GPS to track endangered turtles eggs poachers
How to save an endangered species from poachers? Let them steal the fake ones and track them down with GPS.
While poachers are getting smarter by the day, our scientists too are not far behind. They have come up with a high-tech method to help protect endangered sea turtles. They use fake eggs fitted with GPS trackers and let the poachers steal them.
Later, they track turtle eggs that were stolen and learn the locations of people buying and selling them.
Kim Williams-Guillén, a scientist at the University of Michigan and Paso Pacifico, came up with this idea of planting GPS trackers in fake turtle eggs.
She works with a group that works to protect animals in Costa Rica.
The idea won her the 2015 Wildlife Crime Tech Challenge—and also a $10,000 prize. Williams-Guillén and her team made the device InvestEGGator for the work. Of 101 decoy eggs, five were able to track the routes of poachers up to hundreds of kilometers away.
There are seven different kinds of marine (sea) turtles in the world. All of them are threatened. Several are in danger of being wiped out completely. Sea turtles lay large groups of eggs, called “clutches”, under the sand on beaches.