Page last updated at 11:14 GMT, Monday, 30 March 2009 12:14 UK

Satellites track 'super whoopers'

Whooper swan - Picture courtesy WWT
The project aims to track 50 whooper swans on their trip to Iceland and back

A project is under way to track the migration of 50 whooper swans from Britain to Iceland and back again.

The birds have been fitted with GPS satellite transmitters in order to monitor their progress.

A website has been set up to follow the journey from centres at Caerlaverock in Dumfries and Galloway, Martin Mere in Lancashire and Welney in Norfolk.

The Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust said it helped to build a "fascinating and complete picture" of the migration.

You will be able to see for yourself the height at which they are flying, their speeds and where they are headed at any point in time
Brian Morrell
WWT learning manager

The research project has been organised by the WWT in conjunction with Collaborative Offshore Wind Research into the Environment (COWRIE).

It is hoped it will allow offshore wind farm developers to operate their projects in a more environmentally-friendly way.

The public is also being offered the chance to follow the birds' progress.

WWT Learning manager Brian Morrell said: "Super Whooper 2009 is a chance to track your favourite whooper swan through the regular blogs, our very own Twitter and Flickr pages and the regularly updated maps.

"You will be able to see for yourself the height at which they are flying, their speeds and where they are headed at any point in time.

"This all helps to build a fascinating and complete picture of the whooper swans' migration."

Nine schools in the areas surrounding the three WWT centres involved have also got involved by coming up with names for some of the birds.

Dumfries and Galloway boasts Swanderful, Rocky and Supersonic Bill, Lancashire has Lars, Sigrunn and Sherdley while in Norfolk they chose Snow Cloud, Sky and Edmund.



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