Optimising the design of large-scale acoustic telemetry curtains

Andre Steckenreuter*, Xavier Hoenner, Charlie Huveneers, Colin Simpfendorfer, Marie J. Buscot, Katherine Tattersall, Russell Babcock, Michelle Heupel, Mark Meekan, James Van Den Broek, Phillip McDowall, Vic Peddemors, Robert Harcourt

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Citations (Scopus)


Broad-scale acoustic telemetry networks are being established worldwide. The 10-year anniversary of the Integrated Marine Observing System's Animal Tracking Facility provided the opportunity to assess the efficiency of one of the first national-scale acoustic telemetry networks. Acoustic networks are comprised of acoustic receiver arrays that detect high-frequency transmitters attached to animals that pass within detection range. Herein we assessed the efficiency of eight curtains to detect passing animals by calculating the standardised mean number of detections and transmitters detected at each station. The aim was to determine how many receivers could be decommissioned from each curtain while maintaining its integrity (i.e. detection of all species passing the array). Pivotal locations were defined as the furthest station at which all species would still be detected and where at least 75% of the detections and transmitters would still be detected. By applying these criteria, we were able to improve the cost-effectiveness of our network significantly, reducing the number of stations from 132 to 85 (64% of the original network), yet still retaining 84% of total detections, 86% of transmitters and 100% of detected species. The present study provides a useful framework for refining acoustic telemetry networks.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1403-1413
Number of pages11
JournalMarine and Freshwater Research
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • acoustic network
  • acoustic tracking
  • animal tracking
  • detection efficiency
  • Integrated Marine Observing System (IMOS)


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