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Our Wildlife and Conservation Activieties in Nambia

Definitely not in the workshop!

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Joseph Noci 129/08/2017 22:34:35
603 forum posts
859 photos


Darting a Hyena - on the West coast of Namibia, near a seal colony, and the objective is to monitor a number of these creatures

The fellow is Philip Stander, the Founder and Chief Scientist of the Desert Lion and Predators Project - His assistant, and my Wife Gisela in the background.

hyena1.jpg

That's Gisela and me - assisting a relocation of a Lion to get him away from a local village area - He will be killed if remaining here!

kb.jpg

getting ready to load him ( all 450kg!) in the vehicle for a 3 hour drive...Stop every 20 minutes to check on the Lion, breathing, heart rate, the hydration drip, etc..

relocating1.jpg

Unloaded and placed in the bush - just given him the antidote shot - will awaken in about 15minutes..

relocating2.jpg

Me fitting a collar to a female

lion1.jpg

Preparing to dart the Five Musketeers..to fit Satellite tracking collars

musketeers dart prep.jpg

Having darted them, bringing them close to the vehicle for inspection, weighing, teeth inspection, photographing markings, fitting collars..

Heavy buggers!

heavy lions.jpg

All 5 Darted, laid out and prepped.

musketeers darted.jpg

Teeth inspection..

 

teeth_1.jpg

Philip - he lives in this vehicle in the desert for months on end, tracking the Lions and monitoring them! A most amazing fellow.

phillip and emsi1.jpg

The photos are a little all over the place, but its not easy to condense these sorts of activity into something concise..

Regards

Joe

dusk.jpg

Edited By Joseph Noci 1 on 29/08/2017 22:35:40

Edited By Joseph Noci 1 on 29/08/2017 22:37:02

Mick Henshall30/08/2017 06:10:59
527 forum posts
29 photos

Great photos Joe, its a good job there are people like yourself and Gisela helping our wildlife when there are so many intent on destroying these beautiful creatures, respect to you all

Mick

Roderick Jenkins30/08/2017 08:33:54
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1824 forum posts
463 photos

yes

Thanks for sharing this,

Rod

Clive Hartland30/08/2017 09:40:08
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2518 forum posts
40 photos

Keep up the good work Joe, appreciate taking time to post pics.

Clive

Joseph Noci 130/03/2018 12:18:13
603 forum posts
859 photos

Phase 2 of the Wildlife Conflict Management project is under way here in Namibia. A prototype system has been developed and running for almost two years now, and its success has made way for the deployment of a large area system. Conflict predators are fitted with a GPS tracking collar, with RFID and data logging, and some collars also have Iridium SAT modem. 'Early Warning' Loggers are located at conflict spots ( local villages, their corals, etc), and these loggers can detect the RFID tag in a collar at up to 4km away, sounding a siren, activating one or two floodlights aimed in the direction of the animal. The Villagers are trained to set of fireworks in the relevant direction to scare the animal away. The logger also gives range in 100m increments to the animal. The Logger also communicates via SAT modem to a central server the event, and the Collar ID. In addition, there are a number of trained Rangers in vehicles, with a SAT modem 'Rover' unit, and the server will request rover positions, and send the rover closest to the event a message to get to the problem point right away.

The SAT modem collars are fitted to animals deemed the greatest problem, and they are tracked on a programmable basis - every hour up to every 4 hours. Should they get to within 10km of a problem area, the server sends a similar message to the closest Ranger/Rover to investigate and assist.

The trial has proven to be work well, and now I need to make 40 GPS tracker collars, 15 SAT tracker collars, 10 'Early Warning' Loggers, 5 plain data loggers, 10 Rover units.....All the hardware . electronics an mechanical work done by three people, Me, Myself, and I. And all software, as usual, by my good Wife Gisela.

Some pics of the first batch of 12 GPS collars, and the prep work for the SAT collars.

