Internet of Animals: Researchers Getting Closer to Tracking Movement of 100,000 Creatures Worldwide [MIT]

Animal movement is a crucial part of the life of migratory species, as well as the average wildlife that only moves far distances from their habitats in search of food, water, and potential mates. With this, animal tracking, which often involves tags and other global positioning system (GPS) devices, is also an important method employed by zoologists, wildlife biologists, and other scientists concerned in the field.

While there have been challenges in the past when it comes to tracking and monitoring the movement of both marine and terrestrial animals, experts have made significant progress in previous years. Recently, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) said that tracking animal movement could save Earth; and researchers, who have been dreaming of an “Internet of Animals,” are getting closer to monitoring 100,000 creatures.

Over the decades, scientists and various organizations have tracked and monitored animals not only to study them but also due to conservation efforts. So far, the creatures that have been included in the grid range from sharks to whales, sea turtles, bald eagles, rhinos, leopards, African wild dogs, and among others. By tagging these animals, researchers can know their whereabouts, and movement patterns, and determine potential dangers they may face.

Internet of Animals

Internet of Animals: Researchers Getting Closer to Tracking Movement of 100,000 Creatures Worldwide [MIT]
(Photo : Photo by Gerald Schömbs on Unsplash)

The digital concept of Internet of Animals has long been aspired by Martin Wikelski, from the Max Planck Institute of Animal Behavior in Germany, over the past several decades, according to the MIT Technology Review in its report on Tuesday, February 22. The said concept is a large data system that allows researchers to monitor and analyze animal behavior to help them further understand the planet, as well as predict the future of Earth’s environment.

Wikelski and his team have been working on the system for years, aiming to create a dashboard of 100,000 sensor-tagged animals that can be simultaneously monitored in real time. This can be possible from satellites orbiting Earth and sources on the ground. But the most important part of the project is the affordable, lightweight GPS sensors that can be worn by animals, even small ones like fish, rodents, and songbirds.

Also Read: Animal’s Zigzag Movements Increase Stability and Maneuverability

Animal Movement Monitoring

Amid a changing climate, a warming planet, and growing human activities, it is evident that some wildlife species are severely impacted. Due to the threats posed by these natural phenomena and anthropogenic processes, widespread advocacies for animal rights and welfare have also emerged. Since the 21st century, we have seen increased efforts of scientists and conservationists to not only save wild animals in danger but also monitor their movement.

According to the Max Planck Institute, animal tracking data from individual animal movements helps scientists understand how creatures and even entire populations move within local areas. In addition, it helps us monitor their migrations across oceans and continents, as well as evolve across generations. Information from this data guides us to deal with environmental challenges like climate change and land use change, the institute says.

Related Article: Scientists Are Studying How Better Statistical Models May Improve Conservation of Endangered Species

© 2024 All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.