Scientists had known that peregrine falcons migrate great distances. Exactly what routes and how far were still in question. Satellite transmitters, harnessed to the birds like backpacks, provide valuable, and often surprising, answers.
“The application of advanced technologies is a hallmark of BRI’s innovative field studies.”
— Wing Goodale, Deputy Director
To effectively protect wildlife populations, biologists must first link breeding areas with wintering areas and important stopover habitats used during migration. This task presents real challenges when studying a species like the peregrine falcon, that can breed in the Arctic, and migrate thousands of miles over the ocean to winter as far as Central or South America.
Other rapidly developing technologies such as geolocators, which utilize ambient light levels to map latitude and longitude coordinates, and geologgers, which employ GPS technology, provide conservation biologists with exciting opportunities to gather information critical to understanding migration patterns and habitat needs.
Data gathered from tracking technologies allow BRI biologists to relay the most accurate information to policymakers, enhancing their ability to prioritize conservation actions.