Lightweight GPS tags help research track animals of all sizes

Dec 07, 2011

GPS tracking has shown its utility for wildlife studies, and now, development of light-weight GPS tags will allow researchers access to information about a broader range of small- to medium-sized animals than was previously available, according to a study to be published in the Dec. 7 issue of the online journal PLoS ONE.

While previous research was generally limited to larger animals that could carry the traditional, heavier weight tags, Mariano Recio of the University of Otago in New Zealand led a team of researchers that studied the performance of a lighter-weight model that can be used on animals that weigh at least 5.5 pounds (2.5 kilograms).

The lighter equipment required to track these sometimes does not perform as well as the heavier GPS devices, but the team determined how and where the smaller devices must be used to obtain optimal results, eventually allowing for tracking of across a broad range of sizes.

Explore further: First study to show that birds and not just mammals copy yawns

More information: Recio MR, Mathieu R, Denys P, Sirguey P, Seddon PJ (2011) Lightweight GPS-Tags, One Giant Leap for Wildlife Tracking? An Assessment Approach. PLoS ONE 6(12): e28225. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0028225

Related Stories

Scientists crack code on tracking zebras

May 25, 2011

Field biologists following thousands of wild zebras in Africa used to joke about how nice it would be to have a bar code reader to help them identify and catalogue individual animals.

Cats pass disease to wildlife, even in remote areas

May 12, 2011

Researchers tracking the spread of Toxoplasma gondii – a parasite that reproduces only in cats but sickens and kills many other animals – have found infected wildlife throughout a 1,500-acre (600-hectare) ...

A tracking device that fits on the head of a pin

Oct 05, 2010

(PhysOrg.com) -- Optical gyroscopes, also known as rotation sensors, are widely used as a navigational tool in vehicles from ships to airplanes, measuring the rotation rates of a vehicle on three axes to evaluate ...

Dinosaurs May Have Been Smaller Than We Thought: New Study

Jun 25, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- For millions of years, dinosaurs have been considered the largest creatures ever to walk on land. While they still maintain this status, a new study suggests that some dinosaurs may actually have weighed ...

Hibernators live longer mainly because they escape predators

Apr 01, 2011

(PhysOrg.com) -- Small animals generally live shorter lives than larger animals, but those that hibernate are an exception, primarily because they escape predation during the winter, according to a new study by scientists ...

Recommended for you

Do you have the time? Flies sure do

2 hours ago

Flies might be smarter than you think. According to research reported in the Cell Press journal Current Biology on May 28, fruit flies know what time of day it is. What's more, the insects can learn to con ...

Barking characterizes dogs as voice characterizes people

5 hours ago

An international group of researchers has conducted a study on canine behavior showing that gender, age, context and individual recognition can be identified with a high percentage of success through statistical ...

Bird beaks feeling the heat of climate change, say scientists

6 hours ago

While the human population grapples with ways to counter the effects of climate change, Deakin University research has discovered that birds might have been working on their own solution for the past 145 years – grow bigger ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.