Protocols

Protocols for data preparation

In this page you can find some simple guidelines to prepare your data sets that will be imported into the Euroboar database. You have different instruction for each different sensor/type of data (see below). You will be supported by a Euroboar data curator (euroboar.datacurator@gmail.com). Particularly, if you have any question or you need technical help, you can contact the Euroboar coordinator (Francesca Cagnacci), the Euroboar database manager (Kevin Morelle) or your reference Euroboar data curator. We can accept data in forms different from those specified in these protocols if needed, but please discuss this with the data curator. Data can be delivered in any of the common tabular data format (e.g. csv, MS Access, MS Excel). If your data are already stored in a database, we can look for a quicker procedure to connect Euroboar with your database to simplify the procedure. You can expect some feedback from the data curator because we run some quality check and we might identify some missing/suspicious information that requires clarification from data owner. This activity can be useful for you to double check the reliability of the data sets. If you are interested in the data processing, verification and upload process, a description of all the steps done by data curators for GPS data is available here.

CONTENTS

GPS Data

Data related to GPS data sets that must be provided are the animals with their main characteristics (see below), collars with their main characteristics (see below), the time interval of GPS sensors deployments, and the list of locations, including records without coordinates and erroneous locations (that should be marked as such). Locations outside the deployment period can be omitted, but double check that the start and end date/time are correct to avoid loss of valid data.

Data should be organized in 4 tables:

 

1) ANIMALS

with the following information:

  • identifier of the animal (code, number and/or name)
  • sex
  • first capture date and time (utc)
  • age at capture (NOTE: age classification is different for roe and red deer)
  • year of birth
  • year birth exact (yes/no, if the year of birth is known with certainty or not)
  • what type of monitoring (VHF, GPS and/or Activity)
  • reintroduction (yes/no)
  • populations (if there are sub areas/sub populations well identifiable in the study area)

 

Age class codes Wild boar
ID Description
1 Juvenile (From 0 to 12 months)
2 Yearling (From 12 to 24 months)
3 Adult (From 24 months)

See an example of the table structure.

 

2) GPS COLLARS

with:

  • identifier of the collar
  • vendor
  • model

See an example of the table structure.

 

3) DEPLOYMENT OF COLLARS ON ANIMALS

with:

  • identifier of the collar
  • identifier of the animal
  • start of the deployment (date and utc time)
  • end of the deployment (date and utc time; NULL if the collar is still deployed)
  • notes
  • end gps monitoring code (Drop off, Run out GPS battery, malfunctioning, Death, Failure to transmit, Not used for monitoring)
  • mortality code (if end of GPS monitoring is caused by death of the animal, a mortality code needs to be provided)

See an example of the table structure.

 

4) GPS DATA

with:

  • identifier of the collar
  • identifier of the animal
  • acquisition time (date and utc time)
  • longitude
  • latitude

 

Other useful (but not compulsory) data are:

  • altitude measured by GPS
  • temperature measured by GPS
  • number of satellites (“nav” and “validated” fields if available; otherwise “n_sats” or similar)
  • dop

See an example of the table structure.

 

Additional notes:

  1. Please double check the start (i.e. capture) and end of deployment (first and last valid record). Provide both date and time, considering the time zone.
  2. If you use the same collar on different animals, keep the same collar id. Same thing for animals monitored with more than one collar (the same animal must be identified with the same code). If you used different codes, please inform the data curator.
  3. Any other data included in your original file can be included, just please add a file with a short description of all acronyms used.
  4. If possible, send 1 single file with all the animals info, 1 file with all the collars info, 1 file with all deployments info, and 1 file with all GPS data info (possibly, not one file per GPS sensor).

VHF data

Data related to VHF data sets that must be provided are the animals with their main characteristics (see below), collars with their main characteristics (see below), the time interval of VHF sensors deployments, and the list of locations, including records without coordinates and erroneous locations (that should be marked as such).

Locations outside the deployment period can be omitted, but double check that the start and end date/time are correct to avoid loss of valid data.

Data should be organized in 4 tables:

 

1) ANIMALS

with the following information:

  • identifier of the animal (code, number and/or name)
  • sex
  • first capture date and time (utc)
  • age at capture (NOTE: age classification is different for roe and red deer, see above)
  • year of birth
  • year birth exact (yes/no, if the year of birth is known with certainty or not)
  • what type of monitoring (VHF, GPS and/or Activity)
  • reintroduction (yes/no)
  • populations (if there are sub areas/sub populations well identifiable in the study area)

See an example of the table structure.

 

2) VHF COLLARS

with:

  • identifier of the collar
  • vendor
  • model

See an example of the table structure.

