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Journal of Integrative Agriculture  2016, Vol. 15 Issue (7): 1584-1594    DOI: 10.1016/S2095-3119(15)61292-8
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Tracking domestic ducks: A novel approach for documenting poultry market chains in the context of avian influenza transmission
Chang-Yong Choi1, 2, John Y Takekawa2, 3, XIONG Yue4, LIU Ying4, Martin Wikelski5, 6, George Heine6, Diann J Prosser7, Scott H Newman8, John Edwards9, 10, Fusheng Guo9, Xiangming Xiao1, 11
1 Department of Microbiology and Plant Biology, Center for Spatial Analysis, University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK 73019, USA
2 Western Ecological Research Center, U.S. Geological Survey, Vallejo, CA 94592, USA
3 National Audubon Society, San Francisco, CA 94104, USA
4 Key Laboratory of Poyang Lake Wetland and Watershed Research, Jiangxi Normal University, Nanchang 330022, P.R.China
5 Department of Migration and Immuno-Ecology, Max Planck Institute for Ornithology, Radolfzell D-78315, Germany
6 Department of Biology, University of Konstanz, Konstanz D-78457, Germany
7 Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, U.S. Geological Survey, Beltsville, MD 20705, USA
8 Emergency Center for Transboundary Animal Diseases (ECTAD) Vietnam Office, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Hanoi 10000, Vietnam
9 Emergency Center for Transboundary Animal Diseases (ECTAD) China Office, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Beijing 100600, P.R.China
10 Murdoch University, Murdoch, WA 6150, Australia
11 Institute of Biodiversity Sciences, Fudan University, Shanghai 200433, P.R.China
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Abstract     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.
Keywords:  avian influenza        domestic duck        market chain        network        poultry        telemetry  
Received: 30 June 2015   Accepted: 06 July 2016

This work was led by the U.S. Geological Survey, University of Oklahoma, and FAO. Research was supported by the grants from the National Institutes of Health (1R01AI101028-01A1) and the Office of Health, Infectious Diseases and Nutrition in the Bureau for Global Health, U.S. Agency for International Development (GHA-G-00-06-00001). Max Planck Institute for Ornithology, University of Konstanz, and Jiangxi Normal University, China supported arrangements, logistics, and supplies for field work.

Corresponding Authors:  Xiangming Xiao, Tel: +1-405-3258941, E-mail:   
About author:  Chang-Yong Choi, E-mail:;

Cite this article: 

Chang-Yong Choi, John Y Takekawa, XIONG Yue, LIU Ying, Martin Wikelski, George Heine, Diann J Prosser, Scott H Newman, John Edwards, Fusheng Guo, Xiangming Xiao. 2016. Tracking domestic ducks: A novel approach for documenting poultry market chains in the context of avian influenza transmission. Journal of Integrative Agriculture, 15(7): 1584-1594.

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