Researchers use GPS tracking to find out more about the newly increased population of Snowy Owls in Maryland.
The Snowy Owl is an elusive bird that is native to Canada, though it can be found in various locations around the United States as well. It is also the official bird for Quebec, a province in Canada. While its classification is still not confirmed, experts believe it to be closely related to the Bubo horned owls. They can travel thousands of miles on their own and typically do when the seasons change.
One of the snowy owls being tracked, Hungerford, did just that when she traveled from the Arctic tundra to the coast of Maryland in the fall. In the winter, researchers found her and have been tracking her activity, along with other owls involved in a study.
While they are some of the largest birds that can be found in North America, there is little information about them. They don’t generally like to be around humans and spend most of their time in the Arctic Circle, only moving to the United States in the winter.
Usually, humans rarely see them, but this past winter it all changed. Residents began seeing them around Thanksgiving in Georgia, Kentuck,and Nebraska. A biologist, Dave Brinker, who works for the Maryland Department of Natural Resources saw two of them on a Maryland beach, which is practically unheard of. Brinker knew this was something that might not happen again and he wanted to take advantage of the opportunity to learn more about these interesting birds.
There is currently a fast population boom going in with the snowy owls, called an irruption. This is the biggest population of these birds that have been seen in 40-50 years. The source of more snowy owls breeding is thanks to a growing population of lemmings, which are the rodents that snowy owls eat more than other food sources. With more lemmings available, snowy owls have been able to survive longer and grow a large population, which might be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
This new research project is called Project Snowstorm and is being lead by Brinker and Scott Weidensaul. Two dozen solar-powered GPS trackers have been purchased following a crowdfunding event that helped raise $36,000.
The owls were tracked by visiting places they had been seen before, especially areas they knew the owls waited for their prey. After setting a trap and waiting, they were able to capture the owls and place a GPS tracking device on them.
The GPS trackers are solar powered and are very lightweight, as to not bother the owls. Brinker said they notice it at first but quickly adjust to it. Now that their activity and movement is being tracked, they have set up awebsite where anyone can track the path of the snowy owls.
According to theBureau of Labor Statistics, there were over 1.25 million delivery drivers employed in the U.S. in 2012. That’s a lot of deliveries made and delivery vehicles on the road each and every day. One thing that a vast majority of these vehicles have in common is that GPS tracking technology could help them operate more efficiently. The benefits of GPS delivery tracking below are just the tip of the iceberg.
Real Time Delivery Notifications
Delivery alerts in real time offers a huge benefit that adds value to your company over other delivery companies when customers are making their choice. Companies want to know when their customers receive the goods. They want proof that the items they sent were delivered and where those items were delivered in case issues ever arise.
Monitor Delivery Employees
GPS monitoring of employees works. It’s as simple as that. In fact, it works on many fronts. First, it keeps the lead out of their feet. If they know you’re going to get a report every time they go above the posted speed limit, they’re going to keep their speeds on target. This means fewer speeding tickets and lower insurance rates.
It also keeps them on task and not making any unscheduled pit stops on their routes. You’ll know if your employees are taking excessive breaks or running personal errands on the company dime because you have the ability to track their whereabouts at all times. You may only do this when problems arise, but those problems are often greatly reduced simply because employees know you have the ability.
Keep Up With Vehicle Maintenance
Delivery drivers rely on operational vehicles. Breakdowns and replacement vehicles weigh heavily upon the company’s bottom line. You can keep your delivery trucks on the road longer by following routine maintenance requirements and using GPS fleet tracking to schedule maintenance when the time is right.
Scheduling Delivery Routes
For many delivery and distribution companies, delivery routes change dramatically from one day to the next. It’s rare that companies have the same delivery schedules every day. This means that the most optimal routes for deliveries will vary from widely from one day to the next. Using GPS tracking tools, you can easily schedule the most efficient routes for all your drivers so that all deliveries are made in a timely manner and for maximum fuel and workforce efficiency.
Track and Reduce Idling Time
Idling wastes more gas than the average consumer realizes. According toNatural Resources Canada, the average idling vehicles consumes over one cup of fuel per ten minutes of idling time. At today’s gas prices, that adds up fast. GPS tracking can help delivery and distribution drivers avoid traffic jams, find paths with fewer stops and starts, and maximize route efficiency and overall fuel savings.
The average delivery company has a lot to gain by incorporating GPS tracking into their daily operations. The sooner you take action the better your long-term savings will be.
Iran officials hope to improve community safety, decrease prison time for non-violent criminals, and clear packed prisons through the use of GPS trackers.
In the United States, global positioning systems (GPS) are used for a multitude of tracking and monitoring purposes, including for tracking recent parolees. In Iran, officials want to take a similar approach by using GPS tracking in order to reduce how long prisoners need to stay locked up.
The GPS trackers are in the form of handcuffs, dubbed electronic handcuffs. These high-tech restraining devices will track the exact location and movements of the criminals, regardless of where in the country they are located.
The GPS handcuffs are only to be used on criminals who did not commit a violent crime, allowing them to complete their punishment in their own homes. The GPS electronic handcuffs are also designed to ensure that these non-violent convicts don’t attempt to cross the border before their sentence is up.
As with U.S. prisoners that wear ankle bracelets, these individuals will be tracked and have restrictions while they are at home. To begin with, they will only be able to go a certain distance from home, otherwise their cuffs will alert officials.
Early stages of the study have already been completed to ensure the tracking technology is up-to-date and provides real time for the location and movements of those wearing the GPS handcuffs.
Iran’s Packed Prisons Mohammad Ali Esfenani, spokesman for the Majilis Legal and Judicial commission, is hoping to reduce the amount of people in their packed prisons.
According to Esfenani, there are more than 7,000 inmates that qualify for this GPS tracking program. So far, over 1,000 of the devices have been purchased and are ready to go. Some devices are worn over the hands, while others go around the ankles. Officials are conducting lists of inmates who will first implement the program, many of whom committed non-violent financial crimes.
The GPS tracking devices can be used anywhere the prisoner is, whether it is on a public city bus or in their own home. The location data is sent approximately every 30 minutes so that officials can see exactly where they are at that time.
Iran isn’t the first country to use this technology for this purpose either; the United States, France, Thailand and the Netherlands are all using similar devices. The primary difference being Iran officials will only be using these electronic handcuffs on non-violent criminals to be sure they remain within the restrictions set when granted the opportunity to carry out their remaining prison sentence outside of prison walls.
While privacy is a common concern, officials in Iran believe prisoners will be relieved to be at home. The non-violent criminals will be getting early parole by agreeing to wearing the GPS trackers and following the rules, enabling them be at home with families while getting out of prison early.