Texting to Help DNR Study Minnesota Moose

A new study will give researchers a better chance at determining when and where Minnesota moose are dying. The species was selected for added protection by the DNR at the end of 2012, and now the DNR wants to use GPS technologies and implants to study the animal closer.

photo by Sam Cook, from www.minnesota.publicradio.org

According to stories on MPR News and in the Bismarck Tribune, 100 adults and 50 calves will be fitted with $2,500 tracking collars, and a  portion of them will also get $900 mortality transmitters implanted in their digestive tracts. When the animal’s heart stops beating the transmitter will send a text to researchers, allowing them to retrieve the body within 24 hours.

Currently, it can take researchers up to ten days to find an animal once it perishes. The greatly improved response time will help the researchers understand what might be causing moose decline and even the impacts it could have on other species or humans.

The GPS collars will also send texts to researchers if the animal is inactive for six hours, and the data collected will be used for multiple studies.

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