GPS Bear Tracker Provides Data For Curious Humans
University To Use Locational Technology On Bears
The initial cost for the wildlife tracking experiment was approximately $25,000. The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources picked up the majority of the tab for the research study.
Black Bear Sightings In Little River Canyon
According to a professor at Auburn, the research wildlife biologists team was a little shocked at the number of black bears calling the Little River region home stating the number of bears is at least 26. In fact, a local state Park Ranger who worked in Little River Canyon for roughly 20 years stated that although he heard about black bear sightings from visitors he had never seen one himself before. In fact, the Park Ranger explained that when he and fellow rangers heard about black bear sightings for the first time about 20 years ago that the rangers would sort of laugh off the sightings because they didn’t believe black bears inhabited the region, but now he stated visitors to the area report sightings very frequently. This has some rangers concerned about a potential bear attack if food sources get scarce.
Many researchers believe that the population of black bears in Little River could potentially be the most significant in the state of Alabama. With some in the conservation community believe that the overall wildlife bear population could be as high as 400! However, the team conducting the research project believes that the number is likely considerably smaller, around the number 50. However, the information related to black bear populations, age of the bears, reproduction, and more could all become more concrete when the research and data become analyzed and finalized.
How Do You Track A Bear?
Bears Wear GPS Devices
The animal trackers will provide real-time GPS data updates on each black bear involved in the experiment every 60 minutes. This GPS monitoring data will be accessible using an online platform where researchers can observe in detail the behavior of the bears. The GPS tracking collars will also offer a VHS transmitter that will help the researchers monitor the bears in their dens during the periods where hibernation occurs or when the animals are simply relaxing in their dens. Another cool feature of the GPS tracking collars is that they were engineered and programmed to automatically detach from the bears at the conclusion of the study.
Yosemite Black Bear
Black Bears In Smoky Mountains National Park
Wildlife biologist teams have been studying Yosemite black bear populations in the Smoky Mountains National Park for over a decade to get a better sense of a bear’s movements. The same type of GPS tracking data and GPS collar technology used in those research projects to determine if animals stay within park boundaries was also used in Little River.
Sage is a freelance writer with a background in information technology.