• Radiotelemetry for Research on Large Land Mammals

      Buechner, H. K.; Smithsonian Institution (International Foundation for Telemetering, 1971-09)
      The use of radiotelemetry for simultaneously monitoring physiological and environmental parameters, while an animal is being tracked in its natural ecosystem, provides new opportunities for increasing our knowledge about the larger land mammals by the acquisition of new information on their migratory movements, social behavior, bioenergetics, and physiological processes such as thermoregulation and water balance. The perfection of satellite tracking and monitoring systems specifically designed for wild animals, such as caribou and elephants, in remote areas of the Earth is feasible; and such systems hold considerable promise in providing access to information that has been exceptionally difficult to obtain in the past. Challenges in the development of practical radiotelemetry systems include: light-weight, long-lasting sources of power; developing systems that require little power; increasing the variety of implantable physiological sensors; improving the resolution of locations (to 100 m or less) for tracking an animal by satellite; improvement of antennas for greater efficiency in transmissions without interfering with the animal's activities; and interfacing implanted sensor-transmitters with long-range transmitters on the animal's surface. The perfection of systems for attachment of instrument packages to polar bears, elephants, and other wild animals is also demanding.