How do you follow animals, as individuals or groups, in the wild? How can we get the precise data we need for conservation, such as knowing how many African penguins are meandering around a critical piece of habitat?
This article by a magazine for project managers shows how teams charged with finding out this sort of thing are bringing the newest technology to bear. Penguins are enumerated by computerized cameras that automatically distinguish individuals by the patterns of black spots on their breasts. Rare Arabian leopards are fitted with tiny "black boxes" that monitor their movements. And a network of underwater bioacoustic sensors - developed by students at Cornell University - is tracking the numbers and types of whales swimming off New York.
All very cool, and, potentially, very important.
THANKS TO Kris Winkler for this item.