Science Spotlight

Station HOB2

Researcher: Volker Janssen
University of Tasmania

Sometimes the drop bears hide in the shadows of the radio telescope that shares the HOB2 GPS site.

Name: Hobart
Country: Australia
Elevation: 41.1 m
Lat/Long:  -42.8047 / 147.4387

Drop Bear Tracking in Australia

Animal tagging and tracking has been a fundamental tool in the quest to increase our knowledge and understanding of biogeography and ecology. Monitoring animal populations is also necessary for conservation. The use of GPS technology has yielded significant advances in this field by providing accurate and frequent measurements of the distributions of many animal species.

Recently GPS technology has been used to track the drop bear (Figure 1). This animal - indigenous to Australia - is difficult to track because of dense tree canopy.Tasmania has the highest concentrations of drop bears in the world (Figure 2). In this study, GPS was used to track drop bear prey rather than the animals themselves (Figure 3). Analysis of these data has provided valuable insights into the hunting behavior of drop bears.

Read the full article.

Figure 1. A drop bear attacking prey.

Figure 3. Two GPS tracks where both end with a drop bear attack (shown by star).


Figure 2. Distribution of drop bears in Australia, quantified by the National Drop Bear Index (NDBI).

Last modified: 2019-12-26  16:24:55  America/Denver  


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