Biologging / Feed

Real-time tracking of animal movements is enabling more effective and efficient wildlife monitoring for management, security, and research. As devices get smaller and prices drop, the possibilities for using biologging on a larger scale have grown, and so have the possibilities for increasing customisation to meet specific research needs. Likewise, real-time tracking of illegal wildlife trade, timber, and fish products as they move from source to consumer can shed light on trafficking routes and actors, as well as support enforcement, making tracking gear a powerful tool beyond the field.


Best Temperature/ Humidity Dataloggers

I'm after getting 20-25 temperature and humidity dataloggers for deployment in the field. I've considered iButtons and other single-use devices but would rather invest in...

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GPS-GSM Collar Recommendations?

Hi folks. I'm hoping to gather a list of everyone's favorite companies that create GPS-GSM collars. Our previous supplier is retiring their GPS-GSM model, which is unfortunate as...

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You are most welcome! You would have to either have them custom make collars to fit hyenas OR DIY by fitting the Milsar GSM devices to collars of your own liking - but I guess you also prefer to have drop-offs - something the Milsars do not have!

You are welcome! An alternative would be to look into the GSM options from Africa Wildlife Tracking ( I have no personal expereince with them at all but they are likely to have experience with hyena collars.

BTW. The internal drop-off option in the Vectronic-Aerospace collars is super reliable.

Hi Lars,

One of the problems you identified with your Milsar units was the antenna being worn off. This was solved in our units by the antenna being epoxied into an abrasion resistant heavy plastic (a single piece that was also the mount and provided extra protection on the ends). I'd still want to add more of this material around the edges of the solar panels on a hyena, but for what it is worth I tried one of the koala units on our 17 kg dog for a month or so and it didn't seem to take any worse wear than it did on the koala. Any solar GPS system is going to need a counter weight to keep the GPS and solar panels skyward, so that is where I would incorporate a release mechanism (should one be required). 

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Help finding goniometers for sat tag recovery at sea

Hi. I am working with pop-up satellite tags (mini PAT tags) and I am looking for a way to recover them at sea after they popped up and while still transmitting. A goniometer is...

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If you can find a radio amateur club in your area, they could be a good resource.  They have a competitive event called fox hunting, which involves locating a hidden transmitter.

Anyway, a directional antenna for 401MHz can be made easily and cheaply but you have to know what you're doing.  The cheapest (USD20?) radio receiver is an SDR dongle for your laptop or Android phone, but again you have to know what you're doing.

Using this setup would be like tracking a VHF animal tag, you swing the antenna around until you get the strongest signal and go that way.  It would not be like using the Argos CLS, you don't get a GPS location of the tag, and it doesn't identify any tags it picks up.

1/ A goniometer is a type of receiver which can measure an angle and then tell you where your signal is coming from in a specific frequency band. It is much more complicated to develop which explain price.

2/ With a basic receiver using a YAGI antenna, you will have to get the signal location by turning around. If the receiver is not enough sensitive and if the antenna is a bad quality, you won't get signal at all. You can lose lots of time.

3/ With a basic receiver using an omni-directional antenna, you will get the signal but you won't know where the signal is coming from. Same as before, if the receiver is not enough sensitive and if the antenna is a bad quality, you won't get signal at all. Depend what you are looking for.

I hope this will help you to better understand differences between these tech. 

If you need more informations, you can contact me directly by mail at [email protected]

The CLS Goniometer is an excellent tool for the job - I believe it is also available to rent (at least it used to). 

If you want to go the low-budget route I would consider building a cross antenna with 4 yagi's, connect these to some kind of 4-channel receiver, and use the relative differences in intensity between the orthogonal directions to estimate the angle of arrival. You would need a way to simultaneously change the Rx gain on the four channels. Remember the transmission rate much lower than a typical VHF transmitter so it will take a while to find a tag this way. Using a single yagi would be basically impossible unless the sea is a mirror and the tag not moving in the waves.

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What is your favorite package or software for visualizing animal tracking data?

Hi all,I manage a large research collaborative focused on conservation applications of animal tracking data (Smithsonian's Movement of Life Initiative).  I'm interested in...

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Hi Lacey,

(thanks Lars for the praise!) 

as a developer I am certainly biased, but especially for GPS, acceleration data and advanced sensors like IMU and to analyze large amounts of data interactively Firetail ( is really great. 

