Sessions & workshops
Smart tags for smart animals; but are we being smart about what we are doing with them?
Prof. Emiel van Loon (University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands)
The advances made in the solid-state electronics industry over the last few years have been remarkable and have catalysed the animal tag industry to create ever more sophisticated miniature devices, recording (and often even transmitting) multiple parameters simultaneously. In turn, this has led to a proliferation of animal tag-based studies, many of which have led to changes in the way we understand wild animals. But are we being smart about the way we conduct these studies? Many issues are important in this, including; deleterious tag effects, the ethics of tag attachment, smart sensor combinations, sampling rates, resolution, trade-off between transmission and storing technology, analytical techniques and the biological meaning of our results. This session will take a critical look at some of our practices in the broadest sense, highlighting exciting aspects for the future as well as examining how we might improve what we do.