1 Tahrcountry Musings: Simplified criteria for selecting the best wildlife satellite tracking technology

Friday, December 16, 2011

Simplified criteria for selecting the best wildlife satellite tracking technology

Wildlife tracking technology options and cost considerations
 Bindi Thomas, John D. Holland, and Edward O. Minot  
 Wildlife Research 38(8) 653-663 

Long-distance remote wildlife tracking is de rigueur for many wildlife research projects. Biologists and wildlife mangers are some times on the horns of dilemma trying to select appropriate technologies as a trade off involving financial, technical and operational has to be effected.

Here the researchers try to find options and associated costs to help wildlife researchers and mangers select the best tracking solution for their needs.

The researchers developed a technology-choice decision guide to assist wildlife scientists and mangers select an optimal tracking technology. They undertook four satellite tracking case studies involving avian, aquatic and terrestrial species living in diverse environments around the world and use these case studies to validate and test the technology-choice decision guide and to calculate the cost effectiveness of alternative tracking methods.

The researchers say choosing the tracking method best suited for a project requires (1) clearly specifying the data required to meet project objectives, (2) understanding the constraints imposed by the study species and its environment, and (3) calculating the net cost per datum of the various tracking methods available. 

The researchers suggest that, in most circumstances, global positioning system (GPS) tracking is preferable to other options. Where weight and environmental limitations prevent the use of GPS, alternatives such as Argos satellite Doppler-based positions (Argos) or very high frequency (VHF) can function adequately.

On the whole this is a very useful paper for people trying to go in for long-distance remote wildlife tracking

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