Started with 40 collars strapping and making the rivet holes - 7000 holes..

rivet snow1.jpg

The rotary punch in the drill press, with ali template.

rotary punch1.jpg

Partially riveted collars - Large head pop-rivets, with the stem removed, ie, not 'popped'

part riveted1.jpg

And the back end peened over so as to not hurt the animals neck

peening over1.jpg

 

peened over1.jpg

Lithium battery pack in place - 3.6v 19AH, 3-1/2 year life in the collar

battery pack1.jpg

GPS electronics in place, wrapped in teflon tape to allow emergency access later..

tracker electronics1.jpg

The collar after encapsulation

encapsulated collar.jpg

CNC engraving each collar ID

engraving id1.jpg

Performing RF Range tests in the desert - Collars are fitted around a 5l plastic container filled with 35% Saline solution - most closely approximates a Lion Neck for antenna detuning purposes. Range obtained from the 2ms tracking beep is 14km line of sight - beep is 8milliwatt of RF power.

range tests21.jpg

 

Next post a bit on the SAT collars.

Joe

 

Edited By Joseph Noci 1 on 30/03/2018 12:19:15

Neil Wyatt30/03/2018 12:35:51
avatar
Moderator
17389 forum posts
690 photos
77 articles

It's great to see how your skills are making such a contribution to conservation.

I worry what they would do without the pair of you!

Neil

Samsaranda30/03/2018 12:44:10
avatar
878 forum posts
5 photos

Joe, really envious of your conservation work, Namibia is one part of Africa that I have always wanted to visit, have visited many countries around the world and grew up in the Far East. My greatest claim to helping the animal world was hand rearing an abandoned baby Asian otter when I lived as a youngster in Malaysia back in the 50’s, I have a lifelong fascination of otters and my other passion is cats, all types including the big cats, keep up the good work with all your animal species.

Dave W

Joseph Noci 130/03/2018 12:44:43
603 forum posts
859 photos

The SAT Collars..

These have the same RFID/GPS tracker/Logger and 2ms beep generator in addition to the IRIDIUM SAT Modem.

The Non SAT collars use a 40mm wide strap, while the SAT modem collars use a 50mm wide strap - the modem uses quite a bit of power, and to obtain a 2 year collar life wi need to fit 3 D cell Lithium batteries ( 3x19AH). to accommodate this width, and the width of the modem, the collars needs to be 65mm wide, but that would not work, so I use 50mm width strap, and made special encapsulation molds that will create a bulge of encapsulation in the correct spots.

The molds are made from fibreglass, using a shapes plug made from superwood, sealed with epoxy resin, waxed, and glassed. These then fit, like a clam shell, around the strap, and the encapsulation is injected within.

The Plug for the collar top, housing the SAT modem and GPS tracker

superwood plug1.jpg

The Plug coated with GEL Coat.

Glass fibre cloth is layered over this in many layers, and then placed in a vacuum bag and vacuum pulled.

This pulls the glass up against the plug till cured.

gel coat layer.jpg

When Cured, the breather cloth, bag and waste is removed, the mold pulled from the plug, and the second clam half made.

removing breather cloth.jpg

Both clam halves. This will house the modem and GS tracker

top encapsulaton mold.jpg

Similarly the battery end of the collar has its molds made.

both ends plugs.jpg

Both Clam Shells in place.

both ends molds in place.jpg

The SAT modem and GPS tracker - about 90mm long, 45mm wide and 20mm tall.

sat and gps module.jpg

Here is a collar after more than two years, fitted to a Hyena, and removed after a monumental territorial fight between it and another male..

The strapping is extremely tough, does not tear easily at all, is 4mm thick, polyurethane and Aramid fibre, and the Hyena bite put 7 teeth THROUGH on one side and 5 on the other.. I suspect the collar saved the Bitten's life..

The electronics were still intact. but the combined antenna/battery supply cables were ripped out.

Upon recovery of the collar I was able to break open the encapsulation and remove the tracker, re-power it and extract the last available data logs from it - The tracker is wrapped in teflon tape prior to encapsulation specifically so that the resin does not touch the electronics, rendering it unrecoverable.

boesman ripped2.jpg

See how the M4 bolt below is also bent...

boesman ripped1.jpg

boesman ripped.jpg

I hope this was not too 'un-engineering'..

