What Is Wildlife Telemetry?

by OBDK on February 16, 2022


Have you heard of banding? It’s a way to keep track of certain animals. It involves putting a small band (sometimes multiple) around a bird’s leg. Each band has a number on it for identification. This helps those who spot or capture the bird in the future to identify it.1 Bands are provided by the Bird Banding Laboratory – the lab also keeps track of all information about birds that are banded and have been observed or caught.2 


Another way scientists track animals is through telemetry. Wildlife Telemetry is when scientists place devices on wild animals to track their movements and behaviors.3 This helps us get a better understanding of the behavior, migratory patterns, and habits of a species. This insight allows better decisions to be made regarding their habitat. For example, the information gathered about a species can help decide whether or not we can thin part of a forest to help against wildfires without hurting a species that lives there.3


VHF Radio Tracking, Satellite Tracking, and GPS Tracking are common ways to keep track of animals. Radio tracking consists of a device that transmits to a radio antenna. Satellite tracking is similar, but the signal goes to a satellite. GPS tracking is the opposite of both of these. The device placed on the animal is a receiver instead of a transmitter, which receives signals from satellites.4

Technological developments have been crucial to this part of wildlife conservation and study. Devices are now able to be smaller than before, which means it doesn’t hurt the animal or get in its way. From devices that weigh less than a few drops of water to those that can break off from animals and be collected later, this technology helps scientists better understand our wildlife.3

Put the pieces together and learn more about animals from tigers to polar bears with our puzzles! Whether you need a puzzle of 100 pieces or 1,000 pieces, we have you covered. Explore our puzzle collection and get learning today. 

  1. https://nc.audubon.org/news/how-banding-supports-bird-conservation-science
  2. https://nationalzoo.si.edu/migratory-birds/what-bird-banding
  3. https://www.insidescience.org/news/crazy-things-biologists-do-track-animals
  4. https://nhpbs.org/wild/tracking.asp

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