By Tristan Ahtone
Jackson, WY – Researchers from Teton Science School's Conservation Research Center have partnered with Jackson Hole Mountain resort to use the winter tram to "listen" to mule deer during the summer. Teton Science Research Director Embere Hall says the tram will take researchers to a high elevation point where they'll be able to pick up G-P-S collars on mule deer that can't be heard from lower elevation points. Hall calls the devices worn by the deer: store-on-board collars.
"Which essentially means locations of the animals are being stored on the collar, but then those collars also emit a VHF signal or a radio signal that allows us to hear them while they're out on the landscape."
In the past researchers have had to hike the mountain - a trip that could take several hours roundtrip - and now takes 15 minutes. Hall says the data collected will be used to map where mule deer cross highways, in order to work with highway officials to create safer roads for deer and people in the future.