Wildlife ACT Innovations is excited to share that we have developed our own, specialised Added Function Very High Frequency (AFVHF) transmitter for animal tracking. The Added Function VHF is vital towards conservation, and this version has been designed based on direct experience with reserve monitors and managers across Southern Africa. Starting a new year with a new product, we aim to provide affordable and highly effective tracking devices in the effort toward protecting our endangered species.
With conservation as our main priority this alternative Added Function VHF has been designed to emit a pulse at a rate indicating the current movements of the animal being tracked. We measure the pulse rate in beats per minute (bpm) and this Added Function VHF offers three pulse states, 40/60/80bpm. Each pulse type translates as an activity. A pulse of 40bpm informs the monitor that the animal is inactive and resting. At 60bpm the animal is active and moving. The transmitter reverts to inactive mode after ten seconds of inactivity measured using an accelerometer.
Additional features include “Mortality Mode” and “Duty Cycle”. Mortality Mode gives an indication of the animal’s inactivity for an extended period of time. After 8 hours of no movement (typically, but this can be User-defined) the transmitter reverts to a pulse rate of 80bpm and this could mean that the animal is dead or is caught in a snare and in danger of dying. The “Mortality Mode” can be latching or non-latching (User-defined) and if it is latching it will continue pulsing at 80bpm even if it is moved. If it is programmed as non-latching then the unit will come out of “Mortality Mode” if the accelerometer is triggered. Latching is useful because it eliminates the possibility of a scavenger moving the collared animal and falsely triggering the active pulse rate (60bpm). If a transmitter is latching and is in mortality mode a swipe of the magnet to reset it will bring it out of “Mortality Mode”. Collars can thus be re-used if they are retrieved without having to be sent for reprogramming.
Duty Cycle allows the User to define the period that the transmitter should pulse (eg 16 hours On and 8 hours Off) thereby extending the battery life of the unit. The timer starts when the magnet is removed from the magnetic switch.
Please keep an eye out for our next post on our AFVHF transmitters where we will include a video illustrating the above features.
Summary of the AFVHF features:
- ON and OFF magnetic switch
- Duty Cycle
- 40/60/80bpm pulses indicating an animal’s movements
- Latching option; when the device enters mortality mode at 80bpm it does not return to 40bpm even after there is movement. This alerts monitors that they should still check on the animal.
- Excellent range, battery life & strong pulse detection
- User-defined frequencies