Observing animals from space – thanks to mini transmitters

Using the space-based observation system Icarus, scientists want to track the movements of animals – and thus find out more about the behavior of various species on Earth.

Drawing of an animal horde in nature

A group of researchers led by Martin Wikelski from the Max Planck Institute of Animal Behavior in Constance, Germany, hope to use the Icarus space-based observation system to find out more about the life of animals on Earth. For this purpose, the researchers are fitting various animal species with mini transmitters that send the data they measure to an antenna on the ISS. Over the next few years, several tens of thousands of animals are to be fitted with transmitters. Among other things, the scientists will investigate the routes on which the animals migrate, the conditions under which they live, and how they can best be protected.

Icarus (International Cooperation for Animal Research Using Space) also involves the cooperation of the Russian space agency Roskosmos and the German Aerospace Center (DLR).

Written by: sda / dpa

Photos: keystone

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