photo: Filip Zięba

Some bears are trapped and fitted with GPS-GSM transmitters. Those transmitters take the exact position of the animal following a programmed schedule. The location data are stored in the memory and are remotely sent via GSM (as a message to a mobile phone) to a ground station. We transfer the bear locations to a field GPS and then go to the field to inspect them in order to assess bear activity at each location (e.g. resting, foraging on insects, foraging on fruits, walking). This also facilitate us the collection of scats or bear hairs. The GPS collars are equipped with a drop-off mechanism which is programmed to release the collar at a fixed time and/or remotely at any time when the bear is close. Thanks to GPS telemetry we are able to gather basic information on bear ecology (activity, home range, foraging places, important food items, habitat selection) and conservation issues such as illegal dumps and feeding sites, important corridors, dangerous road crossings, and denning sites that need protection. It also allows to closely monitor problematic or habituated bears in order to avoid conflicts.