The Western Centre for Animals on the Move (CAM) conducts research on how, why, and where animals move.

We explore how animal movement is influenced by the surrounding environment and human activities. Each year, around the globe, billions of birds, bats, fishes, sea turtles, marine and terrestrial mammals, and insects navigate hundreds to thousands of kilometers between specialized habitats required for breeding, over-winter survival, moulting, and other activities.

Designing effective conservation actions for migratory and non-migratory species in Canada is a major conservation challenge. Canada cannot be resilient to the effects of a changing climate and anthropogenic activities without the health and connectivity of its mobile animal species. The Centre for Animals on Move informs the way we measure, approach, communicate, and ultimately interact with mobile animal species.

MOTUS logo with dragonfly, bat and bird illustration

MOTUS Telemetry System

The MOTUS telemetry system is an international collaboration for tracking birds and other small and hard to track species.

Map of north east Unisted states with isotopic analysis overlay

Mapping Migration with Isotopic Analysis

Isotopic analysis is a fascinating technique for studying the ranges and movement of animmals across large spatial extents.

Data from Swarm overpasses with GPS tracking points of migratory animals

Understanding Animal Navigation

Combining animal tracking data with other satellite information provides valuable insights into relationsihps between movement and the environment.


Fusion of satellite geomagnetic and wildife tracking data

With its relatively low error and flexible framework, MagGeo is a promising tool for movement ecologists and biologists who want to test animal navigation hypotheses about geomagnetism using open, high spatiotemporal resolution geomagnetic datasets.

Our study also showcases the importance of error and accuracy tests for environmental covariate data that can be attached to animal movement data.

Aranya Iyer, Fernando Benitez-Paez, Vanessa Brum-Bastos, Ciarán D. Beggan, Urška Demšar, Jed A. Long | Ecological Informatics, 72, December 2022

Global map of stations


Basking shark

Basking Sharks Migration Habits Explained: Where They Go During Winter and Summer

Paul Mensink, a Western biology professor, and his colleagues from Queen's University, Belfast, stumbled upon a surprising discovery while observing the basking shark's seasonal movements. The team tracked four basking sharks reaching three to six meters in length off of Ireland's northernmost tip to find where the enormous fish spends its winter days and why.


Featured field photos

Learn how our research efforts drive important discoveries that address key research questions and inform our next steps.