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|An assessment of the use of telemetry for primate reintroductions
|Trayford, Hannah R
Farmer, K H
|Monitoring after release
|Trayford HR & Farmer KH (2012) An assessment of the use of telemetry for primate reintroductions. Journal for Nature Conservation, 20 (6), pp. 311-325. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jnc.2012.07.004
|Primate reintroduction has been characterised historically by a lack of assessment and systematic monitoring after release. It is impossible, however, to determine correctly the results of primate release programmes without the detailed information that monitoring can bring. Technological advances, such as telemetry, have made monitoring primates after release more accessible for many species, helping in the design of rehabilitation and reintroduction protocols, and facilitating reintroduction success. Accurate monitoring has implications for both conservation and welfare concerns. Traditionally the use of telemetry has been used predominantly in ecological and socio-behavioural research projects for wild primates but the benefits of using telemetry for monitoring primates after release are increasingly recognised. Our aim was to collate information on the use of telemetric devices in primate reintroduction programmes. Surveys were distributed to native primate sanctuaries globally to assess how telemetry is used to monitor primates after release. Of 16 primate species, almost half (44%) classified as endangered and 13% critically endangered (IUCN 2002), were tagged with telemetric devices. There are numerous methods for tagging animals but attachment methods for tagging released primates in this study were collars, back-packs, and subcutaneous implants. Over half (60%) of survey participants have used telemetry, with collars being the most frequently used attachment type (82%). Telonics was the most frequently used telemetric company (34%). Based on suggestions from the surveys we communicate practical methods for applying telemetric devices to monitor primates, and we make recommendations for telemetry manufacturers, in terms of device design and materials used. Recommendations include the use of an on-off programming schedule, waterproof casing for radios, a safety break-away collar, using chili powder to deter removal of the device, and habituating the animal to the device through the use of fake collars and communicating desirability of wearing the device. In terms of materials used practitioners should avoid leather as it creates sores on the animal or work the material so that it is softer, and reduce the visibility of collars to predators i.e. through the removal of shiny bolts that can be attractive to birds of prey or small cats.
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