Predators of the threatened Mojave ground squirrel include badgers, coyotes, snakes, falcons, hawks, and U.S. military aerial strikes. That's because the squirrel makes its home in a section of California's Mojave Desert also used by the Air Force as a practice area. But the military has to make sure not to accidentally bomb the squirrels, them being threatened and all, and expends a lot of time and money trying to find them so as to avoid that. Frustrated, the Air Force recently put out a call for proposals that might make tracking these animals--and, in turn, lots of others--easier.
The military specifically wants a sort of acoustic fingerprinting technology. Though often very effective, acoustic tracking--registering the unique sounds animals make, rather than, say, visual cues like zebra stripe bar codes--is usually limited to birds and cetaceans (whales, dolphins). There's no particular reason for that limitation, especially in this case, as Mojave ground squirrels (really, squirrels in general) are tremendously talkative animals, which should make them easy to track with sound.
The basic idea is to keep track of all of the Mojave ground squirrels within the Air Force's danger zone, identifying them based on their distinctive calls. That data could then be turned into a map, showing where to bomb and where to avoid. Once it's in place, it could theoretically be used for all kinds of mammals and other animals, which could be very useful for researchers and ecologists seeking to track them.
Maybe one stray bomb on the EPA could solve this. This has got to be a joke right? After years of bombing the shit out that area I imagine the squirrels have adapted to hearing the planes/shells/bombs/whatever, if they can't get out of the way oh well. How do they quantify this (i.e. what's 1 squirrel worth?). Do they keep body counts? How many have died in this squirracost? What about the poor scorpions and snakes? Environmental extremism at it's worst. /end rant
Just put my dog out there. He'll find them.
On a serious note, the point is that these animals are threatened, Katie. Perhaps the snakes and scorpions aren't threatened. Thus losses on their behalf won't wipe their species off the face of the Earth forever.
As far as adapting to hearing planes and running... That's hilarious. As if they have that much time to run away from a falling bomb.
I imagine they're just trying to reduce costs by being able to survey the animals at a distance instead of directly. I highly doubt some upper-echelon guy in a drab green suit suddenly decided to take the squirrel's plight to heart. Plus, it's probably an excuse for them to develop better acoustic fingerprints to track humans.
Awesome Rant! What no one discusses is why not move to bombing somewhere else? Or relocating to alternative area? Personally, I'd like to see ocean testing of bombs, bet that big splash would be awesome to watch! There is a place in the ocean, covered in miles of waste... KABOOM!
Why would we move a bombing practice field into the ocean?
What, the ocean doesn't contain life or something, just like that desert?
Most military targets the Air Force shoots at tend to be on dry ground...most everything else the Navy handles.
You need to practice on targets on the ground to become proficient in it. Plus, you learn how to use the terrain for cover against radar, SAM sites, recognizing formations on the ground, NoE flying, etc. There aren't any mountains or valleys to hide behind in the ocean.
Also...I doubt there's too much free space anywhere else in the continental US that features large, expansive desert area FAR from human habitation.
Unless you'd like to see a 2,000 LB GBU get dropped in your backyard. That would be awesome to see on Youtube.
I believe some Senator or Congressman, who is associated with government spending has a son or daughter in college and needs a government funded project, so he can work on his PHD.
I suggest if the government wants to track someone, I suggest they help or Mexican neighbors next door, track down the DRUG CARTEL. The Mexican government is about the go belly up and be overrun, by all the killing and corruption. When Mexico falls, it will spill over to USA.
You know, my dog could find those squirrels a lot cheaper than any government funded program. First the ears point up, she points, then the non-stopping and speaking in her own barking language she repeats, SQUIREL! BARK! BARK! SQUIREL!
Now can I have my several million please, thank you!
@ suggestivesimon - I imagine they're just trying to reduce costs by being able to survey the animals at a distance instead of directly.
You hit the nail on the head and almost saved me from having to comment, but these idiots really think they give a crap about squirrels and the environment when we drop bombs.
Humans ARE next.
If only we could created super intelligent computers that are self aware. This electronics could be inside the bombs themselves to guide them. Then it would be impossible to drop those bombs. We be killing a new and endanger life form. In fact, we have to store them in a safe place and keep them away from the squirels. I have seen some squirels get in neighbors car engines and eat the wires. We can't let these squirels near the bombs. We must kill the squirels, ARG!
Squirrels ? - maybe the USAF should be thinking about developing something to detect babies crying or children playing before they start their bombing raids around the world not saving vermin in the Mojave.
Squirrels have a language that they use to alert other squirrels around them to the presence of hawks. I would record this chirping sound and play it near the bombing range. The squirrels will then run away from the area.
On another note, there is no need to bomb anything because humans can be captured by extracting their plasma energy ball located in the 7th hyperspace co-dimension of the 2nd orange chakra. When this ball comes out of the body, the body is paralyzed, except for a small movement of the physical eyes. It's like taking the batteries out of your radio.
In addition, it is possible to activate the spiritual eye of the enemy soldiers. Because humans are slightly out of dimension, and the spiritual eye of the 6th chakra is totally in this dimension, the eye can not see the bodies nor uniforms of our soldiers. Thus our soldiers can come up to the enemy and capture them without a fight.
Warfare is easy!
If the USAF drops more bombs the noise will keep everything away.
You'd be surprised what they care about. It's a similar situation to when I was in the Navy as a sonarman. If there were whales/dolphins in the area while we were training, we were not allowed to actively transmit sonar into the water. Lawsuits from eco friendly folks lodged against the navy started that. This situation isn't too far a stretch from that.
i love katie but she does like to troll, bad girl, spank, spank...bubblehead, enough said...this will be used for other things besides protecting endangered species, as the article states, protecting endangered species is good, unless you listen to fox news, where most of the negative commenters seem to get their opinions from