Life History Transmitter Tags: LHX2

Dr. Horning and Dr. Roger Hill of Wildlife Computers recently completed the developing the next generation of Life History Transmitter known as LHX2 with funding from the National Science Foundation. Since the LHX1 tag is quite large, it can only be used on very large animals, like the Steller sea lion, the largest of all the sea lions. The LHX2 tag has less than one-half the volume of the LHX1 tag for research use in smaller marine animals such as fur seals and sea otters.

One of the important questions for better understanding of animal populations is how many animals are born. LHX2 will give scientists this answer by looking at subtle changes in temperature that happen while the animal is pregnant and gives birth.  For each female sea lion that is released with implanted LHX2 tags, the scientists will eventually learn at what age she had her first pup and how many pups she had over her entire life. Once researchers get enough data from a sufficient number of females in the project, they can estimate overall birth rates for the population. Birth rates are an important part of the equation in determining why certain populations are not recovering.  

LHX2 Specifications :

Size:                            32mm diameter (1.25 inches), 96mm length (3.8 inches)

Weight:                       54grams or 1.9 ounces (US)

Batteries:                    One Lithium primary cell, lifespan greater than 10 years

Transmitter:             ARGOS compatible UHF transmitter operating at up to ½ watt, capable of  

approx. 12,000 transmissions after 10 years............              

Internal memory:    16 MB non-volatile

Sensors Detect:

      • Temperature
      • Light
      • Surrounding medium
      • Additional specialized sensors under development

Advanced algorithms (computer calculations) to detect mortality, predation and reproductive events from sensor data

Outer covering:       Resin-glass composite

Pressure rating:      Can withstand a 2,000m water-column depth

The image below shows an LHX1 tag in between a coke can (to left) and V8 can (middle). To the right of the V8 can is an LHX2 tag.

In order of size a coke can  (largest) next to LHX1 tag next to V8 can next to LHX2 tag (smaller than V8 can) next to a very small pocket knife (smallest)