GPS Telemetry

We are very excited with the data that we are getting from our collared margays, jaguarundis, and Geoffroy's cats. See below for more information.

Points for two male margays in a mixed landscape.

Margay being released

Projeto Gatos do Mato Brasil

Projeto Gatos do Mato Brasil

How do we know where the cats live and how do they spend their time? One way is to equip the cats with GPS collars. They emit radio signals that are picked up by satellites, indicating the precise location of the individual. This means that researchers can record the location of the animal without having to be in the field! Another telemetry technique is to use Very High Frequency (VHF) signals. VHF signals are picked up by an antenna on the researcher's hand. Unfortunately this means that in VHF the researcher must be present in the field, which limits the amount of data we can get. With GPS telemetry we obtain the data in real time. 

The collars can be programmed to emit signals every few hours and the information they provide is very valuable. With enough location points, researchers can work out the home range of the individual. Furthermore they can also find out activity patterns. Location points can also be plotted in a vegetation map to find out the habitat preferences of each individual. These collars pretty much give us an insight on the day to day life of each cat. 

The image shows the location data points of two male margays that we are studying. With limited funding we have managed to fit collars on several individuals, and are currently gathering vast amounts of data. Stay tuned for the results!

Projeto Gatos do Mato Brasil