Migrating eagles racked up a huge cellular bill

Migratory eagles with tracking beacons that send text messages allegedly accumulated roaming charges so high that scientists had to ask for a loan to pay them, as well as try to raise money from a crowdfunding campaign, because some of the birds did Unexpected detours (via BBC ).

An eagle, Min, was apparently so out of course that its transmitter sent enough text messages to consume the entire tracking budget, according to BBC . Min was expected to fly to Kazakhstan, where he would have sent a lot of coordinates by SMS that he collected while out of range of a network. Those texts would have cost approximately 30 cents each. However, Min apparently flew directly to Iran and the texts were sent from there, where they cost approximately 77 cents each. Come on, Min!

migrating eagles racked up a huge cellular bill

The eagles migration routes.
Image: Russian Raptor Research and Conservation Network, via BBC

"They really left us without a penny," said Igor Karyakin of the Russian Raptor Research and Conservation Network. , according to AFP .

Fortunately, it seems that the team will be able to pay the charges. The crowdfunding campaign has apparently raised more than 100,000 rubles, according to the BBC around $ 1,563, which will help pay the trackers until the end of the year, according to a Facebook post automatically translated from one of the researchers. The researcher also said on Facebook that the wireless operator of the team, MegaFon, "will return Iranian spending" accumulated by Min and establish a "special rate" to track eagles, so it seems that it will be cheaper for researchers to track them in movement. ahead.

If you want to better explore the migration routes of eagles, check out this interactive tracker on the website of the Research and Conservation Network of Russian Raptors.

Animal tracking is becoming easier as labels become more powerful, more efficient and less bothersome to animals. Here is a great article about it in Washington Post . However, sometimes, it is believed that animals with trackers are spying: this article from National Geographic has some humorous examples, the 14 squirrels in Iran accused of using spy equipment being my favorite.

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