Ain't technology amazing? Scientists can track penguin poop from space!


Worst. Photoshop. Ever. Image: Public domain

What Else Can They See?

If you want to protect an animal population, you need information. How many? Where? What are they doing? Antarctica is 1.5x the size of the USA, and it's very hard to keep track of penguin population... At least it was until scientists discovered that they could see penguin poop from space! Read on for more details. Photo: iStockPhoto

From Discovery News:

Scientists at the British Antarctic Survey found this out by accident when they were looking at satellite images of their bases. A reddish-brown streak on the colorless ice was right where they knew a colony was, said survey mapping scientist Peter Fretwell.

The stain was penguin poo -- particularly smelly stuff -- and it gave researchers an idea to search for brown stains to find penguins. [...]

Using satellite data, the scientists found 10 new colonies of penguins, six colonies that had moved from previously mapped positions to new spots and another six that seemed to have disappeared. Overall, 38 colonies were spotted from above, according to Fretwell's paper, "Penguins From Space" in the journal Global Ecology and Biogeography

Isn't that amazing? Go science!

Via Discovery News
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Tags: Animals | Conservation | Endangered Species