AUGUST 13, 2019
A new study in The Condor: Ornithological Applications finds that currently-available global positioning system (GPS) tracking devices, previously thought to not alter animal survival rates, can decrease greater sage-grouse survival.
The researchers monitored sage-grouse survival at 14 sites throughout California and Nevada. Between 2012 and 2017, VHF transmitters were attached to 821 female and 52 male sage-grouse. GPS devices were attached to 234 female and 125 male sage-grouse.
Researchers here combined the measured survival of the tracked sage-grouse throughout the duration of the study with models to estimate independent random effects and correlating fatalities, to determine differences in the survival rate for sage-grouse fitted with GPS devices versus those fitted with VHF transmitters.