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Title: Estimating the movements of terrestrial animal populations using broad-scale occurrence data

As human and automated sensor networks collect increasingly massive volumes of animal observations, new opportunities have arisen to use these data to infer or track species movements. Sources of broad scale occurrence datasets include crowdsourced databases, such as eBird and iNaturalist, weather surveillance radars, and passive automated sensors including acoustic monitoring units and camera trap networks. Such data resources represent static observations, typically at the species level, at a given location. Nonetheless, by combining multiple observations across many locations and times it is possible to infer spatially continuous population-level movements. Population-level movement characterizes the aggregated movement of individuals comprising a population, such as range contractions, expansions, climate tracking, or migration, that can result from physical, behavioral, or demographic processes. A desire to model population movements from such forms of occurrence data has led to an evolving field that has created new analytical and statistical approaches that can account for spatial and temporal sampling bias in the observations. The insights generated from the growth of population-level movement research can complement the insights from focal tracking studies, and elucidate mechanisms driving changes in population distributions at potentially larger spatial and temporal scales. This review will summarize current broad-scale occurrence datasets, discuss more » the latest approaches for utilizing them in population-level movement analyses, and highlight studies where such analyses have provided ecological insights. We outline the conceptual approaches and common methodological steps to infer movements from spatially distributed occurrence data that currently exist for terrestrial animals, though similar approaches may be applicable to plants, freshwater, or marine organisms.

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Award ID(s):
1915909 1915913
Publication Date:
Journal Name:
Movement Ecology
Springer Science + Business Media
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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