Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

In Living Collar: Elk Don Neckwear to Steer Clear of Danger

25.05.2011
In the forest near Flagstaff, Ariz., elk are being outfitted with collars, not as a fashion statement but to tell researchers what they and other animals need to navigate through urban sprawl, climate change and large restoration projects.

Researchers like Northern Arizona University’s Paul Beier, a conservation biology and wildlife ecology professor in the School of Forestry, said this information is critically important to keep animals from stepping into danger or even extinction.

“With climate change, we have the situation where habitat is literally moving out from under the feet of wildlife,” he said. “In order for these species to stay where they are, in terms of a healthy population, they have to move.”

Beier is developing maps detailing links for wild areas—or wildlife corridors—to help land managers understand how animals move across the land.

“We’re creating landscapes that are more permeable than the landscapes we had a decade or two decades ago,” he said.

For Arizona Game and Fish Department wildlife biologist Jeff Gagnon, the job of collaring an elk is somewhat like a rodeo event. Within minutes, he and a team of wildlife managers can calm a frightened animal that might weigh as much as a thousand pounds.

“We fit the collar to make sure the animal has some space and isn’t being choked,” he said.

The collar is programmed to fall off in a few months. But in the meantime, every two hours a GPS unit is sending signals to satellites that are sending signals to biologists.

Gagnon has been tracking some 130 elk around major highways including interstates 17 and 40. “We know where the animals are, what kind of habitat they are using and what barriers are stopping them. For a lot of animals when we fragment their habitat, they can’t get to resources like summer or winter range. We also run the risk of isolating or breaking up the herd, which can lead to a smaller gene pool and a weaker species.”

With information about wildlife movement, highways are becoming less of a hindrance, and safer for wildlife and people. Groups like the Arizona Department of Transportation, Elk Society, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and Federal Highway Administration are funding research and passageways.

For example, along State Route 260 near Payson, highway improvement projects have included wildlife crossings. “Animals are using the crossings,” Gagnon said, “and collisions between elk and motorists have been reduced by at least 85 percent.”

Wally Covington, director of NAU’s Ecological Restoration Institute, said managing for wildlife corridors is increasingly important as forests are restored on a landscape scale.

“Across hundreds of thousands of acres, natural habitat can be restored,” he said. “Wildlife can self-regulate. Predator/prey dynamics can keep populations in a sustainable, steady state that’s characteristic of the evolutionary environment.”

Wearing high-tech necklaces, today’s elk may well be leading the way for tomorrow’s wildlife corridors.

“We’re doing something that really matters,” Beier said. “It’s a fabulous triple win situation. It’s better for people, less road kill and more wildlife movement.”

Tracie Hansen | Newswise Science News
Further information:
http://www.nau.edu

Further reports about: Arizona DANGER Living Lakes-Konferenz Neckwear elk healthy population satellites steer

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Successful calculation of human and natural influence on cloud formation
04.11.2016 | Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main

nachricht Invasive Insects Cost the World Billions Per Year
04.10.2016 | University of Adelaide

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

Im Focus: MADMAX: Max Planck Institute for Physics takes up axion research

The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.

The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...

Im Focus: Molecules change shape when wet

Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water

In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...

Im Focus: Fraunhofer ISE Develops Highly Compact, High Frequency DC/DC Converter for Aviation

The efficiency of power electronic systems is not solely dependent on electrical efficiency but also on weight, for example, in mobile systems. When the weight of relevant components and devices in airplanes, for instance, is reduced, fuel savings can be achieved and correspondingly greenhouse gas emissions decreased. New materials and components based on gallium nitride (GaN) can help to reduce weight and increase the efficiency. With these new materials, power electronic switches can be operated at higher switching frequency, resulting in higher power density and lower material costs.

Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE together with partners have investigated how these materials can be used to make power...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

UTSA study describes new minimally invasive device to treat cancer and other illnesses

02.12.2016 | Medical Engineering

Plasma-zapping process could yield trans fat-free soybean oil product

02.12.2016 | Agricultural and Forestry Science

What do Netflix, Google and planetary systems have in common?

02.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>