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GPS Tracking of the Florida Panthers is not threatened


pocketgpsworld.comThere were rumours circulating that the Florida Panther Tracking project was cancelled for this year. Why would that concern readers of PocketGPSWorld.com?

Well firstly because a lot of us visit that area every year and the Panthers are in danger of becoming extinct with something in the range of 80 to 150 animals living in the Everglades National Park.

Secondly part of the project to track the Panthers uses GPS technology linked to a GSM wireless module to send text messages to the control center.

The Miami Herald published a story headlined "Panther tracking program cut in park". This claimed that the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission says panther tracking has been suspended in Everglades National Park, at least for this year. However this seems to have been a misinterpretation and the program is indeed continuing but with tighter budgetary controls. A news release from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) stated that the program that tracks endangered Florida panthers with GPS-equipped collars is intact, despite cutbacks in state budgets.

"We are still tracking the panthers in Southwest Florida," said Darrell Land of the FWC's panther team. "And we're using the GPS-equipped collars to give us information about individual panther movements." The full news release can be read here.

The big cats are tracked using the traditional method of VHF radio, but that means that a plane has to fly over the swamp to locate each animal, more recently some GPS Tracking has been introduced. This uses modern technology, allowing the panthers to be monitored from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission headquarters in Naples. However the GPS technology also has some issues particularly regarding powering the GPS trackers.

For more information on the Florida Panther visit MyFWC.com.
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