data payloads through that network to drones.

Animals tracked with tiny tags summon their own drones – tech – 09 October 2013 – New Scientist.

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This Bird Can Stay in Flight for Six Months Straight | Surprising Science

This Bird Can Stay in Flight for Six Months Straight | Surprising Science.

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OzTrack featured in AWMS newsletter

AWMS logo

An article describing the OzTrack project has been published in the recent newsletter of the Australasian Wildlife Management Society (AWMS). The article ‘OzTrack: new online software for the analysis of animal tracking data’ describes the functionality of the site and provides example tracks and home range estimates for two southern cassowaries fitted with GPS loggers.

kernel as google earth2

Home range kernels (95% and 50% KUDs) of two cassowaries, generated in OzTrack and featured in the July AWMS newsletter

This is the first release of the OzTrack project to the Australasian animal tracking community. Our hope is that wildlife managers and students will be able to use OzTrack’s tools to assist with their own research projects to help achieve positive conservation outcomes and/or improve species management.

Cassowary fitted with GPS-based telemetry device. Photo credits: Hamish Campbell

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Marine layers and new tools added to the OzTrack project

Image 1

The track of an Olive Ridley turtle off the west coast of Cape York, Queensland, Australia. The track is overlayed on the CARS2009 phosphate dataset with 40% opacity. The measuring tool shows clearly that the animal travels over 300 km from the Queensland coast.

After discussion with Australian and New Zealand researchers tracking animals in the marine environment, we are pleased to announce the addition of the CSIRO Atlas of Regional Seas (CARS 2009) climatological dataset to OzTrack.org.

Now OzTrack users can overlay their tracking data on a suite of georeferenced layers describing water properties across the world’s oceans. This includes sea surface temperature, salinity, sea surface height, oxygen, nitrate, silicate and phosphate. The data covers the full global oceans on a 0.5 degree grid and each cell holds the average/interpolated profile data for that locality.

With these recent additions, OzTrack now holds 21 environmental layers obtained from online geospatial repositories. We offer a ‘point-and-click’ querying tool to extract data from the animal’s track (i.e. animal ID, date, time and coordinates of the location fix) and the environmental characteristics of that locality (e.g. sea surface temperature, salinity). We have also increased the size of the map window, and added a measuring tool and opacity slider to the OzTrack toolkit.

It is our hope these recent additions will help our users tracking animals in both terrestrial and marine systems to better understand the environment in which their tagged animals inhabit.

Check out the new environmental layers at http://oztrack.org


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14 new environmental layers now available within OzTrack!

The OzTrack team are proud to announce that 14 new environmental layers have been incorporated into the OzTrack website. These layers may be queried from within OzTrack to provide spatial and temporal information on habitat preference and reserve design.

Along with Bathymetry and Elevation data obtained from General Bathymetric Chart of the Oceans (GEBCO), a map of Australian Natural Resource Management (NRM) Regional Boundaries is provided as well as a map of fire frequency using data from the NOAA Satellite Information System.

Fire and NRM

Your animal tracks may now be overlayed on maps of terrestrial and marine protected areas from CAPAD 2010 and Australia’s network of Commonwealth Marine Reserves. This may allow wildlife managers to investigate whether the current design of these areas is sufficient to protect their study species.

CAPD Commonwealth

We have incorporated land-use data from Australia’s Dynamic Land Cover dataset which reflect the structural character of vegetation. These range from cultivated and managed land covers (crops and pastures) to natural land covers such as closed forest and open grasslands.


With the National Vegetation Information System (NVIS) Groups and Subgroup layers, we provide the latest summary information (November 2012) on Australia’s present native vegetation. The input vegetation data were provided from over 100 individual projects representing the majority of Australia’s regional vegetation mapping over the last 50 years. Data were obtained from the Environmental Resources Information Network (ERIN), Department of Sustainability Environment Water Population and Communities.


Finally the IBRA (Interim Biogeographic Regionalisation for Australia) regions and subregion layers, and the IMCRA (Integrated Marine and Coastal Regionalisation of Australia) provincial and mesoscale layers may also be visualised. These represent spatial units that contain broad patterns in biodiversity in the terrestrial and marine environment.

It is our hope to add more environmental layers to http://oztrack.org in the coming months.

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Who are the NeCTAR research community?

You will have seen the logos and read the blurbs, but have you ever met a researcher from another NeCTAR eResearch project?

On my last count there were 16 eResearch tools being constructed at various institutes around Australia. Although the substance of the projects vary considerably I am sure we have faced the same issues and share the same aspirations for our new research tool.

We have found ourselves outside the ivory tower. In an unfamiliar world where academic niceties don’t seem to apply. We all want our eResearch tool to be a game changer for our respective communities, but I now realise that it doesn’t end when the software is finished. That is just when the challenge begins. 

This blog is a call to those researchers to share advice that may assist others. This can be done through the blog or perhaps a conference/meeting can be arranged for later this  year.  

Show of our new toys!

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