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A beaded collar for dual micro GPS/VHF transmitter attachment to nutria

July 12, 2011

We report on the development of an approximately 85-g beaded collar for dual micro GPS/VHF transmitter attachment to semi-aquatic nutria (Myocastor coypus). Prototype collars were tested on captive nutria and refined during field trials. Central to the design was novel use of the VHF transmitter antenna as a collar. A circular collar was formed by passing the 44-cm antenna cable through a pre-made hole in the transmitter, leaving an approximately 16-cm upright antenna. GPS units were mounted separately via a hole in the base of each unit. For good satellite contact, GPS units (28 g) were maintained at the nape of the neck by counterbalance of the heavier VHF transmitters (50 g) positioned under the neck. To reduce friction, we lined the collar with alternate-sized plastic and, later, more durable nylon beads. The final collar configuration was worn for approximately 1 month deployments with only minor neck abrasion; one collar was worn successfully for 5 months. Foot entanglement remained the greatest risk of injury from the collar. By fitting collars tightly, we reduced the incidence of foot entanglement to 2 of 33 deployments (6%). Successful GPS tracks were acquired on 29 of 33 deployments (88%).

Citation Information

Publication Year 2011
Title A beaded collar for dual micro GPS/VHF transmitter attachment to nutria
DOI 10.1515/mamm.2010.070
Authors G. Michael Haramis, T. S. White
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Mammalia
Series Number
Index ID 70003791
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Patuxent Wildlife Research Center