The International Bio-Logging Society, together with several partner organisations, has recently launched the COVID-19 Bio-Logging Initiative, to investigate global wildlife responses to altered levels of human activity during the pandemic. The ultimate goal of the Initiative is to use bio-logging data collected before, during and after COVID-19 lockdown to advance our understanding of human–wildlife interactions, and to inform global efforts to foster sustainable human–wildlife coexistence. We have outlined our vision for this work programme on “anthropause” effects in a recent open-access comment article.

Following an open call for collaboration, replies from 310 colleagues indicate availability of potentially suitable bio-logging datasets for 180 species across 279 study populations. We have just contacted data owners, providing information on how best to contribute data via shared bio-logging databases, such as Movebank. Given the time-sensitive nature of the work, we hope to receive currently available datasets as soon as possible, and before 28 August 2020.

That said, there is still time to join the COVID-19 Bio-Logging Initiative – simply fill in this short online survey, and we will be in touch with further information. You can also always reach us via email.


Please note BLS7 will be a virtual meeting October 18-22, 2021

Honolulu, Hawaii

For further information please see BLS7 Website

the international bio-logging society


Effective wildlife conservation requires detailed scientific data on the movement, behaviour and physiology of free-ranging animals. Collecting such information through direct observation is challenging, and in many species, simply impossible. “Bio-logging” employs miniature animal-attached electronic tags to uncover the hidden lives of wild animals, including birds, mammals, fish and even insects. Technologies include: satellite tags to chart migration routes; video cameras to film foraging behaviour; and accelerometers to measure energy budgets. These cutting-edge approaches are revolutionising the field of biology, significantly advancing global efforts to understand and protect wildlife.


The International Bio-Logging Society brings together researchers from around the world who are interested in bio-logging methods and the scientific insights they generate. Its remit is broad, covering the use of bio-logging and bio-telemetry approaches to study aquatic, terrestrial and aerial species, across the world’s ecosystems. The Society’s diverse membership includes biologists, geoscientists, conservation practitioners, physicists, engineers, computer specialists and mathematicians. By encouraging interdisciplinary exchange and collaboration, the Society hopes to advance the scientific understanding, and lasting protection, of global biodiversity. For further details, see the written constitution below.

want to beCOME a member?

We warmly invite you to become part of the International Bio-Logging Society’s diverse and international membership. You do not have to be an active user of bio-logging technology to join us – all we expect is a passion for animal biology and conservation, and a genuine interest in the research potential of bio-logging. Membership registration is currently free of charge.

Bio-logging tools

There is an expanding range of bio-logging-related resources, such as analysis tools, data repositories, and large-scale collaborative networks. As a service to our community, we aim to provide a one-stop shop for useful, non-commercial tools. If you have found a resource to be particularly helpful, we would love to hear about it; please email us at with »Tools for website« in the subject line.


Move bank - live tracking


map of life - biodiversity app


Census of marine life

Show room

case studies

We wish to showcase cutting-edge, on-going research on this website. If you have a suitable case study you want to share with the community, please email us at with »Case study« in the subject line.

In the Himalayas, the area’s heaviest flying bird—Gyps himalayensis—soars up to 6500 metres above the rugged landscape. In 2014, 23 birds were equipped with e-Obs GmBH GPS loggers with 3D acceleration sensors to provide the only picture to date of the species’ movements: they winter in India, Nepal, Bhutan, Yunan (China) and Tibet, and summer in Mongolia and Tibet. Each color-coded track in the map above represents an individual bird, and data are reported daily into the online Movebank database. Photo courtesy of: Siddhartha Goswami

2018 – 2028

bio-logging decade

Some challenges in bio-logging science are so complex that they cannot be solved by individual researchers, or even moderately-sized teams. The Society is currently organising a high-profile initiative, the Bio-Logging Decade 2018–2028, to tackle the most urgent problems through sustained international collaboration. The Decade will pursue a portfolio of interdisciplinary projects with significant funding, ranging from the solution of long-standing basic engineering challenges, and the development of specific tagging systems, to high-effort global tracking schemes. 

If you wish to support the Decade, please get in touch with us.

Executive Committee officers and members


Following enthusiastic endorsement by conference delegates at the last International Bio-Logging Symposium in Strasbourg (BLS-5), France, the Society was formed by a small group of volunteers. In late 2016, an interim Organising Committee appointed the Society’s inaugural Executive Committee, which will lead Society affairs during the launch phase, after which formal elections will be held. The Executive Committee will provide an update on its work and share its vision for the future of the Society at the next Symposium (BLS-6) in Konstanz, Germany. The Society is committed to promoting equality, diversity and inclusiveness in all its activities; these principles are firmly anchored in the Society’s written constitution.


A/Prof. Francesca Cagnacci

Francesca is a behavioral and conservation ecologist with research emphasis on effects of climate and global change on terrestrial mammal spatial distribution and movement. She has been a bio-logging enthusiast since the beginning of her career.


Dr Karen

Karen assesses the movement, behaviour and connectivity of pelagic marine predators and the impacts that anthropogenic activities have on them and their environment.


Dr Akiko

Akiko studies the ecology, behaviour and physiology of animals, mainly seabirds, focusing on their adaptation to the changing marine environment and their role in the marine ecosystem.

Communications Officer

A/Prof. Mary-Anne


Mary-Anne studies the behavioural ecology of mammals (especially seals) and seabirds using bio-logging techniques, often in cooler parts of the planet. 

