Friday, 27 February 2015

Tracking Wyoming’s big game herds

Brett Smith for – Your Universe Online

Wyoming is known as a home for big game animals like elk, moose, and bighorn sheep, and a conservation group in the state is using modern technology to track the migratory patterns of these herd animals that often have to cross highways or navigate rural communities.

Researchers with the Wyoming Migration Initiative (WMI) are utilizing both motion-activated digital camera traps and a GPS system to track big game herds, and hopefully inform policymakers on how to conserve the herd paths while making land use decisions.

Online video of the program from CNN shows how the herd animals travel in groups and often follow the same trails.

“What it allows us to do is not only determine how many animals are using those crossing structures, but what type of animals, and what direction they’re moving,” Hall Sawyer, a research biologist with the WMI, told the cable news network.

The Wyoming researchers added that future land use decisions should aim to maintain these migratory routes, allowing the animals to move as they have for generations.

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