It depends on the study. Actual tracking equipment (i.e a radio collars) areexpensive and are usually recovered. Most radio devices have a “morality beacon” which means that when the collar has been still for too long because the animal died or removed the collar it sends off a signal indicating so that it can be recovered. Sometimes lower tech markings are given because the study is short term. A dab of non-toxic paint on the rump or a colored leg band so the animal can be counted without re capturing it are often used. Ear tags are usually metal. If the material was bio-degradeable it might degrade before the study was over and waste everyone’s time and money.
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