Hand in hand with the GELOB Operational Group, coordinated by UPA, these farmers from all over Spain have participated in one of the 45 sessions held virtually in which they have debated the advantages of applying monitoring and geolocation technologies to their animals.
Monitoring and geolocation of livestock
From the Operational Group they comment that the conclusions are interesting and very positive, and they hope that these project conclusions will be even more positive when the analysis of the vast amount of data that has been collected is completed. Ranchers emphasize that having livestock controlled through mobile phones has considerably improved their quality of life, and that the time they previously invested in finding their livestock, especially in remote and mountainous areas, can now be spent on other tasks: “your life change ”,“ you can invest your time in more necessary tasks ”,“ you make better use of your pastures ”,“ the welfare of the animals grows remarkably ”… are some of the testimonies collected.
But the advantages not only have to do with the farmers, but the geolocation and monitoring also improves the quality of life of the animals. “At all times you know where they are, where they are eating, if they have had any mishap or if they are in labor, that information is priceless,” they explain. They also allow a better use of the pastures, “because you know in which plots and enclosures the animals spend more time grazing.”
Another objective of the GELOB project is to analyze whether it is feasible to use technology to prevent attacks by wolves, one of the biggest problems faced by farmers in areas where the canid is present.
For this, animal behavior experiments have been carried out with eight wolves and seventy-four dogs in captivity, to analyze what elements the devices intended to prevent attacks should include. The conclusions – still preliminary – are that certain sounds and lights can provoke inhibitory behaviors in some individuals, even in situations of excitement. Specifically, the stimulus that has most driven wolves away has been created with the barking of mastiffs.
These results suggest that applying these stimuli to a collar placed on cattle could deter wolves — at least some specimens — from attacking cattle. However, the ability of wolves to get used to stimuli and individual behavioral differences has also been evidenced, with some specimens being much more elusive and, therefore, more sensitive to stimuli. The results of these experiments are still being analyzed and will be released shortly.