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Telemetric Transmission of Load Cell and Activity Data from Animal Trap Sites

Randal K. Drescher, Alfred J. Kolenosky, Ecological Management, Alberta Research Council, Bag 4000, Vegreville, Alberta T9C 1T4 Canada, and Ken Smelquist, Optimum Instruments Inc., 4731-13 Avenue, Edmonton, Alberta T6L 3L9 Canada

A prototype short range digital data transmission system was developed to transmit trap site information to remote data logging units in Webb County, TX. Information was obtained by using miniature load cells and activity sensors. The load cells and sensors were installed in-line between the trap chain and anchor stake of three types of live-holding traps set to capture coyotes. Data from the trap sites were electronically obtained, transmitted telemetrically from 5 to 10 m, and stored over 24-hr periods during this 20-day field study. Data were obtained for 21 captures representing 6 different animal species held up to a maximum of 18 hr. The data indicate a short duration of high intense post-capture activity, followed by cycles of long rest periods interspersed with short activity bouts. A reduction in overall intensity and activity occurs over time. Data also suggest an increase in activity coinciding with crepuscular hours that may reflect normal biorhythms. A high intense activity occurs when the observer returns to check the traps. Information collected at these sites will further the understanding of the behavior of captured animals, and contribute to the development of more effective capture devices.

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