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2017 AOTY/DOTY Entry

Topic: Purpose and Frequencies of Tracking Collars  (Read 157 times)

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Hojoman

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November 9, 2017

Question: My daughter and I have a huge interest in our local wildlife. We live in the foothills of the Santa Monica Mountains. I have been interested in radio and emergency communications since my childhood. I was hoping you could educate us regarding what tracking collars are being used around my house and what frequencies the collars are using to transmit over. (Anthony D.)

Answer: Thank you for your interest in California’s wildlife. When wildlife researchers affix radio collars to a wild animal, their primary purpose is to understand the animal’s movements in a natural setting. Animals may alter their behavior in response to people intentionally approaching them. If this happens to an animal that has a tracking collar, the results of the study can be altered, resulting in inappropriate conclusions. This is called introducing “bias” into the data, which is something that scientists always try to minimize.

Therefore, as a matter of maintaining scientific integrity as well as ensuring the safety of the study animals and people (imagine approaching an injured mountain lion), we do not disclose the frequency of the tracking collars we deploy on animals.

But beyond that, while a radio collar may broadcast on a set frequency, it takes sophisticated tracking equipment to interpret that signal. Therefore, the common person would not recognize it on conventional radio equipment. Scientists take great care to be sure that the signal coming from the collars will not conflict with known existing signals.


NowhereMan

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Therefore, the common person would not recognize it on conventional radio equipment.

Is it just me, or does "the common person" sound a bit snooty here?
I'm an ordinary guy, 'cept I can fly
And sometimes I'm invisible


SOMA

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Therefore, the common person would not recognize it on conventional radio equipment.

Is it just me, or does "the common person" sound a bit snooty here?

Us commoners are beneath King Moonbeam's lofty wardens.


crash

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Therefore, the common person would not recognize it on conventional radio equipment.

Is it just me, or does "the common person" sound a bit snooty here?


It does speak to the culture there.  Especially on a topic that isn't the sole providence of DFW, like radio tracking.  Like if they in fact use radio collars and not use GPS technology like a normal 21st century outfit. 


NowhereMan

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... Like if they in fact use radio collars and not use GPS technology like a normal 21st century outfit.

Good point.
I'm an ordinary guy, 'cept I can fly
And sometimes I'm invisible