 

3) DEPLOYMENT OF COLLARS ON ANIMALS

with:

  • identifier of the collar
  • identifier of the animal
  • start of the deployment (date and utc time)
  • end of the deployment (date and utc time; NULL if the collar is still deployed)
  • notes
  • end VHF monitoring code (Drop off, Run out GPS battery, malfunctioning, Death, Failure to transmit, Not used for monitoring)
  • mortality code (if end of VHF monitoring is caused by death of the animal, a mortality code needs to be provided)

See an example of the table structure.

 

4) VHF DATA

with:

  • identifier of the collar
  • identifier of the animal
  • acquisition time (date and utc time)
  • coordinates
  • coordinates reference system (+EPSG if known)
  • if available locs type (valid locs, observation, findings, outliers)

See an example of the table structure.

 

Additional notes:

  1. Specify your time zone and if you have followed only solar time or solar/legal time.
  2. If you use the same collar on different animals, keep the same collar id. Same thing for animals monitored with more than one collar (the same animal must be identified with the same code). If you used different codes, please inform the data curator.
  3. Any other data included in your original file can be included, just please add a file with a short description of all acronyms used.
  4. If possible, send 1 single file with all the animals info, 1 file with all the collars info, 1 file with all deployments info, and 1 file with all GPS data info (possibly, not one file per GPS sensor).

Activity data

Data should be organized in 4 tables:

 

1) ANIMALS

with the following information:

  • identifier of the animal (code, number and/or name)
  • sex
  • first capture date and time (utc)
  • age at capture (NOTE: age classification is different for roe and red deer, see above)
  • year of birth
  • year birth exact (yes/no, if the year of birth is known with certainty or not)
  • what type of monitoring (VHF, GPS and/or Activity)
  • reintroduction (yes/no)
  • populations (if there are sub areas/sub populations well identifiable in the study area)

See an example of the table structure.

 

2) ACTIVITY SENSORS

with:

  • identifier of the collar
  • vendor
  • model
  • identifier of associated GPS collar

See an example of the table structure.

 

3) DEPLOYMENT OF ACTIVITY SENSORS ON ANIMALS

with:

  • identifier of the collar
  • identifier of the animal
  • start of the deployment (date and utc time)
  • end of the deployment (date and utc time; NULL if the collar is still deployed)
  • identifier of associated GPS collar

See an example of the table structure.

 

4) ACTIVITY DATA

1 file for each animal

 

Additional notes:

  1. Please double check the start (i.e. capture) and end of deployment (first and last valid record). Provide both date and time, considering the time zone.
  2. If you use the same collar on different animals, keep the same collar id. Same thing for animals monitored with more than one collar (the same animal must be identified with the same code). If you used different codes, please inform the data curator.
  3. Any other data included in your original file can be included, just please add a file with a short description of all acronyms used.
  4. If possible, send 1 single file with all the animals info, 1 file with all the collars info, 1 file with all deployments info, and 1 file with the activity data for each animal.

Eartag data

Protocol under development

Meteo stations

Data should be organized in 2 tables:

 

1) DAILY VALUES

of the whole time series (not single values associated with the locations):

  • temperature: minimum, average and maximum
  • precipitation
  • snow

 

2) METEO STATIONS

with:

  • name(s) of station(s)
  • coordinates of the station(s)
  • coordinates reference system

 

Additional notes:

  1. Please check the field names are in English.
  2. Any others data included in your original file can be included, just please add a file with a short description of all acronyms used.

End of monitoring reasons and mortality

In this table we collect information about reasons of end monitoring and, in case of death, cause of mortality. We collect this info for all the animals with a sensor, even if for a very short time. If the animal had both a GPS and VHF sensors we collect end monitoring date and cause for both of them. For each animal, we ask basic info like sensor, animal id, end monitoring date and time and the reasons as following:

  • Reason of end monitoring
    • Drop off
    • Run out GPS battery
    • Malfunctioning
    • Death (in this case specify the cause of death, see specific list of options)
    • Failure to transmit
    • Not used for monitoring
    • Generic sensor failure (unknown if malfunctioning or run out of buttery)
    • Recapture with removal of the sensor
    • Store-on-board sensor not recovered
    • Unknown
    • No data retrieved - unknown reason
    • Not provided
  • Cause of death
    • natural starvation
    • natural diseases
    • natural unknown
    • car accident
    • accident
    • hunted
    • unknown
    • poaching
    • death caused by the capture
    • giving birth
    • fighting during rut
    • predation - unknown predator
    • predation - lynx
    • predation - wolf
    • predation - dog
    • predation - canide
    • predation - bear
    • predation - fox
  • Following contact (date and time)
  • Contact status
    • Alive
    • Dead (in this case specify cause of death)

Additional notes:

  1. We ask to report any contact after the end of monitoring, both the sightings of the animal – dead or alive – or the finding of the sensor. If you have more than one contact, please report the last one, or all of them with a different entry for each.

