Target: Seth Stapleton, Lead Researcher, University of Minnesota; Todd Atwood, Lead Researcher, USGS Polar Bear Research Program
Goal: Thank researchers for developing a more inconspicuous and cost effective way to track polar bear populations
It is important for polar bear population numbers to be recorded. Unfortunately, every day the species dwindles in size due to habitat losses as a result of the rising temperatures, as well as the warming of the oceans that they call home. However, it is very difficult to keep track of this marvelous species because of the rough weather and sometimes dangerous conditions that human researchers can be subjected to.
Thus, polar bear researchers needed to come up with a plan, and one team of researchers has come up with a successful one. According to the Anchorage Daily News, researchers representing the U.S Geological Survey, as well as other organizations, have developed a method that allows polar bear population numbers to be monitored via satellites in space.
The study was conducted in the Canadian territory Nunavut and tested if satellite monitoring yielded the same results as monitoring via helicopter. The results indicated that there was no difference. The study, however, was done during the time when polar bears are the most visible, so this could have altered results. However, due to the positive results the researchers intend to run more studies and conduct more tests, which will hopefully result in the infallible conclusion that the satellite imagery method works.
Monitoring populations can be a very traumatic and invasive experience for animals, and can be dangerous for the people conducting the research. This is a huge breakthrough for not only polar bear research, but endangered animal research as a whole. Help us thank the lead researchers of the study and their teams for making this research happen.
Dear Mr. Stapelton & Mr. Atwood,
Thank you for conducting research with the intent to improve both the lives of polar bears as well as the humans who study them. Monitoring endangered animal species numbers surely is a tricky business. The information is necessary in order to protect and preserve their remaining populations, but in fact tracking them can cause them undue harm and stress, as well as make the lives of the human researchers challenging and potentially dangerous.
The success of this satellite imagery method study is of invaluable service to the effort of keeping polar bears around for as long as possible. Thank you again, and best of luck with your future studies.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Ansgar Walk via Wikimedia Commons