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.


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 Jennifer, Movebank can handle all kinds of location data, metadata or sensors (height, depth, speed, acceleration, IMU, heartrates) and Firetail ships with a module that can directly open Movebank data (your or other projects) and keep them up to date - most sensors will work out of the box. 

If you have any specific questions or projects in mind, don't hesitate to contact me. Cheers, Tobias

You might be interested in reaching out to the team at National Audubon Society's Migratory Bird Initiative. They just released the Bird Migration Explorer a year ago and likely have many thoughts and ideas. Erika Knight would likely be a good person to speak with. 



Hey @lhughey firstly thanks for this interesting and needful discussion,so my appreciation. I don't know much of an expertise, yet it is something relevant to me as I would like to share my opinion. I was working as a project intern in a project under Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun. Understanding the home range of Indian rock pythons (Python molurus molurus) was one of the prime objective. So it was a radiotelemetry approach where rather than the traditional MCP ( Minimum convex polygon ) approach, the team used Auto Kernel Density Estimate using ctmm package to visualise and obtain the results. Variograms and different models have been tested across for finding a best fit amongst. I guess the article would be helpful. 

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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 are most welcome! One of the issues not mentioned in my previous reply is concerns with clock drift and offsets. When logging various data streams on different loggers you are bound to get annoying clock drifts and offsets unless something like GPS time sync is implemented. As far as I know there is no off the shelf audiologger which does GPS time sync but I discussed this recently with Alex Rogers (developer of the AudioMoths). I suggested to think about how the SnapperGPS may act as a timing device for an AudioMoth. I am not sure if these ideas were taken any further. A colleague of mine recently combined a mini DTAG and a Technosmart GPS - to enable GPS time sync for the audio data.

good to know that GPS coordinates can be used to sync the time. 
Does GPS resolution allow to a desired time resolution (e.g. seconds) ? Does choice of time resolution significantly depends on the physiology of the animal (e.g. time of re-action to stimuli, hence less than a second) or for most animal communication and animal behaviour is it enough above a second? 

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Query regarding Biologgers for Freshwater crabs

I'm new to WildLabs, I guess I'm writing in a relevant area to get addressed with my query. I'm doing my doctoral research at Bharathiar University currently. I am planning to do...

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My pleasure @Abinesh and if you have any more questions etc., don't hesitate to ask. This is a great community with plenty of smart cookies that can help and also me if I am able!

All the best for your research. 


Star-Oddi in Iceland comes to mind, but I'm not 100% sure. 

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Alternative trackers for study of grey parrots movement patterns

Hi everyone, i pray this message reaches you well. Please I am looking for alternative ideas as to which other tracker to use on the African grey parrots to track their movement...

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Hi Ninying,

One benefit of the Pinpoint tags is that they are user-rechargeable, something pretty much unheard of for satellite tags for decades!  If you can recover the tags, you might be able to achieve a larger samples size with fewer tags (less $$) by redeploying the recovered tags - without the costs of having the manufacturer refurbish them.



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Automatic and open-source radio-tracking

Hi all, hope you're doing well! I have a question regarding this article, attached above: Do you know anything about that or do you have informations if this was implented...

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Hi @tutgut5 @Rob_Appleby  

their system has been used in a research project at the University of Marburg (LOEWE-Schwerpunkt  Natur 4.0), its also been used in combination with Infra-red videos of bat movements (BatRack). We cooperated with them in 2021 for a small telemetry study, it worked well for us, here is their homepage

(although I'm not sure how up to date it is), if you have questions and would like some more info about their system there is an email address to contact them at. 

All the best,


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Animove 2024

Join the summer programme from 17 June until 28 June 2024 with leading researchers to expand your knowledge and to take the opportunity to form networks and friendships with academics and students from around the world.

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Open-source kinetic energy harvesting collar - Kinefox

Hello everyone,I ran across an article today (at the bottom) that talks about an open-source, kinetic energy harvesting collar ("Kinefox"). It sounds pretty neat...anyways,...

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Hi Thomas !

Thanks for sharing! I know one of the Danish authors of the KInefox paper. It is very cool stuff and we hope to one day use something like this on muskoxen in Greenland.

Some of the limitations are obviously the relatively limited number of daily fixes. Also, we would probably need satellite based communication, but since the authors from Max Planck are also heavilly involved in the project, I hope this kinetic energy harvesting gets incorporated in the satellite based ICARUS trackers one day.

The article you linked to refered to this paper with a dizzying list of recent energy harvesting studies:

It also seems well worth a look.

This is very cool @ThomasGray_Argos !! I tried years ago to build a benchtop version of something similar, using a 'kinetic' torch assembly, but never got much further than some very crude designs. I even approached Seiko about their watch mechanisms, but in the they weren't interested...

It's really great to see this technology get applied and I hadn't heard of the Kinetron microgenerator the researchers used. They did a fantastic job designing their system and bonus points for releasing it all to open-source! The only thing I couldn't see were costs or a bill of materials (and I could've easily missed it), as I was keen to see how much the Kinetron microgenerator was. The hybrid capacitor they used was great value at AU$7.19. 

My next project is to try harvesting radio waves using something like this: 

Urban environments might have enough ambient sources of radio waves that no additional transmission stations are needed, but for remote locations, purpose-built transmitters could work for critters that have defined, and relatively small home ranges. 

Anyway Thomas, thanks heaps for sharing and very interesting and encouraging. 



It will be great if there were different plug-in boards that would allow the researcher to connect any form of communication: ICARUS, Argos, Iridium, Globalstar, GSM, etc. I think for an open-source product, it would be far more value to not self limit. 

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TWS2023 - get in touch

Hi, I'll stick around at the TWS2023 Louisville with our friends from e-obs to do some live Firetail demos and discuss your ideas and requirements. Would be great to get in...

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I'm registered with the TWS2023 app, so feel free to nudge me there as well

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Project Update: Improving satellite ear tag transmitters for Polar Bears

I was just delighted that WWF's Sybille Klenzendorf and Mistywest's Tony Jackson joining us to talk about the polar bear ear tag they've been working on for the past few years....

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Hey Rob! I also missed this variety hour thinking it was the next day. I enjoyed the recording on youtube though!

Your thoughts on distributing the components to both sides of the ear is interesting. One thing to consider is heat dessipation, I believe. I believe it is important to consider how heat conducting the part going through the ear is. A few cables would perhaps be OK. Ruggedness should have a very high priority and the more compact the device is the better, I would think.

Interesting stuff you shared about the antenna!




Cheers @Lars_Holst_Hansen , yes, the antenna foam spacer idea certainly helped us a bit. I completely agree though that ruggedness, especially on a polar bear (a bit different from a koala 'bear') is a top priority, so there's a lot to consider. 



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Marine Flyways - Seabird Tracking Database

To celebrate #WMBD, BirdLife is excited to share the newly identified Marine Flyways!! Seabird tracking data were shared by over 60 researchers from 48 long-distance migratory species and have revealed SIX MarineFlyways. They've created an awesome animation to go along with it!


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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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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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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