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Zoos & Wildlife Research

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 and the chips have been used in a large number of species – mammals, fish, birds, reptiles.



The implantable transponders we recommend for this purpose are the Trovan Unique ID100 (FDXA) microchips. These are a small glass-enveloped microchip supplied in individual needles in sterilised format and are generally implanted under the skin. In many species there are recommended implant sites that we can help you with depending on the species of animal, bird, fish or reptile that you are working with. It is important to use the Trovan Unique 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, the ISO FDXB chips generally cannot be read efficiently or at all by many of the fixed reader/antenna systems available. So, if you elect to go down that path now or later, the use of chips 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 ID100 chips including quality, reliability and uniqueness of code issues. 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. 

Now also available is the new Trovan Nanotransponder that is just 7mm long & 1.25mm diameter!! This compares to the conventional implantable microchips that measure 11mm x 2.2mm diameter - that’s nearly HALF the size!! This implantable microchip is the answer for identification of very small birds, reptiles, microbats, frogs and small or young mammals!! This is a non-ISO (FDX-A) microchip and implantation is via a smaller gauge needle than the conventional microchips (about 17gauge) and is supplied in either a sterile blister pack in pre-sterilised needle or in an all-in-one needle plus delivery system.

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

These implantable and non-implantable transponders are all displayed on the Products page of the website under Transponders.


We carry two alternative and inexpensive applicators and the choice is personal preference. These are displayed on the Products page on the website under Implanters.

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. 

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 fixed antennas with attached decoders. 

The reader/decoder/antenna systems can be powered by 240volt or by 12volt batteries that will last for at least 48 hours before recharging is needed or can be supplemented by solar panel recharging. With all of these options, animal identification/day/date and time data that has been picked up by the readers can be transferred via RS232, USB or Bluetooth connectivity (depending on the reader/decoder) to a laptop or other computer in common formats such as Excel or Access. 

All of these products are listed in our Products Page on the website.

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

If, after viewing the various hand-held and fixed readers on the Products Page, you still require more information, please feel free to contact us directly and we can make some recommendations on what would be most appropriate for you.