ICARUS-Initiative was introduced at an international conference of the CMS (Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species) to help safeguard migratory wildlife.

November 21, 2011

Today, representatives from more than 100 governments come together for a UN conference in Bergen to discuss urgent action to address the rapid decline of migratory animals across the globe. Prof. Martin Wikelski from Max-Planck-Institute for Ornithology is a guest speaker and presents MoveBank, a global database to track animal movements, and  ICARUS, a new system to track even smaller animals from space.

Millions of animals travel with the seasons using invisible pathways from one location to the next.  On land, in water and in the air, they depend on suitable resting and mating grounds.  These wildlife hubs are vital.  The loss of one hub can jeopardize an entire population.  However, many of these hubs are under intense pressure from human development and the exploitation of natural resources.

Today, representatives from nearly 100 governments come together for a UN conference in Norway, to discuss urgent action to address the rapid decline of migratory animals. The Convention of the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild animals (UNEP/CMS) launches the report “Living Planet: connected Planet – Preventing the End of the World’s Wildlife Migrations through Ecological Networks”. The report highlights, beside the dramatic decline of many animal species, how international collaboration has resulted in unique success stories in protecting migratory species. These are examples of how international cooperation  can safeguard ecological networks pathways and resting sites.

Prof. Martin Wikelski, Max Planck Institute for Ornithology, Department of Animal Migration and Immuno-Ecology in Radolfzell, Germany, will give a lecture in the afternoon, titled “MoveBank: Why we need a global data and analysis platform for the life on the move.”  With this international databank and a new Mini-GPS-System, installed on the ISS in 2014, we are able to observe individuals throughout their lifetime and to understand, which stopovers are preferred and why, how animals use and build ecological networks, and when and where migrant animals have problems and die ultimately.

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