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.


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 Mark (@tinytxs) and Don (@donfbecker), 

I think this is the first time in six years I've actually had to lightly moderate something! Looking at the comments here, I'm just popping in a quick link to our community guidelines as a friendly reminder. I think I think everyone is probably just about on the right side of these, but let's just keep our conversations respectful and friendly, and be careful of how sales-y some comments might be received, even if the intent was otherwise. We appreciate the expertise manufacturers bring to conversations, so please do continue to share your knowledge, Mark. My suggestion is to lean towards sharing knowledge as opposed to links to purchase recommendations (but acknowledge this is dependant on context - links to purchase options can be useful in some situations). Hope this helps! 




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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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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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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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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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.



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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 (, 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."



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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 and there is a "let's talk" button. 

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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  

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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Virtual fencing / Kinetic energy harvesting / Holistic grazing

Hi everyone, Stephanie invited me to share some recent developments in Finalnd.I'm David and I'm a mechanical engineer from Rijeka, Croatia, working as a Marie Curie postdoc at...

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I see, thanks!

One daily fix is quite limiting.

Do you have an idea how KEH might affect accelerometry?


I don't think KEH would influence accelerometry at all.

One other way to think about it is - the KEH is a movement sensor itself.

The GPS is quite a severe factor in the energy balance of the system, so if the data is perhaps not transmitted constantly, more frequent locks could be achieved. I believe GPS transceivers are becoming more and more efficient and the KEH enabled GPS should become an option soon.




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Conservation Technology Research Internship

Boost cons tech capacity at an international NGO! Fauna & Flora International is offering a paid three-month internship to consolidate and share best practices for the application of emerging hardware and software...

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Ceres Wild Rhino application 

An update on Ceres Tags products that are being used in conservation 

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Some updates and a news report on the Malilangwe Trust application of devices; Ceres Trace and Ceres Wild
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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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Hello everyone,

I work with Sara (who originally posted the question) and she's asked me to pick up the discussion on GPS collars for goats.

Firstly, thank you all so much for the helpful information and recommendations you've shared - it's really helped as we try to figure out the best way forward. From what I've read in the thread, there are clearly some options that aren't necessarily suited to what we're trying to do, so it's helped narrow things down a lot. Some of you mentioned it would be good to have more details about the project and what we're trying to achieve, so here's some more information:

  • Along with our local NGO partner, we're trying to understand grazing patterns for small herds of goats (~10 - 25 animals per group) on a small island (62.5 km²) in Cabo Verde. 
  • We will first be conducting a participatory mapping process, asking the farmers to indicate on a map the areas where their goats typically graze.
  • We then want to use GPS or other tracking on the goats themselves to get a more detailed and accurate set of data. We plan to overlay the information on where the goats are grazing with drone mapping of the island's vegetation, which identifies endemic and endangered plant species.
  • We want to use this data to inform a grazing management plan that reduces goat grazing pressure on those species.
  • We don't need to cover the entire island at once; we can likely focus on specific areas and herds at a time, before moving on to the next.
  • The goats tend to largely stick together, so we likely only need to collar one or two 'lead' individuals in the herd to get a sense of their movements.
  • To make sure we're not missing periods where the goats might be grazing on endemic species, we need to record positions with fairly high frequency (i.e. at least every 10 minutes or so, is my best guess, but open to correction or guidance).
  • We don't necessarily need these data points to be available in real time, but remote downloading would be useful.
  • This is not a long-term project for which we require tags or collars with years of battery life.
  • We're on a limited budget and essentially we're looking for a simple and relatively affordable solution.
  • (And thank you, @antonab, for recommending we check - there doesn't appear to be SigFox coverage in Cabo Verde.)

From what I've read on this thread, it looks like a LoRaWAN approach with receiving stations could be the best solution, along the lines of what @DoctorB described. I plan to read up on it, as like Sara, I'm very new to all of this, but in the meantime wanted to thank you all for the help and information. 

If any of you has time to share a bit more information about the equipment needed to set up a LoRaWAN system with the above parameters in mind (or thinks that it would in fact be unsuitable) please get in touch!


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

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Sydney seals: From Manly to Malabar, marine life sprawls across a city

This came to me by way of my dad over the weekend, but it's is full of familiar names and has started popping up from other places in the conservation tech network. It's a gorgeous visual story via The Sydney Morning Herald, telling the tail of the return of fur seals in and around Sydney. It highlights PhD student Vanessa Morris' PhD research and the citizen science program Vanessa Pirotta created called Wild Sydney Harbour (


SnapperGPS device giveaway

Hi all,There's a rare opportunity to acquire free (only postage and packaging is payable) GPS biologging hardware to trial the new SnapperGPS board developed by two PhD students...

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