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GPS aids scientists in studying hedgehog release into the wild

by GPS4US 2013-11-04 15:34

Thanks to GPS technology, scientists in England are embarking on a plan to see if hedgehogs they’ve nursed back to health can survive in the wild. Scientists have devised a sort of GPS backpack to attach to 24 hedgehogs cared for at the Shepreth Wildlife Park in Cambridgeshire. The animals will be released back into the wild this week, and the GPS units will send signals to a computer 24 hours a day. The device weighs 1.8 ounces, and is glued to the back of the hedgehogs after clipping their spines. It will fall off in several months when the hedgehogs naturally shed. In the meantime, Rebecca Willers, chairwoman of the Sepreth Wildlife Conservation Charity, is hoping the study yields useful information that can boost the survival rates of rehabilitated hedgehogs. "The over-arching aim is to see if hedgehogs survive in the wild after rehabilitation in what is a plastic environment," Willers told the BBC. "But the most important aspect is to find out if hedgehogs go on to reproduce and if rehabilitation is helping the hedgehog population as a whole. In 10 years we want to have a comprehensive guide of the best release sites and methods." Hedgehogs are just the latest animals to benefit from scientific studies using GPS technology. Tigers, condors and muskoxen have also been the subjects of recent GPS tracking.
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