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Bioscience. 2017 Oct 1;67(10):912-918. doi: 10.1093/biosci/bix074. Epub 2017 Jun 28.

From Agricultural Benefits to Aviation Safety: Realizing the Potential of Continent-Wide Radar Networks.

Author information

1
Silke Bauer (silke.s.bauer@gmail.com) is affiliated with the Swiss Ornithological Institute, in Sempach, Switzerland. Jason W. Chapman is affiliated with the Centre for Ecology and Conservation and with the Environment and Sustainability Institute at the University of Exeter, in Penryn, Cornwall, United Kingdom. Don R. Reynolds is with the Natural Resources Institute at the University of Greenwich, in Chatham, United Kingdom. José A. Alves is affiliated with CESAM at the University of Aveiro, Campus de Santiago, in Portugal, and with the South Iceland Research Centre at the University of Iceland, in Selfoss. Adriaan M. Dokter and Judy Shamoun-Baranes are affiliated with the Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics at the University of Amsterdam, in The Netherlands. AMD is also affiliated with the Lab of Ornithology at Cornell University, in Ithaca, New York. Myles M. H. Menz is affiliated with the Institute of Ecology and Evolution at the University of Bern, in Switzerland, and with the School of Biological Sciences at the University of Western Australia, in Crawley. Nir Sapir is with the Department of Evolutionary and Environmental Biology at the University of Haifa, in Israel. Michał Ciach is affiliated with the Department of Forest Biodiversity at the University of Agriculture, in Krakow, Poland. Lars B. Pettersson is with the Biodiversity Unit, Department of Biology, at the University of Lund, in Sweden. Jeffrey F. Kelly is affiliated with the Oklahoma Biological Survey and the Department of Biology at the University of Oklahoma, in Norman. Hidde Leijnse is with the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute, in De Bilt, The Netherlands.

Abstract

Migratory animals provide a multitude of services and disservices-with benefits or costs in the order of billions of dollars annually. Monitoring, quantifying, and forecasting migrations across continents could assist diverse stakeholders in utilizing migrant services, reducing disservices, or mitigating human-wildlife conflicts. Radars are powerful tools for such monitoring as they can assess directional intensities, such as migration traffic rates, and biomass transported. Currently, however, most radar applications are local or small scale and therefore substantially limited in their ability to address large-scale phenomena. As weather radars are organized into continent-wide networks and also detect "biological targets," they could routinely monitor aerial migrations over the relevant spatial scales and over the timescales required for detecting responses to environmental perturbations. To tap these unexploited resources, a concerted effort is needed among diverse fields of expertise and among stakeholders to recognize the value of the existing infrastructure and data beyond weather forecasting.

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