The use of animal-born sensors for location-based tracking and bio-logging in terrestrial systems has expanded dramatically in the past 10 years. This rapid expansion has generated new data on how animals interact with and respond to variation in their environment, resulting in important ecological, physiological, and evolutionary insights. Although understanding the finer details of animal locations has important management relevance, applied studies are not prominent in the movement ecology literature. This is despite the long history of applied studies of animal movement and the urgent and growing need for evidence-based conservation guidance, especially in the challenging field of human-wildlife interactions. The goal of this review is to evaluate the realized contribution of tracking-based animal movement ecology to solving specific conservation problems, and to identify barriers that may hinder expansion of that contribution. To do this, we (a) briefly review the history and technologies used in animal tracking and bio-logging, (b) use a series of literature searches to evaluate the frequency with which movement ecology studies are designed to solve specific conservation problems, and (c) use this information to identify challenges that may limit the applied relevance of the field of movement ecology, and to propose pathways to expand that applied relevance. Our literature review quantifies the limited extent to which research in the field of movement ecology is designed to solve specific conservation problems, but also the fact that such studies are slowly becoming more prevalent. We discuss how barriers that limit application of these principles are likely due to constraints imposed by the types of data used commonly in the field. Problems of scale mismatch, error compounding, and data paucity all create challenges that are relevant to the field of movement ecology but may be especially pertinent in applied situations. Finding solutions to these problems will create new opportunity for movement ecologists to contribute to conservation science.
|Publication Subtype||Journal Article|
|Title||Evaluating contributions of recent tracking-based animal movement ecology to conservation management|
|Series title||Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution|
|Contributing office(s)||Forest and Rangeland Ecosystem Science Center|
|Description||519, 10 p.|
|Google Analytic Metrics||Metrics page|