Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Tiny toads fitted with backpacks

17.05.2005


A University of Alberta researcher is strapping tiny backpacks to toads in an effort to discover why one species is in serious decline.



Connie Browne, a PhD student in the Department of Biological Sciences, is spending this summer haunting the ponds and sloughs in northern Alberta, Canada, using tiny radio transmitter backpacks to track Canadian and Western toads.

Browne hopes to capture 12 of each kind and using soft surgical tubing, she will belt the toads into tiny, waterproof oval ’backpacks’ containing radio transmitters. The signals travel up to one kilometre and will allow Browne to locate the toads and to take note of their preferred habitat.


Browne began radio-tracking toads at Elk Island National Park east of Edmonton, Alberta last year, and confirming earlier research, was unable to spot a single Canadian toad. In fact, she’s never seen one. The small, bumpy-skinned species, which dines on grasshoppers and other invertebrates, plays a valuable role in the food web and crop pest control. It has become locally extinct. "We’ve changed the environment so much, they can’t survive anymore," Browne said. "It indicates the aspen parkland is not as healthy as it used to be."

Browne’s studies will offer up clues as to how a balance can be struck between land development and the need to preserve breeding, foraging and hibernation habitats for toads and other amphibious species.

Some toads carry their transmitters for only a few days before slipping out of the belt, while others have worn them for as long as six months. Last year, Browne was able to track 12 toads to hibernation and describe their hibernation sites. The transmitters were then removed and the toads released for the winter.

Bev Betkowski | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.ualberta.ca

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht How brains surrender to sleep
23.06.2017 | IMP - Forschungsinstitut für Molekulare Pathologie GmbH

nachricht A new technique isolates neuronal activity during memory consolidation
22.06.2017 | Spanish National Research Council (CSIC)

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Quantum thermometer or optical refrigerator?

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

A 100-year-old physics problem has been solved at EPFL

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Equipping form with function

23.06.2017 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>