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Heron tracking project: GPS data for all to use and learn from

Cara J

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This spring, MDIFW tagged five adult great blue herons with GPS transmitters as part of an ongoing effort to better understand the state’s great blue heron population.  After a significant decline in the number of nesting pairs on Maine’s coastal islands from the 1980s to 2007, MDIFW listed the great blue heron as a Species of Special Concern and began a citizen science adopt-a-colony program called the Heron Observation Network.  By marking and following individual adults over several years, MDIFW hopes to learn new information regarding daily movements, habitat use, colony fidelity, migration routes, and wintering locations of Maine’s herons. Danielle D’Auria and John Brzorad set an array of modified foothold traps around a bait bit bin, hoping to capture a great blue heron. Photo by HERON volunteer, Joyce Love. Students and teachers from schools across the state played an important role in the field work leading up to the tagging of the five herons.  The students and teachers set and checked minnow traps, identified and measured the baitfish caught, and placed the baitfish into a bait bin in order to get a great blue heron to regularly feed from it.  They also used game cameras to “watch” the bait [...]


Read more: http://wildlife.org/heron-tracking-project-gps-data-for-all-to-use-and-learn-from/

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