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Mapping out a future for ungulate migrations

May 7, 2021

Migration of ungulates (hooved mammals) is a fundamental ecological process that promotes abundant herds, whose effects cascade up and down terrestrial food webs. Migratory ungulates provide the prey base that maintains large carnivore and scavenger populations and underpins terrestrial biodiversity (fig. S1). When ungulates move in large aggregations, their hooves, feces, and urine create conditions that facilitate distinct biotic communities. The migrations of ungulates have sustained humans for thousands of years, forming tight cultural links among Indigenous people and local communities. Yet ungulate migrations are disappearing at an alarming rate (1). Efforts by wildlife managers and conservationists are thwarted by a singular challenge: Most ungulate migrations have never been mapped in sufficient detail to guide effective conservation. Without a strategic and collaborative effort, many of the world's great migrations will continue to be truncated, severed, or lost in the coming decades. Fortunately, a combination of animal tracking datasets, historical records, and local and Indigenous knowledge can form the basis for a global atlas of migrations, designed to support conservation action and policy at local, national, and international levels.

Publication Year 2021
Title Mapping out a future for ungulate migrations
DOI 10.1126/science.abf0998
Authors Matthew Kauffman, Francesca Cagnacci, Simon Chamaillé-Jammes, Mark Hebblewhite, J. Grant C. Hopcraft, Jerod A. Merkle, Thomas Mueller, Atle Mysterud, Wibke Peters, Christiane Roettger, Alethea Steingisser, James Meacham, Kasahun Abera, Jan Adamczewski, Ellen O. Aikens, Hattie Bartlam-Brooks, Emily Bennitt, Joel Berger, Charlotte Boyd, Steeve D. Côté, Lucie Debeffe, Andrea S. Dekrout, Nandintsetseg Dejid, Emiliano Donadio, Luthando Dziba, William F. Fagan, Claude Fischer, S. Focardi, J. M. Fryxell, Richard W. S. Fynn, Chris Geremia, Benito A. Gonzalez, Anne Gunn, E. Gurarie, Marco Heurich, Jodi A. Hilty, Mark Hurley, Aran Johnson, Kyle Joly, Petra Kaczensky, Corinne J. Kendall, Pavel Kochkarev, Leonid Kolpaschikov, Rafał Kowalczyk, Frank van Langeveld, V. Li Binbin, Alex L. Lobora, Anne Loison, Tinaapi H. Madiri, David P. Mallon, Pascal Marchland, Rodrigo A. Medellin, Erling Meisingset, Evelyn Merrill, Arthur D. Middleton, Kevin Monteith, Malik Morjan, Thomas A. Morrison, Steffen Mumme, Robin Naidoo, A.J. Novaro, Joseph O. Ogutu, Kirk A. Olson, Alfred Oteng-Yeboah, Ovejero Ramiro J.A., Norman Owen-Smith, Antti Paasivaara, Craig Packer, Danilla Panchenko, Luca Pedrotti, Andrew J. Plumptre, Christer Moe Rolandsen, Sonia Said, Albert Salemgareyev, Piotr Savchenko, Hall Sawyer, Moses Selebatso, Matthew Skroch, Erling J. Solberg, Jared A. Stabach, Olav Strand, Michael J. Suitor, Yasuyuki Tachiki, Anne Trainor, Arnold Tshipa, M.Z. Virani, Carly Vynne, Stephanie Ward, George Wittemyer, Wenjing Xu, Steffen Zuther
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Science
Index ID 70228932
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Coop Res Unit Seattle