Advanced Analytics for Fish & Habitat Relationships Webinar Recording

Advanced Analytics for Fish & Habitat Relationships Webinar Recording

Understanding what features comprise high quality habitat is critical to endangered species recovery. Ecological datasets often incorporate nonlinear relationships, correlated variables, and substantial noise: all of which make establishing the relationship between species and their habitat challenging. Biomark researchers have developed advanced analytical tools that pair abundance and habitat characteristics data to define these elusive relationships. Leveraging a suite of modeling techniques such as habitat suitability (HSI), habitat preference, and quantile random forest (QRF) allow for a comprehensive approach to evaluating habitat quantity and quality.

This webinar recording showcases how generating near real-time estimates of carrying capacity by species and life stage, can provide actionable information for habitat restoration and recovery planning.

Biomark Applies Novel Methodology to Endangered Salmon Populations in the Pacific Northwest

Biomark Applies Novel Methodology to Endangered Salmon Populations in the Pacific Northwest

Biomark Applies Novel Methodology to Endangered Salmon Populations in the Pacific Northwest

Research Study Demonstrates Robust, Efficient Approach for Salmonid Conservation


NEWS RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE    

Media Contacts:         

Elsa MacDonald                                                         

+1 (208) 985-4452 | Elsa.macdonald@merck.com

Jeanette Lewis                                                           

+1 (973) 937-5508 | Jeanette.lewis@merck.com

BOISE, Idaho, March 9, 2020 – Biomark today announced the publication of a research study designed to estimate the carrying capacity for juvenile salmon using quantile random forest models, which demonstrate the viability of guiding habitat restoration efforts that could de-list salmon from the endangered species list.

The research study, entitled “Estimating Carrying Capacity for Juvenile Salmon using Quantile Random Forest Models,” [manuscript number ECS20-0483.R1]  was published in Ecosphere, a journal of ecological science and interdisciplinary studies relating to ecology.  

Endangered salmon populations in the Pacific Northwest are facing the loss or degradation of their stream habitat throughout the interior Columbia Basin. Recent published studies have suggested that their recovery may be constrained by a lack of capacity or a lack of high-quality habitat. However, understanding what habitat characteristics define high-quality habitat is confounded by large, convoluted datasets with non-linear relationships, correlated variables and outliers.

“In our research study, a quantile random forest (QRF) model was developed using fish and habitat data from seven watersheds in the Columbia River Basin to estimate life-stage specific habitat-based carrying capacity. This new approach leveraged nearly a decade of detailed habitat data from the Columbia Habitat and Monitoring Program (CHaMP) to determine habitat characteristics that best explain salmon abundance and density, which is used to predict contemporary capacity at those sites and extrapolated throughout the basin,” said primary author Kevin See, Senior Biometrician, Biomark.

While stream habitat rehabilitation actions are taking place in many watersheds within the Columbia River Basin, the potential improvements to carrying capacity for an individual action may not be reflected in observed fish abundances for many years. This research study demonstrates one way to infer the effect restorative actions have in near real time by focusing on how habitat restoration translates  directly to fish capacity. Historically, the response to capacity changes by fish populations may take years or even decades to manifest, making the evaluation of those actions difficult.

As more ecological datasets become available, and the ability to sample large areas of habitat becomes more feasible (e.g., aerial imagery, LiDAR), the QRF framework demonstrated in this study provides a robust structure for using a capacity-based approach to prioritization, implementation and evaluation of habitat rehabilitation actions.

 View the Full Publicaiton Here

 

About Biomark

Biomark is a worldwide supplier of electronic identification and related monitoring systems to the fish and wildlife conservation communities and aquaculture industry. Biomark is an Aquaculture portfolio of digital products within Merck Animal Health.

Biomark specializes in low frequency RFID (radio-frequency identification) tags also referred to as Passive Integrated Transponder (PIT) tags and related monitoring equipment and services. They integrate these products by focusing on in-house design and manufacturing and providing installation services and maintenance. The monitoring systems collect identification data at specific and strategic locations to provide researchers valuable animal intelligence for management decisions. Biomark also provides specialized services including fish tagging, statistical analysis, software development, study execution, report writing and computational model development to support statistically robust solutions.

Founded in 1990, Biomark continues their specific focus on animal identification and monitoring that enables them to lead the way in product development, innovation and data solutions, positively impacting conservation, restoration and smart management.

Through its commitment to The Science of Healthier Animals®, Merck Animal Health offers veterinarians, farmers, pet owners and governments one of the widest ranges of veterinary pharmaceuticals, vaccines and health management solutions and services as well as an extensive suite of digitally connected identification, traceability and monitoring products. Merck Animal Health is dedicated to preserving and improving the health, well-being and performance of animals and the people who care for them.

For more information, visit www.biomark.com and connect with us on LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook.

