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Best practice for collar deployment of tri-axial accelerometers on a terrestrial quadruped to provide accurate measurement of body acceleration.

Dickinson, E.R. and Stephens, P.A. and Marks, N.J. and Wilson, R.P. and Scantlebury, D.M. (2020) 'Best practice for collar deployment of tri-axial accelerometers on a terrestrial quadruped to provide accurate measurement of body acceleration.', Animal biotelemetry., 8 . p. 9.

Abstract

Background: Tri-axial accelerometers are frequently deployed on terrestrial quadrupedal mammals using collars, because they are easy to fit and are thought to have minimal impact on the subject. Collar-attached devices are not fixed to the body and can move independently of the body. This may result in inaccurate measures of acceleration, reducing the accuracy of measured body movement. We determined the effect of collar size and collar weight on acceleration measured by a collar-mounted accelerometer on a quadruped mammal. The aim was to suggest best practice for sizes and weights of collars on which to deploy tri-axial accelerometers. Using pygmy goats, Capra aegagrus hircus, which were trained to walk at different speeds (0.8–3.0 km/h) on a treadmill, we measured body acceleration using a collar-mounted tri-axial accelerometer, with different collar sizes (individual neck circumference + 1 cm to + 9 cm) and collar weight (0.4% to 1.2% of individual weight). Results: There was a significant effect of collar size, collar weight and walking speed on measured acceleration. Measured acceleration was less accurate and more variable when collars were looser and heavier. To measure body acceleration more accurately, we found that collar size should be within 5 cm or 16% of an individual’s neck circumference when it was heavy (up to 1.2% of animal’s body weight) or within 7 cm (33%) of neck circumference if the collar was light (up to 0.6% of animal body weight). Conclusion: We suggest that not only reporting collar size and weight for welfare purposes, but it is also important to consider these aspects for scientific rigour, to ensure data are collected as accurately as possible. We provide guidelines for researchers fitting collar-attached devices to ensure a higher degree of accuracy of recorded body acceleration.

Item Type:Article
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Status:Peer-reviewed
Publisher Web site:https://doi.org/10.1186/s40317-020-00198-9
Publisher statement:This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated in a credit line to the data.
Date accepted:02 March 2020
Date deposited:19 March 2020
Date of first online publication:18 March 2020
Date first made open access:19 March 2020

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