Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Units Program: Vermont
Education, Research and Technical Assistance for Managing Our Natural Resources

Donovan. T. M., C. Balantic, J. Katz, M. Massar, R. Knutson, K. Duh, P. W. Jones, K. Epstein, J. Lacasse-Roger, and J. Dias. 2021. Remote Ecological Monitoring with Smartphones and Tasker. Journal of Fish and Wildlife Management 12:163–173.


Researchers have increasingly used autonomous monitoring units to record animal sounds, track phenology with timed photographs, and snap images when triggered by motion. We piloted the use of smartphones to monitor wildlife in the Riverside East Solar Energy Zone (California) and at Indiana Dunes National Park (Indiana). For both efforts, we established remote autonomous monitoring stations in which we housed an Android smartphone in a weather-proof box mounted to a pole and powered by solar panels. We connected each smartphone to a Google account, and the smartphone received its recording/photo schedule daily via a Google Calendar connection when in data transmission mode. Phones were automated by Tasker, an Android application for automating cell phone tasks. We describe a simple approach that could be adopted by others who wish to use nonproprietary methods of data collection and analysis.