Group

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.

discussion

Interview for Technologies in Conservation

Dear Wildlabs community, my name is Nikolas and I am a Master's Student from Lisbon. Like many of you, I grew up with a great passion for the wildlife that we are surrounded...

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I'd be happy to chat with you if you wanted! My expertise is within passive acoustic monitoring particularly. The Conservation Tech Directory might be useful for you in identifying relevant actors within the space.

My original background is in ecology and conservation, and am now in the elected leadership of the Gathering for Open Science Hardware which convenes researchers developing open source tech for science. I am not working on a specific piece of technology right now, but am happy to contribute some higher-level views for your interview if that helps.

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discussion

Wildlife Telemetry Podcasts

While browsing through the producers of wildlife telemetry, I was wondering if there were any podcasts out there on wildlife telemetry and the companies.Indeed there is!I have...

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There is also this one:

featuring @ThomasGray_Argos 

Very cool, Thomas!

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discussion

extending battery life with solar panels

Is anyone out there up for a development challenge involving "smart" GPS and accelerometer collars with extended lifetimes (arorund a year), possibly involving solar...

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Hi Matthew,

I am not entirely sure how the collars have failed since we loose them after failure despite a big effort in recapturing the animals. In one case where we did recapture, the UHF long range communication was gone but data was downloaded after the collar came in near visinity of the base station. Ecotone makes a similar collar with a drop-off mechanism but I have not tried it.

https://en.ecotone.com.pl/produkty/logger-felis-gps.html

Hi Peter, we manufacture solar powered Iridium trackers for birds, crocs/alligators and collars for various species. Our longest standing unit is a 55g unit on a Vulture and has been going for 4 years, providing data on an hourly basis. Our croc units include a pressure/depth sensor and provide details of depth and time at depth. Most of our devices include a VHF transmitter which is fully configurable over the air (you can change frequency, pulse duration, pulse interval and operation times - good for security).

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discussion

NomaTrack and the LoRa-DTN protocol

I just stumbled upon this report on using LoRa in Reindeer husbandry in Scandinavia wich could be useful for wildlife uses too. "The NomaTrack design combines the...

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LoRA is registered in most places. With Starlink offering more and more service it would be possible in the future to transmit remote images through satellite once it is available in Madagascar. Power consumption of Starlink is big though.

Hi Carly!

Since LoRa and LoRaWAN are meant for low bandwidth data it is not really feasible to use for transmitting remote audio and image data. It could be very valuable to have metadata like battery levels and trap "levelness" sent back to get an idea of the power and physical state of the traps. I am dreaming of something like this for our remote camera traps used for monitoring arctic fox dens in Greenland. They are not rarely turned over by muskox and polar bear and we are consequently loosing important data.

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discussion

GPS tacking tag for turtle doves - any recommendations?

I'm looking for recommendations for a GPS tracking device that would work on turtle doves migration from UK to Sub Saharan Africa and back.  Thanks Chris

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Hi Chris,

I can say I've had some good experience with the Lotek Pinpoint tags that Rob mentioned.

You could also get in touch with ICARUS program at Max Planck (https://www.icarus.mpg.de/en).  They've developed a new tracking system, with their own first reciever on the ISS.  I think there are some limitations on the availability of their tags now as they're still ramping up their program.

Kyler

Hi all! Just wanted to add in that @gracieermi and I maintain a conservation tech directory that includes all the tracking/telemetry companies we've come across so far - conservationtech.directory. 

Currently listed doing a search of the directory - 

Cellular Tracking Technologies - https://celltracktech.com/ 

Advanced Telemetry Systems (ATS) - ​​https://atstrack.com/index.html

Ecotone Telemetry - http://www.ecotone-telemetry.com/index.php/en/oferta/obroze-telemetryczne

GPS Collars - https://www.gps-collars.com/ 

Lotek - https://www.lotek.com/

Microwave Telemetry - https://www.microwavetelemetry.com/

Milsar - https://milsar.com/

Technosmart Europe - https://www.technosmart.eu/

Telemetry Solutions - https://www.telemetrysolutions.com/

Telenax - https://telenax.com/

Telonics - https://www.telonics.com/index.php

Tigrinus - https://www.tigrinus.com.br/

Titley Scientific - https://www.titley-scientific.com/us/products/wildlife-tracking

Wildlife Computers - https://wildlifecomputers.com/

Xerius Tracking - http://www.xeriustracking.fr/

North Star - http://www.northstarst.com/

Migrate Tech - http://www.migratetech.co.uk/ 

e-obs GmbH - https://e-obs.de/

Africa Wildlife Tracking - https://awt.co.za/ 

Holohil - https://www.holohil.com/

Wildlife Materials - https://wildlifematerials.com/

Vectronic Aerospace/Vectronics - https://www.vectronic-aerospace.com/

Kiwi Track - https://kiwitrack.weebly.com/

The solution with an ICARUS antenna on the ISS is on hold. It is planned that the GRACE-I will be the new satellite system to support the ICARUS: 

GRACE-I is planned to be launched in 2027.

