Detailed information about the course

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Remote Animal Tracking Technology


26 - 28 May 2021


Dr Bernhard Voelkl, UNIBE


Dr Bernhard Voelkl, University of Bern
Dr Elisa Perinot, University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna, Austria
Dr Roxana Triguero-Ocaña, Instituto de Investigación en Recursos Cinegéticos, Spain


In this 2.5-day course the participants will be introduced to different modern technologies for remote animal tracking.

Automated tracking of animal movements is becoming an increasingly important and popular method for phenotyping animal behaviour with applications for animal ecology, wildlife monitoring and epidemiological surveillance. The method usually involves fitting animals with small devices that either autonomously log activity data of animals or allow identifying or locating tagged individuals. The technologies presented in this course are GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite System), RFID (radio frequency identification) and UHF (Ultra High Frequency) based proximity detectors.



On the first day, the participants learn about the aspects of data collection in behavioural ecology and how technological advances redefine the range of questions that can be addressed. After a general introduction, the first lecture block will introduce GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite System), first the theoretical and technical basis and then its application for animal monitoring using real-word examples. The second lecture block will introduce high-precision GNSS, allowing positioning with with centimeter accuracy--a high-end technique that has only very recently found its way into animal tracking.

On the second day, the students learn about RFID tracking systems with a focus on passive RFID tags. After a short theoretical introduction, practical examples will be given and different methods to analyse logged data will be presented. In the afternoon session UHF proximity detectors will be introduced, their technical advantages and limitations will be discussed and examples from recent field-work will provide a vivid picture of the applicability of this technology under field conditions.

On the last day the speakers will give a joint discussion of further analysis options applicable to data derived from all three tracking technologies, including network analysis. The speakers bring in extensive experience from having worked with all the introduced techniques under field conditions and cannot only present the theory of the techniques but also provide ample practical advice. During the course participants will be introduced to RKT LIB and Q-GIS. Examples for further analysis will involve scripts written in Python, R and Mathematica. A basic understanding of data handling and scripting (in R) will be advantegeous, though no in-depth knowledge of the programs and programming environments is required.




Full attendance and active participation.

Make sure to sign the attendance list each and every day!


26 to 28 May 2021
09:00-17:00 (with lunch/coffee breaks) the first 2 days, and Fri 28th 09:00-13:00

The link will be forwarded to registered participants in due time

Marta Bellone



As the course will be held online, no reimbursement can be claimed


Register through your MyCUSO account!!


Deadline for registration: 16 May 2021

Priority is given to PhD students of the DPEE until 1 May 2021. After this deadline, places will be assigned on a first come, first serve basis, starting from the people in waiting list.

Registration Fees:

Free for participants enrolled in the CUSO Ecology & Evolution doctoral program

In case of cancellations, before the deadline: free

Late cancellations or no-show: 100 CHF administrative fee

Other participants: please contact the program coordinator at ecologie-evolution(at)



Deadline for registration 16.05.2021
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