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Animal Tracker

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We are excited to announce the release of the new Animal Tracker app for iPhone and Android.

Available at Google Play and the App Store.

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With the Animal Tracker app, you can follow the movements of wild animals all over the world that are being tracked in near-real time! These movements are collected by tiny GPS tags carried by the animals and are stored at Movebank, a free online infrastructure used by hundreds of researchers to manage, share, analyze, and archive animal movement data. You can easily participate in our scientific research projects: Upload your real-life observations and photos of our tagged animals to Animal Tracker. Your observations are crucial for our scientists! We can determine the positions of the tagged animals but we we are lacking behavioral observations—we can interpret our data much better with your additional observations. So become a scientist—become an Animal Tracker!

Features of the Animal Tracker beta version

  • Find animals being tracked around the world and locate animals near you.
  • Watch an animation of an animal's past movements.
  • Upload your observations and photos of the tagged animals to our database and share it with the whole community.

Animal Tracker is still a beta version. We are working hard towards including new features and we are very grateful for your comments and feedback.

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Why track animals?

Animal tracking data helps us understand how individuals and populations move within local areas, migrate across oceans and continents, and evolve through millennia. Today miniaturized GPS-based logger units are available that can be carried by animals and are able to send accurate, high-resolution information about their movements. Researchers use this information not only to better understand the movement patterns of individuals and species, but also to address environmental challenges such as climate and land use change, biodiversity loss, invasive species, and the spread of infectious diseases.

How can you help?

We can determine the animals‘ position very accurately with our miniaturized tags but we know only seldom what the animals are doing at these places. Are they eating? If yes, what? Are they resting? Are they by their own or with conspecifics? Are they interacting? This information is crucial for the correct interpretation of the movement data. This is where we need your help: when you observe a tagged animal in the wild you can share your observation and photos with us and the whole community by uploading it to Animal Tracker on your smartphone. This helps the scientists to better understand the animals’ movement. Become a scientist—become an Animal Tracker!

How does it work?

After biologists go out to the field to catch, tag, and release animals, the GPS tags attached to these animals begin to record animal locations and send the information via satellite or GSM networks. This information can be sent directly to the researcher by e-mail or text message, and can be automatically transferred to their own study in Movebank. Data might be sent every minute, every hour, or a few times a day, depending on the tag and on the purposes of the study. As soon as the data are in Movebank, they are also available on the Animal Tracker. Read more about methods for tracking the movements of individual animals.

What species are tracked?

The beta version of Animal Tracker includes a sample of studies on Movebank that include animals currently being tracked. These include northern bald ibises, ospreys, and white storks. If you are tracking animals and want to make your tracks available on this app, please contact us at support@movebank.org.