Shiny R application to evaluate sampling design for animal movement studies

movedesign is built using R language and the Shiny package for an easy-to-use interactive application. Its main goal is to assist researchers in designing movement ecology studies by considering specific research questions.

Movement ecology studies frequently make use of data collected from animal tracking projects, and planning a successful animal tracking project requires careful consideration and clear objectives. This application assesses the degree of estimate precision that may be achieved with a given sampling design (how long/often should new tracking locations be collected) related to two research questions: the estimation of home range area, and of speed and distance traveled. Ultimately, longer sampling durations are required to reliably estimate home range areas via the detection of a sufficient number of home range crossings. In contrast, speed and distance estimation requires a sampling interval short enough to ensure that a statistically significant signature of the animal’s velocity remains in the data.

This application addresses key challenges faced by researchers when designing tracking studies, including the trade-off between long battery life and high resolution of GPS devices, which may result in a compromise between reliably estimating home range or speed and distance. movedesign has broad applications for researchers and decision-makers, supporting them to focus efforts and resources in achieving the optimal sampling design strategy for their research questions, prioritizing the correct deployment decisions for insightful and reliable outputs, while understanding the trade-off associated with these choices.

Further information:


Silva, I., Fleming, C. H., Noonan, M. J., Fagan, W. F., & Calabrese, J. M. (2023). movedesign: Shiny R app to evaluate sampling design for animal tracking movement studies. bioRxiv