Welcome to Movebank's data repository!

Through this repository, Movebank allows users to publish animal tracking datasets that have been uploaded to Movebank (www.movebank.org). Published datasets have gone through a submission and review process, and are typically associated with a written study published in an academic journal. All animal tracking data in this repository are available to the public.

We invite you to read more about the repository and browse the datasets.



Recent Publications

Data package
Data from: Thermal soaring in tropicbirds suggests that diverse seabirds may use this strategy to reduce flight costs
Garde, Baptiste; Fell, Adam; Krishnan, Krishnamoorthy; Jones, Carl G.; Gunner, Richard; Tatayah, Vikash; Cole, Nik C.; Lempidakis, Emmanouil; Shepard, Emily L.C.
Thermal soaring can offer substantial reductions in flight cost but it is often assumed to be confined to a relatively narrow group of fliers (those with low wing loading relative to their body mass). Using high-frequency movement data, including magnetometry and GPS, we identified thermal soaring in a seabird previously thought to use only flapping flight; red-tailed tropicbirds (Phaethon rubricauda). We tracked 55 individuals breeding on Round Island, Mauritius, and examined the environmental conditions that predicted thermal soaring in 76 trips (ranging from 0.8 to 43 h, mean= 5.9 h). Tropicbirds used thermal soaring and gliding flight for 13% of their flight time on average (range 0 - 34%), in association with both commuting and prey-searching/ pursuits. The use of thermal soaring showed strong variation between trips, but birds were more likely to soar when flying with tailwinds. This enables them to reduce their flight costs without a substantial increase in trip duration, which is pertinent in the breeding season when they are constrained by time and the need to return to a central place. Birds may therefore be able to increase the amount of thermal soaring outside the breeding season. Overall, we suggest that thermal soaring may be more widespread than previously thought, given that birds without specific morphological adaptations for this behaviour can soar for extended periods, and the bio-logging approaches best-placed to detect thermal soaring (high-frequency GPS/ magnetometry) tend to be used in the breeding season, when thermal soaring may be less likely.
Data package
Data from: Study "American Herring Gulls - GPS - Lobster Bay, Southwest Nova Scotia, Canada"
Mallory, Mark L.; Craik, Shawn; Allard, Karel A.; Gutowsky, Sarah
Anthropogenic food subsidies attract opportunistic generalists like gulls in high densities, which may lead to negative impacts on human communities and local ecosystems. Managing impacts requires understanding why gulls use particular natural or industrial sites at different times of day or phases of the breeding cycle. Use of natural and human-influenced habitats likely varies temporally as gulls alter schedules and site selection to match the predictability of different resources as they vary through space and time relative to patterns in human activities and natural rhythms, whilst gull resource requirements and restrictions to movement also shift with changing reproductive demands. We quantified seasonal and circadian patterns in American herring gull interactions with anthropogenic and natural sites throughout breeding using GPS data from 15 gulls tracked over three years. We examined the weekly probability of gull occurrence at distinct destinations (e.g., islands, offshore, fish processing plants), and how occurrence varied with time of day, weekday/weekend, and tide phase, using GLMMs with a binomial response for destination-specific occurrence. Probability at the colony varied predictably through the breeding season (highest attendance from dusk to dawn, during incubation and early chick rearing), providing confidence in the modelling approach for detecting temporal patterns in behaviour. Gulls visited other islands mostly outside incubation and chick rearing, from dusk through night, likely roosting. Occurrence offshore where interaction with fishing vessels is possible was highest from dusk to dawn, but was the most likely destination during incubation and early chick rearing. Occurrence at fish plants gradually increased until after fledging when attendance was highest from Aug-Oct coincident with the peak of Atlantic herring processing, and was more likely during the weekdays, during working hours, and during low and flood tide. Gulls in southwest Nova Scotia, Canada, have the behavioural flexibility to adapt to natural rhythms and human schedules when beneficial, enabling them to thrive in a region where industry and natural resources are abundant. These findings can provide information to guide when and where to test different subsidy management strategies locally, while also considering potential increased pressures on island ecosystems.
Data package
Data from: Greater spear nosed bats commute long distances alone, rest together, but forage apart
O'Mara, M. Teague; Dechmann, Dina K.N.
