Monday, 21 January 2013

The sloth backpack project - the story so far!

I want to say a huge THANK YOU to everyone who has donated to the project so far! We have managed to raise a whopping $1450 (£915) which has all been put to good use. 

This money, with help from Discovery Channel, has allowed us to finally buy some of the essential receiving equipment that we need in order to get started. This includes 2 VHF transmitters, a VHF receiver, antenna and all the necessary cabling!
You can read more about the sloth backpack project here.

This week I will also be battling the heavy snow and heading down to Swansea University to buy our first two Daily Diaries. Whilst there, I will also be trying to figure out a way to package these, along with the VHF transmitters and batteries, in a waterproof casing that will attach nicely onto our sloth harnesses! This might be easier said than done... our original plan to do this using a 3D printer is looking like it could be difficult... we need an emergency back up plan just in case! 

So far this includes me running around collecting all the appropriate sized plastic containers that I can find - we will try and modify them suitably in the lab this week. Who knew an ice lolly mould could potentially become a sloth tracking device!! 

I am flying back out to the Sloth Sanctuary next weekend to begin some preliminary work with this new equipment! 

Unfortunately, the project is going to need more than two tracking devices and so still needs your help! We are also hopeful to purchase automatic drop-off mechanisms in April so we can retrieve our data much more quickly -  recapturing the sloths once they are hiding at the top of a 90 foot tree wearing their expensive backpacks is going to be a whole new challenge! 

If you would like to help us buy the equipment in order to complete this project, you can do so using the PayPal donate button on this blog. Every dollar goes directly towards funding our research and it really is appreciated! 

Alternatively, if you would like to ‘Sponsor a sloth backpack’ for $800 this would purchase an entire reusable unit that we will use for the duration of this project. If you chose to do this, you will get the chance to:

  • ·         Name the backpack (this will appear on the backpack itself as well as in all publications resulting from this research)
  • ·         Receive acknowledgement in all scientific papers that we publish during the project.
  • ·         Receive frequent updates, videos and photos from the sloth wearing your backpack throughout the 3 year study.

If you are interested in sponsoring a sloth backpack, or if you have any questions about the project, please don’t hesitate to contact me at for more information. 

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