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.
- National Geographic Education: Encyclopedia—GPS
- National Geographic Education: Encyclopedia—Endangered Species
- U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service: Endangered Species Program
- NYS DEC Bald Eagle Program
- Movebank—Animal Tracking Data
- IUCN: Red List of Threatened Species
- Wildlife Science and Conservation Center of Mongolia
- Hawk Mountain Sanctuary
- Galapagos Tortoise Movement Ecology Programme
- Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals
- BirdLife International
- International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN)
- USGS Forest and Rangeland Ecosystem Science Center
process in which many species develop from the same ancestral species to fill a variety of different roles in the environment.
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.
place where animals mate, give birth, and sometimes raise young.
management of a natural resource to prevent exploitation, destruction, or neglect.
level of conservation between "endangered" and "extinct in the wild."
a collection of information for analysis and interpretation.
organism threatened with extinction.
(1973) U.S. legislation that protects endangered species when they are threatened by human activity.
group of threatened or endangered species reintroduced to a designated area.
living or in existence; prominent or standing out.
lowest level of conservation, used when the population and habitat of a species are healthy.
predictable movements, in time and space, of a group of animals or people.
path followed by birds or other animals that migrate regularly.
level of conservation between "least concern" and "vulnerable."
study of the biology and behavior of birds.
total number of people or organisms in a particular area.
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.
process by which one or more populations of a species become genetically different enough to form a new species.
organism that may soon become endangered.
device, usually attached to an animal, that follows its movements.
migrating to a warm climate in winter and staying until spring.