Darts movement has a long history, which originated in the fifteenth century England. According to records, the Roman Army soldiers were sent to the distant island of Britain the Roman emperor, rainy British climate does not facilitate their time in outdoor activities. Thus, they shed in the plate, the oak tree with the arrow toward a target made ??of cross section, which gradually developed into a modern dart movement. Another way, by the British Darts movement in the close combat archer used a 10 inch throwing weapons evolved.
European Association of Zoo- and Wildlife Veterinarians (EAZWV) th 5 scientific meeting, May 19 - 23 - 2004, Ebeltoft. Denmark. SHOOTING IN THE DARK – A REVIEW OF RADIO-TRANSMITTER DARTS C. WALZER and S. SILINSKI Affiliation: Salzburg Zoo, Natur und Artenschutzzentrum, Anifer Landesstrasse 1, A-5081 Anif, Austria Keywords: Telinjection, capture, transmitter, radio-telemetry, techniques Abstract When chemically capturing free-ranging wildlife, the use of safe and efficient methods are of utmost importance. The difficulties recovering animals, which are darted in the dark, seek dense understory cover or move large distances before becoming recumbent, are often omitted in the literature. On the one hand not recovering an animal, is possibly an animal welfare issue and on the other a financial and time burden for any project. However, recovery rates can be significantly increased through the use of transmitter darts (3, 4, 5). Radio- transmitter dart technology is not new, initial development occurred during the late 1960s (6) in the USA and New Zealand. Various systems are available in Europe. The two leading CO2-powered telinjection firms Telinject (Veterinaer Spezialgeraete GmbH, Roemerberg, Germany) and Daninject (Interzoo, Gelsenkirchen, Germany) both provide darts which can be delivered with the standard 11 mm barrel. However, differences between the two products are marked: Whereas Telinject can provide a radio-transmitter dart within a short time frame as they are routinely produced, delivery of the Daninject model required several months. The constructive approach in the two models is also different – Telinject provides radiotransmitters, which are screwed on the tail of a dart with an external whip antenna, Daninject incorporates the radio-transmitter inside standard dart airspace. Due to the external whip antenna the flight of the Telinject dart is somewhat less stable than the Daninject model. Alternatively Pneudart (www.pneudart.com) offers an aluminium radio-transmitter dart that can be fired in the Pneudart range of projectors and in the CO2-projectors fitted with a 13 mm barrel. Similar to the Daninject model the Pneudart model does not have an external antenna and is firmly encased in the aluminium housing (Fig. 1). In contrast to the Daninject model the user is able to remove the transmitter and replace the battery. A range of 1 and 3 ml darts which can incorporate the transmitter are available from Pneudart. The Pneudart model flies well and has a stable flight path. All three transmitters have a similar range of approximately 1000 meters in open terrain. This appears largely adequate for their uses in animal capture events. As in other telemetry devices, the range can be greatly reduced for example in heavily forested areas, in bad weather and due to inadequate receiving equipment. Similarly, battery power lasts in excess of 12 hours at 20oC in the models tested. All models are prone to be destroyed when missing their animal target and hitting hard surfaces. Due to it’s construction with a solid aluminium casing, the Pneudart appears somewhat better protected. Several other firms potentially offer radio-transmitter darts. However, only the three above- mentioned were able to provide these within a reasonable time frame (three months). On the downside, all transmitter darts increase the projectile weight and therefore increase impact energy. This limits their use in view of the possible darting distances and the sizes of animal one can dart. The few reports in the literature that describe using transmitter darts used these for very short distances (< 25 meters). When darting wild brown bears (Ursus arctos) we used Pneudart transmitters successfully over a distance of 40 – 45 meters (1). The transmitters also proved invaluable in determining when the animals became recumbent the dark. Careful monitoring of signal strength variation gives an indication to the animal’s activity (2). (Normal precautions must however be observed as animals could just be waiting for you!!). The use of transmitter darts not only improves animal recovery rates but is also useful when the recovery of darts is of utmost importance (darting in urban areas, drug residues etc.). Generally, transmitters are a useful adjunct to the standard arsenal of remote delivery systems and can improve animal welfare, reduce the financial and time burden of wildlife capture procedures. References 1. Kaczensky P, Knauer F, Jonozovic M et al. Experiences with trapping, chemical immobilization, and radiotagging brown bears in Slowenia. Ursus 2002; 13: 347-56. 2. Kaczensky P, Wagner A and Walzer C. Activity monitoring of brown bears - testing field methods in zoo. Mammalian Biol 2003; in print. 3. Kilpatrick HJ, DeNicola AJ and Ellingwood MR. Comparisons of standard and transmitter-equipped darts for capturing white-tailed deer. Wildl Soc Bul 1996; 24(4): 306-10. 4. Kilpatrick HJ, Spohr SM and DeNicola AJ. Darting urban deer: techniques and technology. Wildl Soc Bul 1997; 25(2): 542-6. 5. Nielsen L. Electronic ground-tracking of white-tailed deer chemically immobilized with a combination of ethorphine and xylazine hydrochloride. In: Nielsen L, Haigh JC and Fowler ME (eds). Chemical immobilization of North American wildlife. Wisconsin Humane Soc, Milwaukee USA 1982; 355-62. 6. Williams LE. Wildlife research: contract development of radio-dart. Fla. Game and Fresh Water Fish comm 1969.(available at www.nisc.com, 27.01.2004) tailpiece battery + transmitter drug chamber barbed needle Insert into dart casing Fig. 1 Schematic diagram of a Pneudart radiotransmitter dart. Fig. 1 Schematic diagram of a Pneudart radiotransmitter dart.
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