USGS Alaska Science Center Wildlife Tracking Data Collection

Science Center Objects

Understanding the short- and long-distance movements of wildlife is critical for a wide variety of ecological research questions and management decisions. Since the mid-1980s, the USGS Alaska Science Center has used information from telemetry devices on wildlife species to determine locations of animals throughout their annual cycles, understand patterns of habitat use, quantify time spent on certain behaviors, and identify geographic areas repeatedly used by wildlife that may indicate sites of importance to species and populations.

Return to Ecosystems

Argos Wildlife Tracking Tundra Swan

Animation illustrates movements of all Tundra Swans that were tracked using Argos Wildlife Tracking.
(Credit: David Douglas, USGS. Public domain.)

About the Collection

Available here are links to the tracking data of various wildlife species studied at the USGS Alaska Science Center.  ​Data sets listed under "Species" ​follow a standardized data and metadata format developed by the USGS Alaska Science Center in 2019.  ​Data sets listed under "Additional Tracking Data" were released before the 2019 standardized format was developed.

Collection Metadata

Suggested Citation: U.S. Geological Survey, Alaska Science Center, 2019, USGS Alaska Science Center wildlife tracking data collection: U.S. Geological Survey data release,



Tundra Swan (Cygnus columbianus) Tufted Puffin (Fratercula cirrhata)
Blue-winged Teal (Anas discors) Gull Species and Hybrids (Larus spp.)
Northern Pintail (Anas acuta) Red-throated Loon (Gavia stellata)
Spectacled Eider (Somateria fischeri) Pacific Loon (Gavia pacifica)
Surf Scoter (Melanitta perspicillata) Yellow-billed Loon (Gavia adamsii)
Black Scoter (Melanitta americana) Northern Fulmar (Fulmarus glacialis)
Marbled Godwit (Limosa fedoa) Red-faced Cormorant (Phalacrocorax urile)
Common Murre (Uria aalge) Pelagic Cormorant (Phalacrocorax pelagicus)
Thick-billed Murre (Uria lomvia)  

Additional Tracking Data

U.S. Geological Survey, Alaska Science Center, has previously released tracking data sets outside of this Collection.  Click here to view previously released data and maps.

  • Polar Bear
  • Pacific Walrus
  • Greater White-fronted Goose


Supplemental Reference Information

Argos User Manuals 

Microwave Telemetry, Inc., PTT Manuals

Supplemental Information About the Argos System

R scripts for reading processed tracking data

*Disclaimer: The manuals are strictly provided for informational purposes for the data provided.  They are not an endorsement of the product.