Friday, February 7, 2014

Dive analysis, mapping and R, oh my!

Data processing of the 2013 dive data is now complete. Here is an example of what  the dive data of an entire trip of one bird looks like. Analysis has been done with MTDive and the analysis of each dive checked by eye. The results are now ready to analyse...

The 2013 GPS data has been mapped.  Here are a few examples of some of those GPS tracks collected from breeding penguins on different dates.
The birds shown in this GoogleEarth map swam 37 km, 14 km, 11 km, and 16 km maximum offshore distance from Robben Island for the green, orange, blue, and pink tracks respectively.

There was a new record set, one penguin swam a distance of 56 km off-shore of west of Robben Island before returning to its nest, covering a total distance of 136 km over a trip duration of 38 hours.

A big thank you to Dr. Katta Ludynia and all the assistants that helped collect the Robben Island penguin foraging data in 2013.

Time to interpolate the dives using the GPS data so we can map where the foraging dives took place...
Then on to statistical analyses in GIS and R...
Until the next update, just keep swimming.


  1. did you get how deep they are diving?

  2. Hi Gabrielle, Yes we can tell how deep they are diving from the pressure data sensor which records pressure every second. For example, the bird that made the blue trip at sea made 334 dives greater than 3 m with those dives being on average 17 m deep and the deepest one being 35 m deep. The bird that made the pink trip had 427 dives greater than 3 m deep. The average depth of that bird's dives was 14 m with the deepest one being 28 m. African penguins can dive deeper than 50 m but we have only recorded that a few times around this colony probably mostly due to the bathymetry around Robben Island.

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