Why Movement Ecology Matters

  • Colin A. ChapmanEmail author
  • Rafael Reyna-Hurtado


The scientific discipline of “Movement Ecology” (Nathan et al. 2008) has played an important role in advancing our understanding of almost every ecological and evolutionary process, from nutrient cycling, to habitat selection, to population dynamics and community ecology. Interestingly, it has been almost a quarter of a century ago since Rodgers and Anson (1994) stated that GPS-based animal-location systems would become the standard for habitat selection studies. They were right! The data made available from GPS telemetry (i.e., sequence of GPS locations) quickly boosted the field of “Movement Ecology” (Nathan et al. 2008), and this field was also greatly advanced when the Max Planck Institute of Ornithology developed a free online database, Movebank (, that allowed movement data from many, many species to be freely accessed and analysed (millions and millions of travel routes). Further advancements became possible with the development and use of new analytical tools to understand the rules used by the study animals to move (Ropert-Coudert and Wilson 2005; Sengupta et al. 2018).


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of AnthropologyMcGill UniversityMontrealCanada
  2. 2.School of Life Sciences, University of KwaZulu-NatalScottsvilleSouth Africa
  3. 3.Shaanxi Key Laboratory for Animal Conservation, Northwest UniversityXi’anChina
  4. 4.El Colegio de la Frontera Sur (ECOSUR)Department of Biodiversity ConservationLermaMexico
  5. 5.The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS)BronxUSA

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