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European Users Conference on Argos Wildlife (EUCAW)

Nov 21, 2018

The EUCAW 2018 – European Users Conference on Argos Wildlife – hosted by CLS will take place on the 21st and 22nd of November at the auditorium of CLS headquarters, Ramonville Saint-Agne, near Toulouse, France.

Join us for two days of scientific and technical sessions with the Argos satellite tracking community!

Enjoy the passionate research of your peers, exchange best practices and interdisciplinary approaches…

Who should attend: biologists, manufacturers, research agencies, NGOs, and Argos experts…



EUCAW 2018 Sponsors


The EUCAW 2018 is very pleased to announce the participation of emeritus scientists who will present their Argos related activities.

  • Nigel Butcher – Senior Technical Officer in RSPB

The Argos tracking system has been used in avian ecology for many years now and the RSPB has benefited from it on a number of different projects. Our work although primarily focussed on species in the UK and UK Overseas Territory (UKOT’s) does also involve work globally.

In my role that I have held since 2000 as Senior Technical Officer within the Centre for Conservation Science I recommend and develop technology to achieve our conservation goals. Understanding the needs of species through research and protection are key areas of my work and satellite PTT’s have been integral.

In recent times I have become more involved with the interrogation/analysis of the Argos data. This fascinates and challenges me as accurately understanding the results is essential to our work. I will discuss 3 tracking projects that the RSPB have undertaken: Sociable lapwing, Hen harrier and Turtle dove and highlight some of the success we have achieved with these species.

  • Mads Peter Heide-Jørgensen – Greenland Institute of Natural Resources

Mads Peter Heide-Jørgensen has been working with marine mammals in Greenland since 1982. He works with ecology of whales and is especially known for his expertise in development and best practise on deploying whales with satellite transmitters during the past 3 decades.

Some of the most intriguing questions about migrations and natural behavior of marine mammals are focused around Arctic seals and whales. Animals that are widely dispersed in inaccessible areas and that only in brief seasons can be observed in their natural surroundings. Naturally these species have also been targeted by some of the largest efforts for data acquisition through satellite telemetry using CLS Service Argos.

Most of the 1990’s was spent on developing instruments that could meet the requirements for use on marine mammals, with the development of a very fast salt-water switch being a turning point for tracking animals that only briefly appear at the surface of the oceans. Major insight into critical biological questions were emerging after 2000 with successful instrumentations of large numbers of marine mammals with tags that provided data for months and sometimes years. Critical habitats and migratory corridors have been delineated, exposure to anthropogenic activities revealed and sensitivity to climate perturbations has been assessed. New possibilities for using instrumented animals for environmental sampling are emerging where data can be used for long-term monitoring of oceanic conditions.

  • Dr. Francisco Alemany – Coordinator International Commission Conservation Atlantic Tuna

The ICCAT Atlantic Wide Research Programme for Bluefin Tuna (ICCAT GBYP) started with electronic tag activities on Atlantic bluefin tuna (Thunnus thynnus) in 2011, when first few pop-up satellite tags were deployed. The main objective of this tagging programme is to unveil Atlantic Bluefin spatial patterns in order to determine the mixing rates between the Western and Eastern stocks of this species, the first spawning in the Gulf of Mexico and the latter in the Mediterranean, respectively, but overlapping in Atlantic Ocean foraging grounds, which is crucial for a proper evaluation and management of this emblematic species.

Over the course of 7 years, up to 2017, within the framework of this Programme, or in joint actions with other institutions (WWF, IEO), more than 342 electronic pop-up tags have been deployed in different areas of the Mediterranean Sea and the Eastern Atlantic. All these pop-up satellite tags were supplied by Wildlife Computers (models Mk10-PAT and MiniPAT) and all collected data were transmitted via the Argos satellite system.

For the purpose of estimating bluefin geolocations and movements from tag data, all available datasets were processed using best available CLS algorithms. In 2018 ICCAT GBYP plans to continue with tagging activities, by deploying 60 pop-up tags in several areas of NE Atlantic, from Portugal coasts to Norwegian waters.

  • Brendan Godley – Professor of Conservation Science, Strategy Lead #ExeterMarine

Brendan has been involved with Argos related activities since attaching his first PTT’s on nesting green turtles in Cyprus in 1998. Through collaborative work with students and a wide range of partners, this has extended to published tracking work on sea turtles in over 15 countries as well as some multinational metanalyses and to the tracking of sharks, seabirds and fisheries.

