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Migrations in Motion

This map shows the optimal migrations patterns for wildlife looking for a better environment in the face of climate change. Migrations in Motion is interactive at the link, and has data only for North and South America so far. It's a collaboration between the University of Washington and the Nature Conservancy. UW professor Joshua Lawler explains the map.

The map is color-coded to depict separate movement patterns for mammals, birds and amphibians. The animations show a mass exodus toward northern regions, with empty black zones showing where large cities or landscape features like the Great Lakes block migration. It's important to note that each dot and subsequent streaking line show the accumulation of species' movement, not just one animal's future migration, Lawler explained.

The researchers were surprised to see how clearly migration routes appeared once the data were visualized. They knew from the data that the Appalachians and the Rocky Mountains were important movement areas, but once the data were animated on a map, those routes popped out like well-trodden paths, Lawler said.

In South America, the general movement is for species to leave the Amazon basin for the Andes. You can zoom into an area to see more detail at the site. -via How Stuff Works


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