Use the file example for the table structure.

Capture

In this file we collect information about captures. Only captures of animals that are monitored or that were captured to be monitored can be included in the dataset (for examle animals that were captured to be collared but that died during the capture). For each animal, we ask general info like sensor, animal id, sex and age and capture info like capture date, coordinates and method, handling characteristics, standard measures and sampling, animal behavior at handling. More specifically:

  • Animal original id
  • Sex
  • Age class specify the age class (date of age change is set to April 1):
    • Fawn = 0-12 months
    • Yearling = 12-24 months
    • Adult > 24 Months
  • Year of birth specify, when known, the year of birth known or estimated.
  • Year of birth exact specify if the given year of birth or age is exact ('yes') or just estimated ('no')
  • First capture specify if it is the first capture of the animal or not.
  • Capture result (if none of the following describes the result of the capture, please provide a detailed description)
    • Sensor deployed (animal collared)
    • Sensor deployed but animal died just after the collaring
    • Sensor not deployed (not collared) because animal died during the capture
    • Sensor deployed in a previous capture
    • Sensor deployed in a next capture
  • Coordinates Capture specify the rough coordinates (in lat/long) of the place of capture.
  • Coordinates Release specify the rough coordinates (in lat/long) of the place of release. In case of relocation this will be different from the coordinates of actual capture.
  • Capture method used: box trap, net trap, net drive, hand catch.
  • Capture date the date the animal is captured
  • Capture time the time (UTC) the animal fall in the trap, box, net, etc.
  • Start handling the time (UTC) the animal is taken out from the box, trap, net etc. and is in direct contact with people.
  • End handling the time (UTC) when the animal handling ended (animals is no more in direct contact with people for marking and measurements or it is released or put back into a transportation box.
  • Release time: time (UTC) when the animal was released (animal taken out from the box, trap, net, etc or put back into a transportation box).
  • Release type code: how the animal has been released (e.g. soft release (use of a corral for habituation), code=1/hard release, code=2).
  • Sedation if animals are sedated, indicate this clearly and indicate in separated fields what drug that was used, amount, and at what point in time. Also indicate the same information of a possible antidote that was given.
  • Heart rate beats/min.
  • Heart rate measurement time if several consecutive measurements throughout the capture/handling are taken, indicate the time for the first and the last ones.
  • Sampling specify if sampling of faeces, biopsy (tissue), blood and hair have been done (yes or no).
  • Hind foot length in cm.
  • Body mass in kg.
  • Rectal temperature in °C.
  • Injury if injury at capture, with description.
  • Death if death at capture, with description.
  • Behavior code handling and released:
CODE Behavior during handling
The subjective measurement on how the animal react on the handling situation
Behavior when released
How the animals react when leaving the site for the handling
0 Calm. No resistance. No kicking with legs. No screaming Leaving the place slowly. Stops several times.
1 Calm. Screams not more than twice. Almost no kicking. Run away, but stop after a short distance.
2 Screaming and kicking some, but are calm between these occasions. Runs away without stopping until it can’t be seen any more.
3 Stressed out. Are screaming and kicking more, but the animal can be handled. Falls or jumps and attempts to remove collar and/or escape from handler.
4 Extremely stressed. Almost impossible to take proper measures. Lies down, cannot stand by itself.
5 Exhausted. Makes no resistance and are easy to handle. But differ from 0, in the sense that it is stressed.

(For more detailed measures protocol, handling characteristics and animal behavior at handling, refer to the ‘Capture protocol’ in the ‘Protocols’ section inside the Eurodeer site private pages)

Use the file example for the table structure.

Population

The ancillary data are organized in distinct sheets, one for each study area characteristics requested. In each sheet you will find the information needed for each characteristic with some examples. Ideally, all values should be specified for individual years. If this is not possible, an average over a certain period would be great, with indication of the years of reference. Please, fill out the sheets for the entire period of your project(s), also the old ones.

1) WILD BOAR POPULATION PERFORMANCE data from hunting statistics. Number of individuals hunted and for which biometric measures have been taken and average body mass and hind foot length from hunting statistics, for males, females and piglets (< 1 year).

2) WILD BOAR DENSITY individuals/km2 (and standard error if known). Specify estimation method (e.g. capture-mark-recapture, drive census, observations, pellet counts, snow tracking, spot lighting) and season of sampling. Use more lines if more methods are used.

3) PREDATORS presence/absence (1/0) and an estimated density (individuals /10km2) if known, otherwise an estimated number over the area (number of individuals or just a qualitative index, e.g. ‘occasional’). For wolf, Eurasian lynx, bear, red fox.

