Tracking collar

Tracking collars are collars used as a radio beacon to track animal migration for research.[1] Some pet owners use these collars for GPS tracking and geofencing of their pets.[2]

Tigress with radio collar in Tadoba Andhari National Park, India

Effects on AnimalsEdit

It was believed that GPS collars used on animals affected their behavior. This theory was tested on elephants that lived in a zoo in the United States. They studied how the elephants behaved with and without the collars for the same amount of time for both scenarios and saw no change in behavior.[3] A study was done with mantled howler monkeys to see if GPS Ball and Chain collars had any effect on the monkeys behavior. The study involved observing a group of collared and uncollared female howler monkeys. There was no major difference in the collared and uncollared behavior but when the study was over it was discovered that the monkeys had injuries. The collars had caused damage to the necks of the monkeys; one had small scratches and some swelling while four other monkeys had deep cuts from the collar. Two of the monkeys with the lacerations had their tissue healing over the collar.[4]

Tracking Technology and Battery lifeEdit

Internet-enabled tracking collars for animals need to be designed with a multiple year lifespan to avoid interference with the animals. Satellite tracking devices are deployed in ultra remote areas. In-order to preserve battery power the device only powers on when it is required. GSM or cellular technology is widely deployed where connectivity is available - however GSM is also highly intensive on battery power. Devices either have a large battery or are only powered on when required. Sigfox or LoRa are new technologies powering the Internet of Things connectivity. These technologies are beginning to be deployed in remote areas due to their ease of deployment and incredibly long range. The advantages of these technologies for an animal tracking collar is that the device form size can be minimised and the battery life extended greatly. Sigfox has already covered large parts of the Kruger National Park in South Africa allowing rangers to better track smaller forms of wildlife. [5]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Mech, L. David (1983). Handbook of animal radio-tracking. University of Minnesota Press. ISBN 978-0-8166-1222-2.
  2. ^ Fehrenbacher, Katie (2004-08-24). "Global Pet Finder: GPS pet collar". Engadget. Archived from the original on October 25, 2008. Retrieved 2009-03-17.CS1 maint: unfit url (link)
  3. ^ Horback, Kristina Marie; Miller, Lance Joseph; Andrews, Jeffrey; Kuczaj II, Stanley Abraham; Anderson, Matthew (15 December 2012). "The effects of GPS collars on African elephant (Loxodonta africana) behavior at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park". Applied Animal Behaviour Science. 142 (1–2): 76–81. doi:10.1016/j.applanim.2012.09.010.
  4. ^ Hopkins, Mariah E.; Milton, Katharine (2016-04-01). "Adverse Effects of Ball-Chain Radio-Collars on Female Mantled Howlers (Alouatta palliata) in Panama". International Journal of Primatology. 37 (2): 213–224. doi:10.1007/s10764-016-9896-y. ISSN 0164-0291.
  5. ^ "Tracking technology". TechThrive. Retrieved 2019-07-19.