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Top Up The Eagle's Mobile

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Old Monday 28th October 2019, 13:04   #1
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Top Up The Eagle's Mobile

Russian scientists tracking migrating eagles ran out of money after some of the birds flew to Iran and Pakistan and their SMS transmitters drew huge data roaming charges.

After learning of the team's dilemma, Russian mobile phone operator Megafon offered to cancel the debt and put the project on a special, cheaper tariff.

The team had started crowdfunding on social media to pay off the bills.

The birds left from southern Russia and Kazakhstan.

The journey of one steppe eagle, called Min, was particularly expensive, as it flew to Iran from Kazakhstan.

Min accumulated SMS messages to send during the summer in Kazakhstan, but it was out of range of the mobile network. Unexpectedly the eagle flew straight to Iran, where it sent the huge backlog of messages.

The price per SMS in Kazakhstan was about 15 roubles (18p; 30 US cents), but each SMS from Iran cost 49 roubles. Min used up the entire tracking budget meant for all the eagles.

The Russian researchers are volunteers at the Wild Animal Rehabilitation Centre in Novosibirsk. Their crowdfunding appeal, which has paid off more than 100,000 roubles (1,223), was called "Top up the eagle's mobile".

Full article here.

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Old Tuesday 29th October 2019, 06:43   #2
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I am no IT expert but i didnt think these geo-locators worked by having to use SMS? I use a free Android App called Endomondo when abroad in order to log my birding walks and cycle journeys. This works for free using GPS and also gives coordinates in addition to a map image of the journey. I have used this in several countries with no problems. Having to pay phone services for this sort of data doesnt seem the right way to go...

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