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GPS Tracking Kangaroos

Advancements in GPS Monitoring: Unraveling the Secrets of Kangaroo Movement and Behavior

Researchers from the Department of Territory and Municipal Services are at the halfway point of a two-year project monitoring the movements and activities of eastern grey kangaroos using GPS monitoring technology. The GPS trackers were attached to local male and female kangaroos as a way for researchers to understand how large of an area the kangaroos inhabited to hopefully reduce the number of motor vehicle collisions with the kangaroos. In this article, we will discuss some of the benefits of that study and how GPS trackers can help us better understand kangaroos.

5 Benefits Of GPS Tracking Kangaroos

  1. Habitat Utilization Insights: By tracking kangaroo movements, GPS monitoring can provide valuable data on preferred habitats, feeding grounds, and migration patterns, enabling scientists to identify and prioritize critical areas for conservation efforts.
  2. Social Interaction Analysis: Examining GPS data on individual kangaroos can reveal insights into group dynamics, mating behaviors, and social interactions, allowing researchers to better understand kangaroo societies and make informed decisions to support their populations.
  3. Climate Change Adaptation: Monitoring kangaroo movements with GPS can help scientists understand how these animals are adapting to climate change, including shifts in habitat range or alterations in migration routes, which can inform effective management strategies.
  4. Threat and Conflict Mitigation: GPS monitoring can identify areas where kangaroo populations are at increased risk from human activities, such as roadways or agricultural land, enabling targeted efforts to reduce human-wildlife conflicts and protect these iconic animals.
  5. Population Health Assessments: By gathering GPS data on kangaroo movements, scientists can estimate population sizes, monitor dispersal patterns, and track disease outbreaks, which can contribute to better-informed conservation plans and overall population health management.

GPS tracking kangaroo

Examining Kangaroo Movement in Peri-Urban Environments: Understanding their Behavior and Mitigating Conflicts

In peri-urban communities of New South Wales, Australia, conflicts between kangaroos and humans have been on the rise. To effectively manage these conflicts, it is crucial to gain a better understanding of kangaroo ecology in these areas. A 2018 study, published in the National Library of Medicine, utilized GPS technology to investigate the spatial and temporal activity of adult male kangaroos in a peri-urban housing estate in Coffs Harbour, Australia. The study employed both collars and temporary glue-on devices to track the kangaroos, assessing their effectiveness in collecting movement data. The findings offer valuable insights into kangaroo behavior and present opportunities for managing conflicts and promoting coexistence in peri-urban environments.

Understanding Kangaroo Movement Patterns with GPS Technology

The study revealed that kangaroos primarily stayed within the residential area, exhibiting short-distance movements with low speeds. Their activity peaked from 6:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m., aligning with daily residential activities. On average, kangaroos covered 2.39 km per day, with a movement rate of 1.89 m/min, which was highest at dawn. The GPS glue-on devices, despite their shorter deployment periods of one to 12 days, proved effective in capturing daily spatial and temporal activity data. This valuable information helps us comprehend kangaroo movement patterns and address kangaroo-human conflicts in peri-urban environments.

Cost-Effective GPS Alternatives for Wildlife Tracking

While GPS collars can be expensive, costing around AUD$2500 per collar, the glue-on devices provide a more affordable option, priced at approximately AUD$250. Both devices were programmed to record location fixes every 15 minutes. Despite their limitations, the glue-on devices proved viable in gathering daily spatial and temporal activity data. This study highlights the potential of utilizing cost-effective GPS alternatives for wildlife research and management.

Effective Strategies for Managing Kangaroo-Human Conflict

By gaining insights into kangaroo movements and considering the effectiveness of more affordable GPS options, we can better manage kangaroos in peri-urban environments. These findings offer valuable information for developing appropriate management strategies to mitigate human-animal conflict and facilitate peaceful coexistence.

Related Article: GPS Tracking Laws Australia

Australia Wildlife Services Study On Grey Kangaroos

On March 13, 2011, you might have found George Wilson from Australian Wildlife Services working alongside ACT Parks and Wildlife volunteers to gather GPS tracking collars from Eastern Grey Kangaroos in ACT Parks. Why were these kangaroos fitted with collars? The goal was to evaluate their home range and movement within urban parks. Out of the GPS collars, 12 were programmed to detach from the kangaroos on that very day [1]. How were they located? Using radio tracking receivers, the team could determine the collar’s direction and proximity, making retrieval easier.

Did you know that Eastern Grey Kangaroos inhabit the eastern and southern regions of Australia? Typically weighing around 150 pounds and standing 6 feet tall, these kangaroos are easily recognizable by their unique grey coat. They prefer moist and fertile environments to call home.

Upon examining the GPS tracker data, what did researchers find? Female kangaroos generally remain in an area of about half a square kilometer, while males roam in a larger area of around three square kilometers. With this information, Senior Ecologist Don Fletcher believes that wildlife road accidents can be reduced. How? The data from the GPS tracking systems will guide road engineers when planning and constructing roads in kangaroo-inhabited areas.

So, how valuable were these GPS tracking systems? According to Fletcher, they provided “spectacular data and lots of it.” The kangaroo movement patterns were fascinating, and without the trackers, this information would have remained undiscovered.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Are GPS Collars, And How Do They Work In Wildlife Conservation?

GPS collars are tracking devices that use satellite technology to collect location data on animals. They help researchers monitor animal movements, study their behavior, evaluate habitat use, and ultimately contribute to effective conservation efforts.

Are GPS Collars Safe For Animals, And What Information Can Be Gathered From The Tracking Data?

Yes, GPS tracking collars are designed to be lightweight and non-invasive, ensuring minimal discomfort or harm to animals. The data collected can reveal an animal’s home range, movement patterns, preferred habitats, and potential interactions with other species or human activity.

How Do GPS Collars Help In Reducing Wildlife Road Accidents?

Understanding animal movement patterns through GPS data allows road engineers to plan and construct roads that minimize the risk of wildlife collisions. In the case of Eastern Grey Kangaroos in ACT Parks, researchers fitted these animals with GPS collars to assess their home range and movement within urban parks, providing valuable data for conservation efforts.

What Did The GPS Collar Data Reveal About Eastern Grey Kangaroos’ Movement?

The GPS data showed that female kangaroos generally stay within an area of about half a square kilometer, while males roam in a larger area of around three square kilometers. By understanding these movement patterns, researchers can make informed decisions on habitat management and work to reduce human-wildlife conflicts, such as road accidents.

What Are Some Facts About Eastern Grey Kangaroos?

Eastern Grey Kangaroos are native to Australia, typically weighing around 150 pounds and standing 6 feet tall. They have a distinctive grey coat and prefer to reside in moist, fertile environments.

Matthew Henson
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