In 1999, a bold plan was laid out to establish a broad collaboration among biologists, oceanographers, engineers and computer scientists in the emerging field of “biologging” science. At a workshop held at Stanford University’s Hopkins Marine Station in Pacific Grove, California, more than 50 people gathered and developed a program using electronic tags to simultaneously follow the migrations and behaviors of 23 different species of marine animals – including whales, seals, fishes, sharks, seabirds, turtles and even squid. The scientsts’ vision was that, by following such a diverse group of animals all at the same time, and combining the observations in a common data system, it would be possible to gain new insights into the way the open ocean ecosystem of the North Pacific works.
The findings of this study provide a “proof of concept” for the use of biologging science to help understand broad patterns of habitat use in the oceans, which in turn can help resource managers and policy makers to more effectively manage the animal populations that live there.
To learn more about the study, you can read the press release here, or you can read the entire Nature paper here.