External Sensors (Implants)

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Wild
life

External Sensors (Implants)

Our implants are mostly noninvasive sensor devices unlocking a completely new kind of data. They can be used to observe physiological processes but also to answer biological and ecological questions. The Implants are chemically near inert and have a smooth surface to prevent mechanical impacts. Conducted tests and ongoing trials have shown no impact (body conditions) and no altered behaviour (e.g. reduced intake of food).

To get a first impression of the External Sensors, have a look at the short video introduction:

Mortality Implant (MIT)

The MIT is designed to inform you immediately if your study animal has died. The Mortality Implant Transmitter is a stainless steel tube which can be placed either into the rumen or into the abdominal cavity of the animal. For the latter a surgery is needed and it is only recommended for non ruminants or rumniants with a small esophagus/rumen.

The MIT contains a highly sensitive acceleration sensor and a temperature sensor. Unlike the mortality sensors based on the accelaration sensor inside VERTEX Plus collars, the MIT is able to detect the heartbeat of the animal. The MIT frequently sends status messages of the animal to the GPS collar using UHF communication. With each position message, the most recent body temperature and the status (alive/dead) can be sent remotely as well. Optionally the GPS collar can send a seperate mortality message via GSM or IRIDIUM.

Mortality Implant (MIT)
Mortality Implant (MIT)
Heartbeat and motion: A highly sensitive acceleration sensor detects the slightest movements like a heartbeat or breathing. If no motion has been detected for four minutes, the animal is presumed dead and a mortality alert notification message with the current GPS position data is sent with any of the 3 remote communication option. The VERTEX Plus collar’s VHF beacon will also switch to mortality mode.Temperature: Body temperature is measured with an accuracy of 0.1°C. Following pre-defined intervals, the temperature is sent to the VERTEX Plus collar and stored in the collar memory.

MIT Dimensions
MIT Dimensions
The MIT

  • stores body temperature with an accuracy of 0.1°C
  • detects slightest movements and stores them
  • sends the most recent data of temperature and status (dead or alive) with each position message
  • sends a mortality message via GSM or IRIDIUM VERTEX Plus collars (optional)

Applications

  • Cause of Mortality: Find out the cause of death.
  • Carcass studies: Observe the area of the kill. What species visit it, who else is feeding on the carcass.
  • Physiological data: Use the temperature data as true physiological data to find answers for internal processes, adaption processes or even animal welfare.

Vaginal Implant (VIT)

The VIT is used to observe the pregnancy and the partition of a GPS collared female ungulate. The VIT informs the researcher about the date and location of the calving site and provides physiological data during the whole pregnancy. It measures and optionally stores the temperature and motion (user definable parameters) and defines its status (in-situ or expelled). The VIT transmits this data with its unique ID to the collar which will initate the alert notifications in case of birthing event or separation. We offer 2 different sizes suitable for medium (e.g. deer) and big-sized species such as moose.

Vaginal Implant
Moose sized VIT (left) and deer sized VIT (right)
Birth detection: When the VIT is pushed out of the mother’s body, two things are expected to happen: the temperature around the VIT will most likely drop and the motions will stop. When this happens, the VIT will send a birth event message to the VERTEX Plus collar which will conduct an unscheduled GPS fix and send an alert notification to the researcher (if the collar is equipped with a remote communication option).

Separation: The VIT continuously transmits an ID code on a UHF frequency to the mother’s VERTEX Plus collar. When the mother moves away from the calving site, the ID signal is not received any longer. The VERTEX Plus collar will send a separation message after one hour has passed without detecting the ID signal.

Localisation: To locate the calving site, the VIT is equipped with a VHF beacon transmitter. The VHF can be programmed as flexible as the one in the GPS collar.

Applications

  • Reproduction: Find the calving site and observe the time directly after birth. How long does the mother stay close to the calving site?
  • Reproduction 2: Collar the offspring and observe the mother – offspring behaviour and development of the calf.
  • Physiological data: Combine GPS, activity and the detailed temperature values of the VIT and get a fine scaled picture of the pregnancy.

Please check the product sheet for details on the VIT:
VIT

A detailed describtion of all external sensors can be found in:
External Sensors