About ZoaTrack

The ZoaTrack platform was designed to assist researchers and natural resource managers, store, analyse, visualise, synthesise and share their animal presence and movement information.  It was initially built for those tagging and tracking animals within the Australasian region but is being used by researchers world-wide.  The platform hosts a range of home-range density estimator tools which can be compared and overlaid with a range of  environmental layers. The results can be exported as KML or shapefiles for viewing and processing in Google Earth or other GIS software.

Why use ZoaTrack?

ZoaTrack hosts a suite of analysis and visualisation tools to assist with the synthesis of individual-based animal movement data.  Beyond this, ZoaTrack ensures data persistence and facilitates comparative studies across species and localities.

The collection of animal presence and movement information by animal-borne electronic devices results in a level of stress and disturbance to the study animals. Securely storing these data in a standardised format, with proficient meta-data, ensures that they can be discovered, accessed, shared, and reused into the future. This will assist in engaging your research with other scientists and is an important step to maximising management and conservation outcomes from the animal tagging process.  

What is the difference between ZoaTrack and other animal data-repositories, such as MoveBank, Seaturtle.org?

A number of animal telemetry data repositories are now available for data storage and discovery over the internet. Some of these repositories are focused around a specific group of animals, whilst others are all encompassing. The goal of most is to enhance and improve the persistence, sharing and reuse of animal telemetry data. ZoaTrack is a regionally based system that captures and stores animal movement information primarily collected in the Australasian region.  By focusing regionally we believe the ZoaTrack system will capture a significant proportion of the Animal telemetry data for the Australasian region.

How do I cite the zoaTrack platform?

If you publish data that has been analysed in zoaTrack.org please cite the following paper.

R. G. Dwyer, C. Brooking, W. Brimblecombe, H. A. Campbell, J. Hunter, M. E. Watts, C. E. Franklin, "An open Web-based system for the analysis and sharing of animal tracking data", Animal Biotelemetry 3:1, 29 Jan 2015, DOI 10.1186/s40317-014-0021-8.

What environmental layers are currently used in the zoaTrack.org platform?

The platform stores a variety of terrestrial and marine based environmental layers. In the zoaTrack main analysis window overlay these environmental layers with the animal location fixes and home-range estimations. There are a wider variety of layers for the Australian region than the rest of the world. We are in the process of sourcing and adding additional environmental layers.

Can I use zoaTrack.org as a teaching resource?

The use of zoaTrack as a teaching resource is certainly something we encourage. The platform is being used as a teaching resource to introduce students to wildlife management, conservation biology, animal telemetry and GIS at a number of tertiary institutes. Please contact us if you require assistance in setting the platform up as a teaching resource, or just to let us know about your teaching experiences.

Who is behind ZoaTrack?

ZoaTrack emerged from the OzTrack system which was originally developed at The University of Queensland. It was funded under the  NeCTAR-funded eResearch Tool project and Australian National Data Service (ANDS).  The ZoaTrack platform is now supported and maintained by the Atlas of Living Australia and governed by a multi-organisational steering committee.

ZoaTrack Scientific Steering Committee 

  • Hamish Campbell, Charles Darwin University
  • Guy Ballard, Invasive Animals CRC
  • Hawthorne Beyer, The University of Queensland
  • Greg Baxter, The University of Queensland
  • Todd Dennis, University of Auckland, NZ
  • Ross Dwyer, The University of Queensland,
  • Ian Johnson, Macquarie University
  • Rob Harcourt, Macquarie University
  • Mark Hindell, Institute of Marine and Antarctic Science
  • Clive McMahon, Sydney Institute of Marine Science
  • Colin Simpfendorfer, James Cook University
  • Toby Patterson, Marine & Atmosphere, CSIRO
  • Stuart Phinn, TERN, The University of Queensland
  • Mathew Watts, The University of Queensland
  • David Westcott, Ecosystem Sciences, CSIRO

Atlas of Living Australia Development Team

  • Michael Hope
  • Peggy Newman

Further information