EcoLocate: A Heterogeneous Wireless Network System for Wildlife Tracking

  • Andrew C. Markham
  • Andrew J. Wilkinson


All research to date using wireless networks for wildlife tracking has concentrated on monitoring a single species, using large GPS enabled collars. These collars are too heavy to attach on smaller animals. Rather than omit small animals from the tracking spectrum, we show how a fusion of GPS tracking (where applicable) and an improved version of VHF tracking can result in a system which is able to track a wide range of animal species using the same underlying wireless network for information transfer. Tags are equipped with radio transceivers, which are used to both transmit and receive beacons. Received beacons are used to construct radio proximity maps which characterize co-location of various animals at different points in time. Furthermore, as the locations of some nodes are known, coarse estimates of animal locations can be determined, especially around focal points such as waterholes. We present the components of our system and discuss our prototype implementation.


Wildlife tracking GPS VHF Wireless Network beacon proximity detection 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andrew C. Markham
    • 1
  • Andrew J. Wilkinson
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Electrical EngineeringUniversity of Cape TownCape TownSouth Africa

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