Underpinning all of this work is a natural curiosity to unpick the hidden life histories of marine vertebrates and use the knowledge to inform conservation efforts, including increasing environmental awareness.

  • Michel Sarthou – Argos Project Manager in CNES

In the late 1970’s the Argos Data Collection and Location System was conceived by engineers at the French Space Agency. Dedicated to the environment and begun as a cooperative program among CNES, NOAA and NASA, joined now with EUMETSAT and ISRO, the Argos success story has spanned more than three decades.

Argos Project Manager at the French Space Agency since 2005, Michel coordinates all aspects of the Argos system for which the French Space Agency is prime contractor and is responsible for the development of system components both onboard and on the ground. Michel leads a team of nearly 10 people working together to ensure the integration of Argos instruments onboard the satellites of the partner organizations (NOAA, EUMETSAT, ISRO) as well as in-orbit validation of the system before handing the responsibility for day-to-day operations of the Argos system, including data distribution to users, to CLS.

Program Highlights

When deep diving seals help us to observe rapidly changing of polar oceans

At the European User Conference on Argos Wildlife (EUCAW), Christophe Guinet’s presentation will focus on how polar seals are used to collect in-situ measurements of temperature, salinity, fluorescence and light along their paths during their dives and which complement and extend to deep depth satellite surface observations.

Use of Argos data for fisheries management & conservation: ICCAT perspective

Francisco Alemany’s presentation at the European User’s Conference on Argos Wildlife (EUCAW) will focus on the ICCAT Atlantic Wide Research Programme for Bluefin Tuna (ICCAT GBYP) started with electronic tag activities on Atlantic bluefin tuna (Thunnus thynnus) in 2011, when the first few pop-up satellite tags were…

Unveiling the life of Arctic marine mammals through the use of satellite telemetry

Some of the most intriguing questions about migrations and natural behavior of marine mammals are focused around Arctic seals and whales. Animals that are widely dispersed in inaccessible areas and that only in brief seasons can be observed in their natural surroundings. Naturally these species have also been targeted by…

The utility of Argos satellite tagging in monitoring a long-lived raptor: White-tailed Sea Eagle reintroduction to Ireland

Allan Mee, of the Golden Eagle Trust, Norwegian Institute for Nature Research, presents his work reintroducing white-tailed sea eagles, at the European User Conference for Argos Wildlife (EUCAW). As he explains, white-tailed Sea Eagle (WTSE) Haliaeetus albicilla became extinct in Ireland in…

The RSPB and Argos – an overview of using satellite telemetry in scientific research

At the European User Conference on Argos Wildlife (EUCAW), Nigel Butcher will discuss how the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) has benefitted from the Argos tracking system. His work, although primarily focussed on species in the UK and UK Overseas Territory (UKOT’s), does…

The experiences of the Atlantic Ocean Tropical Tuna Tagging Programme

The Atlantic Ocean Tropical Tuna Tagging Programme is a five year duration project funded by the EU (DG-DEVCO) and ICCAT signatory countries (CPCs). Its aim is to improve the management of the three main tropical tuna stocks (bigeye, skipjack and yellowfin) in the Atlantic using up-to-date population parameters, such as…

Reporting on the work of Russian scientists in the Arctic using specialized Argos tags

Alexandre Salman, of ES-PAS, reports on the work of Russian scientists at the European User Conference on Argos Wildlife (EUCAW). As he explains, since Argos instruments fly onboard polar-orbiting satellites, therefore, in Arctic zones, satellite passes are more frequent and scientists are able to transmit a higher…

Oceanographic Turtles: Integration of sea turtle tracking with ocean observing systems

At the European User Conference on Argos Wildlife (EUCAW), David March will present the “Oceanographic Turtles” project which aims to provide the scientific basis to support the development of risk mitigation techniques based on new ocean observing and forecasting systems and contribute to the conservation of marine turtles. Argos satellite…

Silver Eel migration behaviour in the Mediterranean Sea

Although Mediterranean ecosystems such as coastal lagoons are known to be productive habitats providing numerous silver eels in short generation time, migration routes used by silver eels in the Mediterranean Sea have been poorly studied. Using pop-up satellite during escapement from coastal waters, Elsa Amilhat, of the Université de Perpignan,…

