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Radiotelemetry of wild animals using batery-free transmitters (RFID tags)

Grant number: 23/03426-0
Support Opportunities:Research Grants - Innovative Research in Small Business - PIPE
Duration: May 01, 2024 - April 30, 2026
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Ecology - Applied Ecology
Principal Investigator:Sérgio Marques de Souza
Grantee:Sérgio Marques de Souza
Host Company:Marco Antonio Marques de Souza - EPP
CNAE: Pesquisa e desenvolvimento experimental em ciências físicas e naturais
City: São Paulo
Associated research grant:22/02257-8 - Radio telemetry of wild animals using battery-free transmitters (RFID tags), AP.PIPE
Associated scholarship(s):24/08404-8 - Radiotelemetry of wild animals using batery-free transmitters (RFID tags), BP.PIPE

Abstract

Over the last few years, the monitoring of wildlife using radiotelemetry techniques has become one of the most important and widely used tools in conservation biology studies. However, the batteries present in the transmitters available in the market today increase the equipment's weight, have a short lifespan, and may leak, causing stress to the monitored animal. The present project aims to develop the technology called "Radio Frequency Identification" or RFID for use in animal telemetry. This technology is already used in marking and telemetry of wildlife, but in a limited manner and only in very specific contexts, mainly due to the short reading distance of the tags by the antenna, which varies in just a few centimeters.Our innovation primarily involves increasing the reading distance of the tags to tens of meters, significantly expanding the contexts where RFID technology can be used for animal telemetry, thus allowing the monitoring of small, medium, and large-sized wild animals. The increase in reading distances also makes data collection automation possible and feasible. We will develop three types of equipment, unparalleled in the current national and international telemetry market: fixed and autonomous RFID reading stations, portable RFID antennas and readers, and RFID antennas and readers integrated into a drone for scanning a research area. RFID technology, compared to the traditional VHF technology widely used in animal telemetry, has several interesting characteristics, such as the use of battery-free transmitters, which are significantly lightweight compared to the animals' weight and have a continuous lifespan, allowing monitoring of the animal until the end of its life. We hope to revolutionize the animal telemetry market in Brazil by offering a technology that, compared to currently available alternatives, has a lesser impact on the animals and presents lower costs. (AU)

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