Airdate: Sep 03, 2012
Scientist: Janene Colby
Big Horn Sheep - Tracking
Field biologist Janene Colby tracks Big Horn Sheep in the sweltering heat of Anza-Borrego Desert State Park.
Big Horn Sheep Tracking
Music; Ambience: Radio signal beeping
JC: So, you can tell I'm getting a really good signal here which tells me she's most likely somewhere where we can see her.
JM: We're in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park in southern California, tracking bighorn sheep. I'm Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet.
JC: I'm Janene Colby and I work for the Department of Fish and Game. We're actually in a canyon called Borrego Palm Canyon and I'm presently trying to listen to one of our radio-collared Big Horn sheep, desert big horn sheep, and see if they're up here in the canyon. Actually, I'm picking one up at the moment that you can hear. It sounds like she's probably somewhere up high in the canyon. It's a little hard to tell but I'm at least getting a direction that we're going to hike further up the canyon here.
JC: I have a radio receiver and an antenna. It's a directional antenna and it's in the shape of an H. There's one spot in the front of the antenna and if I'm not pointing it in the direction that the animal is, it's not very loud. Like that. And then if I turn it and face the direction it's in it should be louder. Usually if they're up higher where you have a better view it's going to be louder. If it's down low behind something it's not going to be quite as clear.
JC: And I'm thinking to myself "They're the smart ones. They're all tucked in the shade and here I am out in the hot sun." But that's the way it usually is.
JM: Our thanks to the California Environmental Legacy Project at Sacramento State University. Pulse of the Planet is made possible by the National Science Foundation. I'm Jim Metzner.