Over the past decades, the fascinating phenomenon of animal migration has been studied applying new, highly sophisticated methods. Surprising new insights into this old phenomenon have been revealed by using satellite tracking, genetic analysis and new information technologies. The studies presented in New Perspectives for Monitoring Migratory Animals illustrate how these new technologies might help to improve the conservation of migratory species. They were presented at a workshop bringing together scientists and conservationists, who met during a memorable event: the 20th anniversary of the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS, also known as the "Bonn Convention"), celebrated in Bonn, June 1999. This convention covers a wide variety of migratory taxa, including mammals, birds, sea turtles, fishes and insects. Equally diverse are the methods, regions and people who study, protect, exploit or simply enjoy migratory animals. Protection of their habitats, routes and staging areas against old and new threats requires a firm stance of conservationists, which has to be backed up by hard data. Satellite tracking provides high-quality data, and modern information technologies facilitate their publication on the World Wide Web. Geographical Information Systems in particular are the appropriate technology by which to visualize animal distributions and migration. Several conservation programmes tailored to the conservation of migratory species are presented here and illustrate the great potential of these data sets.
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