Billions of organisms travel through the air, influencing population dynamics, community interactions, ecosystem services and our lives in many different ways. Yet monitoring these movements are technically very challenging. During the last few decades, radars have increasingly been used to study the aerial movements of birds, bats and insects, yet research efforts have often been local and uncoordinated between research groups. However, a network of operational weather radars is continuously recording atmospheric conditions all over Europe and these hold enormous potential for coordinated, continental-scale studies of the aerial movements of animals.
The European Network for the Radar surveillance of Animal Movement (ENRAM) is a new e-COST research network aiming exactly at exploring this potential. The main objective of ENRAM is to merge expertise to utilize weather radars to monitor the aerial movement of animals across Europe for a broad range of stakeholders at an unprecedented scale and enable researchers to study the causes and consequences of movement. In this paper we describe the aims of ENRAM in more detail and the challenges researchers will address, provide an overview of aero-ecological studies using radar, and present some of the opportunities that a large sensor network can provide for movement ecology research.
J Shamoun-Baranes, JA Alves, S Bauer, AM Dokter, O Hüppop, J Koistinen, H Leijnse, F Liechti, JR van Gasteren, JW Chapman. Continental-scale radar monitoring of the aerial movements of animals
published, Movement Ecology, 2014, 2