Improved Method for Tracking Apocryphal Animals

Apocryphal animals are notoriously difficult to tag and track. This new study tells of a technological advance that could make a difference:

volkerIndirect Tracking of Drop Bears Using GNSS Technology“,” Volker Janssen [pictured here], Australian Geographer, Volume 43, Issue 4, December 2012. (Thanks to investigator Tom Gill for bringing this to our attention.) The author, at the University of Tasmania, explains:

“The use of Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) technology has been responsible for significant advances in [animal tagging and tracking] by providing the ability to obtain accurate, regular and frequent estimates of the changing distributions of many rare animal species. Employing conventional GNSS-based animal tracking methods to study drop bears is extremely difficult due to their habitat. The dense tree canopy regularly causes extended periods of complete GNSS signal loss, and sensors are often damaged during attacks on prey. This paper proposes an indirect, GNSS-based method for tracking drop bears. This involves tracking the prey rather than the predator in order to map the population of drop bears in a particular area. The method can be used to effectively estimate the number of drop bears in the study area. Analysis of the collected data provides valuable insights into the hunting behaviour of drop bears and has implications for a better understanding of the geographical distribution of other rare species, including hoop snakes and bunyips.”

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