Monitoring lidia cattle with GPS-GPRS technology; a study on grazing behaviour and spatial distribution

Juan Manuel Lomillos Pérez, Marta Elena Alonso de la Varga, Juan José García, Vicente Ramiro Gaudioso Lacasa

Abstract


Veterinaria México OA
ISSN: 2448-6760

Cite this as:

  • Lomillos Pérez JM, Alonso de la Varga ME, García JJ, Gaudioso Lacasa VR. Monitoring lidia cattle with GPS-GPRS technology; a study on grazing behaviour and spatial distribution. Veterinaria México OA. 2017;4(4). doi:10.21753/vmoa.4.4.405.

The behavior of grazing cattle has not been studied as much as farmed animals. In certain breeds, reared in extensive systems, human presence can cause an interruption or modification in their ethological patterns moving away from the person watching them. The use of technologies like a Global Position System and a General Packet Radio Service (GPS-GPRS) allows monitoring bovine animals exploited in extensive systems, providing information in real time about distances traveled, home range grazing areas, frequented territories, behavior patterns, etc. In the present work, GPS-GPRS collars were used to monitor 21 cows of to the lidia cattle breed, with different ages, and from three different herds in the Salamanca province (Spain). The study lasted 8 months, the animals being distributed in enclosures of different dimensions and orographic characteristics, geographic position data being collected every 15 minutes. The proper functioning of the GPS-GPRS devices was proven and home range grazing area for each animal has been calculated, with an average of 56 hectares. A graph of animals’ circadian rhythm with the distances traveled for hours has been developed. A trend was observed to start daily activity hours before dawn, diminishing its activity with the evening and overnight, with a night’s rest phase of about 7 hours. We also report daily distance traveled (3.15 km on average), finding differences depending on age, available space allowance/animal, daylight and the
season. Our results could be of relevance for a better pasture management using enclosures of size that increase the use of all the surface available.

Figure 3. Image of fencing No. 5 positions of the 3 animals monitored. Red, Yellow, Blue.

Keywords


GPS, GPRS, spatial distribution, behavior, grazing, extensive systems, telemetry, remote sensing, home range.

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References


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.21753/vmoa.4.4.405

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