GPS Tracking Being Used to Track Rare Whooping Chranes

420px-whooping_cranes_usfwsDuring the past few years GPS tracking has become a very popular method of monitoring endangered species in the wild. Now, GPS tracking devices are being used to track the movements of two of the rarest birds on the planet – both whooping cranes.

An adult, and a juvenile, bird, have both been strapped with GPS devices on their legs. The GPS will provide researchers with information on the whooping cranes’ migratory ecology and behavior, including the habitats the birds prefer, as well as the depth of the water where they roost.

Currently, only 500 or so whooping cranes exist in North America. Ecologists are also hoping that the GPS tracking devices will help provide answers to as to why almost three dozen whooping cranes died last year while migrating. The goal is to have even more “whoopers” outfitted with GPS tracking devices this  summer.

(Via The Independent)

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