Feeds

Walruses shake off Danish migrant-watchers

Plucky creatures escape satnav tags implanted 'for their own good'

High performance access to file storage

A plan to monitor Atlantic walruses using satnav bugs shot into their hides from crossbows or CO2 guns has run into trouble.

A Danish research team fired tags into 10 walruses off the Greenland coast just over a month ago. Dr Erik Born, leader of the walrus-tagging team, said the project was intended to monitor the animals' migration.

Denmark is, of course, notoriously unwilling to welcome migrants, but El Reg hadn't realised that even Greenland walruses were now being seen as a threat to Europeans' jobs and cultural integration.

And indeed this turned out not to be the case. It seems the two-ton whiskery tuskers are uninterested in moving to Denmark, choosing instead to head off each year to a mystery summer hideaway. Dr Born and his crew are determined to find out where this might be and what the walruses get up to there.

But it seems that walruses guard their privacy jealously. Two of the 10 tags simply bounced off the creatures' tough hides, and it appears that now all but one of the remaining eight devices has ceased transmitting. Dr Born's crew didn't expect the bugs to keep working for longer than two months, but he told the BBC that he was a little disappointed with the way things had gone.

The researchers contend that their scheme is entirely for the walruses' benefit. The idea is seemingly to gather evidence which might be used to restrict hunting or oil exploration.

Be that as it may, the project seems not to be going well. The one remaining tag is attached to a female walrus whom the inquisitive Scandinavian eggheads have lightheartedly dubbed "W2". The creature has so far failed to begin her migration to the secret walrus summer retreat, but Dr Born and his team hope that she might get moving before her tag, too, becomes unserviceable.

It could be that the plucky female has managed to shake off the Danish snoopers already. According to the Beeb's "Walrus Watch" service, the last data received from her tag was dated six days ago. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Video games make you NASTY AND VIOLENT
Especially if you are bad at them and keep losing
Russian deputy PM: 'We are coming to the Moon FOREVER'
Plans to annex Earth's satellite with permanent base by 2030
Solar-powered aircraft unveiled for round-the-world flight
It's going to be a slow and sleepy flight for the pilots
LOHAN's Punch and Judy show relaunches Thursday
Weather looking good for second pop at test flights
Honeybee boffin STINGS OWN WEDDING TACKLE... for SCIENCE
Not the worst place to be stung, says one man
India's GPS alternative launches second satellite
Closed satnav system due to have all seven birds aloft by 2016
Curiosity finds not-very-Australian-shaped rock on Mars
File under 'messianic pastries' and move on, people
Top Secret US payload launched into space successfully
Clandestine NRO spacecraft sets off on its unknown mission
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.