This mentions possible intermittent solutions:

I am a bit puzzled there is no mentioning of GRACE-I on ICARUS' own website:

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discussion

Designing non-standard tracking collars

Hello,   I'm wondering if anyone in this community has designed tracking collars for species that a standard conventional collar might not work for, and if so, are...

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Hi,

i've build collars for quite a few "non-standard" collared species. I tend to modify cheap consumer GPS devices to do so. It's a few years old now, but attached is a link to a video I made on modifying GPS devices for wildlife.

https://youtu.be/UaSvS0grVjw

feel free to email me with any specific questions you have.

 

Have a look at this for an example of unconventional tracker designs:

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discussion

GPS collars for goats

Hi everyone, WILDLABS newbie, so please bear with me. Currently inherited a project focusing on making grazing better managed / more sustainable on a tiny (67 sqkm),...

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We were the world first commercial direct to satellite ear tag. There are collar base solutions that work direct to satellite. 

I have no experience with LoraWAN tracking myself but just wanted share a few relevant links for a LoraWAN wildlife use case and a few suppliers of LoraWAN trackers:

An alternative to LoraWAN could be UHF based systems like:

 

10 min fix intervals is quite high. You may need solar powered devices to keep up this high frequency.

Good luck!

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discussion

Margo Luminous Beta Launch: New Tracking Collar Manufacturer

Hi Wildlabs Community, Very excited to announce that we've released the beta version of our new Luminous tracking collar! Our beta release is already nearly fully...

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Hi @Lars_Holst_Hansen  I can provide an update. The initial beta units have completed testing and production of commercial units has begun. Low volumes so far but we are quickly ramping up.

The official launch should be in next month or so. 

If you would like you can email [email protected] 

To be notified early as soon as we have units available. 

Brett

Thanks Brett! I am not looking to buy anything any time soon but I am always curious to follow any new progress and developments in the market of biologgers.

Regarding the accelerometry I am curious to know which frequencies are supported. Have you considered magnetometry, too? This could obviously be useful in dead reckoning but also for inferring behavioural states (as shown in this paper).

No problem. I believe Jared was wanting to share more about our experience developing a collar on Wildlabs when there is time. I'm more on the mechanical end of things. Right now we are focused on reliability and longevity. Thanks for the paper I'll check it out! 

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discussion

How to build my VHF tags from the scratch?

Hi all, I was wondering if anybody has experience in building VHF-tags from the scratch. I couldn't find useful instructions online, so maybe anybody wants to share own...

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Hi everyone, I’m not sure if this thread is still active, but i recently had a few clients asking for VHF trackers for assets being transported, I’ve created a few micro transmitters the last few weeks, extremely lightweight, steady & strong signal, variable pulse options, using a .3mm Nitinol wire for antenna, as well as the smallest discrete smd components on the market, but best of all the transmitter is able to steadily pulse for approximately 310 days using a silver oxide 1.5V button cell battery (imagine the transmission time with a few thousand mAh battery if size/weight wasn’t too critical), with a 20ms pulse every 1.2 seconds, I’ve attached pics to show size. if anyone is interested in making your own just message me please, I’d be happy to share build schematics and BOM, I have also made gerber files for anyone that wants them manufactured!

The transmitter should of course be incapsulated but here’s a PCB-less version to show you just how small it is.

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discussion

Workshop Invite: Building Partnerships between Conservation Tech and the UK Space Sector

Hi everyone, In collaboration with our partners over at the Satellite Applications Catapult, we are hosting an in person workshop to build strategic partnerships for...

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Hi Steph,

If it's not too late, I'm very interested in this workshop.

Best,

V

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careers

Shark Lab Data Analyst

This position (at California State University, Long Beach) provides data management & analysis support to Shark Lab research operations including shark tagging, active tracking, receiver data, AUV & UAV data...

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discussion

Water leakage in aquatic tags at deeper depths

Hi FolksDoes anyone have experience building their own aquatic tags? We are building a GPS-LoRa telemetry system. Although all the functions are working properly, we are having...

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I'll add -  avoid fast curing resins/epoxies for, at least, two reasons: 

1. The exothermic reaction between the two compounds can cause sensor issues (ie: heat).

2. Air bubbles will form (and cure) more easily in fast curing compounds.

Thanks Thomas!! We do use slow curing resins with no heat generation

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careers

Conservation Technology Intern (Vietnam) 

Meredith S. Palmer
*New closing date!* WILDLABS and Fauna & Flora International are seeking an early career conservationist for 12-month paid internship position to grow and support the Southeast Asia regional community in our global...

