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.


Feathered forecast: Tech tools comb weather data for bird migrations

Since its launch in 1999, the BirdCast project has used weather radar data to track and forecast bird migrations across the U.S. In recent years, technology such as cloud computing and machine learning have helped make the work of researchers in the project easier and more automated. The BirdCast project is now working on integrating radar data with human observations and bioacoustics to help identify the bird species traversing the skies.


RFID Tech for small animals?

Hi All,I'm working on a project that might require some tech work and as of yet am not a 'tech person' so have been pointed in this direction. It's a pretty common problem that...

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Hi again Emily,

@tom_august just pointed to this PhD thesis in another post that could be of interest to you also:

All the best,


Not what you asked for (sorry), but if they are cryptic then a possible first step could be to deploy capacitive sensors everywhere, to get a sense of where they like to hang out and when.  I'm thinking of TTP223 touch sensors attached to a data logger.

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Real-time Animal Location Data Sources?

Hello All,I'm pretty new to WILDLABS and have really enjoyed the last two Variety Hours.I just started a PhD in creative technology & design at ATLAS Institute, University of...

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Thanks for the link, Amanda. That Shark page looks great. Very good point on temporal resolution and the burden of overhead of sending data in real-time, I hadn't really considered that.

In addition to those noted, you can try the Animal Telemetry Network  

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Margo Luminous Update: Next Phase BETA Release

Hi Folks,  We have been quietly working on a new offering in wildlife tracking collars. After four years of development and testing we have a single-housing iridium...

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Spring is our busiest time of year and we are also in the middle of an expansion currently so they may not be able to respond. Will ask when they are prepping for variety hour.

Hi Lars,

I can chime in to answer some of your questions. 

1. The web portal is here. This is only a basic placeholder while we work on a better system with login security and 2 way comms.

Send me a PM to see one our test Elk in Jackson, Wyoming.  

2. Our data is always transmitted sequentially, oldest samples first. 

3. Currently our staff must do any remote reprogramming, just send us an email. This feature will be part of the new web portal.

4. Iridium allows up to 340 bytes per SBD transmission. Each sample is 17 bytes so we can fit 20 samples per transmission. With good signal we can clear out a backlog of data almost immediately. 

5. Currently no geofencing or alerts but that is on the road map. 

6. As Brett stated. 

7. As Brett stated we are not going to support traditional VHF since this has caused many problems with poachers and wildlife photographers finding the animals. We are developing our own 900MHz LoRa based system which will securely transmit the devices location.This will be released in the form of a USB doggle with antenna that can be plugged into an Android device.

In regard to your questions about accelerometer and Doppler shift.

We have an onboard accelerometer sampling at 50Hz and currently this information is fed into a human calibrated pedometer algorithm. Currently it gives us a rough indicator of how busy the animal is. This sensor could be repurposed based on customer needs. 

Every time an iridium device transmits information, the receiving satellite records a rough position based on doppler effect from the signal. This gives you a backup geo-location with accuracy in the kilometer range. If you use the above tool and click download CSV you can see this information. 

Happy to answer any more questions. 

Hi Jackson @MargoJack!

Thanks a lot for answering these questions.

Looks like you have a very interesting product!

Interesting point you raise with VHF beeing intercepted by poachers etc.

Would there be sufficient memory to log accelerometer data at something like 8Hz on-board the collar for later inference of behaviours?

Will you make versions for other LoRa frequency regions?




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Field testing of a radio telemetry system to be deployed in the sea.

Hello everyoneWhat kind of tests do you put aquatic tags through to get them field ready? Currently, we are testing a radio telemetry system. We are leaving the tags at 20...

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Oh, great link! Been doing marine projects recently and a big headache is protecting submerged electronics. I've kind of heard of many of those techniques, but great to see them collected all in one place and with first hand experienced commentary regarding them. 

Not sure exactly how your telemetry will be deployed, but if it's going to be attached to an animal in a relatively non-invasive way, you might check with zoos or aquariums that have similar species. 

I worked in that industry for a long time and we tested telemetry for seals, sea lions, polar bears and elephants. There might have been more, but that's all I can think of off the top of my head. This can help improve attachment methods and test how tough the animals will be on the equipment. 

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Wing-tags with trackers attached?

Hi all, We want to better understand the population movements of the bird species, Little Corellas, in South Australia. We are wanting to attach a tracking device that...

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Thanks Thomas! 

I haven't found any wing-tag avian trackers like I described. Although, similar models have been made for terrestrial animals in the form of ear tags.

I am inquiring as to whether a lighter version can be made for birds. Although an obvious concern is the weight of the tracker since the wellbeing of the bird is our priority. 

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Monitoring airborne biomass

We are producing hard- and software for small scale research  radars to monitor airborne biomass automatically. We can distinguish birds, bats and insects through day and...

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Looks like you want to have a read of this thread: 

Our project in very short is, setting up a sensor network for monitoring airborne biomass, mainly insects, birds and bats in near realtime, and to develop a forecast model to be used for mitigation with respect various types of human-wildlife conflicts (e.g. wind power, pesticide application, aviation). Our expertise is mainly in radar monitoring, but we aim on add insect camera information to be merged with the quantitative biomass measeurments by radar.

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Monique - the space Elk(s)

I have enjoyed the recent podcast on Monique the first animal(s) to carry a satellite collar, the ICARUS project etc. Also, regarding Monique there is this interesting...

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Moveapps: EMAC23 Coding Challenge

Motivated by having been named a Conservation Tech Award grantee in 2022, we are launching the EMAC23 coding challenge to Equip MoveApps for Conservation.Pick one of five use...

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Super initiative! I hope you get a lot of entries to this coding challenge!

