Blog / Guardian Animal Tracker - Livestock management using the ST100 IOT board

Guardian Animal Tracker - Livestock management using the ST100 IOT board

Streamline South Africa's latest IOT solution makes use of the brand new ST100 IOT Board from Globalstar. This embeddable device brings a low cost, reliable, complete one -way data module to the IoT market. Simply add power, set the configuration and place in a mechanical housing for a working device suited for any market.

 Streamline’s new Guardian Animal Tracking collar is currently being applied on a client’s livestock farm which has a total of 7500 cattle on 67 000 hectare in the Limpopo region of South Africa. They have the biggest  Pinzgauer herd in the world, an Austrian breed praised for its fertility, disease-resistance and high beef quality. On average, 30% of the cattle herd to date have been written off with causes relating to lost stock, theft and fatality from cliff falls! This amounts to approximately ZAR22,500,000/ USD135,000 in lost stock value.

Livestock  management has involved  two fixed wing aircraft and helicopter support for when animals go missing. Due to the expansive area, natural topography challenges and low to no GSM coverage, it takes a large amount of resources in the form of ground personnel, air and land vehicles and fuel to conduct these searches, often which result in disappointment. On average a search incident costs the company ZAR150,000/USD9,000  for a 2-3 day mobilisation of resources 3-4 times a year.  

The client reached out to Streamline SA to provide a solution that would allow them to track the cattle and manage movement in to specific areas such as  dangerous cliff points and farm boundaries. As cattle generally move in herd groups following leaders, it was deemed sufficient to initially track only the leader cows of each herd group.

A Streamline Guardian Animal Tracking collar was attached to leader cows. Each collar is powered by a 100mA solar panel with 500mAh battery. The Globalstar ST100 board is enclosed in polyetherimide casing and 40-50mm industrial web belt with embedded steal cable is used for the collar material. The collar is fastened with secure lock bolts whilst counter weights are used to keep the module on top to ensure best line of sight.

34 ground patrol personnel have been employed on foot as part of the livestock management programme. However, with limited GSM connectivity in the area, it has been a challenge to keep in contact with these personnel as well as monitor their movements. The personnel have now been equipped with Globlstar Spot Gen3 satellite tracking and messaging devices, which give personnel managers the ability to track  the whereabouts and movement of the ground personnel, and provide the ground personnel with a means of communication outside of cellular coverage.

 Data from the Guardian collars on the cattle and from the SpotGen3 devices on the ground patrol is pushed to the Spot My Globalstar platform which allows for an overview of activity on the farm. For the ground patrol, geofences were set in specific farm management areas for Enter, Exit or both. The client is sent messages indicating the time of entry and exit at specific geofence locations throughout the day.  For the Guardian animal collar, geofences were set around the cattle containment area as well as on borders to high risk areas such as cliffs. When animals breach the containment geofence or the high risk area border, the client will receive a message alert. The nearest ground patrol resource to the alert event can be located on the platform and contacted to respond. These geofences and alerts are easily set up and managed remotely in the Spot My Globalstar platform, allowing for a more efficient cattle management and farm personnel programme which greatly reduces costs related to expensive searches and management. The client has already noted a significant increase in ground personnel productivity with the ‘check-in’ clocking system via the Gen 3 devices and has reduced cattle search related costs by over 30%.

  The Streamline Guardian Animal Tracking Collar has many applications on the African continent which extend beyond the cattle industry to other livestock and wildlife sectors. With vast areas, often with poor infrastructure and connectivity, this collar can be a key element of remote animal management in Africa.  
Collar     Collar 2