Zoo & Wildlife Applications

Product Uses:

Microchips Australia, as sole distributor of Trovan product in Australia, has been involved in supplying implantable microchips and reading systems to the vast majority of zoos and wildlife research projects in Australia involving a large number of species of mammals, fish, birds, reptiles, amphibians and even insects.

New Zealand Sea Lions being scanned with Trovan GR250 Reader

(New Zealand Sea Lions being scanned with Trovan GR250 Reader)



The implantable transponders we recommend for zoo and wildlife applications are the Trovan Unique ID100 (FDXA) microchips. These are small glass-encapsulated microchips/transponders supplied in sterilised format. It is important to use the Trovan Unique FDXA ID100 microchips as opposed to other FDXA microchips or ISO FDX B microchips (including Trovan ID162 ISO FDXB microchips). ISO FDXB chips are used in companion dogs and cats in Australia and are similar in appearance. However, ISO FDXB chips generally cannot be read efficiently or at all by some of the remote monitoring systems available. So, if you elect to go down that path now or later, contact us about which transponder/microchip would be best to use as the use of microchips other than the Trovan Unique ID100 FDXA chips may limit your flexibility in this area. There are also a number of other advantages in using the Trovan Unique ID100 chips including quality, reliability and uniqueness of code. For all of these reasons, Trovan Unique ID100 chips are, by far, the most commonly used form of implantable RFID identification in lab research, wildlife research and zoo applications in Australia. 

The Trovan Unique ID100 range of implantable microchips consists of the conventional-sized Trovan ID100 transponder (11.5mm long x 2.2mm diameter) as well as the smaller Trovan ID100(1.4) Midi-Chip (8mm long x 1.4mm diameter. The Trovan ID100(1.4) Midi-Chip is ideal for identification of small birds, reptiles, micro-bats, frogs and small or young mammals!! Both the Trovan ID100 and Trovan ID100(1.4) microchips are supplied in one of two formats:

  1. an individual pre-sterilised in-needle format for use with the customised re-usable syringe-type implanter whereby the needle is the only article disposed of after the chip has been implanted or

  2. a pre-sterilised “all-in-one” delivery device that combines the implanter, needle and microchip/transponder and the whole device is disposed of after the chip has been implanted. Because it is an "all-in-one" product, it does not require the use of a separate disposable implanter.

Both formats come with with 6 adhesive labels showing the microchip number and barcode.

These implantable and non-implantable transponders are all displayed on the product page of the website.

Most species have recommended implant sites that we can help you with depending on the species of animal, bird, fish or reptile that you are working with. 

We also have a range of rugged, industrial, non-implantable transponders that can also be used to identify inanimate objects such as nest boxes, equipment etc.


Reading Systems

As listed above, the animals can be easily and relatively painlessly implanted with Trovan ID100 microchips, but the choice of reading system will depend on what you will be intending to do in order to monitor the animals after the microchips have been implanted. If this is simply to scan the animals when they have been recaptured, caught, injured or found dead, then this can be effectively and economically done by using one of our range of portable hand-held readers. To view our range of hand-held readers visit the website page here.

If you intend to try to track the movements of the animals in certain areas out in the field or within a laboratory or enclosure, then this may be achieved by setting up strategically sited remote monitoring systems consisting of single or multi coil antennas of different sizes and shapes connected to paired decoder/data loggers tuned to each antenna. 

(Platypus in-stream monitoring antennas)


These remote monitoring systems can be powered by 240V AC power supply or 12V DC battery. The battery will last a variable time before needing recharging depending on the reading mode, size of antenna, software being used to control the antenna and the presence of optical beam sensors.

The battery life can also be extended by the use of solar panel recharging.

Further power consumption savings can be accomplished using free scheduling software controlling the exact times of the day or night that the system is set to read. Optical beam sensors can also save power by allowing the antenna to only power up when an animal triggers the beam. These sensors if located on both sides of the antenna, can also provide extra in/out directional data.

(Leadbeater’s Possum nest box monitoring system complete with sensors)


The units come with free reader software that records and stores animal identification/date and time data that can be transferred via RS232, USB or Bluetooth connectivity (depending on the reader/decoder) to a connected laptop or remotely via GPRS modem. The data can be presented in common spreadsheet formats such as Excel or Access. 

The systems can also be integrated with weigh scales to generate body weight recordings linked to the individual animal.

(Norther Hairy Nosed Wombat antenna and weigh scale)

(Wombat weigh scale unit prior to installation in field)


The various decoder /data loggers are listed in our Products Page on the website here and the antenna options are shown here.

So, the choice of reading system will depend on the species being researched, the specific requirements of identification within the project, the need for and application of the identification and other data and the type of environment for the project. We can also custom-build decoder/antenna systems to suit individual project requirements.

If, after viewing the various hand-held readers and remote monitoring systems on the Products Page, you still require more information, please feel free to contact us directly via info@microchips.com.au or 0397063165 and we can make some recommendations on what would be most appropriate for you.

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