Why should you share your hard-won animal telemetry data?

This is a question I am often asked by those tagging and tracking animals.

I believe the main reason to share animal telemetry is to ensure data longevity and make it possible to assess how animal movement may be changing through time.

Moreover, every animal that is captured and tagged is impacted upon by the procedure. We are therefore, ethically obliged to ensure the findings from our studies are maximised -even if this occurs long after we are finished with the data.

There are also personal benefits to you as a user by sharing your data. It will advertise publications arising from the research, and others may think of a new way of synthesis for these data, opening up new collaborations, publication and funding opportunities.

A recent study published in Science of the Total Environment, estimated that out of the thousands of animals whose movements have been tracked across Australasia, the findings from less than 50 % have been published. Significantly less (8 %) are discoverable via online resources. The aim of the zoaTrack platform is to turn this statistic around, so that these data can be discovered and compared into the future.

In using the zoaTrack.org platform access to your data-collection can be embargoed for a limited time, but go on, make it open-access and allow others to view these amazing data-sets.

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