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Seen & heard: Catching crime and tracking songbirds

October 31, 2023  - By

“Seen & Heard” is a monthly feature of GPS World magazine, traveling the world to capture interesting and unusual news stories involving the GNSS/PNT industry.


Tracking a songbird

Image: YiBaoTY/iStock/Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

Image: YiBaoTY/iStock/Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

Researchers in Alaska tracked the migration patterns of olive-sided flycatcher birds by attaching tracking devices to them to discover why their population is declining. The songbirds travel more than 15,000 miles every year to South America and then back to Alaska. To survive the long trips, they require safe locations to rest during their journeys. The researchers believe the stopover sites may provide an answer to the declining population. During the five-year study, the researchers deployed 95 devices and recovered only 17. The data pointed to 13 stopover sites between Washington and Peru as well as their wintering areas in South America.


Crime ring members caught

Image: hdagli/E+/Getty Images

Image: hdagli/E+/Getty Images

Members of an organized crime ring in the Florida Keys who are accused of stealing more than $2.5 million in boating navigation devices have been arrested, reported Local 10.com and Fox 4. Eleven men have been accused of targeting multiple marinas throughout Florida and stealing navigation devices from boats, specifically Garmin devices. For example, a Garmin 8612 H16 Model can be sold for more than $5,000. Ten suspects are in custody and are facing more than 122 charges.


Animals take advantage of COVID-19

Image: DrDjJanek/iStock/Getty Images Plus/Getty Image

Image: DrDjJanek/iStock/Getty Images Plus/Getty Image

A new study published in Science used tracking devices on 43 animal species during the 2020 COVID-19 lockdowns to find that wild animals emerged from their natural habitats and ventured closer to the roads and cities that were empty. The study used several methods to analyze tracking data. Researchers examined how much animals moved on an hourly basis and during a 10-day period. Across species and countries, on average, hour-to-hour movement was 12% lower in the spring of 2020 compared to the same period in 2019. With the end of lockdowns, human activity returned to normal, and animals had to adapt again. The results of the study demonstrate how humans can change their own behavior to lessen their impact on animals.


Navigation meets creativity

Image: @vikas_ruparelia on Twitter

Image: @vikas_ruparelia on Twitter

A man from Bengaluru, India, Vikas Ruparelia, used the Strava navigation app to trace the country of India to celebrate its Independence Day. Ruparelia started and ended his journey at the Mahatma Gandhi statue near Orion Mall in Rajajinagar, India. He covered more than 73 km on foot in 17 hours. The Strava app enables users to track their running and hiking routes as well as join challenges. The route Ruparelia took was designed by another user of the app.

This article is tagged with , , , and posted in Featured Stories, From the Magazine, Latest News, Mapping, UAV/UGV

About the Author: Maddie Saines

Maddie was a managing editor at GPS World.