For many years, scientists and wildlife managers have used radio tracking and satellite tracking to follow the location of freely moving animals in the wild. However, existing technology suffers from limited temporal and spatial resolution: positioning data are too coarse to determine how animals behave relative to their environment and each other. In other words: one can measure where an animal approximately is, but not what it is doing. Current GNSS-based tracking systems are not able to track moving objects at short time intervals. Furthermore, software tools capable of processing large volumes of GNSS data and converting those into meaningful metrics describing animal behaviour are missing. The E-TRACK project concerns the development of a system for measurement and analysis of movement, behaviour and interactions of wildlife. The system will consist of EGNOS-enabled GNSS receivers, efficient data communication and an innovative software application. E-TRACK will take advantage of EGNOS and EDAS to provide adequate resolution for behaviour analysis. In addition, EGNOS and EDAS data will be used in post-processing to analyse the data points.
In order to execute the project, a consortium has been formed of six partners, including three SME companies: a software company (Noldus Information Technology) with many years experience in measurement and analysis of animal behaviour; a manufacturer of wildlife telemetry hardware (Biotrack); a consulting firm in the domain of remote sensing and geo-informatics (AeroVision); a university group with expertise in behaviour and ecology of large mammals (Resource Ecology Group, Wageningen University); and two research institutes with expertise in behavioural ecology of birds (NIOO and IZW). The project will develop a fully working end-to-end system that will be tested, validated and demonstrated by the scientific partners. The project will also develop a business plan how to launch the system in the market.