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GPS Tracking Wolves

GPS Trackers For Wolves

Many scientists travel to the bitter cold region of Alaska to perform studies and experiments on wildlife in their natural habitat. Howard Golden, a wildlife biologist and member of the Alaskan Department of Fish and Game, knows all about conducting studies in the frozen tundra region as he has been researching wolves in the field for years. Howard explained that “Wolves play a vital role to the Alaskan ecosystem, and we need to research the species in a goal to better understand how they affect other species such as moose and caribou populations”. Fortunately for Golden and his team of biologists and other researchers, monitoring the wolves in their natural environment has become a whole lot easier with the help of GPS tracking system technology.

GPS Tracker For Science Experiments

Some people may think it is simple to capture and place a GPS tracker on one of the estimated 8000 wolves living in the Alaskan region, but the procedure is actually fairly high-tech. First, an observation pilot will fly over a particular area and search for wolf tracks left behind from the pack movement. Once a pack has been spotted, a low flying helicopter is called in carrying biologists with tranquilizer darts. When the helicopter moves toward the wolf pack the wolves begin to scatter, allowing the helicopter to follow one isolated wolf until they can immobilize him with a tranquilizer dart. Once the wolf is tranquilized, the helicopter crew moves to immobilize additional wolves. After sedating approximately 3 wolves, the team of biologists attaches GPS tracking device collars around the wolves’ necks, allowing the biologists an easy way to record the wolves’ everyday movements.

The real time GPS tracking system devices that are used on the wolves are designed to handle the bitter Alaskan cold where temperatures frequently fall below zero.

Wolf GPS Tracking System Objectives

  • Evaluate wolf populations to prey populations and density.
  • Monitor movements of wolf packs.
  • GPS Track movements and kills.
  • Estimate survival, reproduction, and wolves impact on prey populations.
  • Understand the annual prey selection and kill rate of wolves as it relates to prey density.

Wildlife Tracking Devices For Wolves

Once the wolf GPS tracker has been placed on the wolf it will record information on location every hour. The researchers follow a radio frequency transmitted from the collar to help guide them to the wolves’ location and then download the GPS tracking system data from the helicopter. Researchers estimate the entire procedure takes less than 3 minutes to download over 1500 recorded positions from the GPS tracking system, making it easy for the team to retrieve the data from the GPS tracker. Golden stated that acquiring the data and following the wolves was a simple process due to the ability of the collars to transmit radio frequency and GPS tracking data.

Anyone interested in learning about Fish & Game GPS trackers can click here! Or for more information about the wolf song project online can click the following link Wolf Song Alaska!

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