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The WILDLABS Variety Hour: February 2023 - YouTube

Last week's Variety Hour is now up on youtube. It was a great session - we covered Moveapps, an awesome community project building marine biologgers, chatgpt and google earth engine vs microsoft's planetary computer. Thanks everyone who came along!


Tiny trackers for fish - other applications?

Hi all,I've just seen this interesting tweet about tiny trackers for fish:And in light of our Tracking Progress virtual meetups and research, it's got me wondering about...

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These are really small acoustic tags. (Lotek Wireless, Sonotronics, and the JSATs design are examples of similar manufacturers/products.) These tags will only work in water because they require water in order to propagate their signal. Of course that means you need receivers in order to pick up the signal, so usually organizations will have a string or strings of strategically placed receivers to pick up the acoustic tags (mouths of rivers is a common location). I think the Ocean Tracking Network (OTN) operates some of the largest sets of receivers. Others are managed by the institution themselves, various regional IOOS offices, and/or similar. 

They could work on really small sea turtles, but you are limited to tracking them based on the range of the receivers (which for smaller tags is even more limited, measured in meters or hundreds of meters). Lotek Wireless recently started producing their "Sunbird" line which has been used on some relatively small turtles. You can look at the work that Upwell is doing as an example of satellite-based tracking with very small turtles. 

Birds...out of the question : ( 

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Download Now: A Best Practice Guide to Satellite Technologies for Tracking Wildlife

Zoological Society of London
The Zoological Society of London, with the support of WILDLABS and the UK Space Agency, are proud to publish this new guide to satellite technologies for tracking wildlife.

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Very nice! Looking forward to checking it out!
We had this comment come in to our team from @Redfoxmeek so I'm passing along the helpful resource: Hi Folks- Thanks for the manual, can I also draw your attention to...
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Operation Pangolin launches to save world's most trafficked wild mammal

Researchers and conservationists are embarking on a bold initiative to save the world's most trafficked wild mammal — the pangolin

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This is an amazing project. I'm eager to learn the conservation solutions from the projects that can be transferred to other species. We need this in Kenya, our biodiversity is...
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After reading about pseudoranges and quick fixes in this paper:and doing a bit of digging around for "pseudoranges", I stumbled upon the following paper:and script:It could seem...

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Thank you very much for finding these materials. I also tried to find similar techniques using pseudorange positioning a few months ago, but unfortunately I did not find so many papers and such creative works at that time. Your materials seemed to open it up for me. most sincere thanks!

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AniMove Summer School 2023

AniMove is a collective of international researchers with extensive experience in the topics of animal movement analysis, remote sensing and conservation. AniMove is a two-week intensive training course for studying...

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New tutorial on Firetail 10 - annotation of acceleration data

Hi! I created a new tutorial video on how to annotate high density acceleration data using Firetail 10 ( In particular, I cover

* how to automatically segment your data
* how to edit and modify annotations
* how to transfer models across individuals
* how to overlay external and video annotations

If you like to follow the tutorial, grab

* your movebank account
* this study:,path=stud…
* the free edition of Firetail from


Telemetry and tracking Snakes

Telemetry and Tracking  SnakesHi everyone , am improving a project about spacial ecology on viper snakes of Lachesis genera. We dont know wich tecnology for tracking its more...

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Hi Huascar, how are you? there's limitations on snakes since their body form and behaviour, if you leave a VHF or GPS tag as an external fixation it will get tangled with roths and branches and it will fall, besides you have to suture and it can cause infections.

So far you only got implanted VHF transmitters, that's the most common, lonlasting and safe fixation method.

There's an alternative of using Tegaderm as a external fixation method but with ecdysis will eventually remove it.

any doubts please write me [email protected]

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Repository for 3D models of tracking devices

Hello everybody, This message is to start a repository for printable 3D models of tracking devices. It is never easy to get an idea of the size and...

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3D model of custome-made GeoTrak GT-65GS-GPS with slanted front face (adapted from

Known flaws: Size and shape of attachment loops are not correct: the actual material is too thin to allow for a strong 3D printing so I decided to make the loops thicker; the actual loop hole is also slightly wider. Base of antenna is shorter than actual one. Actual device has smoother angles and slightly convex top (where the solar panels are).

The 3D print will need to be sanded to smoothen the edges and to get the soft angles of the original design. I also designed the tag with a hole where the back solar panels should be: this is to add weight (metals nuts and bolts) to reach a final mass of 65g.

Attached files: 

gt-65gs-gps_slanted_3d.skp_.pdf: SketchUp 2016 file. Change file name back to .skp

gt-65gs-gps_slanted_for_3d_print.stl_.pdf: Printing file. Change file name back to .stl


Hi Yvan,

Steph directed me to this awesome resource. These units look so well made! Are you potting in the solar panels? Also, if you are interested, we've been working on a timed drop-off for avian tracking devices similar to this, which I am happy to share details about. 

Anyway, in the spirit of your efforts, we've uploaded some collar housing designs and associated .stl files to our Website here:

Shall add more as we design more. 

Great initiative Yvan!




I Rob, I just saw your message today (19 Jan 2023)! It's a bit late to reply but I wanted to make sure the tag manufacturer got the credit on the quality of their work. I'm not the manufacturer (just a user): these are made by Keith LeSage at Geotrak Inc, North Carolina, USA. We've beein working with them for about 10 years now and all their tags are as good looking as these. 

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Firetail Fellowships

I'm a software engineer/data scientist at Schäuffelhut Berger. We're developing Firetail a software for GPS and acceleration visualization and behavioral annotation.

We have just launched our Firetail Fellowship Program which may be a great way to get access to a full Firetail license for your student project. Let me know if you have questions or comments on this!