Joe

daveb30/03/2018 13:23:30
621 forum posts
10 photos

Engineering with the emphasis on conservation, well done, all of you!

Daveb

Neil Wyatt30/03/2018 13:38:09
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Moderator
17389 forum posts
690 photos
77 articles

I used to know a chap who made logging/tracking collars for wildlife. He used a heat-sensitive adhesive and when the battery got low it would use its last gasp to melt the bond and the collar would drop off.

mark costello 130/03/2018 21:03:12
avatar
578 forum posts
12 photos

Most excellent.

Martin Cottrell30/03/2018 22:15:31
296 forum posts
18 photos

Well that puts my efforts at helping our local hedgehogs to shame! Thanks for sharing this insight into your wonderful work Joseph. +1 to Mark's comment above...Most excellent!!

Regards Martin.

Paul White 331/03/2018 11:59:36
94 forum posts
17 photos

My amazement at the work, both technically and volume wise done by the team Noci knows no bounds. Do you

never rest?

Thanks for sharing Joe, very, very interesting and impressive.

Paul

Oldiron31/03/2018 13:21:16
388 forum posts
22 photos
Posted by Martin Cottrell on 30/03/2018 22:15:31:

Well that puts my efforts at helping our local hedgehogs to shame! Thanks for sharing this insight into your wonderful work Joseph. +1 to Mark's comment above...Most excellent!!

Regards Martin.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

They need all the help they can get Martin. We all need to a little to help wild animals & birds. All the little bits will eventually add up to a lot.

Also thanks to Joseph on his efforts.

regards

Joseph Noci 131/03/2018 19:32:41
603 forum posts
859 photos

Thank You Kindly to all of you! It is really wonderful that , here in Namibia, we are able to combine our talents and abilities in a manner that may provide some long term relief for our predator wildlife. There are so many Charities ,welfare programs and organisations helping the waifs of the world, and so few taking care of the plight of the animals - I am pleased we can try a little..

It is not easy - funding is always a problem. Of course, most funding for Animal Plight goes to the likes of Rhino and Elephant, no less important, but little is left for the less politically popular animals..So this program, an 18month exercise, is being funded by ourselves and the Desert Lion project - and it runs in the 6 figures....But I believe this project has a chance, being really tailored to the problem, so we are going to give it a damn good go!

Thank you again for all the Kind comments!

And NEVER forget even the squirrels, hedgehogs, or anything else!

Kind Regards

Joe

PS - It also gives us the most fantastic, gratis, bush and desert breakaways that most only dream off!

John Alexander Stewart31/03/2018 20:49:14
759 forum posts
51 photos
And NEVER forget even the squirrels, hedgehogs, or anything else!

Hi Joe;

One of my kids has worked with squirrels, fishers, mice, and GPS trackers, but half way around the world from you, here's a link to the research side of her web page:

**LINK**

The (small) gps trackers she uses are pictured somewhere in her pictures on that site.

I enjoy your postings and projects, please keep posting.

Also, funding always seems to be a world-wide issue... John.

Watford31/03/2018 21:30:27
avatar
120 forum posts
10 photos

Just to say thank you for all that you are doing to help this endangered wildlife.

Mike

Roger Williams 201/04/2018 08:48:20
331 forum posts
1 photos

Reading about the fantastic work people do to help animals reminds me how much Im looking forward to reading the Duke of Edinburgh's obituary. he has shot many of them including at least one Bengal tiger. Roll on......

Ian S C01/04/2018 13:14:29
avatar
7468 forum posts
230 photos

I think the Duke is probably small fry, when you look back at ones like Theodore Roosevelt who in 1909 shot 512 big game animals (including 6 White Rhinos), plus thousands of other animals. All in the name of science and conservation. Many are still in the Smithsonian Museum.

Ian S C

Roger Williams 201/04/2018 17:32:29
331 forum posts
1 photos

Ian, one can only hope he died a slow painful death. I sometimes think humans are evolution's big mistake.

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