My Girl Scout Troop is working on the Wildlife Badge and I was wondering what types of equipment do wildlife biologists use and how? Does it differ for animals of te land, sea, and sky? Thanks! :)

Hi Abi,
              You will get a lot of different answers from different people. Some of the common pieces of equipment used by many biologists working in the field are:

- Binoculars
- Hand lenses (for magnification)
- Quadrats (to sample equal areas in plant surveys)
- Rulers, tape measures, callipers (all for measuring)
- Camera
- Scales (for weighing)
- Field notebooks
- Maps
- GPS units
- Field Guides and identification keys to identify specimens
- Laptop computer or personal digital assistant (PDA), often adapted for fieldwork
- Audio recording devices

After that it depends a lot on the organisms you are working on.
- People who work on ringing birds will carry special equipment for putting the rings on.
- People who study bats use 'bat detectors' to hear the calls
- If you work on nocturnal insects you may use a light trap
- For collecting insects that live in leaf litter many people carry a little device called a 'pooter',      which acts like a little vacuum cleaner powered by your breath.
- Some organisms are easier to see under ultra violet or 'black' lights.

The equipment used varies whether you are working on aquatic, terrestrial or airborne animals, but the nature of the project and the sort of organisms you work on are also very important in determining what equipment you take with you into the field.

Last edited by Alistair McGowan (11th Nov 2009 19:57:38)

"Hope is a duty from which palaeontologists are exempt."
David Quammen