Tag: 上海水磨会所KE

Where’s That Elephant Headed? Smithsonian and Industry Partner to Improve Animal Tracking

first_imgWith a list of partners that reads like a Who’s Who of technology companies, the Smithsonian Institution today formally announced a new program to dramatically improve the ability of scientists to remotely track the movements of wild animals—perhaps over their whole lives. While still lacking a business plan and definite funding, Partners in the Sky has nonetheless set four goals for the new research and conservation effort, which will rely on industry support, says Peter Leimgruber, a conservation biologist at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI) in Front Royal, Virginia. Already, researchers seeking to follow animals as they move through the environment have made much progress. Radio collars and other tracking devices are shrinking and lasting longer on more compact power supplies. Some tracking efforts make use of satellites for uploading data; others set up networks of transmitters in forests or other natural areas to pick up signals from tagged individuals. But scientists are still unable to track most of the 6000 or so species that migrate, because most are too small to carry even the small 3- to 5-gram devices now available, Leimgruber says. Furthermore, the devices now available can be unreliable and expensive, with limited opportunities to transmit the data.When Leimgruber first showed a radio collar for elephants to Allan McArtor, chairman of jetliner-maker Airbus Americas Inc., the aerospace executive was not impressed. The satellite radios “were big bulges the size of a volleyball,” McArtor recalls. He thought, “our aerospace industry deals with these technologies all the time. There’s got to be a better way.” So a year ago, McArtor brought together engineers from about 15 aerospace and other companies and convinced them to pitch in their expertise. Now, Partners in the Sky includes Airbus, Intel, Iridium Communications Inc., Joubeh, Lockheed Martin, Michael Goldfarb Associates, Raytheon, Rockwell Collins, and United Airlines. Students from Pennsylvania State University’s Applied Research Laboratory also have funding to try their hand at improving tracking technology.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)There are other initiatives to improve tracking devices. “What makes us a bit different is the diversity of industry partners that we are bringing to this,” Leimgruber says. “We’re hoping to really propel this [field] forward.”The first goal is to tweak existing tracking technology to make devices more reliable, cheaper, and longer lasting, so that researchers can follow many individuals, perhaps over their entire lifetimes. Another goal is to build a 1-gram tag that can be used on birds and amphibians too tiny to be outfitted safely with existing devices. With United Airlines, researchers will look into putting antennae and receivers on commercial airplanes that could relay data back to researchers; by using planes, which are closer to the ground than satellites, researchers could reduce the transmission energy costs for the tags. Finally, the partnership seeks to improve the use of these data with better database and analysis tools.The industry partners have already contributed in kind and monetary support approaching $200,000, Leimgruber says. But “we need to have funding to go further,” says Peter Marra, an ornithologist at SCBI who hopes much of that support will come from the industry partners. In an interview with ScienceInsider, McArtor was noncommittal. “We got it going,” he says. “We will help them with fundraising, and we have some engineering resources that will stay close to the project, but it will be a Smithsonian project going forward.”last_img read more