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Tracking domestic ducks: A novel approach for documenting poultry market chains in the context of avian influenza transmission

July 22, 2016

Agro-ecological conditions associated with the spread and persistence of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) are not well understood, but the trade of live poultry is suspected to be a major pathway. Although market chains of live bird trade have been studied through indirect means including interviews and questionnaires, direct methods have not been used to identify movements of individual poultry. To bridge the knowledge gap on quantitative movement and transportation of poultry, we introduced a novel approach for applying telemetry to document domestic duck movements from source farms at Poyang Lake, China. We deployed recently developed transmitters that record Global Positioning System (GPS) locations and send them through the Groupe Spécial Mobile (GSM) cellular telephone system. For the first time, we were able to track individually marked ducks from 3 to 396 km from their origin to other farms, distribution facilities, or live bird markets. Our proof of concept test showed that the use of GPS-GSM transmitters may provide direct, quantitative information to document the movement of poultry and reveal their market chains. Our findings provide an initial indication of the complexity of source-market network connectivity and highlight the great potential for future telemetry studies in poultry network analyses.

Citation Information

Publication Year 2016
Title Tracking domestic ducks: A novel approach for documenting poultry market chains in the context of avian influenza transmission
DOI 10.1016/S2095-3119(15)61292-8
Authors Chang-Yong Choi, John Y. Takekawa, Yue Xiong, Martin Wikelski, George Heine, Diann J. Prosser, Scott H. Newman, John Edwards, Fusheng Guo, Xiangming Xiao
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Journal of Integrative Agriculture
Index ID 70174944
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Patuxent Wildlife Research Center