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
Litter is present throughout the world’s oceans: 1,220 species affected
27.03.2017 | Alfred-Wegener-Institut, Helmholtz-Zentrum für Polar- und Meeresforschung
International network connects experimental research in European waters
21.03.2017 | Leibniz-Institut für Gewässerökologie und Binnenfischerei (IGB)
The Institute of Semiconductor Technology and the Institute of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry, both members of the Laboratory for Emerging Nanometrology (LENA), at Technische Universität Braunschweig are partners in a new European research project entitled ChipScope, which aims to develop a completely new and extremely small optical microscope capable of observing the interior of living cells in real time. A consortium of 7 partners from 5 countries will tackle this issue with very ambitious objectives during a four-year research program.
To demonstrate the usefulness of this new scientific tool, at the end of the project the developed chip-sized microscope will be used to observe in real-time...
Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...
Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...
In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
20.03.2017 | Event News
14.03.2017 | Event News
07.03.2017 | Event News
28.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
28.03.2017 | Health and Medicine
28.03.2017 | Life Sciences