How a smart temperature monitoring system is safeguarding endangered species - Veterinary Practice
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How a smart temperature monitoring system is safeguarding endangered species

RemoteM is being used to play an important role in monitoring environments for a number of herpetology, mammalian and avian species

The RemoteM automated temperature monitoring system may have begun life as a device designed to monitor storage temperatures for vaccines, medicines and samples. However for Jersey Zoo, operated by the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust, the system is now playing an important role in monitoring environments for a number of herpetology, mammalian and avian species.

The herpetology team at Jersey Zoo first learned about the RemoteM temperature monitoring system from zoo vets, and immediately recognised the potential for a wide range of applications to maintain a consistent and safe environment for the zoo’s collection of endangered reptiles and amphibians.

All the herpetology areas are air conditioned, but there was no single, combined system for data collection, or for alerts when temperatures went out of range. The team was using a mixture of probes and data loggers requiring time consuming data collection processes and no potential for standard recordings or real-time automatic output of data collected on one common interface. In addition, they were seeking a satisfactory system for physical real-time monitoring in the individual enclosures, capable of automatically logging and storing temperature readings collected at different levels within tanks and pens.

The RemoteM system seemed like the perfect solution. It combines long-range radio-frequency operation, battery back-up and total portability, so the nodes can be moved into different areas to give real-time information on one screen. Data is uploaded to the cloud, with immediate access to real-time readings, graphs and historical data.

The multi-stage alerts and choices of alarm devices (email, text, call) are a bonus to have in one single system, and the team at Jersey Zoo is now branching out and exploring new applications with the support of RemoteM, looking at waterproofed nodes for areas where spraying is used to maintain humidity levels.

Applications for the temperature monitoring system have now expanded beyond herpetology, with zoo staff now tracking temperatures in several additional areas. One example is a polytunnel which houses large fruit bats, which must not become too hot in summer and too cold in winter, with the bats prone to frostbite on their wings. Keeping the animals safe necessitated physical temperature checks every few hours. With RemoteM, the temperature is monitored constantly and alerts raised in two stages if it goes out of range.

The zoo also has a group of small monkeys free ranging in the woods and is using RemoteM to monitor their shelters to ensure there is no overheating through potential equipment malfunctions. Even the avian team is using the system in the egg incubation area to ensure early warning of any power outages or temperature fluctuations.

The team at Jersey Zoo is continuing to work with RemoteM, looking at new applications for the system and developing new processes which will make their work more efficient and ensure the health and safety of the many different species the organisation is helping to conserve for the future.

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