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Accueil veterinaires comportementalistes Veille bibliographique veterinaires comportementalistes A new technique for monitoring the detailed behaviour of terrestrial animals: A case study with the domestic cat

A new technique for monitoring the detailed behaviour of terrestrial animals: A case study with the domestic cat

Shinichi Watanabe, Masako Izawa, Akiko Kato, Yan Ropert-Coudert and Yasuhiko Naito

Revue : Applied Animal Behaviour Science

a - Graduate School of Engineering and Science, University of the Ryukyus, Okinawa 903-0213, Japan
b - Department of Chemistry, Biology and Marine Science, University of the Ryukyus, Okinawa 903-0213, Japan
c - National Institute of Polar Research, Itabashi, Tokyo 173-8515, Japan


For many animal species that are difficult to access, the behaviour of free-ranging individuals cannot be assessed by direct observation. In order to remedy this, we developed a new technique using a motion detector (acceleration data-logger) for monitoring the activity and behaviour of free-ranging vertebrates and tested its efficiency on a domestic cat, Felis catus. A total of 3615 min of surging acceleration was measured along the longitudinal body axis of an adult male cat. The cat's behaviour was also filmed for 113 min, these video data being used to correlate the logger's signals with the cat's behaviour. Acceleration data-loggers attached on the cat's collar recorded acceleration signals which were influenced by both the gravitational acceleration resulting from the body posture and the dynamic acceleration resulting from the dynamic behaviour of the cat. By applying spectral analysis based on a fast Fourier Transform to acceleration signals, body postures and some of the dynamic behaviours of the cat such as drinking, eating, and several paces of travelling were efficiently determined. The present study shows that acceleration data-loggers represent a useful and reliable system for accurately recording the activities and detail behaviours of the terrestrial animals.
Keywords: Acceleration data-logger; Activity; Domestic cat; Motion detector; Time budget

Applied Animal Behaviour Science. Octobre 2005

 

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