The Exploration Place The Electronic Forest Living Landscapes

Global Positioning Systems precisely identify locations

Man working in forest holding a GPS unit

The Global Positioning System (GPS) is a satellite-based navigation system. It allows anyone with a GPS receiver to determine an exact location in terms of latitude, longitude and altitude within 100 metres. A GPS receiver determines its location by comparing the signals of 4 of the 24 GPS satellites in orbit around the earth.

Radio collars track the paths of cruising caribou, meandering moose and other wandering wildlife.

One of the uses for GPS is in radio collars that track the ranges of wildlife. There are about 100 collars tracking large animals in northern BC. The collars can store a year’s worth of information at a time, so researchers know what a bear, moose, mountain goat or caribou did last summer. The information gathered during these tracking projects shows the locations of mineral licks, dens and travel corridors. This sort of information is critical for designing plans to protect wildlife ranges.

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