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Really fascinating identification device
ZEALANDIA Ecosanctuary

Really fascinating identification device

Some exciting changes are coming to our hihi feeder stations in the valley. The feeders are being equipped with antennae and dataloggers that will read the RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) leg bands that have been put on this season’s hihi. In time this will be rolled out to the whole population, allowing us to record each entry to the feeder and more accurately assess population changes, survival, and feeding behaviors.  

This does not replace the need for observations and sightings which remain a critical part of monitoring. We will be conducting four month-long surveys (June, September, December, and March) with this technology, allowing us to record individuals at all times of the day and without observer bias throughout different stages of the hihi season. During these surveys only one feeder will be open at each feeding site, concentrating all individuals through the feeders that are equipped. The antennae will record the unique ID of each individual entering and exiting the feeder. A large amount of data can then be downloaded with ease—an exciting way technology is helping improve our monitoring work! 

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