Integrated Publishing Toolkit(IPT)

free and open access to biodiversity data

IMOS - Animal Tracking Facility - Acoustic Tracking - Quality Controlled Detections (2007 -2017)

Latest version published by CSIRO Oceans and Atmosphere on Feb 21, 2018 CSIRO Oceans and Atmosphere

Over the last decade, the Integrated Marine Observing System’s Animal Tracking Facility (IMOS ATF) has established a permanent array of acoustic receivers around Australia to detect the movements of tagged marine animals in coastal waters. Simultaneously, IMOS ATF developed a centralised national database ( to encourage collaborative research across the user community and provide unprecedented opportunities to quantify individual behaviour across a broad range of taxa. Here we present the database and quality control procedures developed to collate 48.5 million valid detections from 1891 receiving stations. This dataset consists of detection data for 3523 tags deployed on 117 species (fish, sharks, rays, reptiles, and mammals), with distances travelled ranging from a few to thousands of kilometres. This dataset of acoustic detections constitutes a valuable resource facilitating meta-analysis of animal movement, distributions, and habitat use, and is important for relating species distribution shifts with environmental covariates.

This copy of the IMOS ATF data is of the valid detections downloaded via the metadata record at This dataset has been summarized by reducing the detection records to the count of detections per animal per site per day (UTC). The DwC field eventId has been used to record the transmitter serial number. The initial deployment/release of the animal has also been added to the dataset using an occurenceId of transmitter tag with a postfix of '-release'.

Details of the acoustic receiver sites is at

Data Records

The data in this occurrence resource has been published as a Darwin Core Archive (DwC-A), which is a standardized format for sharing biodiversity data as a set of one or more data tables. The core data table contains 1,161,071 records. 1 extension data tables also exist. An extension record supplies extra information about a core record. The number of records in each extension data table is illustrated below.

  • Occurrence (core)
  • ExtendedMeasurementOrFact 

This IPT archives the data and thus serves as the data repository. The data and resource metadata are available for download in the downloads section. The versions table lists other versions of the resource that have been made publicly available and allows tracking changes made to the resource over time.


Download the latest version of this resource data as a Darwin Core Archive (DwC-A) or the resource metadata as EML or RTF:

Data as a DwC-A file download 1,161,071 records in English (29 MB) - Update frequency: continually
Metadata as an EML file download in English (9 KB)
Metadata as an RTF file download in English (9 KB)


The table below shows only published versions of the resource that are publicly accessible.

How to cite

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

Any users of IMOS data are required to clearly acknowledge the source of the material derived from IMOS in the format: "Data was sourced from the Integrated Marine Observing System (IMOS) - IMOS is a national collaborative research infrastructure, supported by the Australian Government. The database is a centralised acoustic telemetry data repository maintained by the IMOS Animal Tracking Facility (IMOS ATF) and the Australian Ocean Data Network (AODN,"


Researchers should respect the following rights statement:

The publisher and rights holder of this work is CSIRO Oceans and Atmosphere. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) 4.0 License.

GBIF Registration

This resource has been registered with GBIF, and assigned the following GBIF UUID: 3f4d4bf1-5f9a-43f2-a0d8-ff6ed5952796.  CSIRO Oceans and Atmosphere publishes this resource, and is itself registered in GBIF as a data publisher endorsed by Atlas of Living Australia.




Who created the resource:

Xavier Hoenner
Research Scientist
Australian Ocean Data Network, Integrated Marine Observing System University of Tasmania, Private Bag 110 7001 Hobart Tasmania AU

Who can answer questions about the resource:

Xavier Hoenner
Research Scientist
Australian Ocean Data Network, Integrated Marine Observing System University of Tasmania, Private Bag 110 7001 Hobart Tasmania AU

Who filled in the metadata:

Dave Watts
OBIS Australia Data manager
CSIRO Oceans and Atmosphere PO Box 1538 7001 Hobart Tasmania AU +61 (3) 6232 5062

Who else was associated with the resource:

Dave Watts

Geographic Coverage

Australian shelf waters,and some river systems

Bounding Coordinates South West [-44.965, 110.391], North East [-9.449, 156.973]

Taxonomic Coverage

No Description available

Class  Elasmobranchii,  Actinopterygii,  Reptilia,  Cephalopoda

Temporal Coverage

Start Date / End Date 2007-11-18 / 2017-03-17

Bibliographic Citations

  1. Hoenner X, Huveneers C, Steckenreuter A, Simpfendorfer C, Tattersall K, Jaine F, Atkins N, Babcock R, Brodie S, Burgess J, Campbell H, Heupel M, Pasquer P, Proctor R, Taylor MD, Udyawer V, Harcourt R (2017), Australia’s continental-scale acoustic tracking database and its automated quality control process. Australian Ocean Data Network. doi:10.4225/69/5979810a7dd6f 10.4225/69/5979810a7dd6f

Additional Metadata

marine, harvested by iOBIS

Alternative Identifiers