There has never been a more important time to understand the threats and challenges facing global biodiversity. Satellite telemetry is immensely useful for studying wildlife and informing conservation - especially for species that are challenging to track with other methods.
However, it is tricky to know where to begin when deciding if satellite tracking is a good option for your particular study. This new best practice guide from the Zoological Society of London, created with the support of WILDLABS and the UK Space Agency, aims to fill this gap.
Download the guide now, and you'll find an introduction to the satellite tracking space, aimed at users with minimal experiences or understanding. You'll develop an understanding of the fundamental concepts in satellite tracking technology, and learn about the different technology options, terminology and use cases.
If you're just starting out in the tracking world, we hope this guide will make a useful jumping-off point to learn more about the potential uses of satellite tags and set you on a path to successfully creating your own satellite tracking studies.
Who is this guide for?
This new guide provides you with an introductory overview of satellite tracking technologies for users with minimal experience or understanding. This guide will help you to develop an understanding of the fundamental concepts in satellite tracking technology, which will set you on the path to successfully creating your own satellite tracking studies.
What does this guide cover?
This guide provides an overview of the various satellite technologies available for tracking wildlife and how they work, the different habitats they can be used in, and research questions that they have been used to answer. It also details some limitations of the technology, things to consider ahead of beginning your own research and provides initial guidance on how to manage and store your data, alongside a potted history of the technology’s development.
- What is a Satellite Tag?
- How do satellite tags work?
- Satellite tracking across habitats
- What questions satellite tags can be used for
- Limitations of satellite tracking technology
- Considerations when planning a satellite tracking study
- Data management and analysis
- A potted history of satellite tracking
To help bring the information to life, we've also included real case studies throughout. You'll learn about estimating home ranges of pygmy sloths in Panama, silky shark research in the Chagos Archipelago and Understanding green turtle habitat use in relation to marine protected areas in West Africa.
We hope you'll find this a valuable resource to support your conservation technology work. Please share it with your network, and let us know if you find it useful!
Download the guide
About the Authors
- Kate Moses, Project Manager in ZSL’s Monitoring and Technology Programme
Kate is a conservation scientist whose work uses technology to monitor, engage and inform about wildlife globally.
- Lydia Katsis, PhD researcher at the University of Southampton
Lydia’s work is focused on using passive acoustic monitoring technology to monitor biodiversity and its threats.
- Phoebe Griffith, Phoebe Griffith, DPhil Researcher at the ZSL Institute of Zoology
Phoebe is a conservation scientist with a focus on freshwater megafauna species, especially crocodilians. She has worked on gharial in Nepal since 2018, where her team uses telemetry data to inform conservation action.
- Rachael Kemp, Project Manager within ZSL’s Conservation Monitoring and Technology Programme
Rachael’s work is focussed on the development and use of low-cost biologging technologies for gathering data to promote the conservation of threatened species within the UK and globally.
- Anthony Dancer, Monitoring & Technology Lead, ZSL
Anthony is a conservation scientist in ZSL’s conservation department, where he leads the monitoring and technology team. His background is in conservation impact evaluation and protected area monitoring and management.
Banner Image: Satellite tagged green turtle (Chelonia mydas), (c) Miguel Varela