8 Ways Long Range Wireless Systems are Monitoring Wildlife

Studying wildlife is always a challenge. Wild animals don’t cooperate with researchers, so monitoring them requires setting up a lot of cameras or tracking devices and getting lucky. Wireless systems make that much easier, since they allow researchers to set up monitoring systems in isolated areas without needing to stick around to look at the images. Scientists have come up with many ways to take advantage of that, and those techniques form the core of modern field biology.

Watching Roads

Animals did not evolve to deal with cars, so roads are dangerous for most species. Scientists have started to study their impact, and are using wireless devices to keep an eye on important crossing points.

Tracking Migrations

It’s difficult to trace migration patterns because the tracking devices need to follow the animals. Wireless technology makes it much easier, since the tracker can be attached to the animal and follow it through the entire migration. That provides data on the entire route, as opposed to older technologies that could only easily identify the starting and ending point.

Observing Feeding Sites

Animals tend to return to the same feeding sites many times. Setting up cameras at those sites is the easiest way to find local animal populations. Since animals will often abandon the sites if they detect humans, wireless cameras are necessary for this technique to be reliable.

Discreet Observation

Animal behavior changes when the animals know that they are being observed. Most animals can easily detect a human watcher, but they can’t always identify hidden cameras. That allows wireless systems to escape notice over long periods, which provides more accurate information.

Population Tracking

Tracking devices can be used to monitor changes in a population. As tracked animals die, they stop moving, which makes it easy to detect the death through a tracker. If all of the animals in a herd are tracked on a given date, new members can be identified by their lack of a tracking device.

Citizen Science

Wireless monitoring systems let the common citizen contribute to research. Property owners can install cameras near their homes, and those cameras can send information to the researcher from a long distance away. That encourages popular interest in science and opens up private property to research.

Inhospitable Environments

Many species can survive in areas that humans cannot go, especially in the case of aquatic organisms. The animals that lived in those areas were a mystery until humans invented machines that could go into those areas. Wireless communications are best for these machines, since it means that researchers can access the data without retrieving the devices.

Wide Coverage

Nature is gigantic, and animals live in most of it. Humans simply cannot watch them all without mechanical help, and full coverage requires so many cameras that humans cannot regularly visit them all to retrieve data. Wireless systems are perfect for research projects that cover large regions, since they save a huge amount of labor. In many cases, those projects would be impossible without wireless monitoring systems.

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