bobcatWildlife officers in Ogden, Utah used a GPS tracker to monitor the activities of bobcat trapper and accused poacher Jared Beal, who went to approximately 35 trap sites between November 2007 and January 2008. The evidence acquired from tracking his vehicle was enough to bring him to court. Beal now must face 12 counts of wanton destruction of protected bobcat wildlife, with half of those as felony counts, and each counts signifying that several bobcats were caught and killed illegally. Overall 31 bobcat pelts were found in Beal’s possession when he was arrested in January 2008, far over the legal permit limit of six.

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turtle1In an effort to study the migration of turtles, scientists at the Phuket Marine Biology Centre are attaching to GPS tracking devices to two young turtles that are heading out into the Andaman sea.

Until now, turtles’ migration movements have remained largely a mystery, especially in their early years. It is believed that mature adult turtles can travel a range of thousands of kilometers, traveling as far as India, the Philippines or even Australia.

If this mission is successful, another 5 turtles will be equipped with GPS trackers as well. Meanwhile, those who are interested will be able to follow the tortes on the Aleenta’s web site.

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dog-gps A rare breed of birds called the Black Grouse, which is amongst the most rapidly declining breeds in the U.K. is now being tracked by dogs wearing GPS collars. The way Wildlife Rangers like Ally Macaskill use the dogs, is that they attach a GPS collar to the dogs which then track the birds. The canines location is then transmitted the the handset of the rangers (and can also be saved to view on the computer later to see which land has already been covered). When the dogs finally sniff out one of the birds, and see where they are, they stop on the spot and don’t move. They do this to show that they are “on spot”, which tells the ranger to come catch up and to identify the species of the bird.

“I’ve been very impressed with these GPS collars, which I saw used during trips to Scandinavia… They indicate whether the dogs are on the move or on point. When they get on point the collars mean I can get there quickly, with more chance of seeing what the dogs have found.” Said Mr. Macaskill

Right now, Mr. Macaskill estimates there are about 25 male grouse on the Perthshire’s Schiehallion estate that they are monitoring and trying to help them from going extinct.

(Via BBC)

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deerIn Truckee, California, tracking collars are being put on deer in order to help track the migration habits of deer. The Fish and Game department is using Eleven collars that utilize GPS tracking to store the data on-board, and five allow the department to track movement every few days via satellite communication. All the tracking collars are set to fall off the deer and be collected in February 2011.

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bear2Because of the increased development throughout the state of Florida, the black bear’s habitats have been dwindling in size. As a result, black bears are traveling less, and becoming more isolated.  This isolation results in unhealthy inbreeding. Researchers have turned to GPS to help out the bears. According to Dr. John Cox, head of the South-Central Florida Bear Project, bears need to travel to and from different-bear habitats in order to stay healthy.

“This population of bears is actually losing genetic diversity,” Cox said. “You see that loss of healthy genes in the population over time….That is a sign of isolation.”

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