Tens of thousands of animals around the world are monitored using GPS trackers to protect wildlife and study animal behaviour. The collected data are also useful for biodiversity research, but are seldom available on platforms used for this purpose. Researchers have developed a workflow to make GPS tracking data available in biodiversity data portals, and applied it to publicly archive GPS tracking data for hundreds of birds across northwest Europe.

GPS trackers are used by ecologists to follow the movements of a wide range of animal species and gain unique insights into their behaviour. Thousands of researchers manage and share these data on Movebank, a free data platform hosting more than 7,500 animal tracking studies, many of which have made their data available for anyone to view and download. These same data offer evidence of when and where species occur, information widely used for biodiversity research and assessments and found through the open data portals Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) and Ocean Biodiversity Information Facility (OBIS). However, these platforms are not linked, and with few tracking datasets available through GBIF and OBIS, there is unmet potential for them to contribute to studies of biodiversity. To build connections between these data and disciplines, a team of researchers from Radboud University, Research Institute for Nature and Forest, Sovon, the Dutch Bryological and Lichenological Society, and the Max Planck Institute of Animal Behavior have developed an open-source workflow to publish animal tracking data stored on Movebank to GBIF and OBIS.

Read more (website Radboud University)


  • Finished


  • Sovon, Radboud University


  • Eelke Jongejans