Wildlife Affected by Radio Tracking Devices; Weakened Immune Systems, Deadly Sarcomas, Severe Metabolic Changes, etc.

By B.N. Frank

Birds everywhere seem to be struggling to thrive as well as survive.  Research has determined that exposure to electromagnetic radiation (EMR) could be playing a role in this (see 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11) including from radio transmitters that have been attached to them.  Of course, some scientists have expressed concerns about attaching radio tracking devices to ALL animals.

From Environmental Health Trust:

Radio-tracking systems emit pulsed waves that could affect the health and alter the orientation of animals

A new article on wireless and wildlife highlights concerns about radiotracking systems and impacts to animal health. Radiotracking systems expose animals to radiofrequency radiation, a type of ionizing electromagnetic field. The article summarizes the science on wildlife impacts and documents how:

prolonged exposure to man-made electromagnetic fields has been found to weaken the immune systems of animals by altering various biological processes (Chou et al., 1992Novoselova and Fesenko, 1998Szmigielski, 2013). In addition, Levitt et al. (2022a) reported that deadly sarcomas were observed in the tissue around RFID chips imbedded in rodents and dogs (Albrecht, 2010), and severe metabolic changes were also observed in some animals implanted with RFID chips (Paik et al., 2016). Other recent studies have confirmed that mobile phone radiofrequency radiation can cause DNA damage and consequent carcinogenesis (Falcioni et al., 2018Smith-Roe et al., 2020).

Current evidence indicates that exposure to low-level radiofrequency fields may particularly alter the magnetoreception process (Vacha et al., 2009Wiltschko et al., 2014Engels et al., 2014Balmori, 2015). Radiofrequency fields in the MHz range disrupt the orientation of birds, as they interfere directly with the primary processes of magnetoreception and disable the avian compass as long as they are present (Wiltschko et al., 2014). Ritz et al. (2009) reported the sensitivity of the orientation of European robins (Erithacus rubecula) to radiofrequency magnetic fields. Robins are unable to use their magnetic compass in the presence of urban electromagnetic radiofrequency noise and the disruptive effect is not limited to a single narrow frequency range (Engels et al., 2014). Hence, radiofrequency radiation can affect the ability of some animals to orient themselves.

Wildlife biologist Alfonso Balmori calls for understanding the potential non-thermal effects of using radio-frequency systems to improve conservation management practices.

Balmori A. Radio-tracking systems emit pulsed waves that could affect the health and alter the orientation of animals. Available online Nov 20, 2023. doi: 10.1016/j.jnc.2023.126520.


Any study carried out with a given technique must avoid causing harmful effects on the experimental subjects, in order to avoid altering the survival rates of the animals or causing bias in the results of the study. Radio tagging is undoubtedly a very useful technique, and in many cases is the only option available to obtain information on the ecology and movements of wild animals, but unfortunately it has been used indiscriminately, without regard to the problems it can cause. The most well-known of these are the effects from the weight of the device and the harness, but there are others that have not yet been taken into account and that have not been sufficiently studied, such as the non-thermal effects of modulated and/or pulsed electromagnetic fields on the health and orientation of radio-tracked animals. This commentary provides a brief overview of the scientific evidence on the effects of electromagnetic fields, and underlines the importance of carrying out relevant studies in order to check for the possible effects of radio transmitters on animals.


Activist Post reports regularly about EMR exposure health risks.  For more information, visit our archives and the following websites:

Image: Pixabay

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