Using the GPS telemetry in management of European bison herd
Keywords:GPS collars, management, in situ
Free ranging wisent herds require constant supervision and monitoring. The most effective method of monitoring is GPS telemetry which provides priceless data about animals behaviour and about sites of their occurrence. In herds in west Pomerania region, first 6 GPS collars were fitted in 2008, and at present there are 9 active GPS collars. Thanks to telemetric
data, collected continuously, there was possible to verify the knowledge on monitored herds regarding following aspects:
– the size and extend of the home range of the herd at Mirosławiec Forest District
– estimated on the basis of direct observations differed by about 30% from the home range delineated with telemetry.
– herd numbers – in the case of the herd from Mirosławiec Forest District, introduction of telemetry allowed for a considerable increase of an accuracy and verification of estimated population numbers. In 2009 it was accepted that in the herd there are 20 adult females, while observations from 2010 proved that there are at least 33 females.
– behaviour of animals – thanks to telemetry, it was possible to record specific behaviour of females during the parturition and maternal care of calves. An interesting aspect concerning this herd is an interaction with wolves used the same area. During the period of calving, and birth of young wolves, wisents obviously avoid the breeding area of those predators. The direct influence of wolves reflects also in the synchronization of births in wisent herd.
– traffic accidents – the telemetry allows for noticing specific animal behaviour that took part in a traffic accident and survived the collision without serious injury. Such animals display limited mobility.
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Copyright (c) 2011 Magdalena Tracz, Maciej Tracz
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