Species of birds and bats that have been in decline for years are going to be more closely monitored thanks to a new tracking system in Pennsylvania, writes Marcus Schneck for the Harrisburg Patriot-News.
By using nanotags, which are tiny transmitters that weigh less than a penny, researchers across the state will soon be able to track a variety of endangered species. The lightweight design of these nanotags means that they can be fitted to creatures as small as a Monarch butterfly, without adversely affecting their behavior.
For now, the species being targeted by the Willistown Conservation Trust in Chester County include the Swainson’s thrush, wood thrush, blackpoll warblers, rusty blackbirds, and the northern long-eared bat.
Funding of almost $500,000 for the ambitious project is being provided by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, with another $225,000 coming from other organizations to meet the federal matching requirements.
Pennsylvania already has more than 40 tracking stations that can pick up the nanotag signal, which can transmit as far as 10 miles.
Read more about the new tracking system in the Harrisburg Patriot-News here.