Ecological big data: Arctic Animal Movement Archive
Human activities are rapidly changing the world around us. This is particularly evident in the Arctic region where climate and associated environmental changes are occurring at accelerated rates. Arctic animal species are profoundly impacted through changes in food availability, interspecfic competition, and increased human disturbances. Consequently, the region’s animal species’ primary response will likely occur through alternation in patterns, locations, and timing movements, such as migration. While substantial animal tracking data from the Arctic region exists, it has historically been difficult to access and discover. We collaborated with over 140 different scientists from a variety of disciplines across the globe to develop an open-source data archive, Arctic Animal Movement Archive (AAMA). The AAMA is a growing collection of more than 200 standardized terrestrial and marine animal tracking studies. It currently hosts more than 15 million data points across 96 species. The AAMA can be used to show distinct climate change responses on a large scale across species. The AAMA supports public data discovery, preserves fundamental baseline data for the future, and facilitates efficient, collaborative data analysis.