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GPS helps ospreys make a comeback in Michigan

by GPS4US 2013-07-26 16:42

Fifty years ago, the Osprey population in Southeastern Michigan was dying out. Chemical pesticides and DDT were taking their toll, and the bird was close to extinction around the area.

That’s changing now, with the help of GPS tagging.

In 1998, the state of Michigan launched the Osprey Watch of Southeastern Michigan, a program to reintroduce Ospreys to the area. They brought young ospreys to the area, fed them and raised them, and then released them into the parks after banding them with GPS trackers to follow their movements.

Earlier this month, the group banded another young osprey, named Jason jr. Because Ospreys often nest in cell phone towers – which causes fires and power outages – Jason jr.’s banding was paid for by DTE Energy. 

“What made this one special was that it was in a nest that DTE had moved,” DTE spokesperson Randi Berris told the Detroit Free Press.  “The ospreys originally built a nest on top of a utility pole on private property. It was confirmed that this could cause power outages or fire. When the bucket truck moved the nest from its original location, there was charring underneath.”

Currently, southeastern Michigan is home to 56 osprey nests.

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