New insights on porbeagle stock structure in the North East Atlantic from PSAT deployments

At the European User Conference on Argos Wildlife (EUCAW), Gérard Biais, Ifremer, reports on the porbeagle shark (Lamna nasus), a large pelagic shark found throughout the North Atlantic. The state of the stock remains unknown in the North East Atlantic. However, presuming that this stock might be at risk,…

Tracking turtles to inform conservation

Brendan Godley, of University of Exeter has been tracking turtles using the ARGOS system for 20 years and has been involved in collaborative projects that have tagged over 500 hundred animals across the world. This has led to fundamental and applied insights for the populations in question but also provided…

COLSHARK program: first satellite tagging of thresher shark (Alopias pelagicus) in Eastern Tropical Pacific Ocean

Armelle Jung’s presentation at the European User Conference on Argos Wildlife (EUCAW) will focus on the pelagic thresher shark (Alopias pelagicus). It is one of the largest and most abundant open ocean predators in the Eastern Tropical Pacific (ETP), and one of the most exploited shark in the sub-region.

Using Argos for turtle dove management

Hervé Lormée, of the French Office National de la Chasse et de la Faune Sauvage, will present his work Argos at the European User Conference on Argos Wildlife (EUCAW). The European Turtle Dove Streptopelia turtur shows one of the most dramatic population decline among all farmland…

The missing link: pelagic prey field prediction for Southern Ocean marine predators

Southern Ocean predators tend to lead cryptic lives, which in many cases are spent mostly at sea. This makes their foraging behaviour inherently difficult to study. Furthermore, numerous species are threatened through direct human conflict (such as fisheries related mortality), climate driven change, or both. At the European User Conference…

Combining Argos and genetics to reveal connecting paths between juvenile and adult habitats in the Atlantic green turtle

At the European User Conference on Argos Wildlife, Philippine Chambault of IFREMER presents this fascinating project of the French Research agency IPHC-CNRS. Although it is commonly assumed that female sea turtles always return to the beach they hatched, the pathways they use during the years preceding their first reproduction and…

Year-round Satellite Tracking of Amur Falcon (Falco amurensis) reveals the longest migration of any raptor species across the open sea

The title for undertaking the most arduous of all raptor migrations, belongs certainly to the Amur Falcon, which is a complete transcontinental, transequatorial, long-distance flocking migrant. The principal breeding (mainly NE China) and wintering (mainly S. Africa) ranges are separated by both 70° of latitude and longitude.

The annual cycle of German adult Ospreys (Pandion haliaetus) – studies in the breeding and wintering areas as well as during migration since 1995 by means of satellite telemetry

During 1995 – 2011 we marked 28 adult Ospreys in NE-Germany with satellite tags working up to eight years. All except three males wintered in West Africa. The migratory paths followed while in Europe seemed much straighter and more directional compared to the migratory paths followed in Africa.

Hammerhead Shark research: Knowledge from the populations in the Canary Islands

HAMMERHEAD SHARK RESEARCH is a project that studies hammerhead sharks Sphyrna spp in the Canary Islands with the aim to contribute scientific base knowledge of these species in an understudied distribution. Information of hammerheads in this distribution is limited to the presence of two species (S. lewini and S. zygaena)…

Argos-4 coming soon: a new momentum for the Argos system

Argos is a collaborative, international satellite system dedicated to environmental monitoring that has been flying for 40 years. Today, thanks to 6 operational satellites, it provides global coverage via its polar orbits, a unique robustness thanks to a communication protocol fitted for harsh conditions, — one of its main advantages…

Satellite-tracking to create the demographic evidence-base for the sustainable management of hunted Asian Houbara

As Robert J. Burnside of the University of East Anglia explains in his presentation at the European User Conference on Argos Wildlife, the migratory Asian Houbara …

The revolutionary new Argos chipset from CLS and its partners

CLS and its partners have developed revolutionary new technology, an Argos chipset for uplink and downlink communication. Its small size and weight, just 7 mm x 7 mm and under 1 gram, are noteworthy. Low cost and easy to integrate, it gives Argos satellite connectivity to the…