News, Stories and Results for the Cat Tracker Project

from the Your Wild Life blog

Apparently, cat fanciers love celebrating their feline friends with official holidays. A few months ago we were celebrating World Cat Day (August 8, 2014). And now today, just in case you missed the memo, is National Cat Day! We thought we'd seize this opportunity to update you on our Cat Tracker project. To date, we've had 350 cat-owners sign up their kitties for our GPS tracking study, including owners in nearly every US state! We're intensely recruiting cat-owners on Long Island so that we can better understand cat movement and behavior before and after coyotes colonize. Last week, we shipped [...]
Wed, Oct 29, 2014, Continue reading at the source
Like the best stories, the Tom & Jerry cartoon is rooted in basic principles of real life: dogs chase cats and cats chase mice. Spike was the bulldog that terrorized Tom the cat, to the benefit of little Jerry the mouse. You might be surprised to hear that there is real predator-prey science behind the violent comedy of Tom & Jerry. Larger carnivores really do terrorize their smaller rivals, and the results trickle down to affect smaller prey, the mice and squirrels of the world. And whereas in the cartoons, the dance of dog, cat and mouse is all comedy, [...]
Thu, Sep 04, 2014, Continue reading at the source
Does he stick close to home or go to far off lands to fight evil? According to the data from his GPS-collar, Captain America seems to be patrolling the neighborhood with just an occasional trip or two to protect the parameter in the woods. Maybe he knew we were tracking him and didn't want to go too far? Or could it be he was just enjoying some R&R since the Avengers have taken a break? Do you know the secret life of your indoor-outdoor cat? With the help of citizen scientists around the world, we're using GPS technology to study [...]
Mon, Sep 01, 2014, Continue reading at the source
A Yankee cat or southern kitty? Roukus calls Maine home for 3 months of the year and Florida for 9! Right now in Maine she enjoys trips through the woods and visiting neighbors but doesn't take too well to the cool sands of Maine's shores. Will she prefer the warmer beaches of the Sunshine State? Roukus is just one of 73 Do-It-Yourself (DIY) participants enrolled in Cat Tracker. With your help, we're trying to uncover the secret lives of indoor-outdoor cats using GPS technology. We welcome DIY participants from anywhere — follow these directions to participate, joining your fellow Cat [...]
Tue, Aug 12, 2014, Continue reading at the source
Have you checked out the growing gallery of cat tracks associated with the Cat Tracker project? Harley is just one of 76 kitties enrolled in our GPS-collar study to uncover the secret lives on indoor-outdoor cats. And we've now gone international! We recently established collaborations with researchers in New Zealand and Australia. The New Zealand cats, in particular, will make for an interesting comparison group: New Zealand's only native mammals, are bats and sea lions, making Kiwi kitties the top of their food chain. Would you like to enroll your cat in Cat Tracker? Follow this link to learn how [...]
Mon, Jun 23, 2014, Continue reading at the source
In many ways having cats is similar to raising teenagers. They are the reason that we can't own nice things (RIP leather couch, house plants and shoelaces). We give them all of our love, and in return they sometimes acknowledge us. They insist on their independence while depending on us for food and shelter. And like teens, we may think we know what goes on when our cats leave the house, but once we send them into the world they could be up to anything. Cat Tracker — the newest project from Your Wild Life — uses GPS technology to [...]
Tue, May 06, 2014, Continue reading at the source
Last weekend (April 25-27, 2014), we took our wild brand of citizen science on the road to Washington, DC, to participate in the USA Science and Engineering Festival, the largest celebration of science, technology, engineering and math in the country. We enjoyed meeting and engaging 325,000 students, teachers, parents and enthusiastic science enthusiasts in conversations about the biodiversity in their daily lives — from camel crickets in their basements to the ants in their backyards. Drs. Roland Kays and Stephanie Schuttler added some “backbone” to our exhibit by sharing awesome camera trap photos of backyard mammals collected through eMammal, as [...]
Thu, May 01, 2014, Continue reading at the source
Recently, my friend Roland Kays, the Director of the Biodiversity Lab at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences approached me with a proposition. As part of a new project at the museum, he wanted to put a GPS unit on my cat. I, of course, said yes and then my wife and I spent the evening speculating about how ridiculous an idea this was. The debate revolved around whether or not the cat actually went anywhere. I thought she might go to the neighbor's house, or perhaps even two houses down. My wife, always a bit more practical, [...]
Fri, Jul 26, 2013, Continue reading at the source
Here is the problem. Adult mammals do not drink milk, ever. They can't digest it. They lack the enzyme, lactase, required to break down the lactose in the milk and so consuming milk causes great quantities of lactose to be left over in the gut, which are either turned to gas by microbes or just exit the colon, unceremoniously. Some adult humans can drink milk because their ancestors evolved one of several versions of genes for digesting milk as adults. Maybe you are a milk drinker, but you are in the minority, globally speaking. Most adults simply cannot partake. [...]
Tue, May 01, 2012, Continue reading at the source