Minnesota City Uses GPS Trackers

earthThe people of Minnesota are known to be the adventurous outdoors type of folk, but they also have a very balanced relationship with their local eco-system. This is why local conservationists, biologists and scientists in Thief Rivers, Minnesota are enthusiastic about a new GPS tracking plan that will use collars to monitor some of the local elk populations. The live GPS monitoring collars will record the location and movements of elk to offer a unique view on how the majestic mammals migrate and travel throughout Minnesota.

ElK Population On Decline

The elk population in Minnesota was once equal to that of the human population in the state, but hunters with small genitalia wanting a elk heads in their garages basically demolished the elk population. Sadly, estimates among researchers place the elk population now to be somewhere in the neighborhood of 200 in the entire northwestern region! The human impact on elk populations has been tragic and the hope is that GPS live tracking technology can help researchers understand more about the elk while also boosting the numbers of the mammal. The project will begin with the Department of Natural Resources equipping 20 female elk with collars that will record live GPS locational data and transmit back to researchers in real-time.

The cost of the GPS monitoring program is estimated to be around $300,000.

The Department of Natural Resources explains that their are three herds in Minnesota known as the Grygla, Kittson-Central, Caribou-Vita elk herds. Although it was not specifically identified which herd or herds would be followed as part of the tracking program, it is known that the elk will be netted with the assistance of a helicopter and team from Washington. The entire process of equipping the elk with GPS monitoring devices is a very delicate one because of the dwindling population of the mammal. The Department of Natural Research understand the long history of elk in Minnesota and hope the tracking units will provide detailed information that will help the state manage habitat and boost elk population.

GPS monitoring data, which will be gathered until the year 2018, will offer a new and unique way to see how elk move throughout the state. This information will hopefully give researchers more insight on elk and provide solutions on elk conservation.