tracking the hawks
LIGO Hanford Observatory is helping the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife to track ferruginous hawks, North America's largest soaring hawks. The ecology of this hawk, more than any other soarng hawks, is dependent on the native prairie ecosystems that are becoming increasingly rare and fragmented largely due to conversion to agriculture. In Washington, the decline in shrubsteppe mammals have likely contributed to the listing of the ferruginous hawk as a state Threatened Species. Only 25% of the 200 ferruginous hawk nesting territories are occupied in most years in eastern Washington, and many of these have remained vacant for years.
Satellite telemetry is providing new information on the winter whereabouts and ecology of Washington's ferruginous hawks. The agency operates 2 cameras, which send a snapshot of the birds' nests every 10 seconds. The Observatory is helping the Agency to collect the data by providing the network bandwidth to transmit the data to the Agency's servers.
We encourage members of the LSC and others to think about means to mitigate global warming in their daily activities. A first step is to make a calculation of your carbon footprint. An online calculator which can compute your carbon footprint can be found at http://www.carbonfootprint.com/calculator.aspx
Please let us know if you have other suggestions for useful pointers in this domain or thoughts on the LSC engagement in this issue.