Horned lizard research greatly enhanced by transmitter longevity
I’ve been using radio telemetry in field research with lizards, snakes and tortoises for over 20 years. My experience with Holohil over the past ten has been simply amazing. The longevity of tags, allowing us to reduce impacts through capture and tag replacement, has far exceeded all expectations. In particular, we only recently documented the extreme duration of the hibernation period of our horned lizards because our Holohil tags lasted for well over the expected range (10 months rather than 6 months); previous estimates of hibernation were compromised by tag loss and replacement, which disturbed the lizards. The support of the staff has been outstanding; they provide personalized service and definitely stand behind their products.
Transmitters Exceed Expectations
I have been thoroughly impressed with the quality and longevity of Holohil’s transmitters! The transmitters are well-designed and very durable, even despite blazing heat, below freezing temperatures, and degradation from acidic swamp habitats. The battery life has been reliable and often far exceeded the estimated life. Several transmitters estimated to last 6 months were still signalling 12 months later! The customer service has been exceptional, from planning an order to transmitter refurbishment. Holohil’s products and team are essential part of my research, I would highly recommend.
We’re batty for Holohil!
In the consulting business, you don’t always know what you need for a project, or even how many projects will require telemetry! We rely on Holohil to provide the best quality radio-transmitters for tracking small bats in the eastern US and the best customer service. Our business-to-business relationship with Holohil is superior to any other, and we are able to provide the best data to our clients because of the reliable product and reliable transmitter delivery when we need it. John is always responsive and in a fast-paced summer, it is critical that we get quick answers and be able to assure our clients that we will deliver. The battery life of the transmitters is as promised and often last longer, the signal is clear and loud, and we are confident we’ll be able to find our bats if they are wearing Holohil transmitters. We recommend this company to everyone we chat with about telemetry and stand by our recommendation.
Thanks a million to the Holohil team for providing such excellent transmitters!
Barbastelles and wind power – a project to improve knowledge and provide guide lines.
The world is a dangerous place for bats. One serious threat in Europe and elsewhere is the wind turbine industry, which is growing fast.
The research was focused on the western barbastelle (Barbastella barbastellus), a rare and threatened insectivorous bat suspected to be vulnerable at wind farms. The barbastelle is a moth specialist and lives in old broadleaf woodlands.
Our study was carried out in July and August 2016 in and around a wind farm known to harbour a population of barbastelles, located in south-western Sweden. The main goal of the project was to investigate how the bats move and feed in relation to the wind turbines, and hopefully to find ways to avoid collisions between bats and moving rotors. The presence of barbastelles is a common reason why wind farm projects in southern Sweden are denied. However, the guidelines for this are poorly founded and decisions are often based on non-scientific grounds. In fact, the barbastelle has never been intensively studied in Sweden.
By catching and tagging a lactating female by mist nets inside the wind farm, we managed to find the maternity colony by back-tracking her to the roost, where we could catch the number of females we wanted. We also managed to catch two males in the forest. Altogether, ten bats were tagged with 0.32 g Holohil LB-2X transmitters. The bats were followed during 11 consecutive nights by use of three Australis 26k (Titley Scientific Australia) receivers and 3 element Yagi antennas. The wind farm area turned out to be quite tricky for radio tracking because of inaccessible marshes, dense forest, biting midges and, over all, a hilly landscape. We therefore located our radio tracking teams on hill tops (Fig. 1), from where we were able to establish the approach bearings of tracked bats. One early morning while standing on a highest nearby hill top, we recorded a fantastic performance of the Holohil transmitters. We were able to hear signals from the maternity roost located 8.07 km away! The observation was checked again the following morning. From 8 tagged bats roosting in the colony, four were easily hearable from the hill top on all of our three receivers. The maternity roost with the bat colony was located in a wooden barn situated on a hill slope facing turbine located on a highest point (Fig. 2). Clearly we had a situation described as “transmitter seeing receiver”. Transmitter range is strongly affected by the landscape topography and vegetation, and may be significantly reduced by dense forest. This is a well-known phenomenon, but while it is easy to complain about the range limitations of small tags, we would like to express a different point of view and appreciate the outstanding range of the tiny transmitters that we used. We have worked with Holohil equipment before and have always been satisfied with the performance, but we never thought that the signal could travel so far! Also worth mentioning is that signals picked up from the hill top were usually clear and loud, suggesting they could have been picked up from an even greater distance. Additionally, all of 10 tags, which we used, worked through the whole two-week project without any significant malfunctions. Especially taking into account some harsh weather, the overall reliability of LB-2X helped us to finish our project successfully.
