Experts say the GPS tracker will pave the way for less-invasive methods of wildlife tracking
An Australian researcher has developed a world-first GPS technology which will make it easier to track whales in real-time, right from their phone.
Dr Olaf Meynecke from Griffith University’s Coastal and Marine Research Centre (CMRC) led the study. He says the tech could provide important environmental insights. His team will be focusing on coastal and the fine-scale movement of the whales.
“One application will be in resting and breeding areas of species like humpback whales, which use coastal waters and link behaviour to today’s threats such as vessel traffic, water pollution and risk of entanglements,” he told Ticker NEWS.
Advancements in technology
This technology will be a far cheaper option than traditional satellite transmission, and will be able to work on a mobile network. This means the technology is suitable for both short-term and long-term tracking.
“I believe this technology to have a lot of potential as the mobile network is extending and we will undertake further modification to improve the tag design itself. We are planning more deployments along the east coast of Australia and have longer deployments aiming for several days.”
Customised Animal Tracking Solutions
It will monitor migrating humpback whales using a CATS (Customised Animal Tracking Solutions) suction cup tag. The CATs device temporarily attaches to the whale’s skin.
Suction cup tags do not have to penetrate the animals’ skin. Therefore, researchers can use them for short-term and small-scale studies. This GPS technology is usually used in cars and cargo ships.
“These tags are a more cost-effective method and capture more data locations and data points over time. The principle is the same as other suction cup tags. The tag sucks onto the whale’s skin and just falls off. The whales don’t seem to notice them at all,” Dr Meynecke said.
The tags are about 20cm long and 10cm wide. They are hydrodynamic for minimal resistance, with water-tight protections.
“Ideally for future studies, we would like to modify the tag so that the antennae is out of the water enough to transmit after the tag comes off the whale,” Dr Meynecke said.
Europe is preparing for winter: how can you keep costs down?
Britain is facing a surge in cold weather, with icy conditions and fog expected for much of this week
The UK Met Office has issued a Yellow warning, which means there could be damage to buildings as Britons brace for cold conditions.
Like much of Europe, the UK are bracing for very strong winds on Wednesday, causing disruption to travel and some utilities.
Drivers are also urged to take extra care on the roads, with warnings in place for icy stretches forming on UK roads.
But some residents who are seeking to heat their homes are on edge, as power prices remain high.
Peter Smith is the director of policy and advocacy at National Energy Action, who said the rising cost of living is impacting Britons.
“The average annual bill has almost doubled since this time last year.”
The organisation seeks to close the gaps when it comes to energy affordability. It predicts 6.7 million UK households will be in fuel poverty in the coming months.
This means millions of Britons will be unable to afford living in a warm, dry and safe home.
“So far the milder than usual weather has protected many from the spiralling bills as they haven’t needed to heat their homes as high or as long as usual,” Mr Smith said.
How to keep warm without blowing your bill
UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has urged people to make their own decisions, as he met with world leaders in tropical Bali last week.
“There are things that we can do—all of us—to improve the efficiency with which we use energy, to be careful about it,” he said.
For example, an efficient heater; taking advantage of the sun, where appropriate; and rearranging furniture are some cost-effective methods to reduce the burden on gas and energy bills.
In addition, there are some other cheap ways to reduce dependence on gas and electricity bills, as the temperature continue to plunge.
- close off rooms you’re not using
- lower the temperature of heating
- make sure windows are fully closed
- block cold drafts from under doors using door snakes or carpet.
The UK Government has placed a cap freeze on energy prices.
This means households will pay an average £2,500 on their energy bills. But there is a catch: if households use more, they pay more.
National Energy Action believes an additional 2.2 million homes could be in fuel poverty, when compared to the same time last year.
Why are energy prices so high?
As demand increases, so too does the cost of heating homes.
But there is another factor, which has sent prices rising across Europe: the war in Ukraine.
However, countries are struggling to find alternative supplies after sanctioning Moscow for the ongoing conflict.
Germany halted the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which was expected to double the amount of Russian gas shipped to Europe.
In July, Russia cut the amount of gas pumped through Nord Stream 1 to 20 per cent capacity.
Hoax call between Polish and “French” Presidents
Poland President Andrezj Duda spoke to a hoaxer posing as France counterpart Emmanuel Macron, on the night a missile hit near the Poland-Ukraine border.
The news was confirmed after two Russian pranksters, Vovan and Lexus, posted a recording of the incident, and Duda’s office also affirmed the incident.
During the call, Duda was asking who was responsible for the attack on November 15, wanting to avoid a war with Russia.
The missile landed six kilometres from the border.
Initial reports suggested the missile was Russian-made, but it was later discovered to likely be a Ukrainian air defence missile.
This is the second time the pranksters have targeted the Poland President, who have made their names going after celebrities and politicians, especially those opposed to the Kremlin.
Russian missiles hit NATO territory, killing two
Russian missile hits Poland, as the west assesses the attack on a NATO member
Reports a Russian missile has landed in Poland, killing two people. A projectile struck an area where grain was drying in the village of Przewodów, near the Ukraine border.
An anonymous U.S. intelligence official suggested a barrage of Russian missiles hit the Ukrainian power grid, and spilt into neighbouring Poland.
Poland is a NATO member, therefore, this signifies a potential escalation to the ongoing war. It also marks the first time weapons have impacted a NATO country.
Currently, the Polish government are holding urgent talks. A Polish spokesman Piotr Mueller has confirmed that top leaders are holding an emergency meeting regarding the “crisis situation.”
Under Article 5 of NATO, an attack on one country is considered an attack on all.
The White House has not confirmed the reports but the Pentagon is assessing the situation.
While NATO has taken collective defence measures on several occasions, including in response to the situation in Syria and the Russian invasion of Ukraine—it has only invoked Article 5 once.
For the first time in its history after the 9/11 terrorist attacks against the United States, NATO evoked Article 5 and came to the defence of the United States.
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