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: Scouts vs usurpers: alternative foraging strategies facilitate coexistence between Neotropical cathartid vultures
(2024-04-29) Christopher, Beirne; Thomas, Mark; Basto, Arianna; Flatt, Eleanor; Diaz, Giancarlo Inga; Chulla, Diego Rolim; Mullisaca, Flor Perez; Quispe, Rosio Vega; Quispe, Caleb Jonatan Quispe; Forsyth, Adrian; Whitworth, Andrew
Understanding how diverse assemblages of scavengers can coexist on shared ecological resources is a fundamental challenge in community ecology. However, current approaches typically focus on behaviour at carcass provisioning sites, missing how important differences in movement behaviour and foraging strategies can facilitate sympatric species coexistence. Such information is particularly important for vultures – obligate scavengers representing the most endangered avian foraging guild. Their loss from ecosystems can trigger trophic cascades, mesopredator release and disease outbreaks. We provide the first-ever analyses of GPS location data from wild King Vultures Sarcoramphus papa and Greater Yellow-headed Vultures Cathartes melambrotus, coupled with trait data (from both wild-living and museum specimens) and visitation data from camera traps deployed at provisioned carcasses, to characterize vulture flight behaviour and strategies in the Peruvian Amazon. We found marked species differences in several key movement characteristics, including: King Vultures having home-ranges five times larger, average flight heights four times greater and ground speeds 40% faster than those of Greater Yellow-headed Vultures. Despite these differences, both species flew similar distances each day (on average), probably due to King Vultures taking 50% fewer flights and spending 40% less time in the air per day. Consistent with these patterns, King Vulture body mass was more than double that of the Greater Yellow-headed Vulture, with a substantially larger hang wing index (a measure of long-distance flight efficiency). At carcasses, Greater Yellow-headed Vultures typically arrived first but were rapidly outnumbered by both King and Black Vultures Coragyps atratus. We find that the movement behaviour of obligate apex scavengers in the western Amazon is linked to their ability to coexist – Greater Yellow-headed Vultures, a smaller stature ‘scouting’ species adapted to fly low, forage early and arrive first at carcasses, are ultimately displaced by larger-bodied, wider ranging King Vultures at large ephemeral carrion resources. Expansion of future GPS tracking initiatives could facilitate the exploration of direct facultative interactions from animal movement data and give further insight into how diverse communities assemble and interact.
Data package
Data from: GPS tracking technology and re-visiting the relationship between the avian visual wulst and homing pigeon navigation
(2024-04-02) Cioccarelli, Sara; Giunchi, Dimitri; Pollonara, Enrica; Casini, Giovanni; Bingman, Verner P.; Gagliardo, Anna
Within their familiar areas homing pigeons rely on familiar visual landscape features and landmarks for homing. However, the neural basis of visual landmark-based navigation has been so far investigated mainly in relation to the role of the hippocampal formation. The avian visual Wulst is the telencephalic projection field of the thalamofugal pathway that has been suggested to be involved in processing lateral visual inputs that originate from the far visual field. The Wulst is therefore a good candidate for a neural structure participating in the visual control of familiar visual landmark-based navigation. We repeatedly released and tracked Wulst-lesioned and control homing pigeons from three sites about 10-15 km from the loft. Wulst lesions did not impair the ability of the pigeons to orient homeward during the first release from each of the three sites nor to localise the loft within the home area. In addition, Wulst-lesioned pigeons displayed unimpaired route fidelity acquisition to a repeated homing path compared to the intact birds. However, compared to control birds, Wulst-lesioned pigeons displayed persistent oscillatory flight patterns across releases, diminished attention to linear (leading lines) landscape features, such as roads and wood edges, and less direct flight paths within the home area. Differences and similarities between the effects of Wulst and hippocampal lesions suggest that although the visual Wulst does not seem to play a direct role in the memory representation of a landscape-landmark map, it does seem to participate in influencing the perceptual construction of such a map.
