CalfWatch – Developing a system to remotely monitor calving in northern Australia

Calf loss in northern Australian beef herds is a major problem confronting the productivity of business operations.

In this BeefConnect webinar recording, join Tim Schatz (Principal Livestock Research Officer, Northern Territory Department of Industry, Tourism and Trade) when he discusses the CalfWatch project which is being conducted near Katherine, Northern Territory.

The focus of the CalfWatch project is to develop a system to remotely monitor calving under extensive conditions and then use it to investigate the causes of calf loss which costs the northern beef industry more than $54 million annually.

During the presentation, Tim discusses the findings and results of a 200 cow herd in a 2215 hectare paddock that formed part of the study.

You can watch the full recording or use the playlist below to jump to the start of a particular section within the presentation. 34:55; published 8 November 2019 by FutureBeefAu.

Download a copy of the presentation – CalfWatch 2020 Update (PDF, 3.5 MB).

Additional resources:

Full recording


  1. CalfWatch – Developing a system to remotely monitor calving in northern Australia
  2. Calf loss is a major problem in northern Australia
  3. We are still understanding the problem
  4. Losses are even greater in heifers calving for the first time
  5. Calf loss has been difficult to investigate using traditional methods
  6. Using birth sensors to remotely monitor calving
  7. The equipment used…
  8. Finding the expelled sensors in Australia became a problem
  9. The CalfWatch study – using GPS tracking collars
  10. GPS tracker reliability
  11. Cow collars also contained accelerometers
  12. Hot dry weather had an impact on calving observations
  13. The trial findings…
  14. Causes of calf loss in mature cows
  15. Bottle teats are a major problem in the cows
  16. Unknown causes of calf loss
  17. Where to from here…
  18. Acknowledgements