Saturday, March 28, 2009

Waterfowl Management, Part Three

This is the last installment of the waterfowl management series. In today's post the process of inserting the implant transmitter style will be explained. As mentioned in the Part Two post, the ducks are first weighed to determine that they are of sufficient health to take on the extra weight from the transmitter. As you can see in the above photo the hen is gassed just like when we go in for a human operation. Next, in the photo below, our veterinarian Dr. Sleeman begins preparing the duck for the incision. The implant transmitter is placed in the lower abdomen in existing air sacks.

After the hen is prepped, Dr. Sleeman uses meticulous procedures to begin the operation. In the below photo, you can see the sterile area as he makes the incision for the transmitter.

The incision is made and the implant transmitter is strategically placed within the hen's abdomen. If you look closely at the image below, you can see the square transmitter in Dr. Sleeman's hand.

After the implant is in place, the antennae is passed through the duck's back. It is the obvious wire protruding up from the duck back in the photo below.

The hen is thoroughly examined after the operation to determine all is well. A protective cream is applied to the incision.

She recovers within five minutes after anesthesia is stopped. Dr. Sleeman is comforting the hen during recovery. The hen is ready for release within hours.

The below image is the hen just prior to release. You can see the antennae sticking off her back.

The photo below is the hen taking off in the location where she was captured.

We installed 24 transmitters of both styles this season. Some of ducks are already in New Jersey and Massachusetts en route to the nesting areas of Canada. If interested, below is a link that explains the project: American Black Duck Project. This link displays the location of some of the birds as of 3/26/09: Current Duck Locations

Blue Skies.


Tim Rucci said...

That's really interesting stuff, Ken. Before your article, I didn't realize that transmitters were used to track the ducks. I guess a lot can be learned from knowing where they go and when.

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

A facinating post Ken. I have heard of it being done but it is the first time I have seen pictures like this. Thanks for sharing.

Andor Marton said...

It was a very interesting and educative series. I never realized that placing some transmitters is such a complex activity. Thanks for sharing it with us and congratulations for the job.

nessabates said...

That was really interesting! Its nice to know that such great care is given to them.