Organized by the Max-Planck-Institute for Ornithology and the University of Konstanz, this event showcased the International Cooperation for Animal Research Using Space (ICARUS) system – a global collaboration of animal scientists establishing satellite-based infrastructure for the observation of small species, including birds, bats and sea turtles. Martin Wilkeski, Max-Planck-Institute for Ornithology, explained the system, highlighting that it consists of both space-borne elements including the International Space Center, and earth-borne elements including miniaturized animal tags.
Participants at the event discussed the importance of ICARUS, including its uses in disaster forecasting, conservation and discovery of unknown migrations.
UNEP/CMS/COP11 final resolution:
"Acknowledging that the ability to increasingly track animals globally will greatly enhance the knowledge base for informed conservation decision making, for example through global tracking initiatives such as ICARUS (International Cooperation for Animal Research Using Space), planned to be implemented on the International Space Station by the German and Russian Aerospace Centres (DLR and Roscosmos) by the end of 2015; "
Migration ecology (Tracking animal movement)
29. For many migratory species knowledge of their migration routes, the timing of their migration and consequently threats during their migration is missing. Furthermore there is a high number of endangered species, especially smaller ones, where it is unknown if they exhibit migratory behaviour. New technologies, such as those developed under the ICARUS project7, and new methodologies will make tracking of smaller animals feasible. Increasing application of existing animal tracking methodology and adoption of new technology and methods, holds great promise to improve knowledge on the migratory behaviour of many species. Several research institutes and universities advance research on tracking animal movement, including, for example, the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology and the members of ICARUS. Keeping up to date on these new technologies and promoting their use among CMS Parties is an issue that can help bring forward the CMS agenda in the coming years, particularly the Convention’s work on connectivity and ecological networks.