SPOT (Smart Position and Temperature) Transmitting Tags


SPOT tags are highly versatile, cost-effective satellite transmitting tags designed for tracking horizontal movements of free-ranging marine animals.


When at the surface, SPOT tags send out short transmissions to the Argos satellite system. Consecutive transmissions received in a single satellite pass are used to calculate the location of the transmitter. Locations are available in near-real-time with accuracies as high as 250 meters. Global coverage by the Argos system allows animals to be tracked over long distances and in remote areas. Wildlife Computers SPOT tags are widely used and are one of the most published-on marine satellite tracking tags on the market.

A SPOT tag works best for marine animals that routinely spend time at the surface like sharks, albatross, penguins, sea turtles, pinnipeds, and cetaceans.

SPOT tags come in a variety of shapes and sizes for a variety of attachments. We have, or can create, a solution that works best for your research animal.

Key Features Available in SPOT Configurations

  • Specialized Shapes and Attachments—the biggest differentiator of our SPOT tags is the variety of shapes and sizes—over 50 different configurations. There are a variety of attachment options including back mount, fin mount, flipper mount, float mount, AUV mount, towed, transdermal, and anchored.
  • Recovery Pinger—SPOT tags are equipped with a UHF pinger. This optional pinger can be enabled to send out low-power, unmodulated “pings” while the tag is at the surface. Tags and animals can then be located and actively tracked using a directional antenna and receiver.
  • Highly Customizable Data Collection and Transmitting Schedule—researchers can customize and prioritize data transmissions to capture the information that is most important for the project. Deployments can be tailored to address unique experimental objectives. Flexible transmission schedules provide the ability to extend the life of the tag by focusing on specific seasons or times of the year and optimizing transmissions for when satellites are in view.
  • The Portal Advantage—SPOT tags are supported by the Wildlife Computers Data Portal, a collection of data management tools and services. Developed specifically for the display and investigation of data from Wildlife Computers tags, the data portal streamlines the processes of acquiring, preserving, and sharing data. The portal has tools to program the tags and collect, prepare, analyze, and present the data returned via Argos. Data are easily sorted, filtered, searched, mapped, and shared. You can see a live map of your tracks, with positions color-coded by the time since deployment. You can also set up a live KMZ to view your data in your own visualization browser.

Data Products

  • Argos Locations
  • Time-At-Temperature Histogram (TAT)
  • Percent-Dry Timeline

User Guide/Software

SPOT User Guide

This user guide gives you all the essential information needed for interacting with, configuring, and deploying this tag.

USB Communications Cable Driver29-March 2023

Driver for the Wildlife Computers USB Communications cable.

Tag Agent

Administer settings to your tag.

Wildlife Computers Data Portal—Reliable, complete cloud storage for your data
Tag Portal—Convenient online programming for configuring tag settings


Below are the physical specifications of the SPOT. Numerous shapes are available with the same feature-set technology.

ModelTaxaTrackingSensorsTransmitted Data ProductsLife (days)L x W x H (mm)Weight (g)
Time SeriesDive BehaviorHaulout BehaviorTemperatureMortality
CetaceanArgosTemp13098 (L) x 22 (D)140
CetaceanArgosTemp130145 (L) x 22 (D)180

SharkArgosTemp13082 x 19 x 5255
PenguinArgosTemp1490129 x 36 x 32192

CetaceanArgosTemp34057 x 48 x 2457
SharkArgosTemp130153 x 40 x 50 (without fins)105
SharkArgosTemp1290162 x 57 x 20160
PenguinArgosTemp17086 X 17 X 1840
Hard-Shell TurtleArgosTemp54070 X 41 X 2372
PinnipedArgosTemp91572 x 56 x 24119
CetaceanArgosTemp130180 x 19 x 2665
CetaceanArgosTemp, Light540300 (L) x 24 (D)390
Leatherback TurtleArgosTemp1,49086 x 86 x 21169
Leatherback TurtleArgosTemp1,490128 x 72 x 21180
Hard-Shell TurtleArgosTemp, Light92072 x 56 x 22129
Asset RecoveryArgosTemp17057 x 27 x 2143
SharkArgosTemp130122 x 47 x 1953
PenguinArgosTemp300107 x 18 x 2145
CetaceanArgosTemp, Light540293 (L) x 24 (D)390
Hard-Shell TurtleArgosTemp91599 x 55 x 21152
SharkArgosTemp17087 x 37 x 2362
Hard-Shell TurtleArgosTemp17059 x 29 x 2339
Hard-Shell TurtleArgosTemp74075 x 40 x 1986
SharkArgosTemp370111 x 44 x 2062
Asset RecoveryArgosTemp370111 x 21 x 2057
CetaceanFastloc, ArgosTemp130180 x 19 x 2668
ModelTaxaTrackingSensorsTransmitted Data ProductsLife (days)L x W x H (mm)Weight (g)
Time SeriesDive BehaviorHaulout BehaviorTemperatureMortality

* Conductivity Operational Limits can be customized for freshwater applications. Please contact Wildlife Computers to
learn more.

** Specification is dependent upon the configuration model. You can see different SPOT configurations here.

For more information, visit our website at www., send an email to tags@, or call (425) 881-3048.

Tag features and specifications subject to change without notice
Antenna length not to scale

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