Animals frequently forage in groups on ephemeral resources to profit from social information and increased efficiency. Greater spear-nosed bats, Phyllostomus hastatus, develop group-specific social calls, which are hypothesized to coordinate social foraging to feed on patchily distributed balsa flowers. To test this, we tagged all members of three social groups of P. hastatus on Isla Colo n, Panama , using high-frequency GPS during a season when balsa had begun to flower. We found that bats commuted 20-30 km to foraging sites, more than double the distance reported previously. In contrast to our expectations, we found that tagged individuals did not commute together, but did join group members in small foraging patches with high densities of flowering balsas on the mainland. We hypothesized that close proximity to group members would increase foraging efficiency if social foraging were used to find flower clusters, but distance between tagged individuals did not predict foraging efficiency or energy expenditure. However, decreased distance among tagged bats positively influenced the time spent outside roosting caves and increased the duration and synchrony of resting. These results suggest that social proximity appears to be more important during resting and that factors other than increased feeding efficiency may structure social relationships of group members while foraging. It appears that, depending on the local resource landscape, these bats have an excellent map even of distant resources and may use social information only for current patch discovery. They then may no longer rely on social information during daily foraging.
Data package
Data from: Spatiotemporally variable snow properties drive habitat use of an Arctic mesopredator
Glass, Thomas W.; Robards, Martin D.
Climate change is rapidly altering the composition and availability of snow, with implications for snow-affected ecological processes, including reproduction, predation, habitat selection, and migration. How snowpack changes influence these ecological processes is mediated by physical snowpack properties, such as depth, density, hardness, and strength, each of which is in turn affected by climate change. Despite this, it remains difficult to obtain meaningful snow information relevant to the ecological processes of interest, precluding a mechanistic understanding of these effects. This problem is acute for species that rely on particular attributes of the subnivean space, for example depth, thermal resistance, and structural stability, for key life-history processes like reproduction, thermoregulation, and predation avoidance. We used a spatially explicit snow evolution model to investigate how habitat selection of a species that uses the subnivean space, the wolverine, is related to snow depth, snow density, and snow melt on Arctic tundra. We modeled these snow properties at a 10 m spatial and a daily temporal resolution for 3 years, and used integrated step selection analyses of GPS collar data from 21 wolverines to determine how these snow properties influenced habitat selection and movement. We found that wolverines selected deeper, denser snow, but only when it was not undergoing melt, bolstering the evidence that these snow properties are important to species that use the Arctic snowpack for subnivean resting sites and dens. We discuss the implications of these findings in the context of climate change impacts on subnivean species.
Data package
Data from: Fitness, behavioral, and energetic trade-offs of different migratory strategies in a partially migratory species
Soriano-Redondo, Andrea; Franco, Aldina M.A.; Acácio, Marta; Payo-Payo, Ana; Martins, Bruno Herlander; Moreira, Francisco; Catry, Inês
Alternative migratory strategies can coexist within animal populations and species. Anthropogenic impacts can shift the fitness balance between these strategies leading to changes in migratory behaviors. Yet some of the mechanisms that drive such changes remain poorly understood. Here we investigate the phenotypic differences, and the energetic, behavioral, and fitness trade-offs associated with four different movement strategies (long- and short-distance migration, and regional and local residency) in a population of white storks (Ciconia ciconia) that has shifted its migratory behavior over the last decades, from fully long-distance migration towards year-round residency. To do this, we tracked 75 adult storks fitted with GPS/GSM loggers with triaxial acceleration sensors over 5 years, and estimated individual displacement, behavior, and overall dynamic body acceleration, a proxy for activity-related energy expenditure. Additionally, we monitored nesting colonies to assess individual survival and breeding success. We found that long-distance migrants travelled thousands of kilometers more throughout the year, spent more energy, and >10% less time resting compared to short-distance migrants and residents. Long-distance migrants also spent on average more energy per unit of time while foraging, and less energy per unit of time while soaring. Migratory individuals also occupied their nests later than resident ones, later occupation led to later laying date and reduced number of fledglings. However, we did not find significant differences in survival probability. Finally, we found phenotypic differences in the migratory probability, as smaller-sized individuals were more likely to migrate, and they might be incurring in higher energetic and fitness costs than larger ones. Our results shed light into the shifting migratory strategies in a partially migratory population and highlight the nuances of anthropogenic impacts on species behavior, fitness, and evolutionary dynamics.