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New Research Methods Guide

We are pleased to announce a new HerdHover publication - a Research Methods Guide describing our approach for drone- and image-based observation of animal groups in the wild, published in the Journal of Animal Ecology!

In this paper we introduce our pipeline for extracting the movement and posture of many individual animals simultaneously, along with information on the surrounding environment. The result is high-res trajectories and pose estimates of entire animal groups in real-world geographic coordinates that can be explored in the context of 3D landscape models.

Gelada and zebra tracks on maps

A figure from the paper showing gelada and zebra trajectories projected into geographic coordinates.

This work was led by Ben Koger and Blair Costelloe, along with collaborators Jake Graving, Iain Couzin, Jeff Kerby and Adwait Deshpande.

Please check out the publication - it’s open access, and all code and data are also publicly available.

For more information, see the press release here, and Ben and Blair’s Twitter threads (here and here).

To cite the paper in your own research:

Koger, B., Deshpande, A., Kerby, J.T., Graving, J.M., Costelloe, B.R. and Couzin, I.D. 2023. Quantifying the movement, behaviour and environmental context of group-living animals using drones and computer vision. Journal of Animal Ecology.