September 16, 2005

Cell phone technology helps researches obtain information about animals

cheetah.gif Researchers in Kenya and South Africa are using cell phone technology to gather information on elephants, cheetahs, leopards and other animals, reports Pravda.

"The relatively cheap tracking device includes a no-frills cell phone that is put in a weatherproof case with a GPS receiver, memory card and software to operate the system. The unit, placed on a collar, is then tied around the neck of a wild animal, according to the AP.

As the animals roam, "the GPS receives coordinates, downloads them onto the memory chip, and then every hour, the phone wakes up and sends a text message of the last hour's coordinates to a central server," said Michael Joseph of Safaricom, Kenya's leading service provider, which is involved in an elephant-tracking project.

Then the phone goes to sleep again, preserving battery power."

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