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Innovations in Ear Tag Transmitters for Bears

Michael L. Gibeau, Committee on Resources and the Environment, University of Calgary, 2500 University Drive N.W., Calgary, Alberta T2N 1N4 Canada

Conventional radio collars have never been completely successful for bears due to the difficulty in keeping the collar on and the potential of small bears outgrowing the collar. Ear tag transmitters have been explored in the past as an option but weight and limited battery life have been major drawbacks. An innovative ear tag transmitter using a programmable microcontroller chip that specifies on/off cycles has been used successfully on grizzly bears for the past 3 years in the Canadian Rocky Mountains. The transmitters are durable, reliable and remain operative for a minimum of 2 years.

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