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GPS tagging aids resurgence of condors

by GPS4US 2013-09-20 14:47

At one point in the 1980s, there were only 22 condors in existence.

Now, there’s a lot more. And GPS tracking has played a key role in helping replenish the population of North America’s largest bird. In July, scientists tracked 429 condors around California, Arizona and Baja, Mexico.

The birds, whose biggest threat is lead poisoning, often caused by eating bullet shells hunters leave behind, are bred in captivity and tagged with either transmitters or GPS devices before being released into the wild. They have a 9.5-foot wingspan.

“Today with the modern GPS technology that we have, the rehabilitation program is able to track these condors and really help them by monitoring their behaviors and movements,” neuroscientist Rachelle Oldmixon told Al Jazeera America for the show Techknow.


Oldmixon tells of seeing 30 condors in captivity at once. “I was seeing more condors than existed in the 80s,” she says. “That was just mind-blowing.”

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