Scientists are making plains-wanderer birds carry something in their back while wandering, but don't worry, it's for a good reason: to save them from extinction.
The tiny ground-dwelling birds are critically endangered species of birds from Australia, or more specifically around Victoria and New South Wales. It is estimated that there are only around 500 to 1,000 plains-wanderers left in the wild. South Australian, Victorian, and New South Wales governments are forming an alliance to prevent the tiny birds from going extinct.
The joint mission includes breeding the bird in controlled captivity before re-releasing them with a special solar powered ‘backpack’ on their back. This backpack is connected to satellites and functions as a tracker for each individual.
From The Guardian:
Researchers have long struggled to understand the movements of the birds in the wild – which is where the solar backpacks come in.
They have a two-year lifespan and will be tracked by satellite. Previously, tracking was limited by a 12-week battery life and the birds could only be followed with a transmitter in the field.
While the data collected from every tracker is going to be used as the foundation for further plains-wanderer conservation efforts.
Image: Zoos Victoria