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News from Movebank, the online database for animal movement (May 2012)

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Dear Movebank users,

Since our July 2011 update, Movebank has continued to grow: the number of animal tracks has increased from 17,500 to 19,800; the number of studies has increased from 385 to 460; and the number of taxa represented has increased from 185 to 232. We're also hearing from more of you with questions, requests for assistance, and suggestions. We are happy for this enthusiastic response!

Movebank Data Repository
The new Movebank Data Repository is up and running! This repository is distinct from the rest of Movebank in that it contains datasets that have been thoroughly reviewed, frozen so they will no longer be edited, and published with a permanent unique identifier (DOI). This is an important step towards making Movebank a permanent archive of publicly accessible, curated data. Visit the new repository site at datarepository.movebank.org and read more about it at www.movebank.org/node/2220.

We welcome your submissions of datasets that you plan to publish in a peer-reviewed article. Please contact our data curator Sarah Davidson (sdavidson@orn.mpg.de) with any questions about how to get a DOI for your data, or for help organizing your data on Movebank.

Dictionary of Movebank terms
A growing number of terms are used to describe data, animals, tags, and deployments in Movebank. To clarify exactly what each term means, we have written a dictionary of Movebank terms, available under Help or at www.movebank.org/node/2381.

Over the past few months, we have participated in an Argos user meeting at the Institute of Avian Research ("Vogelwarte Helgoland") in Wilhelmshaven, Germany and presented at the 2012 Microwave Telemetry Avian and Marine Tracking Conference in Columbia, Maryland, USA. We enjoyed the opportunity to meet with some of you in person at these events!

Raptor flyway project
Dr. Kamran Safi and his movement ecology research group at the Max Planck Institute of Ornithology are looking for additional collaborators for their global raptor flyways project. They welcome any owners of raptor tracking data to participate in the project, which will use a novel method to model flyways, identify migration corridors, and assess variation in the movements of different classes of raptors. For more information, please contact Dr. Safi at ksafi@orn.mpg.de.

Featured study
Tracking individual animals with GPS tags offers a unique method for testing hypotheses about animal navigation. The featured study "HUJ MoveEcol Lab Israel: Egyptian fruit bat Rousettus aegyptiacus" describes recently published research by Dr. Asaf Tsoar and his colleagues, who performed several experiments that provide new evidence that mammals use "cognitive maps" to navigate over large distances. Read more about this on the Movebank home page.

Week-long course in Berlin on tracking data management
In September, Movebank will be participating in a week-long course in Berlin, "Next Generation Data Management in Movement Ecology". The course is hosted by the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research and co-organized by Wireless Remote Animal Monitoring and EuroDeer. It is open to graduate students and post-graduate researchers. For more information visit www-wram.slu.se/summerschool.htm. We invite all interested Movebank users to apply!

What's next?
Movebank and collaborators are working on several new features and analysis tools that should become available to all Movebank users later this year. As always, we are happy to help users connect for new collaborations or to develop tools that work with Movebank-format data.

Until next time, we wish you a good spring! Remember that you can reach us at any time—send your questions and feedback to Sarah Davidson at sdavidson@orn.mpg.de.


The Movebank Team
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