Endangered Cockatoos Are Getting GPS Trackers

Black cockatoos in Western Australia will be monitored with a GPS tracking system, which will help tell scientists more about their behavior and breeding habits.

Black cockatoos in Western Australia will be monitored with a GPS tracking system, which will help tell scientists more about their behavior and breeding habits.

Over the next two weeks, nine Baudin? Black-Cockatoos will be outfitted with solar-powered GPS trackers then released back into the wild in Western Australia, abc.net.au reports. This will be the first time an Australian parrot species will test the Bird Tracking System developed by the University of Amsterdam, Kris Warren, associate professor at Murdoch University told abc.net.au.

“Previously we’ve had great success using satellite trackers on black cockatoos, but this is the first we are going to be using these GPS trackers,” Warren said. “Not only do they enable us to track the movements of the birds, but they contain an accelerometer in them which is like the technology that exists in iPhones and iPads in terms of positioning, so we can get a further understanding of the bird’s behavior. We are going to be able to tell where they are flying, where they are feeding, whether they are roosting, and that very specific and detailed data has been lacked in previous studies.”

Everything will be monitored by Murdoch University researchers as well as researchers at the Department of Parks and Wildlife. The team aims to track the nine birds over the course of a year, but hope to track Baudin? Black-Cockatoos annually. Warren told abc.net.au that this species is difficult to track and that not much is known about their habitat requirements when it comes to feeding and breeding.

Tracking these birds could also give the team information on what may be threatening the species existence.

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