Telemetry tagging methods for some freshwater reptiles
Reptiles are often ignored or under-studied in freshwater systems. An understanding of their biology and thus their role in aquatic communities can be greatly advanced by studies using radio telemetry. In turn, the value of radio telemetry for research depends on the availability of suitable and reliable methods of attaching or implanting radio transmitters. The present study describes transmitter attachment and implantation techniques for selected freshwater reptiles, including the eastern and northern long-necked turtles (Chelodina longicollis and Chelodina rugosa, respectively), the pig-nosed turtle (Carettochelys insculpta), Mertens' water monitor (Varanus mertensi) and the water dragon (Physignathus lesueurii). The effectiveness of the methods for each species is described and the potential pitfalls and challenges of each method are discussed. The literature abounds with techniques for attachment and implantation techniques, and the methods used in the present study are not wholly novel. The aim, however, is to provide detailed summaries, in one paper, of effective methods for attachment and implantation of radio-tags for freshwater reptiles with a diversity of sizes, shapes and attachment surfaces. Despite the focus on Australian freshwater reptiles, these methods are applicable to aquatic reptiles worldwide.
Doody J. Sean, Roe John, Mayes Phillip, Ishiyama Lesley (2009) Telemetry tagging methods for some freshwater reptiles. Marine and Freshwater Research 60, 293-298.
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