Data package
Data from: White-crested Elaenias (Elaenia albiceps chilensis) breeding across Patagonia exhibit similar spatial and temporal movement patterns throughout the year
(2024-04-02) Jara, Rocío Fernanda; Jiménez, Jaime Enrique; Ricardo, Rozzi
For migratory birds, events happening during any period of their annual cycle can have strong carry-over effects on the subsequent periods. The strength of carry-over effects between non-breeding and breeding grounds can be shaped by the degree of migratory connectivity: whether or not individuals that breed together also migrate and/or spend the non-breeding season together. We assessed the annual cycle of the White-crested Elaenia (Elaenia albiceps chilensis), the longest-distance migrant flycatcher within South America, which breeds in Patagonia and spends the non-breeding season as far north as Amazonia. Using light-level geolocators, we tracked the annual movements of elaenias breeding on southern Patagonia and compared it with movements of elaenias breeding in northern Patagonia (1,365 km north) using Movebank Repository data. We found that elaenias breeding in southern Patagonia successively used two separate non-breeding regions while in their Brazilian non-breeding grounds, as already found for elaenias breeding in the northern Patagonia site. Elaenias breeding in both northern and southern Patagonia also showed high spread in their non-breeding grounds, high non-breeding overlap among individuals from both breeding sites, and similar migration phenology, all of which suggests weak migratory connectivity for this species. Elucidating the annual cycle of this species, with particular emphasis on females and juveniles, still requires further research across a wide expanse of South America. This information will be critical to understanding and possibly predicting this species’ response to climate change and rapid land-use changes.
Data package
Data from: Study "Movement patterns of seed dispersing spotted nutcrackers (Nucifraga caryocatactes)"
(2024-03-20) Graf, Valentin; Sorensen, Marjorie C.; Mueller, Thomas; Neuschulz, Elke Lena
Scatter-hoarding birds provide effective long-distance seed dispersal for plants. Transporting seeds far promotes population spread, colonization of new areas, and connectivity between populations. However, whether seeds transported over long distances are deposited in habitats favorable to plant regeneration has rarely been investigated, mainly due to methodological constraints. To investigate dispersal patterns and distances of Swiss stone pine (Pinus cembra) seeds we utilized advances in tracking technology to track the movements of their sole disperser, the spotted nutcracker (Nucifraga caryocatactes). We found routine individual movements between single seed harvesting and seed caching site. Harvesting sites of individual birds overlapped, whereas seed caching sites were separated and located on average 5.3 km away from the harvesting site. Interestingly, most distant caching sites were located at low elevations and in spruce forest, where Swiss stone pine does not naturally occur. This suggests that nutcrackers disperse seeds over long distances but that a large portion of these seeds are cached outside the known pine habitat. Therefore, we conclude that the implications of such long-distance seed dispersal movements for plant populations should be carefully considered in combination with the effects of habitat quality on plant recruitment.
Data package
Data from: The spatiotemporal properties of artificial feeding schemes influence the post-fledging movement of Egyptian Vultures
(2024-03-13) Reznikov, Korin; Efrat, Ron; Berger-Tal, Oded; Sapir, Nir
Many vulture populations have severely declined in the past decades, showing high juvenile mortality. To support these populations, feeding stations are used to increase food availability and to supply food without antibiotics and toxic compounds. Yet, supplying food at feeding stations may affect vulture behavior. We present a large-scale field experiment testing how different food provision schemes affected the movement of Egyptian Vultures (Neophron percnopterus). We used GPS transmitters harnessed to 18 vulture chicks and described their movements post-fledging. We categorized the vultures into 3 groups according to the feeding scheme used at feeding stations near their nests: frequent and spatially dispersed food supply (FD); non-frequent and spatially dispersed food supply (NFD); and frequent food supply, concentrated in one location (FC). We found that birds from all three groups increased their roosting distances from the nest with fledgling age, with the NFD and FC groups showing a greater increase than the FD group. Additionally, all 3 groups increased their daily flight distances, with the NFD group presenting the largest increase and the FD group presenting the smallest increase. Our findings offer new insights into the relevance of spatiotemporal differences in the management of feeding stations and show its effect on movement during birds’ early life stages, creating 2 main movement patterns: local and regional. Our findings can help decide upon the preferable feeding scheme in a way that will either encourage or reduce the early dispersal distances of fledglings, according to long- and short-term conservation objectives. For example, local movements during the post fledging period to known and stable food resources may reduce the risk of anthropogenic-induced mortality, while it may negatively affect long-term survival by hindering foraging, flight, and exploring skills and affect dispersion to future breeding sites.