Wildlife Monitoring Equipment Essential For Conservation and Research
By: CAS DataLoggers
Zoos, shelters, universities and other organizations often need wildlife monitoring equipment to measure and record temperatures from animals for conservation and research. These applications include both short-term and ongoing projects in species conservation, animal husbandry, and incubation. In many of these projects, staff also need alarming capability for key events like new arrivals, sick animals, infant births, and other emergencies. At CAS DataLoggers we regularly receive calls from customers working in these applications and help them to find the right data logger for their project.
Here are three common examples of data collection methods which our experienced Applications Specialists have helped provide for our customers:
Monitoring External and Internal Temperature
A common application involves continually monitoring animals by recording their skin or internal temperature data. Surface or rectal temperature probes (usually thermistors)
For easy accessibility, all these temperature readings should be clearly displayed on a compact device with user-set alarm thresholds. When deciding on a model of temperature recorder, a handheld device is a big asset in limited space enclosures and observation areas. As an example, the portable Grant SQ2010 Portable Universal Input Data Logger (https://www.dataloggerinc.com/
Additionally, the Grant logger's 2 alarm outputs can connect to an external alarm device (such as a light or siren) when temperatures go outside the ranges you've set. For extended recording, these universal loggers can store up to 1.8 million readings in their onboard memory. Data transfer is quickly accomplished through the logger's USB connectivity to a PC.
Ideally, the device will include software to configure the device and view/organize stored data. SquirrelView software is free with Grant Squirrel dataloggers and provides a user-friendly interface along with analysis and customized reporting capabilities.
Monitoring Temperature & Humidity Conditions Inside Burrows, Dens, and Other Living Spaces
Instead of monitoring animal temperatures directly which can be time-intensive, you can instead opt to record the temperatures of their burrows, dens and other habitats. As a recent example, we recently provided the environmental monitoring solution to Dave Friend, owner of the Ojai Sulcata Project Inc. (http://ojaisulcataproject.org/
For this application, CAS DataLoggers provided the Ojai Sulcata Project with a T&D RTR-500NW Wireless Data Logger Network Base Station (https://www.dataloggerinc.com/
The probes were installed into the ceiling of each burrow–using a vertical conduit, Friend placed 1-inch diameter PVC pipe underground, connected to the wireless data loggers placed aboveground in small plastic boxes glued to the conduit. The data loggers each monitor a different burrow, and when Friend wants to move them around, their compact design allows easy repositioning. The wireless base station placed inside a nearby farm window communicates with the data logger in the closest burrow in a direct line with the barn about 100 ft away. This data logger is about 150 ft away from its twin in another burrow, well within each logger's 500 ft. outdoor communication range. T&D's durable construction ensures that the data loggers survive long-term exposure underground.
Meanwhile, the alarm levels continually monitor all this data for any temperature or humidity reading outside the user-set safety limits. In the event of any value going out of specification, these alarms send warning emails directly to Friend's mobile phone so he can contact volunteers and take immediate preventative measures.
This wireless monitoring and the alarming solution now saves the shelter a lot of work and worry. Dave Friend explained: "I think the equipment's just what I need. I want to share this with people who have Sulcatas so they know if their environment is safe for the animals, and this'll work no matter where you're keeping them."
For more information on our Grant Data Loggers (https://www.dataloggerinc.com/