Scientists Use GPS Collars to Track Wolves in the Arctic

07__north_pole_wolf_20091229091751_320_240We’ve covered many stories about GPS tracking being used to track wildlife, but this is the first time we’ve seen GPS tracking being used to track animals in the arctic. U.S. Geological Survey Researchers and scientists have been using GPS collars to send coordinates back to them which tell them where arctic wolves are traveling to. They have specifically been monitoring a wolf named “burtus” as he travels with his pack. Their goal is to discover what these animals do during the exceptionally long and dark winter in harsh arctic environment. But before these high tech collars became available, scientists were limited to studying these animals only in during the summer months and they were only able to theorize about how the wolves lived during the winter months.

“This year, we made a huge technological jump from notebook and pens to satellite collars because we wanted to find out what these arctic wolves do in winter in areas when it is dark 24 hours a day and temperatures can fall to -70 degrees Fahrenheit,” said David Mech, USGS wolf researcher, in a press release . “How far must they travel to obtain enough food to make it to the Arctic spring, which doesn’t happen until the next June?”

(Via Fox Spokane)

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