~A guest blog post by ADGIS student Trilok Gunnam

How do you find and protect an animal whose conservation status is listed as “Endangered”, which hides during the day in dens and dense bush, is active after dark but roams up to sixteen kilometers in search of food during that time?

And to make matters more difficult for this creature, a terrible disease spread through biting is devastating the population in the only known place on the planet they exist. I’m referring of course to the Tasmanian Devil, one of Australia’s unique and wonderful marsupials that was once extant on the mainland but has for the past four hundred years, been confined to the south-eastern island state of Tasmania.

The answer can be found with the use of remote sensing and GPS technologies and this is precisely what the people at the “Save The Tasmanian Devil Program” are doing. They use remote sensing cameras to monitor “local extinction or recovery in a diseased population, overall population status, and location of the current disease front”

Another technology that is invaluable in the monitoring and tracking of endangered species is GPS tagging. Tagging allows scientists and conservationists to monitor animal behavior, hunting trails, and even the model and shape of a burrow, or a nest!

 

To further protect animals, whether endangered or not, a future technology for vehicles could include GPS and automatic collision warning and braking systems to pick up the GPS signals from the tags of nearby endangered or wild animals.

This would not only lead to a dramatic decrease in vehicle-animal collisions but could also lead to lower auto-insurance premiums!