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.
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