Low-cost monitoring technologies for assessing livestock movement and foraging ecology in integrated landscapes
In July 2018, I pursued research characterizing the foraging and spatial ecology of a herd of domestic camels at Mpala Research Centre in Laikipia, Kenya in order to provide management-relevant insights. In order to test whether camels indiscriminately foraged in space or selected particular habitat features, I used low-cost GPS-loggers to track their movement patterns. But knowing where animals go is only one part of the intensive management equation. I also designed and deployed eight animal-borne video cameras (Camel Cams!) to collect detailed foraging observations – capturing information on exactly which plants camels were selecting to eat, to interrogate whether camels favor particular types or species of plants relative to others in this landscape.