Call of the wild: Texting eagle nearly breaks bird-trackers’ ...

World

Call of the wild: Texting eagle nearly breaks bird-trackers’ bank account

Russians forced to crowdfund after GPS device sends hundreds of costly texts back from Iran

Alec Luhn

A steppe eagle has nearly bankrupted a Russian bird-tracking programme with roaming text messages after it flew to Iran and began transmitting backlogged GPS data.

Scientists from the Siberian Environmental Centre were forced to turn to online crowdfunding, with donations flooding in since the story made the national news.

Named “Min” after its birthplace near the city of Minusinsk, the eagle was fitted with a GPS tracker powered by a miniature solar panel in 2018. It is one of 13 eagles being tracked for a project by the Russian Raptor Research and Conservation Network to better understand what threats the birds face during their migration south to countries in Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia...

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