How Scientists Track Endangered Species

Scientists use various techniques to save endangered animals that will, or could, become extinct.

One of the techniques scientists use is shooting the animal with a tranquilizer dart that contains a chemical solution that makes the animal fall asleep. Once the animal is asleep, the scientists will put a radio collar on the animal to track it. Using the radio signals, scientists can put together a picture of the animal’s habitat and behavior.

Another method used by scientists to find out the status of an animal population is gathering its feces. Feces can tell scientists information about the animal’s health.

Scientists also use planes, helicopters or other aircrafts to take photographs of animals that travel in herds, like elephants. Using this information, scientists can determine the sex, age and the amount of the animals. Scientists can use the same techniques for larger animals that live in the sea, like whales, sea turtles or seals. Scientists put radio beacons on sea animals to track them in the ocean.

The procedures with birds are different. Scientists catch birds with nets or small rings. They then put tags on the birds to identify them for scientists around the world.

Keeping track of animal populations is a way to protect the rich biodiversity of the world.

[Source: 100 Things You Should Know About Endangered Animals]