Pygmy elephants tracked by GPS

Dec 17, 2005

A satellite used by the U.S. military to track vehicle convoys in Iraq is helping the World Wildlife Fund shed light on the pygmy elephants in Malaysia.

For the last six months, five pygmy elephants have been outfitted with a collar that can send Global Positioning System locations to the WWF daily via satellite.

"No one has ever studied pygmy elephants before, so everything we're learning is groundbreaking data," said Christy Williams, who leads WWF's Asian elephant conservation efforts and worked with experts to use commercial satellite technology to track Asian elephants for the first time.

"We will be following these elephants for several years by satellite to identify their home ranges and working with the Malaysian government to conserve the most critical areas."

The public can track the movements of the elephants online through an interactive Web map at worldwildlife.org/borneomap.

Copyright 2005 by United Press International

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