We were really lucky having our already exciting radio tracking study enriched by such outstanding performance of the equipment. Thanks a million to the Holohil team for providing such excellent transmitters! We will continue our co-operation with your company, and indeed look forward to break new records next summer!
Holohil is simply the best
I have been conducting radio telemetry facilitated research on snakes since the early 1980’s. During that time, I have used transmitters produced by several manufacturers, encountering many problems along the way. In 1997, I changed to Holohil transmitters and I’ve never looked back. Holohil is clearly top of the line, and they stand behind their products no matter what. The staff at Holohil is incredibly friendly and professional. I always go out of my way at conferences to stop by and talk with Fred and John, two great guys who are fun to talk to about transmitters, and life in general!
I will never buy transmitters from anywhere but Holohil!
The product quality and customer service they offer cannot be matched by any other company. I can depend on their transmitters to perform better than promised even in harsh environmental conditions. Battery life typically exceeds the advertised life span so I never have to worry about losing study animals to early transmitter failure. In the extremely rare event that something does go wrong with one of their transmitters, they replace it quickly and without question. John is extremely knowledgeable and really goes above and beyond in terms of customer service to understand the goals of my projects so that he can recommend the best product and/or possible modifications to fit my needs. I know I’m going to get the same great service whether I’m buying a single transmitter or 100.
It’s Holohil or nothing!
I’ve used Holohil transmitters for my snakes for 10 years, and would never consider switching to a different company. They provide a high quality product at a fair price and will customize your order. Their customer service is top notch. Having met several of the staff, they all treat you like family and genuinely care about you and your research!
Using Holohil transmitters is a no-brainer
The stellar service and quality of product provided by Holohil just simply cannot be beaten. I find the ease with which I can communicate technical specifications and shipping complexities remarkable.
Superior Quality Transmitters
I have used HOLOHIL transmitters for many of my projects over the years. We first used them for our spatial studies of Eastern Massasaugas and found their implantable transmitters to be far superior compared to other manufacturers. We were so impressed with the longevity of their transmitters we have since used them on our Blanding’s Turtle and Alligator Snapping Turtle projects. Both Fred and John are a pleasure to work with and chat with at the conferences. They show great knowledge of their products. John has been great to work with and planning an order with him has been a breeze.
There’s simply no need to look anywhere else for your telemetry needs!
Our organization has worked with Holohil, mostly through John Edwards, for years now and for good reason: John and the entire Holohil team have never disappointed us. They consistently offer friendly, professional service and their products have never faltered. And the extra swag is of course always welcomed.
Amazing service and reliability
I’ve been ordering from Holohil since 1997. Whether my orders are large or small, I’ve always been impressed with the quality, reliability, and turn-around time of the transmitters. The units are well-designed, hold up to everything from raptors to snakes to turtles, and last as long or longer than quoted. I can always rely on great advice for attachment and configuration trade-offs. When something does go wrong (even if it is my fault – which it usually is), John and his team solve the problem right away. They have a customer for life.
I wouldn’t trust my data – or my turtles – to anyone but Holohil!
When my research hinges on reliable telemetric data, I rely on transmitters from Holohil Systems, Ltd. Durable and dependable with a long battery life (WAY longer than promised), Holohil transmitters deliver reliable data year in and year out in the most challenging of tracking environments, from the urban environs of the concrete jungle, to blistering deserts, to remote bottomland forests and swamps . These transmitters are virtually indestructible – over the years, I’ve had units crushed by trucks and sliced by tractors and they still delivered strong, flawless signals, and I’m still using these units today!
But Holohil Systems, Ltd provides far more than just top-quality transmitters – their dedication to client-centered service is second-to-none. From troubleshooting and special orders to support and transmitter design, the staff at Holohil go above and beyond to provide a level of customer service that is simple unparalleled, and I view them as an integral part of my lab and its successes.