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Science. 2015 Jun 12;348(6240):aaa2478. doi: 10.1126/science.aaa2478.

ECOLOGY. Terrestrial animal tracking as an eye on life and planet.

Author information

1
North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, Raleigh, NC, USA. Department of Forestry and Environmental Resources, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC, USA. Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, Balboa, Republic of Panama. roland.kays@ncsu.edu.
2
Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, Balboa, Republic of Panama. Department of Anthropology, University of California, Davis, Davis, CA, USA. Department of Migration and Immuno-Ecology, Max Planck Institute for Ornithology, Radolfzell, Germany.
3
Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Yale University, New Haven, CT 06520, USA. Department of Life Sciences, Imperial College London, Silwood Park Campus, Ascot SL5 7PY, UK.
4
Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, Balboa, Republic of Panama. Department of Migration and Immuno-Ecology, Max Planck Institute for Ornithology, Radolfzell, Germany. Department of Biology, University of Konstanz, Konstanz, Germany.

Abstract

Moving animals connect our world, spreading pollen, seeds, nutrients, and parasites as they go about the their daily lives. Recent integration of high-resolution Global Positioning System and other sensors into miniaturized tracking tags has dramatically improved our ability to describe animal movement. This has created opportunities and challenges that parallel big data transformations in other fields and has rapidly advanced animal ecology and physiology. New analytical approaches, combined with remotely sensed or modeled environmental information, have opened up a host of new questions on the causes of movement and its consequences for individuals, populations, and ecosystems. Simultaneous tracking of multiple animals is leading to new insights on species interactions and, scaled up, may enable distributed monitoring of both animals and our changing environment.

PMID:
26068858
DOI:
10.1126/science.aaa2478
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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