We know that a lot of our users use Firetail for most interactive exploration and during data capturing, for example to identify crucial time windows, and then use R to apply highly specific algorithms to achieve publication visuals. But more and more, Firetail will also assist with this part. We also have enthusiastic feedback for large scale annotation (state assignment) of acceleration and GPS data, like from the MPI-AB animal tracker project (housecats).

For now, as far as I know, there are fewer projects with aquatic species that use Firetail, but extending Firetail in this direction (depth sensors, 3D view and topological sea maps) is well in scope.

Firetail is developed in close contact with our users, primarily researchers and conservationists, so that we can tailor the product to their use cases, but we also use it in-house for our analysis and services, so we recognize required workflows. 

We have also developed methods for visualizing really large datasets (like high-resolution multi-year data) that can be displayed in Firetail as well as custom pipelines, e.g. to virtually capture the entirety of all movebank data (see

Regarding the workshop, feel free to contact me.


[edit: working links]

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Which market-available microphones, accelerometers and GIS sensors for dogs / pets ?

I have conducted an MSc thesis in data-science applied on bioacoustics data, and wish to carry on some experiments on my own now, using domestic environment as a lab.I am looking...

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Hi Luigi!


You should have a look at the μMoth

 developed by @alex_rogers and others from Open Acoustics Devices:

As an alternative audiologger meant to be animal borne, check out the Audiologger developed by Simon Chamaillé-Jammes @schamaille et al :

This one can also log acceleration and magnetometry! We have recently deployed it on muskoxen in Greenland.

For a GPS tracker, you may want take a look at the SnapperGPS by @JonasBchrt & @alex_rogers :

As an alternative the i-gotU GPS logger may be of interest:

Regarding your question on sampling frq: We have been using 8Hz (and 10 Hz on the Audiologger Acceleration logging) for our slow moving muskoxen. For an animal like a dog, you probably want to sample at somewhat higher frq. This group used 50Hz in a study of arctic fox: 



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What Biologgers are you using?

Hello biologging community!My name is Holly Cormack and I’m the new Conservation Technology Intern in the WILDLABS team. We are researching what different...

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Thanks a lot for putting together this survey!

Just introducing our company, Nix, french based and most recent on the market as we conceived and produced IoT biologging trackers working on GPS/LTE-M/LPWAN networks with super high autonomy and lightweight for terrestrial animals. Already working on a nanosat version for next year, to cover territories without network at all.

Our trackers have been used primarily in the EU to study species behavior in mixed enclosures and for land use management at the animal park of Auvergne, home to 65 endangered species.

Take a look at the video and let me know if you'd like to discuss your own needs!

Interesting. interesting. I'm probably jumping the gun here but I'm curious - are you getting any trends on types of biologgers or specific manufacturers people are talking about? Or is everyone using different tags/manufacturers? 

Ah! It's great to find out about your tags - great video, thanks for sharing. We'd love to hear from some of your users about their experiences with your tags! Would you be able to share the poll with your user community? 

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Reviewing Now: Animal Telemetry Postdoctoral Fellowship

Smithsonian Environmental Research Center
The Smithsonian Institution seeks a field- and data-oriented biologist to support marine animal telemetry research and to assist with activities of the Atlantic Cooperative Telemetry (ACT) Network. 

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MoveApps: A Digital Home for Tracking Data Analysis

In this Conservation Tech Showcase case study from 2022 Conservation Tech Award winner MoveApps, you’ll learn how they’re breaking new ground in animal movement research with tracking data analysis tools hosted by the...

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RFID Smart traps

Hello, I am trying to find information on 'smart traps.' I am planning to transponder urban rats with RFID tags. To estimate population size using mark-recapture...

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Hi Caitlin,

you might also look at this RFID logger sold by Labmaker:

Greetings from Austria,



Hi Caitlin

I'd recommend who from past experience will work with you to come up with a good trap design. Their approach is to use an IR to detect when an animal starts to pass through the detector, which then triggers the RFID coil to be powered up. The huge advantage of this method is the battery power required is then very low, and the data can be stored into an SD card, all in one cheap, self-contained unit.


