Animal-borne telemetry has revolutionized our ability to study animal movement, species physiology, demography and social structures, changing environments and the threats that animals are experiencing. While there will always be a need for basic ecological research and discovery, the current conservation crisis demands we look more pragmatically at the data required to make informed management decisions.
Here, we define a framework that distinguishes how research using animal telemetry devices can influence conservation. We then discuss two critical questions which aim to directly connect telemetry-derived data to applied conservation decision-making: (i) Would my choice of action change if I had more data? (ii) Is the expected gain worth the money and time required to collect more data?
Policy implications. To answer questions about integrating telemetry-derived data with applied conservation, we suggest the use of value of information analysis to quantitatively assess the return-on-investment of animal telemetry-derived data for conservation decision-making.