This recent paper summarizes progress and potential in the field of wildlife tracking (including birds), highlighting the exponential growth in technological capabilities in the past 5 years.
Moving animals connect our world, spreading pollen, seeds, nutrients, and parasites as
they go about the their daily lives. Recent integration of high-resolution Global Positioning
System and other sensors into miniaturized tracking tags has dramatically improved our
ability to describe animal movement. This has created opportunities and challenges that
parallel big data transformations in other fields and has rapidly advanced animal ecology
and physiology. New analytical approaches, combined with remotely sensed or modeled
environmental information, have opened up a host of new questions on the causes of
movement and its consequences for individuals, populations, and ecosystems.
Simultaneous tracking of multiple animals is leading to new insights on species
interactions and, scaled up, may enable distributed monitoring of both animals and our
Roland Kays, Crofoot, Margaret C., Jetz, Walter, Wikelski, Martin. 2015. Terrestrial animal tracking as an eye on life and planet. Science 348(6240)