Developing Technology for Tracking Wildlife

Using technology to understand environmental change

Rapid changes in the natural environment often result in changes in the daily and seasonal movements and ranges of animals. However, observing changes in movements and ranges of animals can be challenging.

Lightweight, low-cost data recorders could greatly improve biologists’ ability to track animal movements and monitor their response to environmental change. In 2018, IU professor Geoffrey Brown and his students designed and manufactured miniature archival data loggers for studying the behavior and movements of wild birds in Indiana.

Through a grant from the National Science Foundation, Institute Research Fellow Adam Fudickar’s team is testing and deploying these miniature archival data loggers on birds in a range of habitats in southern Indiana.

Recently the researchers completed the first deployment of these data loggers on birds in southern Indiana. The loggers will help identify the responses of birds to environmental stressors (e.g. urban noise, habitat change) and help identify ways to lessen the impact of human activity on animal diversity and population health in Indiana.