Sensors measure animals’ energy levels

Do farmed fish suffer from a change to the farming system? How can you find out whether a population of wild animals suffers from a disruption to their habitat? These are questions Wageningen scientists are better able to answer nowadays thanks to the use of sensors. This technology offers all sorts of possibilities in the near future, both in livestock and fish farming and in the wild.

Living costs energy, with food providing the fuel. Food is usually a scarce resource for animals, so efficient energy consumption is the key to success for an individual organism. An animal’s energy consumption increases if it constantly has to flee from danger or if it has to cope with illness or adverse living conditions, for example. The less energy it needs for all that, the more is available for growth and reproduction. Factors such as climate change, pollution, pathogens and other disturbances to the habitat affect its energy consumption.

If we can find out what’s going on earlier, it will reduce the disruption’s negative effects on the animals. Our sensors can help here.
Ecotoxicologist Edwin Foekema