4) INTERSPECIFIC COMPETITORS presence/absence (1/0) and an estimated density (individuals/km2) with standard error if known, as well as sampling method and season of sampling. One sheet per species: red deer, fallow deer and wild board.

5) HUMAN DISTURBANCE distinguish between tourism, farming activities and forestry work. It is expressed for each category as presence/absence (1/0), and with a rough measure as follows:

  • Tourism presence/absence (1/0) and a rough number of tourists per season or per surface, if known, distinct in summer and winter tourism.
  • Farming activity presence/absence (1/0) and specify one of the following 6 categories:
    • Intensive arable farming
    • Extensive arable farming
    • Intensive pastoral farming
    • Extensive pastoral farming
    • Intensive mixed farming
    • Extensive mixed farming
      Where:
      Intensive: low crop rotation and heavy use of mechanical labour, pesticides and chemical fertilizers relative to land area being farmed.
      Extensive: higher crop rotation and small inputs of mechanical labour, capital and fertilizers relative to the land area being farmed.
  • Forestry work presence/absence (1/0), and specify one of the 2 following categories:
    • Selective cut (silviculture activities applied at the stand level)
    • Logging (intense cutting, skidding, processing, and loading of trees).

6) HUNTING PRESSURE distinct between roe deer hunting and hunting other species.

  • Roe deer hunting: presence/absence (1/0). Also specify the presence/absence (1/0) of dogs and the hunting technique as follows:
    • Stand hunting: waiting in an elevated stand or in a blind on the ground
    • Stalk hunting: walking looking for an animal
    • Drive hunting: a line of hunters flushing the animals toward a second line of hunters.
      Also specify the period of hunting (with start and end date for each month) distinct for females and males.
  • Hunting other species (no need to specify the species): presence/absence (1/0). Also specify the presence/absence (1/0) of dogs and the period of hunting.

7) ROAD DENSITY density of main roads/km² ("main" to be intended all those accessible to the public).
note:In case this cannot be derived from the standardized land cover maps, it is an information that can be easily obtained from local maps.

Use the file example for the table structure.

Feeding stations

In this file we collect information about feeding sites. For each site we ask for general (e.g. project, original id, feeding site type, coordinates) and detailed characteristics (e.g. quality of feeding, trapping period). More specifically:

  • Project project/study area name.
  • feeding site original id original id you gave to the feeding site
  • Year(s)* year(s) of use of the feeding site. (If over the years the feeding site has changed type of management/type of feeding site, split it in separate records, one for each type)
  • Feeding site type* as follows:
    • Feeding: there is only a feeding station at the site.
    • Trapping: there is only a trap (or traps) at the site.
    • Trapping and feeding: there are both trap (or traps) and feeding station.
  • Moving site yes/no. Yes if the feeding station/trap is moved from time to time (in this case the reported coordinates will be indicative).
  • Feeding management* continuous/occasional.
    • Continuous: if food is provided in abundance with continuity throughout the management period.
    • Occasional: if food provided on an occasional basis (i.e. once a week).
  • Feeding frequency frequency of feeding (i.e. once a week) if foraging is occasional.
  • Quality of feeding quality of food usually provided, possibly with one or more of the following categories: pellets, hay, apples, cereals.
  • Start/end feeding* start and end date (dd/mm) of the general feeding period over the year (not the single feeding days nor a generic season).
    Note: The accuracy of these data is very relevant because we think the response of animals to presence or absence of food is very quick.
  • Trapping frequency frequency of trapping (i.e. once/week).
  • Trapping period period of activation of the trap with the start and end date (dd/mm-dd/mm, in the same column). If this occurs in well-spaced fragmented periods over the feeding period, please report all of them.
  • Species excluded species kept out if the feeding stations/traps are able to exclude some species.
  • N wild boar estimated number of individuals of wild boar using the feeding site, if known.
  • Other feeders other species are known to frequent the site as feeders.
  • Predators species of predator are known to frequent the feeding site.
  • Managed by who manages the stations (hunters/researcher/…).
  • Coordinates* [Latitude/longitude] and/or [northern/eastern + coordinates reference system (+EPSG if known)]. In the case of moving feeding sites, the coordinates will be indicative: a centroid of the displacements area or the nearest village or so (specify in the notes in last column).

 

Additional notes:

  1. We ask, where possible, to fill the file with the data starting TWO YEARS BEFORE the start of your project, in order to be able to consider the effect of past feeding sites.
  2. Please, leave empty or mark as NA if the data is unknown and mark well if the data value is 'none' or 'zero'. Fields marked with * cannot be empty, NA nor none.
  3. Feel free to add categories if the proposed ones are not suitable for you, we will discuss about them later. If you think important to give more information, use the notes or add columns.

See an example of the table structure.