Synthesis and national scale analysis of IMOS acoustic telemetry data

Background and rationale

Telemetry data provide a powerful platform for understanding animal movement patterns over small and large spatial scales. The IMOS Animal Tracking Facility (ATF) is considered a world-leader based on the size and scale of the acoustic telemetry networks maintained in Australian waters.

The success of the ATF relies on the cooperation and collaboration of individuals studying fish (and related taxa) around the country. While much of this research is region- or species-specific there are opportunities to conduct synthesis studies of the existing database. The range of species studied, the array of habitats covered and regions (temperate to tropical) provide a unique opportunity to explore broad patterns in fish movement on a scale not possible at an individual scientist level.

The IMOS ATF has amassed a large amount of data which have not been explored for broad scale comparative analyses. Although regional analyses (Taylor et al. 2013, Pillans et al. 2014, Smoothey et al. 2016) and some large scale work (Heupel et al. 2015, Espinoza et al. 2016)have been produced, there is much to be gained through dedicated interrogation and analysis of the IMOS ATF database.


The objectives of this Task Team will be to develop a national approach to synthesis and analysis of IMOS ATF data and use these analyses to inform future aspects of acoustic telemetry networks. Specific objectives are:

  1. Explore the IMOS ATF database to determine species that could be included in a national scale analysis.
  2. Develop a set of metrics that can be employed to analyse national scale patterns in fish presence and movement (e.g. dispersal kernels, Brownian bridge home ranges, etc).
  3. Produce scientific publications outlining national scale results from telemetry data collected via IMOS ATF.
  4. Use fish movement patterns observed in the IMOS ATF database to design an optimised receiver array to improve national scale fish movement monitoring.
  5. Set the global standard for large scale telemetry data analysis.

>Synthesis and national scale analysis of IMOS acoustic telemetry data Task Team Proposal (PDF 334KB)