New Technology for Tracking Animals for Life

October 04 16:45 2017
Sub-Gram, Battery-Free Design to Revolutionize Research

Cellular Tracking Technologies of Cape May, NJ has unveiled, at the Bio-Logging Symposium 6 their latest advance in wildlife tracking devices, the CTT Life Tag™.


CTT Life Tag™ is a breakthrough in the scientific research of wildlife because it is incredibly small, lightweight, solar powered, and has no battery.  The combination of these features means biologists are able to study smaller animals with potentially unlimited tracking device life.

The tracking device is based on development by wildlife researchers and engineers at Cornell University.  Cellular Tracking Technologies has a licensing agreement with Cornell, and is the sole manufacturer of CTT Life Tag™.

Dr. David Winkler, PhD, of Cornell is an ornithologist who lead the invention of this radio tag.  Winkler says “We invented Life Tag to bring the possibility of full life-cycle tracking to researchers working on small species. We hope that these simple tags can find their way into research projects around the world, producing new ornithological research with positive global impact.”

Says Michael Lanzone, PhD, CEO of Cellular Tracking Technologies, “As an active research biologist, I immediately saw the great potential in the work Cornell had done.  Long-term tracking of smaller animals has been a significant hurdle for wildlife biologists, so we are excited to make this technology a reality and available to researchers around the world.”

With other light-weight tracking devices, to retrieve data from the devices, biologists have to recapture tagged animals.  This is because the weight limit needed for small animal research eliminated the ability to transmit the data, as a transmitter would make the devices too heavy for the animal to behave normally.

CTT Life Tag™ allows researchers to tag an animal once and receive data over the life of the animal.  By eliminating relatively heavy batteries, there is now capacity for a transmitter that does not interfere with an animal’s normal behavior.

CTT Life Tag™ also has over four billion individual identification codes available. This extends the value to researchers in two unique ways.  First, researchers can easily identify individual animals; second, receivers or base stations can be used for multiple studies in an area simultaneously, as the base stations also support other CTT transmitters.

Research biologist Sahas Barve, PhD says “You often have to recapture the birds or the animal to get the data back, or you have to physically follow the animal, both really difficult to do. That’s why the Life Tag™ is so cool, just put out these tags and get data for life. That’s something that’s drawn me to this project, the fact that it’s one of the longest running projects on any woodpeckers in the world.”


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Cellular Tracking Technologies was founded in 2007 by three scientists who were frustrated with the available wildlife telemetry products available, and knew they could do better.  Pioneers in defining a new category of tracking devices for research biologists, Cellular Tracking Technologies has delivered thousands of GPS-GSM solar powered telemetry devices to hundreds of researchers around the world. 


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