Tagging Research Main page
A 'tag' is anything that can be used to
identify an object or organism from similar objects or organisms and
or provide additional information. Tags used commonly in everyday
life include price tags, which usually contain both the name of the
product and the price. Here the product name helps you identify the
product and the price provides additional information about the
product. It is often the price that is most useful to the shopper
and similarly the additional information the most useful to the
Other kinds of tags include ISBN numbers of
books and number-plates of cars. Both sequences of characters help
identify the objects from similar objects and can indeed provide
additional information when researched.
However, there is a difference. The
number-plate of a car is unique to that car and, providing there are
no identity thieves, is the only car with that number-plate
worldwide. Therefore this specific car can be recognised from all
the other cars in the world, were they lined up in a row.
An ISBN number, however, is only specific to a
particular type of book. All the copies of 'Collins Road Atlas 2010'
will have the same ISBN number so whilst this book can be identified
from all other types of book it can not be identified from a stack
of its fellow Atlases.
There is therefore a distinction in the types
of tagging available. Tags are either specific to an individual or
specific to a group of individuals. In most cases it is more useful
to be able to identify a specific individual rather than a group but
due to the types of tags available, tags which identify an
individual as part of a group, such as the ISBN number, are very
For small animals, the tags have to be so
small it can be nearly impossible to produce tags that will identify
a particular individual as the organisms are very small and it is
hard to make tags detectably different at this size level. Therefore
the group tags are more popular.
To see the research of the different kind of
small animal tags available alongside an initial assessment of how effective
they are, open the following document:
Small Animal Tags and Markers
To see a list of some of the tags on the
market appropriate for small animals see the document below:
Small Animal Tag Products
Another aspect of tagging is the actual
information they provide about animal behaviour and populations.
This information can be used to help conservation efforts succeed
and provide information on biodiversity of the surrounding areas.
Identifying these areas which are home to a wide variety of species
is important so they can be protected from development and
pollution. This is because many animals and plants have the
potential to produce many medicines and cosmetic products. The
extinction of some of these species may mean these opportunities are
being lost and may affect our descendents.
Our Researcher, George Mayes, has recently
carried out a biodiversity study on an area of marshland (Freeman's
Marsh, Hungerford, Berks) that is home to both a wide variety of
plants and animals. The study involves an investigation into plant
biodiversity and distribution as a result of human impact. As the
area is a real haven for a huge variety of insects and other
invertebrates, which are dependent on certain plants for their
survival, this project provides information which may be useful for
tagging projects in the future.
It should be noted that whilst insects were
not directly studied in this project, it was observed that insects
are much more varied and numerous in areas of thick vegetation which
tend to be areas with medium to high levels of biodiversity.
Therefore it is likely that insect biodiversity and plant
biodiversity are linked in the area although this is only a
hypothesis and would need to be proven by another study.
To view the project report click on the link
Biodiversity Study of Freeman's Marsh
Our Researcher in action!