- By Matt Hayes
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Vaginal Implant Transmitters (VITs) are a central piece of equipment used to identify birth sites and locate newborn fawns. The VITs that are used for the DEER project are equipped with a VHF transmitter along with technology capable of communicating with mom’s collar.
During the few weeks before parturition, mom’s collar will attempt to communicate with the VIT on an hourly basis. As long as the VIT remains in place, mom’s collar will stay in communication with the VIT. When a VIT is expelled, however, mom will lose communication with the VIT, indicating that a birth event may have occurred. There are two additional triggers that signify a birth event. First, the VITs are equipped with a temperature sensor that detects when the ambient temperature has fallen below 32° C (~90° F), indicating that the VIT has been expelled. The VIT is also equipped with a light sensor that is triggered by increasing light, another measure used to indicate a birth event. If any of these sensors are triggered we receive a notification via email and will then investigate.