GPS Tracking Collars Being Used to Track Migration of Deer

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.

“The study has finally begun! We now have 16 collars deployed on adult, female deer,” said Sara Holm, a Fish and Game biologist, in an e-mail interview. Holm advocated that the expansion on the California and Nevada side of their range could impede in the migration of the deer. But this is far from the first time that wildlife has benefited from being monitored with GPS tracking devices. Just recently, we covered a story about GPS being used to track marine life, and Black bears in California.

“These deer have to move to survive, they can’t make it in Truckee in the winter,” Holm said.

Holm came to the board on October 22nd, requesting just short of $8,000 for the purchase of three GPS collars. “The board was very receptive … and in the end decided to fund two satellite collars, which was more money than I had initially asked for,” Holm said. “It’s so exciting to have them on board.”

Airport Board Member Tom Van Berkem said the ability to get real-time information about the herd swayed the board.”What we found with the satellite-equipped collars we would be able to get real-time information on the location of the deer herd from a safety point of view,” he said. “If we sensed they were moving toward the runway we could get real-time data.” Holm said she is still hoping to raise additional funding, to bring the total to 20 collars by next summer.

(Via Siera Sun)

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