What Are Radio-Collars?
Last week, a wild elephant was radio-collared for the first time in Assam’s Sonitpur district by the state’s Forest Department, in collaboration with NGO World Wildlife Fund (WWF)-India.
- The joint initiative is being described as a step to study and mitigate human-elephant conflict in the state.
- Experts say the exercise is challenging, and even runs the risk of having a low success rate.
- Radio collars are GPS-enabled collars that can relay information about an elephants’ whereabouts. They weigh roughly 8 kg and are fitted around the elephant’s neck.
- According to a WWF blog, collaring includes identifying a suitable candidate (generally an adult elephant), darting it with a sedative, and fitting a collar around the elephant’s neck, before the animal is revived.
- Additionally, the team also attaches an accelerometer to the collar to “understand what exactly an elephant is doing at any given time (running, walking, eating, drinking, etc)”.