|Source: New Jersey Birds.com|
Researchers at the University of Idaho are developing lasers that can be attached to satellites to woodpeckers in the state to determine which parts of the forests they favor. The researchers hope the satellite guided lasers will be a better way to track the woodpecker, which is an indicator species. Being an indicator species means that if the woodpecker is healthy and thriving in different parts of the forest, then it is likely that the forest itself is healthy and doing well.
If the laser-satellites prove to be a successful way of surveying for a species, it could eliminate more labor-intensive and costly means of surveying like sending people into the forest on foot to assess the environment's health. This is an instance where I have to say, even though we still don't have flying cars, we are definitely living in the future.