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If you are using acoustic telemetry to track animals as they move inside a study area or as they migrate somewhere, actel is the package for you. By bringing together the study area configuration and the recorded detections, actel provides a systematic way of analysing animal migration and residency data.


Main functions:

1. explore()

explore() allows you to quickly get a summary of your data. You can use explore() to get a general feel for the study results, and check if the input files are behaving as expected. It is also a good candidate if you just want to validate your detections for later use in other analyses.

2. migration()

The migration() analysis runs the same initial checks as explore(), but on top of it, it analyses the animal behaviour. By selecting the arrays that lead to success, you can define whether or not your animals survived the migration. Additional plots help you find out if some animal/tag has been acting odd. Multiple options allow you to tweak the analysis to fit your study perfectly.

3. residency()

The residency() analysis runs the same initial checks as explore(), but, similarly to migration, explores particular points of the animal behaviour. If you want to know where your animals were in each day of the study, how many animals were in each section each day, and other residency-focused variables, this is the analysis you are looking for!

Unlock actel’s full potential

To truly learn how to operate actel, you must read the package vignettes. These have been arranged so that you can prepare your analysis as you learn; quite soon you will get your first results!

Here are some examples:

Movement tables:

Array Detections First station Last station First time Last time Time travelling Time on array
River1 14 St.1 St.2 2019-05-15 10:30:00 2019-05-15 13:00:00 25:20:14 2:30:00
River2 3 St.4 St.4 2019-05-15 13:50:00 2019-05-15 14:40:00 0:50:00 0:50:00
River3 8 St.5 St.6 2019-05-15 16:00:00 2019-05-15 16:20:00 1:20:00 0:20:00
Fjord2 21 St.10 St.11 2019-05-16 15:10:00 2019-05-16 18:00:00 22:50:00 2:50:00
Sea1 1 St.18 St.18 2019-05-18 09:45:00 2019-05-18 09:45:00 15:45:00 0:00:00

Detection graphics

drawing drawing

Times of arrival and summary information

drawing drawing

Array efficiency and tag progression


Individual residency


Global residency


Installing actel

CRAN version: 1.2.0

actel is available on CRAN. To install the latest stable version, simply run:


Development version

If you would like to install the latest updates (which have not been integrated to CRAN yet), you can run the line below. Note that you need to have the package remotes installed!

remotes::install_github("hugomflavio/actel", build_opts = c("--no-resave-data", "--no-manual"), build_vignettes = TRUE)

Have a look at the manual:

After installing, you should read the package vignettes (i.e. the manual), which can be found by running:



  1. If you are getting “pandoc document conversion” errors during the package installation, try installing the newest version of pandoc, restarting R and trying again.

* interactive code (i.e. code that expects user input) cannot be tested automatically using codecov and, as such, was excluded from the codecov scope.