Whenever financially and ethically possible, the Marine Animal Rescue Program fits released animals with satellite transmitters, which allow the team to temporarily monitor reintroduced animals. Whenever the animal surfaces, the tag sends a signal to a satellite, indicating its location.
MARP staff monitor the data for indications that the animal has successfully survived its reintroduction to the wild, and scientists, both at the National Aquarium and in organizations around the world, assess the data. In which direction is the animal traveling? How quickly is it moving? What types of manmade or natural obstacles must it overcome? These questions only scratch the surface of what can be learned through careful study of the collective data.
The data are not just indicators of a one-time success, but collectively lead to insights about marine species that prepare rescuers for future stranding events. More importantly, the information is shared with local, state, and federal entities and provides insight when drafting conservation management plans.
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