The attached Google map depicts Matswane's movements over a 11 day period. It is fascinating to see this technology come together and witness how it is helping Andrei with his research as well as providing the Game Reserve managers with important information to help them protect lion like Matswane.
Here's how the system works. All that is required is that one has cellular coverage, a computer and access to the internet.
Martin Haupt, creator of the collars, tells us that GPS/GSM/GPRS collar consists of a device that calculates the position using a GPS and sends the data via a GSM network in the form of a text message (SMS). The data can be downloaded via the Internet using the software supplied. The unit can also be scheduled to send GPS coordinates of the collar as well as temperatures readings as specified time intervals. The data are stored on a secure database and can be downloaded whenever required. The frequency and schedule of readings taken by the unit can be changed by sending a text message (SMS) to the unit. One can specify time intervals such as hourly readings, every two hours between 6am and 6pm or specified times during the day.
A cell collar made for lion will last for 18 to 24 months taking 5 readings per day. When there is no cell coverage a VHF transmitter is activated automatically so that the unit can still be located by means of radio tracking techniques.
The collars have three basic functions that can be activated. This consists of Forwarding, "Where is" and Zones functions.
1) The Forwarding function allows the user to receive a text message (SMS) on his mobile phone with the GPS coordinates of the unit as soon as it is sent by the unit.
2) The "Where is" function: the user sends a text message (SMS) from a mobile phone such as "Where is Unit X" and he receives a text message with the animal's latest GPS locations.
3) The Zones function: No-Go or alert zones can be drawn on a map and whenever the unit sends a GPS location from outside zones, the user will be alerted immediately via text message (SMS). One can choose two types of zones, normal zones and emergency zones. A "Normal Zone" violation will notify the user by text message (SMS) and the "Emergency Zone" will notify the user by missed call and text message (SMS) and the user will also receive a phone call from the data control centre.
If you're interested in learning more or want to take a "test drive" go to the "Africa Wildlife Tracking
" web site. Login using: