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Simon P. Ripperger, Gerald G. Carter, Rachel A. Page, Niklas Duda, Alexander Koelpin, Robert Weigel, Markus Hartmann, Thorsten Nowak, Jörn Thielecke, Michael Schadhauser, Jörg Robert, Sebastian Herbst, Klaus Meyer-Wegener, Peter Wägemann, Wolfgang Schröder-Preikschat, Björn Cassens, Rüdiger Kapitza, Falko Dressler and Frieder Mayer, "Thinking small: Next-generation sensor networks close the size gap in vertebrate biologging," PLOS Biology, vol. 18 (4), pp. e3000655, April 2020.


Recent advances in animal tracking technology have ushered in a new era in biologging. However, the considerable size of many sophisticated biologging devices restricts their application to larger animals, whereas older techniques often still represent the state-of-the-art for studying small vertebrates. In industrial applications, low-power wireless sensor networks (WSNs) fulfill requirements similar to those needed to monitor animal behavior at high resolution and at low tag mass. We developed a wireless biologging network (WBN), which enables simultaneous direct proximity sensing, high-resolution tracking, and long-range remote data download at tag masses of 1 to 2 g. Deployments to study wild bats created social networks and flight trajectories of unprecedented quality. Our developments highlight the vast capabilities of WBNs and their potential to close an important gap in biologging: fully automated tracking and proximity sensing of small animals, even in closed habitats, at high spatial and temporal resolution.

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Simon P. Ripperger
Gerald G. Carter
Rachel A. Page
Niklas Duda
Alexander Koelpin
Robert Weigel
Markus Hartmann
Thorsten Nowak
Jörn Thielecke
Michael Schadhauser
Jörg Robert
Sebastian Herbst
Klaus Meyer-Wegener
Peter Wägemann
Wolfgang Schröder-Preikschat
Björn Cassens
Rüdiger Kapitza
Falko Dressler
Frieder Mayer

BibTeX reference

    author = {Ripperger, Simon P. and Carter, Gerald G. and Page, Rachel A. and Duda, Niklas and Koelpin, Alexander and Weigel, Robert and Hartmann, Markus and Nowak, Thorsten and Thielecke, J{\"{o}}rn and Schadhauser, Michael and Robert, J{\"{o}}rg and Herbst, Sebastian and Meyer-Wegener, Klaus and W{\"{a}}gemann, Peter and Schr{\"{o}}der-Preikschat, Wolfgang and Cassens, Bj{\"{o}}rn and Kapitza, R{\"{u}}diger and Dressler, Falko and Mayer, Frieder},
    doi = {10.1371/journal.pbio.3000655},
    title = {{Thinking small: Next-generation sensor networks close the size gap in vertebrate biologging}},
    pages = {e3000655},
    journal = {PLOS Biology},
    publisher = {Public Library of Science},
    month = {4},
    number = {4},
    volume = {18},
    year = {2020},

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