NEWS RELEASE: Biomark Launches Open-Access, Sea Turtle Tagging Database

NEWS RELEASE: Biomark Launches Open-Access, Sea Turtle Tagging Database

Digital Infrastructure Seeks to Improve Global Collaboration and Insight on Migration Patterns and Health of Sea Turtles


BOISE, Idaho, June 16, 2020 – Biomark today announced the launch of a database that will further sea turtle research and conservation efforts where biologists and others in the conservation community can work collaboratively to exchange tagging and sighting information. The Sea Turtle Tagging Database was created in partnership with Loggerhead Marinelife Center, a nonprofit organization that promotes the conservation of ocean ecosystems with a special focus on threatened and endangered sea turtles.

The ability to identify and track individual sea turtles over many seasons and throughout their lifetime provides a wealth of knowledge about biology, behavior and movement. Biomark’s Passive Integrated Transponder (PIT) tags were developed as a reliable, life-long, and minimally intrusive technique to identify and track individual animals.

“Biomark has supplied PIT tags to the sea turtle community for many years,” said Brian Beckley, president, Biomark. “From these relationships, we have upgraded the technology to ensure they are sea turtle friendly, while reducing plastic waste and adding new features such as backlit displays to our handheld readers for nighttime nesting studies. We have built upon existing data collection technology to create this database, which is a natural extension in support of our customers. By making the database open access, we can increase the potential to positively impact sea turtle conservation efforts on a global scale.”

The value of a PIT tag is inherently linked to re-sight potential, which may occur beyond the geographic range of an individual project. Despite this, there is limited infrastructure for data sharing, and re-sighting data (along with biological data that are typically paired to it) may not be currently leveraged to their full potential.

The Database was created as a strategic conservation project built by leveraging existing Biomark software frameworks. “Working towards the recovery of endangered species is often dependent on collaboration and the availability of data from partners, especially when dealing with long-lived, migratory animals,” said Chris Beasley, director of biological services, Biomark. “The goal of the database is to enable researchers and organizations involved in sea turtle conservation to have access to a central storage location for their data, at no cost, where they control what data to share with others in the community,”

Collaborators at Loggerhead Marinelife Center ensured that the data points collected and features available would deliver value to others in the sea turtle community, including the ability to include a variety of tag types.

“We are grateful for the opportunity to collaborate with Biomark on this database,” said Dr. Justin Perrault, director of research, Loggerhead Marinelife Center. “By having a single, user-friendly, internationally cooperative system, we will be able to easily identify unknown individual sea turtles nesting on our beaches and using our local waters. We are excited for the potential collaborative nature of this project and how it will connect sea turtle researchers across the globe.”

The Database was introduced to more than 68 organizations involved in conservation and research efforts during a preview webinar in May 2020. Since then, improvements and updates have been made to the Database based upon user input. To date, there are 25 participants from three countries registered on the Database, which is accessible at no cost to participants in the sea turtle community. To learn more and register, visit: www.seaturtledb.com

 

About Biomark

Biomark is a worldwide supplier of electronic identification and related monitoring systems to the fish and wildlife conservation communities and aquaculture industry. Biomark is an Aquaculture portfolio of digital products within Merck Animal Health.

Biomark specializes in low frequency RFID (radio-frequency identification) tags also referred to as Passive Integrated Transponder (PIT) tags and related monitoring equipment and services. They integrate these products by focusing on in-house design and manufacturing and providing installation services and maintenance. The monitoring systems collect identification data at specific and strategic locations to provide researchers valuable animal intelligence for management decisions. Biomark also provides specialized services including fish tagging, statistical analysis, software development, study execution, report writing and computational model development to support statistically robust solutions.

Founded in 1990, Biomark continues their specific focus on animal identification and monitoring that enables them to lead the way in product development, innovation and data solutions, positively impacting conservation, restoration and smart management.

Through its commitment to The Science of Healthier Animals®, Merck Animal Health offers veterinarians, farmers, pet owners and governments one of the widest ranges of veterinary pharmaceuticals, vaccines and health management solutions and services as well as an extensive suite of digitally connected identification, traceability and monitoring products. Merck Animal Health is dedicated to preserving and improving the health, well-being and performance of animals and the people who care for them.

For more information, visit www.biomark.com and connect with us on LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook.

 

About Loggerhead Marinelife Center

Loggerhead Marinelife Center (LMC) is a nonprofit sea turtle research, rehabilitation and educational institution that promotes conservation of ocean ecosystems with a focus on threatened and endangered sea turtles. The Center features an on-site hospital, research laboratory, educational exhibits and aquariums, and also operates the Juno Beach Pier, which hosts world-class angling and sightseeing. Situated on one of the world’s most important sea turtle nesting beaches, Loggerhead Marinelife Center is open daily and hosts over 360,000 guests free-of-charge each year. The Center’s conservation team works with 90 local and international organizations across six continents to form partnerships and share conservation initiatives and best practices that are core to its mission of ocean conservation. The Center is expanding and has launched its Waves of Progress capital expansion campaign, designed to accelerate and amplify LMC’s conservation and education impact. For more information, visit www.marinelife.org or call (561) 627-8280.

 

 

Media Contacts: 

Elsa MacDonald

+1 (208) 985-4452

elsa.macdonald@merck.com

 

Jeanette Lewis

+1 (973) 937-5508

jeanette.lewis@merck.com

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