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discussion

Rainforest SigFox available for use

Hi EveryoneJust FYI that right now we now have a SigFox gateway running to create an IoT network at the Los Amigos field station in lowland Peruvian Amazon.  Amazing forest,...

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Hi Roland,

This is really amazing, great to hear about your set-up! I'm just wondering what the overall cost was to set up this system? Just thinking in terms of setting up something similar in other parks and what they should expect with regard to price. Would also be great to hear about the overall effort, e.g., hours/team members required. It would be great to have this act as a blueprint for other organizations/research stations wishing to deploy a similar system within their respective national parks/areas/etc.! 

Hi Rolland,

Interested too, but why did you choose SigFox (a private network) rather than LoRa (open network)? 

Sigfox currently has some financial troubles that, don't know what it will become in the long term.

Hi Everyone,

We chose sigfox becuase it seems to have better range and is plug-play, whereas LoRa requires more custom programming and updating.  Getting a gateway cost us $2000 for a year's lease + deposit. We covered solar power.  There are also some 'minigateways' you can purchase but I don't know how they compare in range (plan to test).  So far we are happy with the performance, in that it has worked consistency with no outages  (once we stabilized the power supply).  I think the annual costs are about $10 per tag.  We are working on a paper that will describe this in more detail.  So far just using for tracking tags but also looking at a trap sensor.

cheers

Roland

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discussion

Humidity/Temperature/Light Level logger

I am looking for a small logger that can collect humidity, temperature, and light levels while being hung from a fishing line over a cliff. I have found units that can collect the...

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Hi David,

I've used our monitoring platform, PRTG (www.paessler.com), with environmental sensors for a server room, which included temperature and humidity. The monitoring platform is free up to a certain amount of sensors, so if this would be all you were using it for then it would be completely free of cost. Some hardware devices for environmental monitoring they have listed in one of their knowledge base articles are listed below, none of which I've used, but perhaps one of these would work, and if not, it will put you on the right track if you wanted to pursue this type of solution for what you are looking to do:

"All of these vendors offer physical sensors that can provide data about their environment. Connected to some kind of SNMP-enabled “management box” these sensors become network-enabled."

Cheers!

Rick

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discussion

Live Q&A Discussion on Ceres Tag: An animal monitoring Solution!

Hey Everyone,Are you ready for this next Live Q&A Session? If you're looking for an effective animal monitoring solution, you might want to Join us here in a few minutes...

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Is there any sort of automatic drop-off mechanism for the tags? Or does the animal need to be re-captured to take the tag off?

Hi Carly,

There are no built in automatic drop-off mechanism for the tags. We do have customers that have purchased and incorporated the tag into different types of harness and collars. 

Happy to discuss further with you to understand your use case. Head over to www.cerestag.com and there is a "let's talk" button. 

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discussion

Conservation Tech Directory - new update!

New directory update from @gracieermi & I! And an extra special one as we've just passed our 1-year anniversary! Super exciting to see how far this has come! Check it out:...

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Congrats on the milestone Carly and Gracie!

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Link

New paper: A novel method for identifying coded tags recorded on aquatic acoustic monitoring systems

Authors demonstrated "a low cost, simple method to support acoustic tag surveys by identifying tags both from direct acoustic recordings & by reconstructing code packets from processed C-POD data. Method was applied to decode tag detections from bass & Twaite shad."

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discussion

Avian nest box monitoring 

Hi. I’m hoping there’s a guru out there who can advise on tech for monitoring conditions inside avian nest boxes? Links to data loggers and endoscopes they’ve used successfully...

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Maybe this is a starting point. Any idea if this product would work inside the box. Kestrel DROP D3 Wireless Temperature, Humidity & Pressure Data Logger https://amzn.eu/d/5VdQwtA  

I'd be interested in any camera monitoring setups that can be used inside a nest box. Most camera traps are too bulky for this purpose. All the devices I've looked at either need a wired connection or a wifi network to transmit images. I want one that can store all info to an SD card and preferably be solar powered. Obviously infrared or starlight sensitivity. Sound recording would be a bonus for some bird monitoring I want to do.

Done lots of this over the years and it depends on the species really. If you want incubation behaviour  and hence success or otherwise using temperature then the Thermocron IButton DS1921G is perfect. The new Blue Maestro is an option I became aware of this year but I haven't tested at scale.

In terms of cameras and endoscopes I've tailored many off the shelf products and built a few from scratch. When I get chance I'll have a look around and see what is still available.

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