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Robyn Brown

Works - Photos
Undisturbed Seals (002)

Undisturbed Seals

Photo identification is a non-invasive monitoring technique that requires photos of the right and left sides of the seal to be documented. Like human fingerprints, each seal has a unique fur pattern which is analysed to differentiate seals from one another. The photos taken during surveys and by volunteers are processed and distinctive patterns and shapes are noted down. These words are entered as tags in the catalogues so that they can be easily identified when documenting the seals.

A major threat to seals is humane disturbance - when a seal looks at you it means you have disturbed it and their fight or flight response is triggered. It can cause them to flee into the sea carelessly, creating distress and leading to them injuring themselves on sharp rocks and stones. The photo shows seals peacefully resting on the shore, unaware of my presence.
Works - Photos
Untitled 36 Min (1)

The First Tag

At Exeter University’s centre of Ecology and Conservation, research led by Dr Alex Thornton is using coloured rings and Passive Integrated Transponder (PIT) tags to monitor wild jackdaws. The Cornish Jackdaw Project focuses on corvid cognition and understanding how it evolves.

Pictured is a twenty-six-day old chick getting its metal ring attached, each metal ring has a unique code engraved in it. After the mental ring, the chick will get two coloured rings and a third coloured ring with the PIT tag attached. Each nest box has an antenna attached to the front of it. These antennas will pick up the unique tag and record which jackdaws are using it and who they are socialising with.
Works - Photos
Untitled 36 Min (1)

GPS Collar

These collars can track the cattle’s movements and monitor their temperature. They also enable virtual fences to be set up which mark out the boundaries the cattle are allowed to move within - if the cattle move outside of these then an alert will be sent out. The most positive outcome so far for John and Desley has been the ease of locating the cattle who can sometimes roam in 70-acre woodlands.

Dexter cattle are key for conservation grazing as they are the smallest British cattle breed, which allows them to graze on lowland wet meadows that would otherwise be trampled by larger breeds. Pictured is a close up of one of the digitanimal collars hanging comfortably around the neck of a Dexter cow.