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  1. Abstract Weather radar networks have great potential for continuous and long-term monitoring of aerial biodiversity of birds, bats, and insects. Biological data from weather radars can support ecological research, inform conservation policy development and implementation, and increase the public’s interest in natural phenomena such as migration. Weather radars are already used to study animal migration, quantify changes in populations, and reduce aerial conflicts between birds and aircraft. Yet efforts to establish a framework for the broad utilization of operational weather radar for biodiversity monitoring are at risk without suitable data policies and infrastructure in place. In Europe, communities of meteorologists and ecologists have made joint efforts toward sharing and standardizing continent-wide weather radar data. These efforts are now at risk as new meteorological data exchange policies render data useless for biodiversity monitoring. In several other parts of the world, weather radar data are not even available for ecological research. We urge policy makers, funding agencies, and meteorological organizations across the world to recognize the full potential of weather radar data. We propose several actions that would ensure the continued capability of weather radar networks worldwide to act as powerful tools for biodiversity monitoring and research.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available April 1, 2023
  2. Sills, Jennifer (Ed.)
  3. Applications of remote sensing data to monitor bird migration usher a new understanding of magnitude and extent of movements across entire flyways. Millions of birds move through the western USA, yet this region is understudied as a migratory corridor. Characterizing movements in the Pacific Flyway offers a unique opportunity to study complementary patterns to those recently highlighted in the Atlantic and Central Flyways. We use weather surveillance radar data from spring and autumn (1995–2018) to examine migrants' behaviours in relation to winds in the Pacific Flyway. Overall, spring migrants tended to drift on winds, but less so at northern latitudes and farther inland from the Pacific coastline. Relationships between winds and autumn flight behaviours were less striking, with no latitudinal or coastal dependencies. Differences in the preferred direction of movement (PDM) and wind direction predicted drift patterns during spring and autumn, with increased drift when wind direction and PDM differences were high. We also observed greater total flight activity through the Pacific Flyway during the spring when compared with the autumn. Such complex relationships among birds’ flight strategies, winds and seasonality highlight the variation within a migration system. Characterizations at these scales complement our understanding of strategies to clarify aerialmore »animal movements.« less