Nosy humans find news ways to invade mountain lion privacy
Well, that would be the headline in a mountain lion version of this story. (But how could they type a newsletter without articulated fingers and an understanding of human language? Shh.) The human headline would be more along the lines of "Advances in animal tracking technology will enable scientists to monitor animals better than ever." Right now collars can track where an animal goes via radio and satellite signals, but the new collars will combine GPS systems with high tech metabolic measuring systems to give a round-the-clock diary of an animal's life.
"We got the data point," Professor Williams said, looking up from her laptop, which was measuring Mischief's oxygen intake while the cat moved at three kilometers per hour. She said the accumulation of data points for mountain lions -- what she called "a library of signatures" for every kind of movement -- was the first phase of the project. One of her graduate students is developing the next iteration of the collar for wolves and coyotes, two other animals that live in proximity to people across wide swaths of the nation.
The collars are expected to be commercially available in the next few years.