Disadvantages of GPS Animal Tracking

Written by phyllis benson
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Disadvantages of GPS Animal Tracking
(Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons, GNU Free Documentation License)

GPS tracking uses the Global Positioning System to find the location of an item or animal and log its position at regular intervals. When a GPS device is put on a wild animal, it allows researchers to track its activities and movements by satellite. On a pet or domestic animal, the device allows a lost animal to be found. Using GPS to track animals does have disadvantages.

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The GPS devices that are most useful have features that provide more details on the animal, its movements, temperature, and activity sensors. These functions are costly and not affordable for many wildlife research organisations.

Disadvantages of GPS Animal Tracking


Most GPS devices for pets and domestic use have a limited range from the home base receiver. Wildlife is tracked by satellite, but a longer range requires a more sophisticated GPS device and receiver.

Disadvantages of GPS Animal Tracking


A GPS device requires a battery to function. The animal must be tracked down periodically so that the battery can be manually replaced.


Effective data transmission requires complex collar telemetry, resulting in a heavier device that may hinder the animal's movements.


Collars or devices are lost or useless when the animal hooks them on an obstacle and pulls the collar off. They're also pointless if he moves to a location where the collar cannot be retrieved for maintenance.

Disadvantages of GPS Animal Tracking

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