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Book chapter, 2016

From VHF to satellite GPS collars

Johansson, Örjan; Simms, Anthony; McCarthy, Thomas


Snow leopards occur at low densities and inhabit an extremely inhospitable environment. Effectively studying a species like this is best done through the use of telemetry. The first telemetry studies of the snow leopard occurred in the 1980s and 1990s using VHF (very high frequency) technology. Although these VHF studies began to provide new insights into the ecology of snow leopards, it also had significant limitations and was far from the perfect tool. The advent of satellite-based telemetry in the 1990s, however, began to revolutionize research into the species. For the first time, and with increasing effectiveness, researchers were not obligated to gather data through arduous and often fruitless hours and days of fieldwork. Over time, the use of GPS (global positioning system) satellite collars became the norm, and they are increasingly accurate and sophisticated. They have enabled researchers to now gather vast amounts of high-quality data in time- and resource-efficient ways, and are less disruptive to the collared animal that earlier telemetry technology.

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Book title: Snow leopards: biodiversity of the world: conservation from genes to landscapes
ISBN: 978-0-12-802213-9
Publisher: Academic Press

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