In 2017, I got sidetracked from my usual work in industrial automation to conservation by a chance opportunity to develop of solution to reduce the illegal persecution of birds-of-prey in Scotland. At the end of the initial funded period, it turned out that development costs for a wildlife tracker that would meet the necessary requirements could never be met for the relatively low number of birds of the target species that could be tagged every year domestically (a few dozen). But I decided to carry on under my own steam for now and, again by chance, was introduced to the much wider wildlife persecution problem at an event in London in September 2018 looking at illegal wildlife trade. That is where I also learned about WildLabs.
Considering the much larger population of elephants, rhinos and other heavily poached terrestrial mammals, I could see a much better basis for development of a new tracker. I also realised that my intended tracker features for Scottish birds-of-prey matched very much the needs of the wider conservation community (those that I have been in touch with so far). At time of writing, a first prototype is under development to prove that all my fine technical ideas can actually be implemented.
For further work, including adapting the tracker to work with a particular species as well as attaching it, I hope to find more knowledgeable people here on this forum. From what I have read so far, I get the impression that I have come to the right place. As I have no conservation background, I want to and have to take on board as much experience and information from others as possible. Fortunately, my past work required me to really understand what my customers required and work towards their requirements - something, I gather, other "techies" often fail to do.
Finally, why yet another wildlife tracker, are there not enough out there already ? Yes, plenty, but as far as my research (autumn 2017) showed there are none that suit my requirements (keeping in mind that eventually I want to also build an avian tracker for deployment in Scotland, as originally intended): a tracker that can operate year-round, even in latitudes >56°, obtain accurate GPS locations and transmit data via satellite several times per hour.
Please get in touch if the above is of interest or you want to share some of your experience on wildlife tracking that may be useful.