For wild creatures, science becomes less intrusive with new technologies

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Anyone who has watched wildlife documentaries may know that animal behavioral patterns are tracked by inserting microchips into the animals' bodies. This is tricky, because it requires tranquilizing the animal in order to place the chip. But new technology now allows for non-invasive research. Science journalist Jim Robbins joins The Takeaway to explain how scientists are using technology and animal products, like poop, to learn everything they can about wildlife without even touching the animals.

For more, read Jim's piece on DNA-powered wildlife research in the New York Times article, Tools That Leave Wildlife Unbothered Widen Research Horizons.

If you want to do your own wildlife surveys, you'll need to be able to match scat with the critter that created it. To bone up, watch this video.

Guests:

Jim Robbins

Hosted by:

Farai Chideya

Contributors:

Molly Webster

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