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1 July 1998 SURGICAL IMPLANTATION AND EVALUATION OF HEART RATE TRANSMITTERS IN CAPTIVE BIGHORN SHEEP
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Abstract

A surgical approach was developed for implantation of transmitters to monitor heart rate of bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis) with an objective of discrete long-term, long-range data collection. We surgically implanted Telonics model HR400 transmitters on the dorsolateral thorax of 15 captive adult bighorn sheep ewes in April-May and October-November 1995. No complications or marked impairment of function were associated with the surgery; however, a transmitter was passively expelled from one ewe 19.5 mo post-implantation. Twelve of 15 transmitters remained functional ≥1 yr, while three failed 3.5 to 4.5 mo following implantation. Heart rate data collected from the transmitters using a Lotek SRX_400 telemetry receiver/datalogger equipped with W9 EVENT_LOG accurately reflected heart rate as measured with electrocardiogram tracings. Line of sight signal range was at least 800 m in 95% (37/39) of collections made from standing ewes, while data could be collected reliably (74% 29/39) to 600 m from bedded ewes. When a reliable long-lasting inconspicuous telemetry system is required, we believe that this approach holds promise for success in free-ranging as well as captive ungulates.

Wild, Piermattei, Heath, and Baker: SURGICAL IMPLANTATION AND EVALUATION OF HEART RATE TRANSMITTERS IN CAPTIVE BIGHORN SHEEP
Margaret A. Wild, Donald L. Piermattei, R. Bruce Heath, and Dan L. Baker "SURGICAL IMPLANTATION AND EVALUATION OF HEART RATE TRANSMITTERS IN CAPTIVE BIGHORN SHEEP," Journal of Wildlife Diseases 34(3), 547-554, (1 July 1998). https://doi.org/10.7589/0090-3558-34.3.547
Received: 3 May 1997; Published: 1 July 1998
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