Weather radars’ role in biodiversity monitoring

Andrew Farnsworth The Cornell Lab Apr 16, 2021

Science published a letter yesterday written by our radar aeroecology colleagues in Europe, entitled ‘Weather radars’ role in biodiversity monitoring.’ The letter states a simple point that those visiting this website and those reading BirdCast research know well – weather radars are essential tools for monitoring biodiversity and that the policy for sharing data should reflect the broad roles that weather radars play beyond meteorology. Unfortunately,┬árecent policy changes in Europe have made vital biological data – data that represent movements of birds, bats, and insects in the atmosphere; data essential for the study of aerial animal migration, for applications to conservation, aviation, and epidemiology among others – unavailable.

The letter’s authors represent a project that is an international research consortium called GloBAM, which includes BirdCast, with the goals of ‘monitoring, understanding and forecasting global biomass flows of aerial migrants’ and funded under the BiodivScen ERA-Net COFUND program. The BirdCast team is an enthusiastic partner in this project and fully supports the call of this letter to maintain data access and promote data policies that provide biological and meteorological data from European weather surveillance radars!