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Why We're Giving Bald Eagles Onboard GPS


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An adult bald eagle shows off a "backpack" transmitter carefully installed by the Center for Conservation Biology. CREDIT: Photo by Robert Lin
Beginning in the summer of 2007, the Center for Conservation Biology (CCB) began deploying satellite transmitters with onboard GPS receivers on bald eagles within the Chesapeake Bay region. Most of those transmitters were deployed as part of a large Department of Defense (DOD) study. The DOD is interested in the birds because military bases often provide great cover for eagles. Unfortunately, eagles don't come out too well where there is ordnance testing, and the birds also run afoul of power lines and other installations. The purpose of the large DOD study is to prioritize mitigation of those hazards.

 

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