Projects Incorporating Wild Spy Equipment and Expertise

Dr John Read, Ecological Horizons – Protecting non-target animals from Felixer grooming cat traps

Feral cats are a significant problem across much of Australia. Wild Spy is working to integrate the WID system into the Felixer grooming trap. This trap is designed to spray poison directly onto the body of feral cats, that is then ingested when the cats groom. The WID system will ensure that domestic cats and other non-target species (such as quolls) will not trigger the trap. Integration of the WID system into the traps is still in the development and testing phase.

Dr Neil Jordan, University of NSW – Reducing lion-human conflict in Botswana

Wild Spy’s ROARS (Radio-Operated Alerting and Repelling Systems) are being tested by Dr Neil Jordan to deter lions from agricultural areas. The ROARS works by detecting a WID-tagged lion and then triggering various repellents, including territorial male lion roars and flashing strobe lights. To date, the system has successfully deterred a lion, but is still in the prototype phase.

Dr Hamish Campbell, Charles Darwin University – Tracking feral pigs, magpie geese, and more

Wild Spy’s relationship with Dr Hamish Campbell is ongoing and dynamic. Wild Spy have supplied GPS collars for feral pigs and GPS tail tags for magpie geese, and will be providing thermal cameras, long-range drone data stations, and drone camera mounts in the near future. Wild Spy continue to provide expertise and support for Dr Campbell’s many and varied research projects.

BBC Natural History Unit – Drop-off devices for jaguar and bears

As the initial step of Wild Spy’s plan to open source some of our designs, we provided the BBC Natural History Unit with the schematics and code for our innovative collar drop-off device. This was modified by the BBCNHU's in-house engineers to fit the requirements for their documentary series Animals with Cameras. Drop-off devices are important so that valuable technology and data can be retrieved from collared animals and collars are not permanently attached to research animals, even if the animal goes missing, and eliminates the need to recapture individuals. Wild Spy’s drop-offs are very small, light, and simple, with no failures to date.

NHK (Nippon Hōsō Kyōkai/Japan Broadcasting Corporation) – Dingo documentary

Wild Spy director and long time dingo researcher Rob Appleby acted as a scientific guide for the NHK film crew during the filming of their 2017 documentary on dingos on Fraser Island Nazo no Inu Dingo (Dingo: Mysterious Dog). Wild Spy developed a prototype ultra-high definition (4K) camera trap for the production, which allowed the crew to capture never-before-filmed footage at a dingo den site.

Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads – Moreton Bay Rail Link Koala Monitoring

Wild Spy’s WID technology was used to confirm koala utilisation of wildlife underpasses across the Moreton Bay Rail Link (now the Redcliffe Peninsula Line) project. The WID tags allowed confirmation of possible crossing events where GPS or camera trap data was insufficient. Importantly, the WID system could identify which specific underpass was used by the koala, something that was not possible using GPS alone. The loggers used in this project employed satellite data upload, providing a daily update of detections, as well as system health information such as battery voltage. Wild Spy also installed and maintained a number of infra-red (thermal) cameras at select underpasses deemed of significant interest by DTMR.

Prof Darryl Jones, Griffith University – Monitoring wildlife underpasses in Greenbank Military Training Area

Wild Spy installed and maintained a suite of camera traps to monitor wildlife movement through structures under the rail line in the Greenbank Military Training Area of the Greenbank to Springfield transport corridor in Logan, south-west of Brisbane. Camera traps were used to monitor box culverts, while infra-red (thermal) cameras were employed to monitor the wider expanses of bridge underpasses. Due to stringent restrictions at the site, cameras were the only option for monitoring here.

Prof Darryl Jones, Griffith University – Koala Road Retrofit Program

Wild Spy provided GPS collars, WID tags, and multiple fixed and mobile WID dataloggers to monitor koala movements around roads throughout South East Queensland over a three and a half year period. The WID systems were key in determining whether a koala crossed directly over a road or utilised a retro-fitted underpass, which GPS data alone was too imprecise to achieve.

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