Wednesday, June 3, 2009

New Uses for Satellite Imagery in Antarctica

Monitoring emperor penguin colonies from space by looking for traces of their waste in satellite imagery may not be as glamorous as tracking ice shelf collapses and glacier movements, but penguin researchers are finding satellites quite helpful these days. Knowing where to look for colonies are will greatly assist researchers in making accurate population counts, and thus in tracking changes in the overall species population over time. Antarctica is vast, and travel is difficult, so locating colonies by space no doubt saves considerable time, money and effort. For example, satellite imagery showed that six previously known colonies had moved to new locations.

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