Dear Movebank users,
We want to start off the new year by sharing some of what happened at Movebank during 2017. We saw continued growth as well as examples of valuable insights that can be gained through the sharing and re-use of animal movement data. Movebank now contains over 600 million animal locations and over 1.1 billion measurements from non-location sensors such as acceleration bursts and light levels from geolocators. Data are stored in nearly 4,200 studies and represent movements of 756 taxa all over the world—these studies are managed and owned by over 5,000 people, many of whom have new information coming in daily from over 800 active data feeds.
Archiving data and enabling collaborations
Movebank is used by many as a tool for managing ongoing research, and is also growing as a source of completed and documented datasets. Data underlying over 260 research publications going back to as far as 1975 are stored in publicly visible Movebank studies. The Movebank Data Repository now contains 94 curated and publicly archived datasets that underlie 118 peer-reviewed papers, published in 50 journals by 371 data authors. Many other studies are not publicly visible but are shared with other researchers as part of ongoing work. Examples of research outcomes from sharing data through Movebank include
New features and resources
Here's some of what we were busy doing last year!
Conferences and training
The conference highlight of 2017 was the 6th International Bio-Logging Science Symposium in September, which brought together 500 attendees from 28 countries in Konstanz, Germany, hosted by the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology. Presentations throughout the conference illustrated the importance of shared bio-logging databases, including Movebank, to movement ecology research. Presentations highlighting Movebank were also made at the 13th Chinese Young Ornithologists’ Conference in Xi’an, China; the American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting in New Orleans, USA; and a conference of the International Council of Museums in Pittsburgh, USA. Courses using Movebank to train students and professionals in movement analysis included a short course in Raleigh, USA and the AniMove summer school in Radolfzell, Germany. ** Both of these courses will be held again in 2018—click on the links below for details and to register or apply: ****
ICARUS animal tracking system
The ICARUS Initiative (International Cooperation for Animal Research Using Space) is well on its way to becoming reality! The on-board computer for the ICARUS animal tracking system was delivered to the International Space Station (ISS) in October, and cosmonauts have now begun training to launch and install the ICARUS antenna on the ISS by mid-2018. Development of ICARUS <5-g tags including GPS, acceleration and other sensors, ground-based base stations and software supporting two-way communication is complete. All ICARUS data will be distributed to owners via automated feeds in Movebank.
Tips for data owners
Some reminders for those of you who have (or want to have) data on Movebank:
Seeking input on animal tracking for conservation
The International Bio-Logging Society, the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology and the World Wildlife Fund want to hear how you are using animal tracking for conservation. Your contribution and experience is highly welcome! See here for details and to take the survey.
As usual, we have big plans for the year! These include