Opportunities and challenges in using weather radar for detecting and monitoring flying animals in the Southern Hemisphere

Rebecca M. Rogers, Jeffrey J. Buler, Charlotte E. Wainwright, Hamish A. Campbell

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorial

Abstract

Operational weather surveillance radars (WSRs) are permanent radars that constantly detect precipitation at regular intervals (approx. every 4–10 min) for the purpose of weather reporting and are often part of a larger network of radars. Ecological studies using WSR to detect flying animals within the airspace have been on the rise since the early 2000s. However, the vast majority of published ecological studies (>300) have occurred in the Northern Hemisphere with only two published studies occurring in the Southern Hemisphere, both on insects. The lag in uptake of the technique in the Southern hemisphere is likely due to limited WSR coverage and the challenges of data acquisition and interpretation. However, we argue that WSRs are numerous enough in the Southern Hemisphere to offer equal opportunity to understand the movement of flying animals there. Here, we explore why that might be and present a road map so that ecological researchers in the Southern Hemisphere may take advantage of this valuable data resource.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)127-136
Number of pages10
JournalAustral Ecology
Volume45
Issue number1
Early online date26 Sep 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2020

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