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Keywords:

  • convective cooling;
  • radiotransmitters;
  • skin temperature;
  • thermoregulation

Abstract

Recording and interpreting thermoregulatory patterns is important in determining many aspects of animal ecology and behavior. Externally attached radiotransmitters are a relatively non-invasive method to continuously monitor skin temperature as a proxy for core body temperature. However, the effects of ambient conditions, such as wind or rain, on the accuracy of externally attached radiotransmitters are often overlooked. We investigated the effect of wind speed on the accuracy of radiotransmitters. We found that the accuracy of radiotransmitter readings was correlated with wind speed, with higher wind speeds resulting in underestimations of skin temperature. These effects may result in misinterpretations of recorded data, and ultimately may lead to inaccuracies in describing behavior. © 2013 The Wildlife Society.