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Tags and animals

Use the Movebank Animal/Tag attribute to define the animals, tags, and species contained in your file. To open the import options, select Animal/Tag from Map Column or choose Set Reference to Animal/Tag from the required mappings. Either all records in your file can be assigned to a single tag or your file contains a field or fields with animal and/or tag identifiers, which will be used by Movebank to define your data and deployments. Each of these cases is handled slightly differently during import. If you have many data files, complicated deployments, or a lot of descriptive information about your tags or animals, you may want to add reference data prior to uploading data files.

Each row of your file must be linked to a tag, and must also be linked to an animal for Movebank to understand it as a deployed tag (i.e., to interpret locations as part of a track). You can map data to animals here or separately by importing a reference data file or in the Deployment Manager.

First select whether your file contains data from

File contains data from a single tag.
  1. Check the box next to All rows belong to the same Animal/Tag.
  2. If the animal and/or tag already exist in the study in Movebank, select them from the dropdown boxes next to Select Tag and Select Animal. You must define a Tag ID, and can optionally define an Animal ID to have Movebank automatically define a deployment of the tag on the animal.
  3. If you want to assign the data to a tag unknown to Movebank, select Create new from the dropdown box. You will then be asked to provide a unique name or other identifier for the tag.
  4. If you want to assign the data to an animal unknown to Movebank, select Create new from the dropdown box. You will then be asked to provide a unique name or other identifier for the animal and to provide a taxon or species name (common names are not allowed; species names in Movebank are based on the Integrated Taxonomic Information System, ITIS). If the species or subspecies name you are looking for is not available in ITIS, you can add this name later in the reference data using the term taxon detail.
  5. After you have entered your information, click Save.
The file contains data from multiple tags.
  1. Select the column that contains unique tag identifiers. You can optionally select a column with unique animal identifiers to have Movebank automatically define deployments of tags on animals based on your file. If your unique identifiers are defined using multiple columns, you can concatenate columns using the "+" button.
  2. After you have entered your information, click Save.

After you have defined the animals and/or tags in your data file, the columns Animal ID and/or Tag ID will be added to the table under How Movebank will save the data showing the animal and/or tag identifiers you selected. Compare these to the values in your original file to confirm the attributes were mapped correctly. If you need to edit the mapping, select the column header to re-open the import options.