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.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
We thank all ENRAM and external colleagues for discussions and feedback that underlie this article; Felix Liechti and the two reviewers provided valuable comments on earlier versions, and Katharina Both designed figure 1. We acknowledge the support provided by European Cooperation in Science and Technology (COST) through Action no. ES1305, European Network for the Radar Surveillance of Animal Movement (ENRAM), in facilitating this collaboration. JFK’s contribution was supported by NSF grant no. DGE-1545261.
© The Author(s) 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the American Institute of Biological Sciences.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences (all)