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Firetail 11 - GPS and sensor analysis

I'm very happy to announce  that Firetail 11 is now available, including an all-new website! (yay!)Version 11 features a great set of options for researchers,...

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Hi Tobias! 

This sounds great and I am looking forward to trying it out after returning from field work! 

Very cool with the Vectronic Activity data! I am looking forward to check How we can use that! 



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#Tech4Wildlife Photo Challenge: Judges' Panel Honorees

Please join us in celebrating this year’s top #Tech4Wildlife Photo Challenge Honorees as chosen by our panel of leading conservation organization judges, and enjoy the story contained within these entries about how our...

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non-invasive technique to apply GPS collars without catching?

Dear all, I was wondering if they were "passive" techniques to "install" GPS collar or other GPS devices on a terrestrial animal ? Just a discussion...

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It's a start though! Always happy to see people trying to innovate. Also I thought the intent was that they wouldn't need to capture the bears like you would for a collar? We were imagining a passive system where you would have an attractant and tags could be applied to a bear by rubbing against something. 


Hi Brett! The original poster @antoineede surely asked for automatic non-invasive deployments and it was intriguing to see that someone actually made such a system for mule deer as @Rob_Appleby pointed out. Here is a prototype from their paper:

prototype collaring station

I would love to see the wolf example too @Rob_Appleby, if you can find the reference.

In the polar bear example it was never the (initial) intention that the animals should not be captured.

It seems that they are basically looking for an alternative and less permanent way to attch the ear tags.

Here are some prototypes:

Prototype burr on fur atachments for polar bears

Image from:

It looks like they are actually using these Argos tags from Telonics:

Argos Eartag Transmitter

I am generally a bit sceptical regarding a fully automatic tracking device deployment system. In most cases, a lot of measurements (size, weight) and samples (hair, blood, saliva etc.) are taken and observations (sex, age stage, breeding condition) are done and any meta data will increase the value of the tracking data itself tremendously. Also, one might want to sometimes decide not to tag some individual because of some unforeseen condition. I would rarely just want some random collection of tracks from a number of animals you know nothing about. What about the challenge of simply restricting the system to tag only the targetted species? I guess a deliberate use if AI and computer vision could get some of these data but it is going to make the development of the system quite complex.

I still find it very interesting to follow the developments.

Thanks for all these interesting information, I'm sure that such technology will be developed in the future to dramatically reduce cost and risk of collaring such animals.
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Pangolin Tagging Challenges

Hi! I'm looking for information on Pangolin transmitters or sensors, the basics to start off with. What information is gathered specific to this species or what are the...

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Icoteq are launching a new range of small tags that would be ideal for pangolin tracking!

Called TagRanger, the technology incorporates a LoRaWAN based tag with built in sensors and GPS.  It also features a ranging solution giving you your distance to the tag when within range <150m - ideal for finding something which is well hidden as you can navigate your way to the tag until it's within touching distance!

The user carries a small handheld 'Finder' device that acts as a LoRaWAN gateway paired to a mobile phone for live mapping (on and offline maps) and ranging functions.

Size is limited by your preferred battery size, but could be as small as 32mm x 38mm x15mm with a 400mAh battery.

Production units available beginning of September, happy to do demos and trials with prototypes now!

Please feel free to contact me for more information.



We have been working with Save Vietnam's Wildlife to track Pangolins for a couple of years now. You can read our Case Study here: 



We also documented the project and spoke with Save Vietnam's Executive Director about the challenges of tracking Pangolins - here is the video: 

They used the Telenax pangolin tags (15g) during our project which worked great with our drone-based telemetry system and were able to receive signals from a long distance. Feel free to reach out if you have any questions, we are always happy to discuss tracking projects!

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Osa Conservation: A Multi-Tech Toolbox of Solutions

Osa Conservation
In this Conservation Tech Showcase case study from Osa Conservation, you’ll learn about how technology is aiding their long-term efforts to prevent wildlife crime, protect critical species, and build a climate-adaptive...

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movedesign: a tool to evaluate sampling design in biologging

This paper discusses movedesign, a new R app intended to evaluate the effectiveness of sampling design in animal movement research projects. This tool could be incredibly helpful for biologging community members looking to increase the effectiveness of their projects by better understanding the best duration and intervals for data collection.