This launches the Tracking Animal Migrations GeoStory in a new window.
  • Animal tracking data helps us understand how individuals and populations move within local areas and migrate across oceans and continents. This information is being used to address environmental challenges such as climate and land-use changes, biodiversity loss, invasive species, and the spread of infectious diseases.


    Movebank.org
    is a free, online database of animal-tracking information that helps researchers to manage, share, protect, analyze, and archive their data. Movebank is an international project that has more than a thousand users, including people from research and conservation groups around the world.


    This GeoStory features real animal-tracking data. Some studies focus on multiple individuals within a population—each represented by a different color.

  • Term Part of Speech Definition Encyclopedic Entry
    adaptive radiation Noun

    process in which many species develop from the same ancestral species to fill a variety of different roles in the environment.

    animal migration Noun

    process where a community of animals leaves a habitat for part of the year or part of their lives, and moves to habitats that are more hospitable.

    breeding ground Noun

    place where animals mate, give birth, and sometimes raise young.

    conservation Noun

    management of a natural resource to prevent exploitation, destruction, or neglect.

    Encyclopedic Entry: conservation
    critically endangered Noun

    level of conservation between "endangered" and "extinct in the wild."

    database Noun

    a collection of information for analysis and interpretation.

    endangered species Noun

    organism threatened with extinction.

    Encyclopedic Entry: endangered species
    Endangered Species Act Noun

    (1973) U.S. legislation that protects endangered species when they are threatened by human activity.

    experimental population Noun

    group of threatened or endangered species reintroduced to a designated area.

    extant Adjective

    living or in existence; prominent or standing out.

    least concern Adjective

    lowest level of conservation, used when the population and habitat of a species are healthy.

    migration pattern Noun

    predictable movements, in time and space, of a group of animals or people.

    migration route Noun

    path followed by birds or other animals that migrate regularly.

    near threatened Noun

    level of conservation between "least concern" and "vulnerable."

    ornithology Noun

    study of the biology and behavior of birds.

    population Noun

    total number of people or organisms in a particular area.

    seasonal migration Noun

    movement of animals or other organisms determined by the changing weather or seasons, or in response to labor or climate conditions. For animals, seasonal migration usually refers to movement to a warmer climate during the winter and a cooler climate during the summer. For humans, seasonal migration may happen because of drivers such as crop and livestock management or tourism.

    speciation Noun

    process by which one or more populations of a species become genetically different enough to form a new species.

    Encyclopedic Entry: speciation
    threatened species Noun

    organism that may soon become endangered.

    tracker Noun

    device, usually attached to an animal, that follows its movements.

    wintering Adjective

    migrating to a warm climate in winter and staying until spring.

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