Researchers Mount Cameras on Deer
ASHLAND, MO-October 27, 2005 -- A new study looks at the world from a deer's perspective.
University of Missouri researchers and the Missouri Department of Conservation mounted wireless cameras on the heads of 2 male white-tail deer and around the neck of a female.
The deer-cam gives scientists an animals-eye view of their behavior. It's like reality TV of the deer world. They hope to learn more about the behavior of the species, including what might contribute to car-versus-deer collisions.
Should any of the deer wander to close to highways, watching the video may help explain how the animals perceive moving vehicles, and could eventually help reduce fatal accidents.
Josh Millspaugh/MU researcher: "It's a completely different story and picture to be able to view things from a wildlife's perspective, so we can see what they're seeing and how they're interacting instead of us just watching them." Scientists also hope to uncover answers for how diseases get spread among the animals. In their real-time study, researchers so far have collected 200 hours of eye-opening video of feeding, grooming, sparring and breeding.
One of their most surprising findings is how closely deer stay in contact with each other almost 24 hours a day. The study has netted a $1 million grant from the National Science Foundation for more advanced deercam studies.
Until now, only transmitter collars, not video, were used for behavior research.
(Copyright 2005 by WPVI-TV 6. All rights reserved.)
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