Marking and radio–tracking primates
Honess PE., Macdonald DW.
© Cambridge University Press 2011. Although the past two decades have seen a revolution in many aspects of field biology due to advances in radio-tracking and telemetry, including the development of satellite and GPS technology, these techniques have been less applied to primates than to other orders of mammals or to vertebrates in general (Casperd, 1992). A comprehensive account of animal tagging and radio-tagging would warrant a book in itself, but here we aim to draw the attention of primatologists to the advances in this family of techniques. We review a number of important studies of primates that have used them, and introduce the practicalities involved. If you are considering the use of these techniques then you should advance no further without exploring the wider, and vast, literature associated with radio-tracking other mammals. General reviews of radio-tracking are presented in Amlaner and Macdonald (1980), Kenward (2001), Millspaugh and Marzluff (2001) and Telonics Quarterly (see ‘List of supplies and useful Internet sites’).The term ‘radio-tracking’ is correctly applied only to the use of radio transmitters and receivers to record location information. Traditionally, most field biologists have used VHF (Very High Frequency) or UHF (Ultra High Frequency) radio-tracking transmitters, but recently there has been a rapid growth in satellite tracking systems and associated technology (Chapter 4). ‘Biotelemetry’ is, strictly, the remote measurement of biological, particularly physiological, data (e.g. heart rate, blood pressure, body temperature, brain wave activity) (Amlaner, 1978; Chapter 19).