Title

Development of an Instream Tag Monitoring System for the Eastern Hellbender Salamander

Item Type

Presentation

Location

Elaine Langone, Room 243

Session

Status, Trends and Monitoring II

Start Date

27-10-2018 3:30 PM

End Date

27-10-2018 4:30 PM

Keywords

Susquehanna River, eastern hellbender, instream monitoring

Description

We designed, installed, and are currently operating two instream passive integrated transponder (PIT) monitoring systems for the Eastern Hellbender salamander. The systems were intended to monitor the activity of 100 three and one-half year old juvenile hellbenders that were tagged and released in August 2018 to restore a historic, and largely extirpated, hellbender population in the Upper Susquehanna River watershed. Each monitoring system consists of a loop antenna that spans a 20-meter wide stream channel and is anchored to the stream pavement with rebar and zip-ties. A tag reader is securely mounted on a streamside post and is connected to the antenna and to a control box located 30 meters landward. Each monitoring system receives 24 volts of power from a bank of four solar storage batteries charged by a solar panel installed 30 meters distant in an open field. The control box contains a removeable flash drive that holds recorded tag data and an interface used to tune the system and to change system parameters. Since hellbenders are bottom crawlers, their tags are read when they walk across an antenna. The two monitoring systems have provided data on movements of the juveniles into and out of the release sites, and on diel activity patterns. Most movements have occurred late at night and, as such, would have been otherwise undetected.

Language

eng

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Oct 27th, 3:30 PM Oct 27th, 4:30 PM

Development of an Instream Tag Monitoring System for the Eastern Hellbender Salamander

Elaine Langone, Room 243

We designed, installed, and are currently operating two instream passive integrated transponder (PIT) monitoring systems for the Eastern Hellbender salamander. The systems were intended to monitor the activity of 100 three and one-half year old juvenile hellbenders that were tagged and released in August 2018 to restore a historic, and largely extirpated, hellbender population in the Upper Susquehanna River watershed. Each monitoring system consists of a loop antenna that spans a 20-meter wide stream channel and is anchored to the stream pavement with rebar and zip-ties. A tag reader is securely mounted on a streamside post and is connected to the antenna and to a control box located 30 meters landward. Each monitoring system receives 24 volts of power from a bank of four solar storage batteries charged by a solar panel installed 30 meters distant in an open field. The control box contains a removeable flash drive that holds recorded tag data and an interface used to tune the system and to change system parameters. Since hellbenders are bottom crawlers, their tags are read when they walk across an antenna. The two monitoring systems have provided data on movements of the juveniles into and out of the release sites, and on diel activity patterns. Most movements have occurred late at night and, as such, would have been otherwise undetected.