Equality and Diversity Officer

Dr Sara

Sara uses bio-logging to advance sustainability in the oceans, with a particular focus on sea turtles, seabirds and marine mammals. 


Dr Bernie McConnell

Bernie is Deputy Director of the Sea Mammal Research Unit. His interests include bio-logging instrumentation, seal ecology, old wooden fishing boats and modelling individual movement.


Dr Monica Muelbert

Monica studies birds and mammals in oceans, with a special interest in the Southern Ocean and its connectivity to South America.


A/Prof. Susan Parks

Susan is a behavioral ecologist specializing in marine mammal acoustic communication and the effects of noise.


Dr Yan


Yan is a marine ecologist specializing in seabird behavioural ecology (penguins mainly)  from the tropics to the poles.


Prof. Christian Rutz

Christian studies tropical crows that have the curious habit of using foraging tools. He has pioneered the use of miniature video-cameras and proximity loggers for studying wild birds.


Prof. David Sims

David researches the movement ecology and behaviour of sharks, skates and rays and applies these data to inform conservation of threatened species

Membership Officer

A/Prof. Akinori Takahashi

Akinori studies the foraging behaviour of seabirds in Antarctic, Arctic, and Japanese waters using bio-logging instruments.


Prof. Martin Wikelski 

Martin is interested in using bio-loggers on animals to establish a global network of intelligent sensors for life.

The Executive Committee is supported by the following

guests and helpers

Contact with service providers, with Dr McConnell

Twitter team

Development of ‘best practice’ guidelines, with Prof. Rutz and Prof. Sims

Secretary, with Dr Ropert-Coudert

Twitter team, and organiser of ‘dependent care subsidies’ programme for BLS-6

BLS6 Workshops

standardisation of data protocols used within the bio-logging community

IBLS Data Standardization Working Group

An objective of the International Bio-Logging Society is to “to progress standardisation of data protocols used within the bio-logging community, with a view to making databases interoperable.” To coordinate the effort to define and implement common data standards in the bio-logging community, the IBLS is now setting up a working group on data standardization and interoperability to enable the integration of data collected by animal-borne sensors originating from different projects, sensor types and manufacturers. This working group will decide on communication tools priorities to address over the next year, with the goal to share results and proofs of concept in 2018. We welcome participation from bio-loggers, equipment manufacturers, database operators, data users and data-sharing advocates. To find out more about this working group and how to get involved contact

What are bio-logging data?
“Bio-logging data” can be defined as measurements collected by on-animal sensors, information describing those sensors, and information describing animals, deployments, and captures during a study. The term is intended to include information transferred remotely from the sensor and stored directly on the sensor, and refers to what is received by the owner after raw sensor data are processed and decoded.

Why do we need standards?
The need for data standards in bio-logging is outlined in Campbell et al. (2016). Data collected by animal-borne electronic devices vary widely, in part because they are provided by a large and growing number of device manufacturers and collected for a wide range of purposes. The lack of standard variable names and definitions, file formats and data transfer protocols hinders our ability to document, archive and share data and increases the chance of errors in data management, interpretation and analysis. Although sensors differ in design and purpose, most scientifically relevant information can be described using a finite set of variables along with metadata about the sensor, animal, and deployment.

Results of the 2017 BLS6 Workshop
Bio-logging experts and manufacturers from around the world joined a workshop at the September 2017 6
th International Bio-Logging Science Symposium: “A future for a common bio-logging language? Discussions about data standards and interoperability in the bio-logging world.” In preparation for this workshop, a 10-person organizing committee identified and invited ~130 domain experts and surveyed bio-logging manufacturers and biodiversity data experts to assess current workflows, knowledge, and preferences. Over 50 people attended the workshop, representing bio-logging equipment manufacturers, bio-logging database and biodiversity data initiatives, bio-logging scientists, analysis tool developers, conservation groups, and students. Attendees came from all over the world and represented diverse taxonomic and methodological expertise.

A summary of the workshop and results presented to the symposium by Francesca Cagnaggi

Workshop agenda



Tokyo-2003...St Andrews-2006...Asilomar-2008...Hobart-2011... Strasbourg-2014...Konstanz-2017.

Five-hundred people from 28 different countries gathered at the Bodenseeforum on the shores of Lake Constance for 5 days to discuss their studies of aquatic, terrestrial and aerial species, and their habitats using animal-attached electronic devices. Seventy-five scholars presented their work in short 15 minute presentations and discussions. The keynote speakers included Jerry Kooyman, Henri Weimerskirch, Urska Demsar, Katsufumi Sato, Barbara Block, Meg Crofoot and Ortwin Renn who shared their expertise in a half hour presentation. One day was dedicated to workshops, which included three half-day and three full-day workshops where participants learned some hands-on advice about bio-logging

One of the highlights of the symposium was announcing the newly-formed International Bio-logging Society by Christian Rutz, the President of the Society.

At the conference banquet, the history of the Konzil building (1414) was presented by a historian and Jan Blake, a storyteller from England, took her audience away on a journey with her beautiful stories.

Bio-loggers are known for their openness and inquisitiveness - and this conference was no exception. Delegates were impressed with the choice of truly educational presentations and debates afterwards. The sun was shining every day and the atmosphere was positive. So, all in all, another successful BLS has ended and we are already looking forward to the next Bio-logging Symposium!

Now the big question: where will BLS7 be in 2020?



Bio-Logging Society

Office contact

Professor Christian Rutz

School of Biology

University of St Andrews

Sir Harold Mitchell Building

St Andrews KY16 9TH

Fife, Scotland, UK