A warming Arctic is changing animal migrations, decades of tracking shows

Mongabay discusses how a warming Arctic is changing animal migrations, decades of tracking shows.

  • The newly launched Arctic Animal Movement Archive (AAMA) includes 28 years of terrestrial and marine animal tracking studies on more than 96 species across the Arctic, Arctic marine, and subarctic (including boreal forests and taiga).
  • “The Arctic is undergoing some of the most rapid climate change on the planet,” one author said. The resulting warmer winters, earlier spring snowmelt, and the loss of ice are affecting animal movement.
  • Researchers conducted their first case studies using the AAMA and found large-scale patterns in the way caribou, moose, wolves, golden eagles, and bears are responding to climate change. The findings were published in the journal Science.
  • In their analyses, researchers found that the northernmost herds of caribou have begun giving birth earlier in the spring. After mild winters, immature golden eagles arrived earlier in the spring to breeding grounds than adult birds.

Now, a global archive of animal movement is making it easier to make those connections. The newly launched Arctic Animal Movement Archive (AAMA), includes 28 years of terrestrial and marine animal tracking studies on more than 96 animal species across the Arctic, Arctic marine, and subarctic (including boreal forests and taiga).

Researchers conducted their first case studies using the AAMA, and found large-scale patterns in the way caribou, moose (or elk), wolves, golden eagles, and bears are responding to climate change. These findings, published in the journal Science, demonstrate how the archive can be used to illuminate changes at the ecosystem level.

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