Marine megafauna species can be impacted by human activities including industrial and coastal development, ocean plastic pollution, noise, coastal and offshore fisheries, and shipping. However, the true extent of such impacts is unknown because our understanding of their movements is limited.
MegaMove focuses on advancing global knowledge in the field of movement ecology by understanding:
how anthropogenic activities may affect marine megafauna movement, and
how movement data can be used to improve conservation and management
MegaMove aims to unify the voice of the marine movement ecology community by:
collaboratively working with a global network of researchers collecting movement data
compiling and standardising the largest marine megafauna tracking dataset
and UN Ocean Decade
MegaMove is contributing to the goals of the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030). This initiative has been proclaimed by the UN to support efforts to reverse ocean declines, focusing on the development of science-informed policy responses to global change by inviting the worldwide ocean community to plan for the next decade in ocean science and technology.
Overlap of marine megafauna
movement with global threats
Migratory marine species are at risk of man-made stressors throughout their lives. We are combining tracked movements of marine megafauna to identify areas with ecologically meaningful behaviours, aiming to estimate overlaps with anthropogenic activities and map risk at global scale.
Threat Index for
We are developing a global index to assess threats to marine megafauna species, taking into consideration the major threats and sub-threats affecting each species. We will combine and expand information from the IUCN with the hundreds of data experts involved in MegaMove to tease out the potential effects of different and cumulative threats across the entire geographical range used by marine megafauna globally.
in the global ocean
Animal tracking data can be invaluable to assist our understanding of animal movements and provide relevant information that can be incorporated into decision-making. We are focused on understanding the migratory pathways of marine megafauna, teasing out what areas they use for migration or for resident-like behaviours, which can include feeding, resting, or mating.
Global Areas of Ecological
This study will focus on using the many thousands of existing tracking datasets of marine megafauna to identify area of ecological significance at global scale to assess efficacy of existing marine protected areas. Results will reflect conservation challenges on a global scale and provide relevant information for conservation managers.
Conservation and management rely on our knowing where marine megafauna are and what threats they face across their habitat. It is now possible to passively record data on the fine-scale movement and behaviour of marine animals along with the environment it moves through, even in the most remote regions of the world’s oceans. To do this, we temporarily place state-of-the-art electronic sensors, or tags, on marine megafauna. When the animal breaches the surface, these tags transmit the stored data about the animal’s movement and the ocean environment to researchers.