Thanks to Rob Klavins of Oregon Wild for sharing this story from Wired UK about some scientists in Switzerland who are testing out a crafty, non-lethal way of deterring wolf attacks on livestock.
Swiss biologists testing out a collar that can read a sheep’s heartbeat and alert shepherds with a text message when a sheep’s heart starts racing – as it would if the sheep were at risk of a wolf attack.
Shepherd, this is your sheep texting: Help!
And that’s not all. The collar would also be equipped to send out a spray repellant or a loud noise to scare off threatening wolves and ward off potential attacks.
Isn’t technology awesome? Well, we’ll see. The scientists are doing another round of testing this fall to see how well the collar works. According to Wired UK, they collared 12 sheep with heart rate monitors for the initial testing and released them into an enclosure with two muzzled Czechoslovakian wolf dogs. Readings from the monitors showed the sheep heart rates spiked from 60 to 80 beats per minute to 225 as the wolf dogs started attacking.
As I noted in my post earlier today about the lethal removal of wolves from Washington, wildlife managers have gotten quite good at collaring wolves to track their whereabouts. But that didn’t deter the latest round of attacks on livestock. Maybe collaring the livestock will help?