According to a recent report, wildlife tracking has gotten a whole lot easier thanks to the latest technological advances. Solar-powered trackers, GPS collars, and locator tags are very popular among researcher who want to gather additional information about an animal without interfering too much. Scientists use smarter gadgets to track wildlife and this can only translate as new wildlife managed methods.
Even though a GPS collar or a solar-powered wing clip may not seem like much, these little trinkets can supply the scientists with more facts about an animal’s behavior than 1000 savvy field biologists.
Alex Zerbini is a biologist working at NOAA’s National Marine Mammal Laboratory. Over the years, the scientist observed that thanks to these little mechanical wonders, the scientific community was able to gather a bounty of information on the behavior of several species of animals.
For example, the ranger working at Yellowstone Park managed to capture a few grizzly bears and to outfit them with a series of sophisticated GPS trackers. Using these trackers, the scientists can actually see through the eyes of the bear, so to speak.
For instance, by using the GPS tracking collar, the researcher can determine if a bear is spending some time in the area because he has found a carcass or if he’s taking a short nap. Moreover, the biologists can also study how the bear reacts to a diet change.
Over the year, the biologists studying the grizzly bears from Yellowstone Park have discovered that the whitebark pine population, the grizzly’s primary food source, has been diminished. Most of them agree that this even could be attributed to insect infestation although there are some of them who point out towards global warming.
Thanks to new GPS collars, the scientists have been able to ascertain that grizzly bears currently rely on carcasses to build up their fat reserve in the fall.
Another great discovery made by using the latest tracking gadget was the diving patterns of humpback whales. Apparently, during the migration season, the humpback whales are in the habit of diving to depths of over 1000 feet in order to reach the underwater mountains. Why are the whales doing that? The scientists believe that is has something to do with socializing or with the whale’s diet.
The Californian condor is another great example. Using solar-powered wing tags, the scientists have been able to observe the feeding habits of this great bird. According to their observations, when a condor decides to go hunting, he will usually hunt in the area where he last saw food. Furthermore, thanks to the wing clip, they were able to determine that the condor doesn’t flap his wings in order to stay airborne.
The bird actually uses warm air current in order to stay in the air.
Scientists use smarter gadgets to track wildlife and the smarter the gadget is, the more fact we can discover about an animal.