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Causes, consequences, and conservation of ungulate migration

November 1, 2021

Our understanding of ungulate migration is advancing rapidly due to innovations in modern animal tracking. Herein, we review and synthesize nearly seven decades of work on migration and other long-distance movements of wild ungulates. Although it has long been appreciated that ungulates migrate to enhance access to forage, recent contributions demonstrate that their movements are fine tuned to dynamic landscapes, where forage, snow, and drought change seasonally. Researchers are beginning to understand how ungulates navigate migrations, with the emerging view that animals blend gradient tracking with spatial memory, some of which is socially learned. Although migration often promotes abundant populations—with broad effects on ecosystems—many migrations around the world have been lost or are currently threatened by habitat fragmentation, climate change, and barriers to movement. Fortunately, new efforts that use empirical tracking data to map migrations in detail are facilitating effective conservation measures needed to maintain ungulate migration.

Publication Year 2021
Title Causes, consequences, and conservation of ungulate migration
DOI 10.1146/annurev-ecolsys-012021-011516
Authors Matthew Kauffman, Ellen O. Aikens, Saeideh Esmaeili, Petra Kaczensky, Arthur Middleton, Kevin L. Monteith, Thomas A. Morrison, Thomas Mueller, Hall Sawyer, Jacob R. Goheen
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Annual Review of Ecology, Evolution, and Systematics
Index ID 70229705
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Coop Res Unit Seattle